PSI Hosts Annual User Conference Meeting

PSI Hosts Annual User Conference Meeting

PSI Hosts Annual User Conference Meeting John Matterson, Chuck Famula, Graham Rigby
bisTrack session attendees Presentation by David Jones of Brookside Lumber
lumberTrack group ProSales Award Winners from Raymond and Sanford & Hawley

Author: S. Littlefield, S. Mowat
Date: Nov 04 2011

Progressive Solutions Inc. (PSI), of Richmond, BC, Canada, hosted their annual combined bisTrack and lumberTrack User Conference October 17-19 at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

PSI President Len Williams stated, “It was a terrific success. Our customers, vendor partners, and PSI associates all gathered together with a clear understanding of how we all gain when we share ideas with the common goal of continuous improvement.” Len went on to say, “What impressed me most was the commitment our customers are showing to strengthening their businesses. We are all going through these tough times together.  I know that my people get a high level of satisfaction helping our customers solve real business problems.” 
 
The 3-day event was full of strategic yet practical agenda items that clients could act on immediately. Len added, “I have challenged my team to listen very carefully to the feedback from this year’s conference and build a plan for next year’s event that will take us up yet another notch. This is in line with my goal to build on our leadership position in the LBM industry.”
 
The PSI User Group Conference is structured into two working groups, lumberTrack and bisTrack, to specifically address the needs of our clients. 
 

lumberTrack Conference

Keith Matterson, VP lumberTrack – At lumberTrack we have worked hard over the past couple of years to build a highly interactive and engaged format. I was very happy with the outcome of this year’s event. I left with a clear mandate from our customer base on where we should be spending our R&D efforts over the next 1-2 years. We also got good feedback and endorsement on the direction our V10 product is heading. I took a few signals from the feedback on where we need to put even more emphasis at next year’s event. I will personally see to it that these elements will appear in the agenda and event plan. I want to also extend a special thank you to the customers who took part in the presentations and break-out sessions. The efforts provided by Patrick Lumber, Anthony Forest Products, Idaho Timber, and Cox Industries made for an even more successful event. 
 
V10 Update and Feedback Session – Guy Anderson, VP of lumberTrack Development, lead the group through an update and feedback discussion on the V10 release. Guy walked the group through the updated version and new functionality. He explained how V10 puts more power in the hands of the user and builds efficiencies in work habits. Guy also shared how important it is to PSI to work carefully through beta testing before roll-out. PSI recognizes the responsibility it has to develop software that brings maximum value with minimum disruption. “Our clients today have leaner organizations than ever and require our help to provide them with the tools they need. V10 will most certainly be optimized through the dedication of our engaged beta customers.”  
 
Customer Presentations – A number of customers lead valuable presentations and workshops. Bill Howerton of Cox Industries gave a very candid and informative presentation about why he lead his company toward a hosted solution with lumberTrack. Bill brought valuable and unique insights from his former work experience that helped to shape what he saw as a “no brainer” decision. Ronnie Clay of Anthony Forest Products and Cheryl Murdoch of Idaho Timber also spoke about their recent implementations. In particular, how hard they worked to ensure the goals of their lumberTrack implementation were being met. They offered fresh “real-world” examples of what they accomplished and what they might change if they had to do it all over again. Mark Auxier of Patrick Lumber facilitated a break-out session on upgrading from V6 to lumberTrack V9. Several companies that are looking at this move had the opportunity to hear what Mark had to offer and to ask questions. It was a great session. And Mark did a terrific job.        
 
Business Intelligence (BI) - BI was a strong topic this year. 70% of the feedback received said that this area of the agenda exceeded expectations. And, the remaining 30% found the sessions valuable. Business Intelligence is clearly the coming wave over the next couple of years. Unlocking the data visibility and analysis potential for their teams, and leveraging system capabilities, was clearly on the minds of those in attendance. It is critical to driving success within their organizations. Knowing with certainty where money is made and lost drives better decisions. This can be a strategic advantage. Keith reminded the group that PSI is prepared for the increase in BI activity by building on its expertise and by specifically adding resources to match the growing demand.  
 
Support and One on One Time – In addition to the general sessions, the user conference this year saw a marked increase in activity at the support desks.  The support room provided an opportunity to speak in person with PSI support and development team members. The use of smaller breakout groups provided opportunities for customers to provide feedback to PSI. There was very positive feedback from those that took advantage of the one on one time. 
 
The Power of Real Customer Engagement - Several topics drove home the message at this year’s event that, as a team, we can indeed accomplish great things. Here were some of the biggest examples.
 
- Product Roadmap  Asking customers what they want seems like a simple concept. But really listening is what PSI is building its leadership practice around. Clients will see open communication and feedback solicitation as part of the Product Road Map from now on. Best practices design relies on best practices input.   
- V10 Beta Testing  As mentioned above, getting it right the first time is more important than ever. 
- Word of Mouth Marketing  By working together to build our user group base, we can deliver a strong and sustainable future for all.  
- Customer Lead Presentations and Workshops  This process drives the highest level of credibility and trustworthiness into our time together at these events. PSI is committed to open and candid discussion and presentations. This process is what helps make us even stronger.
- Customer Support Portal  Helping to connect our customers at more practical levels will further build the shared strength of the community. Look for this soon.
- User Community Social Network  This is a new area to look for. PSI received a clear mandate to facilitate and launch a site where lumberTrack users can communicate and share openly with one another. The interest and motivation was high to get it going, but to keep it simple. Stay tuned.
 

bisTrack Conference

Award Winners - We were again fortunate to have Craig Webb, editor of ProSales magazine as a guest speaker. His speech was entertaining and informative. He commented on the way our group has embraced technology. He noted “This group is different. You’re ahead of the crowd and in excellent company”. Besides mentioning other award winners from the past he announced that two bisTrack users; Sanford and Hawley of Unionville, CT and Raymond Building Supply of Fort Myers, FL have been awarded the prestigious 2011 ProSales Excellence Award for Best Use of Technology. The crowd was excited to hear the news and gave them both a large round of applause.       

The ever popular “What’s New” sessions - Both the bisTrack and lumberTrack sessions kicked off the conference by reviewing what’s new since last year’s conference in bisTrack 3.2 and lumberTrack 10.0. The software requests are customer driven and, to the delight of the users, many of these requests are now included in the newest software release.

Customer presentations – A number of customer-lead presentations demonstrating how they use specific areas of the system to deliver real results to their business. The various customer lead sessions topics included delivery/dispatch, pricing strategies, use of kits in manufacturing, workflow and document management, customer management tools, purchasing with opportunities for vendor managed and vendor owned inventory, and the use of business intelligence tools. These sessions were designed around business use and best practices rather than just technology.      
 
Hosting and the Cloud – Dave Woodhouse, vice president of managed services, led two sessions on hosting for bisTrack and lumberTrack. Dave also manned a desk to discuss the benefit of hosting and to take the mystery out of “hosting” and the “cloud”. Hosting has come of age and is an important part of our product and service offering as customers see the numerous benefits that can come from partnering with PSI and our managed services team. 
 
Mobility was a hot topic – The use of bisTrack and lumberTrack with mobile devices was a hot topic at this year’s conference. Newly released mobile apps for the iPhone and Android were warmly received by the bisTrack users.  In the dBUG (‘d bisTrack User Group), an independent user forum formed and operated by bisTrack users, customers shared ideas on how they have integrated smartphone and iPads into their business. They even took time to share their favorite apps that have helped their business. Progressive Solutions is committed to delivering more and more functionality to our customers and to their customer’s mobile devices.
 
Support and one on one time - Besides the general sessions, the user conference also provides numerous opportunities for individual support and discussion.
- The support room provided an opportunity to talk one on one with PSI support and development team members.
- Smaller breakout groups provided opportunities for customers to provide feedback to PSI.
- The product expo provided an opportunity to see new product offerings from PSI as well as offerings from our trusted 3rd party vendors.
- Best of all is the networking time that allows time for our customers to talk with their peers for the sharing of ideas and renewing of friendships.   

A final customer comment – “On the way home yesterday, I was thinking about the conference and what a fabulous time it was for me.  I think many of the other folks feel the same way.  As always, it is a privilege to be able to participate and share in the great things you and the PSI team are doing.  I know it must seem that with all the feedback (mostly can you do more?), the great things you are doing get overshadowed.  I just wanted to let you know that you are doing a great job and the conference just reinforces the decision we made to join PSI as our technology partner.  I look forward to continuing our partnership and serving PSI, just as you serve us. Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To you and the PSI team. Brain King, President, Construction Supply. 

Testimonials

  • "lumberTrack’s™ business logic is rock solid. It’s a very configurable system and Progressive Solutions, as a business partner has been awesome."

    Mike Beye
    Chief Value Officer of Vaagen Bros. Lumber Co

  • "We were up 5 points of margin within ten months using bisTrack™ pricing management and margin review. The payback happened in just months."

    Brian King
    President of Construction Supply

  • "Since our conversion to bisTrack we have seen big pluses with purchasing and costing accuracy which have definitely contributed to the bottom line."

    Brad White
    President of White's Lumber

  • "We know these are the kind of people we want to partner with long-term, with the vision and values that are critical to a mutually successful relationship."

    David Jones
    President of Brookside Lumber

  • "We’ve fixed problems, eliminated data re-entry and repurposed valuable employees. bisTrack helped us be more productive with fewer people."

    Candy Loweke
    Process Analyst, Raymond Building Supply

  • "With bisTrack we have cut our costs while increasing the speed and quality of service to our customers."

    John Steinman
    VP of Purchasing and IT Services, Forge Lumber

  • "We used to go blind on what our costs were. Now we can audit every single job in millwork, see what our waste is and know what things are really costing us."

    Lan McIlvain
    Alan McIlvain Company

  • "We were looking for software we could grow with. lumberTrack and Great Plains are going to give us the ability to dig down and get the reporting data we need to make our decisions. They have streamlined our workflow and the general ledger."

    Sherry Sabbatini
    Deer Park Lumber

  • "I think highly of the people at Progressive Solutions. They have a professional approach, they understand the lumber business, and they meet their commitments."

    Joe Kusar
    Vice President & General Manager of Tolleson Lumber Co