Monday, April 28, 2014

Realtrac ERP Software Development Team - General Release

Greetings all,

Realtrac ERP Software Development Team
REALTRAC Development Team
It's been a busy time here at Realtrac Headquarters. Since the last blog we've officially released the Realtrac 10 product. As I'm sure many of our customers themselves experience, when you work on a product or a job for a long time, and then send it out the door, it's a lot like sending your kid out the door for their very first day of school. Lots of emotions, but it's also the first step of a long journey.

As you can imagine, work has not let up for the team. We're now converting existing customers from 9 to 10, along with doing new installations. It's great talking with both new and existing customers to learn about their businesses and learn how they use Realtrac. Without sounding too self-serving, allow me a momentary anecdote. Our development team has worked together for a long time and we've developed many products to convey important business critical information to users in a simple and meaningful way. When tasked with writing a successor to the very successful Realtrac 9 product, we wanted to not only match it's features, but improve upon them.

The Realtrac 9 product provided a workstation centric real time view in to your shop floor. In real time, a user could scan the list and see which work stations were being run, along with the jobs and employees running the stations.

In 10, we've replicated this interface, but also provide another view of the same data - a view that is employee based rather than focusing on Work Stations. Now, you can not only answer the question "What is happening on my Inspection work station?" but you can also ask "What job is my employee Rob Liefeld on right now?". In our new Employee Status window, we provide a pile of information with some simple color codes. In the sample screen capture below, the color of the employee's name tells us if they are currently logged in, on break, or not currently logged in to a job. The color of the cell with the Job and Operation information tells you how the operation is doing compared to the estimate. If the lower cell is green, we're still within our estimated time for the operation. Yellow indicates we're within +/- 10% of our estimate, and a red cell indicates that we've gone over 110% of our estimated time for that operation.

Realtrac ERP System Status Window
Employee Status Window
We've already had one customer tell us that by bringing this information to the front, in real time, they have already begun digging in to jobs before they've shipped to try to correct issues with the job. Operations running late means your company is losing money, and it risks you may ship the product late. Instead of trying to correct these problems in a job review after the job has shipped and is closed, our user is now catching these in real time and has already seen an increase in productivity! Real exciting news to hear for a group of developers who, months ago, were just hoping that these ideas would catch on!

In addition to installs, conversions, answering questions, documenting, building FAQs and the like, we continue to work on exciting new products and features. As I've mentioned previously, we've got our new mobile apps that are currently going through the testing phase with Apple in preparation for our official listing in the App Store. We've got both a Shop Floor style app, "Remote Start" (used by shop floor employees for logging in and out of work sessions, logging piece and scrap counts and the like) and our training app, "Power Train" to help users learn about our product.

Our Remote Start users that have been testing the product (on live manufacturing floors) love it and have already made it part of their regular workflows. They have asked us to allow them to continue using the product even after our testing period. They have changed their workflow and been more productive and don't want to stop.

We're working hard to bulk up our online training and self service resources. We've already prepared a series of videos designed for users converting from our 9 product to the 10. This set of 7 videos, all very short but focused, have been instrumental in helping our customers convert from 9 to 10, often in a single day. Additionally, we have many other videos (and a good number of new ones in the hopper) designed to orient both new and existing customers to some of the cool new features in Realtrac, and to act as introductions to the underlying business system that's the bedrock of the Realtrac ERP system.

All existing videos, and future videos are available in the Power Train application. The app keeps track of your progress, letting you know which videos you've watched, and the training videos look great on an iPad next to your computer. Watching the videos on the iPad while following along on your screen allows you not just to see someone demonstrate a concept, but actually try it yourself.

We're also debating internally about what features to add to the product next. We've taken a pulse of our customers, both directly via discussion panels and through our experienced sales team. We currently have a set of features we're prioritizing and scoping out. While we have a pretty good idea what we're going to do (or, at least we have a known basket of possibilities we're going to pick and choose from) make sure to keep in touch with your Realtrac sales rep and give them details about your business and what features you need to succeed. Our sales team is the development team's direct pipeline to our customers and one we rely on heavily. We want to add features that are going to help our customers grow and prosper.

Well, thanks for checking in here with the Realtrac development team. I'm off to work on some cool new features!

No comments:

Post a Comment