LAS VEGAS—Attending Surfaces is more than just seeing new products; it is a chance to get educated and receive training. Many companies hold meetings around the show and software suppliers are no different. A day prior to the Surfaces show floor opening, QFloors and RFMS each held training conferences to update users on their latest developments and make sure they were using the systems to their fullest potential.
Both said they have always placed a high value on training and it is their “philosophy” to offer continuing education, and as Terry Wheat, president of RFMS noted, “Offering a one- day training event the day before Surfaces allows our users the opportunity stretch their travel dollars and make the most use of their time. Often, training days like these are the only time busy owners and managers have to take a moment and learn about the powerful features they have at their fingertips.”
Trent Ogden, QFloors’ CFO, added, “The synergistic nature of having a bunch of people meeting together to learn and accomplish the same goals is a very positive thing. It is helpful even for those who know the software well.”
Wheat agreed. “Having the best software system is only half the equation. Knowing
how to use and implement it into your business is the other half, and that’s the purpose of this event.”
The RFMS User Conference was held at the Venetian and featured 16 workshops in which attendees were able to participate in four each. Sessions covered many topics and varied from beginner to advanced, making training available to all levels of skill.
“This format allows a company to bring more than one person,” Wheat explained, “and most bring multiple staff members, splitting up into different sessions, allowing them to attend everything.” In addition, RFMS gives each attendee workbooks containing the entire program, allowing them to have reference material on the subject matter once back at their store. “This allows further education at the store,” he added, “giving even greater value to the training day.”
Some of the sessions focused on accounting—beginner and advanced—inventory and purchasing; best business practices; e-commerce and B2B; order entry—beginner and advanced— and the latest version release features (see related story).
New for the 2010 event was the addition of guest expert speakers. Wheat said this was done to provide an additional level of education for the attendees, “as they were given the opportunity to learn from and/or converse with other successful floor covering peers who are active in their own business using RFMS.”
These guest speakers, he added, “brought a new perspective into the use of RFMS and were well received by those in attendance.”
Jim Buckles, director of business operations for Leonard’s Carpet, helped assist at four of the sessions and said “each one was filled with dedicated floor covering professionals with an eager- ness both to learn from the topics presented and to share their knowledge.”
As an RFMS user for 20 years, he called the conference “a don’t- miss event for education and net- working. Having the opportunity to work with the RFMS team of experts and see the latest enhancements to their software is always a positive experience, gratifying both personally and professionally.”
QFloors held its Intermediate Training conference a little ways down the Strip at the Las Vegas Flamingo. As with its other training sessions held during the year (FCNews, Jan. 11/18), Ogden said the day started with a quick review of the most important procedures dealers need to consistently be doing in order to produce accurate financial statements, and why generating monthly financial statements is so essential for profitability.
In discussing the main purpose of having these training days, he said, “The big picture of why we were there is not to teach about software—it is to make dealers more productive and profitable. QFloors is the tool that helps them maximize their efficiency and wisely manage their business.”
Next, the group went through each screen of QFloors and reviewed important features and functions, with new additions as well as the less obvious features. “Basically, how to get the most out of each aspect of the program” Ogden explained.
Similar to RFMS, he said attendees were given a highlight of upcoming additions to the soft- ware that are already programmed and being beta-tested right now. “This generated a great deal of excitement among the users.”
Chad Ogden, QFloors’ CEO, was on hand to provide tips on how to use some of the more advanced features of the system, such as partial receiving, inventory adjustments, and the features specifically designed for the commercial dealer.
When it comes to these meetings, he summed things up for how both companies feel: “Our trainings are designed to help our customers become better business owners and become more profitable. That’s the main focus.”