December 8/15, 2014; Volume 28/Number 12
Group, one-on-one meetings allow for optimal software usage
By Jenna Lippin
Riviera Maya, Mexico—With goals of helping users’ businesses and providing some of the best networking opportunities, QFloors gathered here last month to deliver retailers the latest and greatest in flooring software, among other things.
According to CFO Trent Ogden, QFloors’ focus for the group’s 2014 conference was financial analysis given the importance of making sense of numbers and financial statements. And while this financial seminar was a highlight of the event, there was a major emphasis on new QFloors tools as well.
“Earlier in the year we started looking at the possibility of updating our tools for QFloors,” he said. “That’s when Chad [Ogden, president and CEO] hatched this idea that there are things we and our users want to do that we can’t because the tools are holding us back. Then we did the research to figure out what tools we wanted to update, which we’ve done within the last eight months or so.”
Some new tools that were released during the final day’s general session include several shortcuts that facilitate users’ lives. But most exciting was the preview of QFloors 7.0, slated for release in its first beta version in about a year, just in time for Surfaces 2016.
“We gave the preview of 7.0 on Tuesday to give our customers a couple of days to think about it and analyze what it means to them, and then provided an open forum on Thursday,” Chad Ogden said. “It was planned that way.”
While the glimpse of 7.0 was early when considering its release date, Chad Ogden knew he could trust users to provide feedback and support of the company’s ongoing efforts to provide the best flooring software available today.
“One of the strengths of QFloors is our customers. That is why we wanted to make the announcement early so we know they are on our board. We are involved in a long-term 10- to 15-year strategy in this investment, so it’s important to have everyone going the same way.”
Despite some technological resistance from the older generations in flooring, Chad Ogden believes 7.0 is a reflection of where the industry is inevitably heading. “The older generation is getting out of this; it’s their kids coming up now. I see in the next five to 10 years ownership changing, and the newer generation is going to demand [new technology].”
Aside from QFloors 7.0, dealers from around the country came together to network and discuss common challenges; improved software was simply a bonus. Those who use QFloors are loyal to the company, citing its ease of use and dedicated staff as two reasons why it benefits their businesess to such a great extent.
“The ease of use and organization of QFloors software is what makes it so great,” said Robin Osterhus, who owns Flooring Frenzy & More in Owatonna, Minn., with husband George, and has been using QFloors since 2001. “It is a simplified but detailed program. We have a lot of people who are not comfortable with computers, but they’ve all been able to pick up QFloors and run with it. Plus, the tech department at QFloors speaks our language, not ‘techy,’ making it easy to call them for help.”
John Marano, owner of We’ll Floor U in Hampton Bays, N.Y., started using QFloors in 2002 after deciding to abandon an alternate widely used accounting program. He also cited the “simplicity” of QFloors as a reason it works so well throughout his entire operation. “It’s easy to use, but it’s not simplistic because it is a very high-tech program. After using it for a while we wondered how we ever did without it. Everybody can work together when using QFloors, from the warehouse guys checking in to salespeople on the floor.”
Marano also noted the quality of people that makes up the QFloors organization. “I talked to Chad at 8 a.m. on a Sunday before football games started because I needed to get back on the server. You can’t ask for better people to work with.”
The QFloors staff and users work cohesively, which was evident at the conference. People at all levels shared ideas and asked and answered questions, which will in turn allow each dealer to use the software to its full potential.
Bill and Pamila Adams, owners of Snook’s Carpet & Furniture in Milford, Iowa, have been using QFloors for seven years and have always felt welcome to ask questions and learn from both QFloors executives and fellow users.
“When we use each other as mentors we don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” Bill Adams said. “We can learn from each other, and that’s the biggest thing we can take home.”
He cited Trent Ogden’s financial session as particularly helpful, in addition to the individual one-on-one meeting that QFloors offered to all users at the event. “The benchmarking that Trent did is a big help. Everybody can have those [financial] records and reports, but knowing how to use them, knowing where everyone else is at, help to understand where you need to go to grow.”
New and seasoned users had a presence at the conference, some having never attended a QFloors event in the past. Terry and Bill Sensenderfer, owners of Sam’s Flooring in St. Thomas, Pa., have been using the software since 2009, but Mexico was the first QFloors trip the couple ever made. “When we get back we will be teaching our staff some time-saving techniques that we learned here,” Terry Sensenderfer said. “We learned about functions we didn’t even know we had access to. I can definitely see the benefit of coming to these [gatherings] every year.”