May 22/29, 2017: Volume 31, Issue 25
Birmingham, Ala.—RFMS, developer of business management software for the flooring industry, held its biennial user conference here earlier this month. The two-day event drew a record turnout for an RFMS event with over 250 users from more than 115 companies traveling from the U.S., Canada and even New Zealand.
Owners, managers and users learned about software developments, collaborated with industry peers and strategized with RFMS staff. All 82 RFMS staff members were present to meet and network with the attendees. “Our client base attendees represented billions of dollars in business revenue, including some of the largest and most successful dealers around,” said Dave Dumoulin, director of sales.
Themed “Discover the Possibilities of 2017,” the meeting was designed to inspire users through community engagement and software training. “We consistently introduce many system enhancements per year influenced by industry trends and customer feedback,” said Terry Wheat, president of RFMS. “This conference offers opportunities for users to discover why the new features were developed and how they can be implemented to add real, tangible value to their company.”
This year marks the first time RFMS has offered an off-site training event with an actual “hands-on” opportunity. At any given point over the two-day conference, up to 100 users were logged into their own private “cloud” and received instructor-led training using their own computer. “This is the first time of which I am aware that such a large group was able to learn in a hands-on setting,” Wheat said. “We work with a third-party data hosting company that created a hosted cloud right inside the hotel without the use of the Internet. It was absolutely amazing to see technology be deployed in this way.”
Rocky Pack, COO of Floors LLC, said that while it is always a difficult decision to commit several days for staff members to attend an event like the RFMS user conference, he said the event was well worth it. “I cannot overstate the value of the time spent, after hours, networking with the RFMS staff and with other dealers. Being able to include other users and trainers and programmers in a common conversation allowed for several obstacles to be overcome quickly as well as the long-term advantages of building the relationships.”
Features of the user conference included:
- Hands-on training: 30 sessions covering the best business practices for commercial, retail, builder, multifamily and measure software.
- Owner sessions: Two days of various management/owner topics such as financial benchmarking, mobile applications, ecommerce in the flooring industry, new features and reporting.
- Mystery interactive dinner theater: Participants (users and RFMS staff) worked in teams to solve puzzles and participate in challenges to discover what or who killed President Zachary Taylor.
- Pre-event reception: Tuesday night kicked off with a welcome reception for everyone and complimentary technical assistance was provided for hands-on students.
Following the user conference, the entire RFMS staff enjoyed a day of team building activities, donating 11 bikes to the Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham and finishing off with a family night dinner and entertainment.