Hightech Signs recently established a Quality System. To implement this system efficiently, management realized that they needed a new software application that would run many aspects of the business including estimates, invoicing, billing, inventory, P.O. management as well as tying in their accounting procedures to this software as well. This quickly led to a need to expand from a peer-to-peer computer network to a server based environment to run the new software. Further the new server based environment was needed for added security and additional growth to our network. This also brought with it a need for professional IT services. With all of this change in HighTech’s business, they quickly realized that they needed help to manage and implement all of this change at once.
At Hightech Signs, their day job is making signs, not managing large scale software and IT conversions that set to change the course and trajectory of the company. Through the IN-MaC program, they received help in how to best implement the massive technology and software changes being completed in a short period of time. With assistance from faculty at IPFW, Hightech Signs planned out the change process. Together they instituted the necessary training and discussed implementation of a thoughtful change management system that helped the team cope with the scope of change. This faculty came along to share their vast experience and expertise to set up proper dual entry processes with the old software and the new software to provide options during the transition from one program to another. Providing several options to smooth the transition and ensure uninterrupted data if the transition failed, including disaster recovery solutions, making sure the team understood the location of the data, but also that data was being backed up on an onsite backup server and an offsite backup system to ensure no data would be lost.
As a result of the IN-MaC/Hightech collaboration, Hightech has fully transitioned from the old software to the new software, furthermore, they set the software implementation as their #1 goal for 2017. IN-MaC helped Hightech complete the necessary training for the software including equipping the project owner of the software transition to learn a great deal about training others through train-the-trainer assistance. IN-MaC provided them with knowledge about how to train and how best to effectively teach their employees using different methods of learning and to teach employees that learn via auditory instructions, written instructions, or by doing the various steps. Additional impacts:
- Added approximately 4 people to team including new positions in production and customer service.
- Related to this growth, added 50% more space to existing operation.
- In the balance of 2017, Hightech Signs plans to take the technology change into action through creating efficiencies in order processing using the new software to automate customer service and order entry with the software changes and expansion of their space.
- Beyond the software implementation, Hightech has created more offices, more production floor space, storage for customers’ products, and space for fulfillment of customer orders. They also utilized the growth and expansion to triple the size of the associate breakroom which they estimate will help improve the quality of our culture and team interactions.
"I believe we will continue to see sales growth in 2017 of 15% over 2016. This growth allows Hightech Signs to continue to invest in equipment and staffing to further leverage our technology implementation completed with IN-MaC’s help. It also has allowed us to increase our data and network security and our necessary backup systems.
We have also enhanced our ability to utilize business analytics. The first of many analytic processes included looking at our top 20 clients on a rolling 12 month basis tied to our new software and its database. We also are analyzing opportunities in the seasonality of our business cycle. Our plan is to use this as a filter to evaluate prospective clients and events by favoring those opportunities that will deliver business in traditionally off months."
Doug Abramowski, President