IDS Year in Review – 2014

We would like to take this opportunity to give you some key insights into our business. The IDS team made significant improvements in building a great product as well as providing excellent service over the past year. Although we are proud of our accomplishments, we still are not where we want to be relative to what we believe is our potential. IDS is intently focused on continuous improvement so that we can provide you with the best software and service experience to run your business. Our job is to make your job easier.

Product Development

Emphasis on Usability, Performance and Quality

Our product development team successfully released four major upgrades to the G2 product over the last 12 months. In each release, there were an average of 140 quality improvements added to the software that helped ensure your users could stay focused on your retail customers. In addition to these incremental improvements, there were over 50 that made our Release Highlights. These improvements are significant as they “move the needle” in terms of features, performance and ease of use. 

We have entered a new phase of our product development cycle of G2. Although we continue to add features, last year was the first year where “ease of use” dominated our development efforts. We expect that trend to continue. You have told us that features which you feel are difficult to implement have marginal or no benefit to your business. In response, we have more than doubled our quality assurance (QA) and user interface (UX) team over the last year. These people are focused on improving usability, performance and reliability of the software by providing an easier to use interface, a more intuitive design, and faster throughput.

Product Improvements

Table 1 shows the types of improvements that were made in these releases among the Release Highlights. The “Ease of Use” category accounted for most of our product improvements, with 54% of our overall Release Highlight items. In addition, 37% accounted for Features and 9% accounted for Performance. 

In some ways we are reaching a state of maturity with G2, albeit at different points in different modules. For example, G2 Service is much more mature than G2 Unit Inventory. An examination of what modules received the most attention, in terms of development over the last year, is illustrated in Table 2.      

Product improvement by module

Over the last few years, we have put time into analyzing statistics on customer usage of G2. Based on that data, we invested heavily in development resources where there was high utilization. Service is our most highly utilized module in terms of overall transactions created in the system. By transaction, I am referring to not only a GL transaction, but nominal transactions such as adding a job, adding parts, labor, time, and all the other events that take place prior to billing the customer and sending them on their way to fun times on the water or at their campsite. 

We have also made big investments in building and improving some of our newer modules. CRM was released a few years ago and has a multitude of features than many of our dealers want and need. The customer feedback we’ve received is that CRM needs to be easier to use, with less mouse clicks, and a streamlined workflow. This is where we will spend our resources going forward. We are positive that these changes will improve sales department adoption.

As you can see from Table 2, we have not given either the Back Office or Unit/Sales/Finance modules as much attention as some of the other areas of the system. These modules are slated for significant improvements in usability and performance over the next 12 months.


Mobile Applications, Document Management & Paperless Transactions

Approximately 25% of our Product Improvements in Table 2 were the result of our investment in mobility and paperless office.

Each one of you now have your own cloud based document management system that is fully-integrated to the rest of the G2 modules. We utilize Google Drive for Work which is a fully-secure, cloud based storage system that can store just about any type of document.  

For example, G2 provides your Service department with the ability to:

  • Add and store pictures on the coach or boat at check-in.
  • Have a customer electronically sign for approval using our Mobile App.
  • Send the signed work order to the customers file for audit and compliancy purposes.
  • Take payment using a mobile device with an electronic swipe.
  • Email a receipt and a copy of the work order to his/her inbox.

I liken this example for those that have used Uber to book transportation somewhere versus a taxi a few years ago.  With a taxi, you had to call and tell them where you were and where you wanted to go. Then when you were at your destination, the driver would have to pull out a big cumbersome machine and swipe your credit card.  The driver would then call the dispatcher for authorization and make you sign on an imprint-based receipt. With Uber, you click on a button, a car shows up, they drop you off and you get an email receipt using your credit card on file. A lot of investment has been made in our paperless office initiative and we want you to be able to provide an “Uber” experience for your retail customers with IDS.


Rentals and Dockslips Development Update

We are very happy with the results of our development efforts on these modules. IDS has an engaged group of beta customers that are about to get their hands on the product; so that they can conduct some User Acceptance Testing and provide valuable feedback. Right now, we are on track to make these modules available for general use by the end of 2015.

Customer Service

Net Promoter ScoreWe have collected three years of information around customer satisfaction utilizing survey data provided by the friendly people at CSI. The good news is that our overall NPS score continues to improve as reflected in Table 3.  

NPS, or Net Promoter Score, is a measure of customer satisfaction that takes the number of promoters (9, 10’s) less detractors (1-6’s).  At this point the overall trend is positive, and our scores rank high when compared to other Constellation companies. I’d like to thank you for your continued participation in the survey. The information you provide is key in allowing us to understand how we are doing and where we need to improve.

Your feedback is consistent over the last few years in terms of improvement areas:

  1. You want to call us less.
  2. You want answers faster when you call us. 

Up to this point, our call volume is proportionate to our supported users. We are working hard to reduce call volume by improving product reliability and providing you with access to more information which allows you to quickly find solutions. Our Welcome Page now loads at the initial login of G2. The Welcome Page gives you access to a wealth of product information and training resources at your fingertips.

Call responseTable 4 shows the IDS call response time improvements over the last few years. Overall, our call response time improved 14% in 2014 as compared to 2013. That means we started helping you with your call in a shorter turnaround time, which was one of our support team’s key goals.

In January, March and April of 2015, we have shown significant response time improvements compared to last year. February, was not as good. We had a large amount of new customers that moved to the support department exacerbated by an unusually active year-end ticket volume. We are actively recruiting two new people to add to our Customer Service Team as part of our continued effort to improve response times.

Earlier this year, we successfully migrated all of our Virtual Machine (VM) Customers to a new Data Center provider. Our new data center has a stronger Service Level Agreement which gives you a greater amount of reliability, security, uptime and performance in comparison to our previous provider. If you are considering replacing your server infrastructure, I suggest looking into this as an option. 

We believe the combination of product improvements that we have made around usability, as well as the continued recruitment of new members on our support team, will allow us to serve you better. Beginning in July, our standard annual increase to your support fees will go into effect to help account for the cost of doing business and the continued investment in the IDS suite of products. Thank you very much for the business and the opportunity to meet all of your computing needs.

Best Regards,
Sean Raynor
General Manager, IDS

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