Blog

2012 December

Steelwool Launches Version 2.0 Today!

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Volano Solutions is proud to announce the release of Steelwool 2.0! Over the last several months we’ve received positive feedback from local businesses on the necessity of managing work in a linear, documented process. As businesses grow, work habits that helped get you there may not be the ones that will be effective as volume increases. Steelwool ensures that business owners have maximum visibility into their process and the status of their work. Users enjoy the simplicity of the application and the clarity it provides on the status of their daily tasks.

Here are a few key improvements from the previous version:

New Configuration Wizard – Allows you to adjust Steelwool to match your process as you evolve operationally. Add tasks, users and work queues and arrange them in the order your process requires.

Form Builder – Very simple drag and drop configuration of the data fields you want to track in your workflow process.

Help Text on Fields – Steelwool was designed for simplicity and for people who may not be software wonks. Help Texts will minimize mistakes and create uniformity and compliance to your work process.


View Completed Work any time – It may be off your to-do list and out of the active work flow funnel but necessary for review

30-day trial – Volano is first and foremost a software consultancy. How we customize Steelwool for you, based on your direction and vision may change as your people start using it. A 30 day trial should give us a few mulligans as we ensure that everything is configured optimally for your organization.

We’ve had some really great meetings with local businesses and non-profits and more scheduled in January. We are busy working with some great partners in diverse industries in the design and integration phase of Steelwool. And we’re just getting warmed up! Future versions will include some cool mobile enhancements including an Android App, the ability to open files from your phone, a sleek user-interface for the iPhone and the ability to upload video taken from your cell phone into Steelwool. Lots of cool stuff in the pipeline.

If you’re interested in learning more about whether or not Steelwool can help you manage work, call us any time at 402-658-5034.

Steelwool 2.0

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Volano Solutions is proud to announce that Steelwool 2.0 will go live soon. We’ve made a very good work management tool great thanks to the feedback we got from and our clients and partners. Small and medium sized business across industries stand to realize measurable cost saving and will shed the mental weight that work status uncertainly causes in day to day business. Our goal is to keep you focused on driving your mission and ensuring that you provide an optimal experience for your customers.

Here are just a few key added features ;

• New Set Up Guide helps users easily configure Steelwool. In addition to our ongoing support and consultancy, you’re empowered to modify Steelwool ongoing as your business evolves.
• Form Builder will allow you to click and drag fields for easy customization. You’ll feel like a techie and Steelwool will fit your process like a glove.
• A “Help” icon will ensure that your team understands where they’re going. Easy, quick and good for first-time users and new employees.
• We’ve added New Portal functionality for users external to your organization. With the portal, a user can add new work and see the status of the work they’ve entered. Your customers will only see the fields that are relevant to the work you’re doing for them. Keep your customers in the loop on the work you’re doing for them.

Call us at 402-658-5034 if you’d like to learn more about Steelwool. We’d be happy to discuss how it’s being used by our clients today and whether or not it’s a fit for your business.

EAS Impact Summit

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Volano had the opportunity to participate in Gallup’s EAS program this year and I had the privilege to talk yesterday at the EAS Impact Summit.  Here’s the five minute speech I gave.

I met our guide, Sandy Friedman, in 1999 when I went to work for his company at the time Customer Service Profiles.  I was director of IT and needed to hire a programmer.  This was when I first came to the conclusion that attitude and aptitude matter more than what can fill up a résumé.

My hire was selling banking hardware and software at the time – coin counters and the like.  He had no real experience writing code.  But I hired him on his attitude and aptitude and he turned out to be one of the best programmers I’ve worked with and he’s my business partner, Rod Smith.

Rod and I started Volano five years ago because we love building software.  Since then we have carved out our niche of being experts in managing work.  Whether it’s through our product, Steelwool, or if we custom tailor software specifically for you, we help businesses – especially those dynamic companies in the small to medium markets – manage their workflow.  But we’re not just interested in building software, we want to build a real company, one that we hope will be our legacy.

With Volano, we’re not looking for an early exit strategy, our only exit strategy involves the life insurance policies Rod and I have on each other.  No we’re looking to make Volano our legacy and as a business owner, EAS has helped us in this endevour to take the time to work on the business instead of heads-down in the business.  At the beginning of this year we declared it to be a building year and since then we have launched our product, changed our marketing and sales strategies and participated in the EAS program from which we implemented many of the take-aways.  When we started Volano we didn’t have a business plan much less a vision or mission statement – those things seemed trivial to us.  Our employees are a true personification of Volano because we’ve always hired based on strengths and cultural fit – that ATTITUDE AND APTITUDE.  But to stay on the same page as an organization, we learned you still need to ensure your vision, mission and ethics are well communicated – and having those things written down is pretty important.

One of the keys to our success is that each of our employees works directly with the client.  They are empowered to do what it takes to exceed that client’s expectations.  They are expected to over-communicate with our clients.  And this is how we have differentiated ourselves from day one.  Hiring the right person isn’t easy – we’re trying to find computer nerds who can over-communicate, right?  But because we take the time to hire, we see 85% of our clients ask us to help with additional projects after the initial work we do.  That’s because our employees are engaged and love what they do and the customer feels that.  This is something the EAS program preaches.

As our guide Sandy, has long said, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.”  EAS gave us the tools to measure and see our hard work and thought we’ve put in for the past five years in concrete results.  This is the single biggest benefit the EAS program has had on us because once we saw the results of each survey tool, we got a big shot of confidence.  Confidence is a game changer.  That confidence brought us to closing three contracts in the last couple months that all surpass any other in our 5 year history.

This year, though it was a building year, we still saw sales increase over last year – a 5 year winning streak now.  We saw sales last month 42% higher than the start of the year and in direct correlation, we have increased our staff 43% since the start of the year and are still looking for another employee with the right attitude and aptitude to join our team.  I can tie those increases back to the confidence boost we received by going through EAS.

To conclude, on behalf of Rod and myself, I would just like to give our sincere gratitude to our guide Sandy for introducing us to the program and for mentoring us all these years and to Governor Hineman, dept of economic development, university of nebraska, Jim Clifton, Todd Johnson and everyone else that make the EAS program a reality and feasible for companies like ours to participate.

Thank you.