This was my 8th IQMS User Group and from my perspective it was the best event we have had. Despite the loss of our employee, Dustin Fields, the IQMS group held together extremely well and the feedback from attendee surveys highly praised the event.
Several things struck me as noteworthy regarding the User Group. This was the first User Group since the advent of IQMS Community Server on-line development collaboration tool. In the past, the meetings were more of an intense development forum and it seems that the maturity of the EnterpriseIQ product along with Community Server has shifted the tone of the User Group to more of a networking event between IQMS customers.
What also stuck out in talking to customers was how well their companies are doing as we hope we are coming through the recession. Many companies that I spoke with are having their best years ever or had just had a record month which is good news for all of us – not just IQMS customers. I heard similar comments from many of the IQMS customers (and non-IQMS manufacturers) at the MAPP Benchmarking event in Indianapolis in October. I think this also points out that companies who utilize technology and have strong ERP systems are doing better than companies that do not have the technology in place to handle the upsurge in business - without adding the overhead and labor that drives the price of their products higher.
This was also IQMS’ highest turnout ever for a User Group which also tends to show that companies are able to release the purse strings a bit as manufacturing rebounds. It doesn’t hurt that IQMS is back to a 99.9% customer retention rate. We lost a few companies in 2009 due to the hard economic times but Randy Flamm’s decision to offer incentives for companies to come back on maintenance brought many of them back as they recovered.
Lastly, the surge in new licensing sales since the User Group shows that the new products and new development that are always discussed and explored at the User Group events are meeting the needs of our customers. And with the uptick in the economy they have the funds to continue to invest in the new technology that will improve their businesses in 2011.