Well I have to admit I am glad to see 2011 out the door. I am usually a glass half-full kind of guy, and in fact my nicknames have ranged from kind of cool: “COO” (Chief Optimism Officer), to not so cool: “Polyanna” (That one is not only really not cool, but it most times is fairly accurate – which makes it even more uncool). So I have to say I have mixed feelings about this year…from a personal perspective it has been kind of rough – I lost my father to lung cancer, I turned 50, my oldest daughter went off to college, and health issues have hit the family of a good friend and colleague. That’s alot of change in one year, and really has kind of made me put things in perspective.
On the other hand, on a professional level things have been just as eventful, but positive. The economy and our particular segment has been tough the past few years (like I need to tell anyone that) but this year it really started to feel like things are beginning to turn around. We have seen business start to pick up, we have spoken with many dealers and it has been very gratifying to hear that almost across the board that they have been busier than the past couple of years and that there is a general feeling of a re-bound. With that comes change and opportunity and we experienced that here at D-Tools as well.
I have always embraced change, I believe that how you manage change has a huge impact on your success and overall happiness in life. You can’t control what you can’t control, and being able to roll with change is what I believe to be a critical success factor. One thing that has remained constant here at D-Tools is change. If you ever read any of our blog articles, we are always looking to improve our internal processes (it is after all what caused Adam Stone to start the company over 13 years ago). This year was no different, and through some technology and personnel changes we had the opportunity to do some internal re-tooling and re-visit some of our processes on the customer service, sales, and communications side of the business – while not always fun it is however necessary to look inward and try to improve and maybe do things a bit differently, and so over the course of the past few months we have streamlined and improved some of our processes to help make it easier for our customers to get kick started with our solution.
We implemented a new customer support portal to help make it easier for our customers to track cases and get answers to some common questions, and we implemented a new online store for some of our ancillary items, making it easier for our customers to get some additional training, support, and data services without having to speak with their account manager. We dramatically ramped up our social media presence, including our Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In accounts, helping communicate news from our MVP partners, our customer successes, and general D-Tools news. While these are not monumental changes, they have helped us spend more quality time with our existing customers, partners, and future customers, all while working hard on the next version of our software, version SIX – which will be released this Spring.
While it is hard to encapsulate an entire year into a single article (and not bore people to tears), I am looking forward to 2012 with (yep, I’m gonna say it) optimism. That’s right. We made it through another year, and no it hasn’t been easy, but good things are right around the corner, and I can’t wait to catch up with everyone on the other side. Let’s go get it done.