I have been sitting here smiling while thinking about the recently completed TGI Users’ Conference from early May 2009. I always enjoy these events.
As the sales leader here at TGI, one of the best things about what I do is that I get the opportunity to meet and establish relationships with a lot of great people throughout a lot of different businesses and industries. And, it’s great to see these people whom I’ve gotten to know also get the opportunity to meet and interact with each other. It is a lot of fun to introduce these individuals to each other and to observe the dynamics of various groups as they come together.
TGI users’ conferences are tremendous opportunities for customer personnel to learn in a number of different ways. Oh sure, there are presentations on the most current functionality TGI is delivering in the Enterprise 21 ERP system. These are always well received and customers get excited about upgrading their software installations and adopting the newest functionality.
In addition, this year’s conference was the first time TGI offered more in-depth, half-day elective training sessions. These sessions included events focused on such areas as accounting, ad-hoc and financial report writing, customer relationship management, manufacturing, warehouse management, and workbenches and dashboards. While the lecture portion of these events was well received, from my observation the hands-on portions of these events were of most value to the participants. Users were given the opportunity to dig into the software and ask one-on-one questions with the instructors about how they might best apply the various capabilities to their specific situations.
The last day of the event primarily focused on soliciting feedback from the participants as to what additional functionality they could use to derive additional business value. There were some great suggestions received directly from TGI customers in areas such as accounting, manufacturing, inventory management, purchasing, customer relationship management, and warehouse management. When one customer might raise an idea, others might nod their heads in agreement or say, “We could use that too.”
Finally, there were a series of less formal training opportunities – times when customer personnel could interact directly with each other during receptions and meals. These were opportunities for individuals to discuss topics directly related to their use of Enterprise 21 and in areas totally unrelated to software for further knowledge sharing.
In one case I observed participants from several companies exchanging ideas about their freight management practices. In another case, there were discussions about how various organizations were improving their respective operations from an Internet marketing perspective.
Overall, the event was informative and enjoyable. I look forward to the next opportunity to interact with our customers in such a setting, and I am excited to think about the fact that other new TGI customers whom I’ve not even met yet will be participating in next year’s TGI Users’ Conference.