There's a new Login Coming!

There's a new Login coming to the website! Since the launch of the last website we've had the Client Login, but only with the basic one password for everyone. The new setup will make it possible for everyone to have their own username and password. On top of that you'll be able to access a user portal with your information. Since this does happen unfortunately, if you forget your password, then you'll simply go to the login screen and click the button that reads Forgot? underneath the password field. This prompt will then send your password to the email on file (so don't forget which email that you use to login). It's not live just yet, but will be very soon. Look for an email in the near future for further instructions on how to sign up!

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Thinking About a SmartLock For Your Door?

The “Internet of Things” is all the rage these days. Everybody wants to be connected to the internet for convenience and having a lock for your door that you can lock and unlock remotely seems like a good idea. However, there's something to consider before you rush to your computer and order that door lock that lets you open it using your smart phone. Think about this, computer manufacturers struggle constantly with malware and viruses that attack and compromise PCs. This continues to happen even though PCs have been around for a long time. If PC manufacturers struggle in making their products safe, do you really want to worry about someone using software to hack your front door lock? We're not telling you not to make the purchase, just to do your research and due diligence before rushing out to buy that new fancy software based door lock. After a little bit of digging into the reviews, that “old fashioned” door key may look more appealing to you.

Are you hoarding files?

Harddrive space is cheap. I don't know how many times I've heard this statement. It's true, but there's something that should be added. Just because it's cheap doesn't mean that it’s wise to hoard every file ever made. Occasionally we should all think about purging some of those old files. I’m not suggesting that you get rid of everything, just the ones that are completely unnecessary and, of course, hold onto the tax and accounting files. Regardless, when a drive gets overrun, it can make files difficult to find and in turn cause the seeker to waste valuable time. In an effort to be more efficient, keep the folders simple and the names strategic. Names with an appropriate title, i.e. date-department-content, can be searched for through the search bar instead of scrolling through endless files hoping that you'll see that one particular file. And, if files are named in this manner, then chances are that you won't even need all those extra folders. As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, please feel welcome to send those our way!

WIFI Issues?

Is your WIFI a little slow? It happens. Sometimes because there's too many people on the network or maybe it's for some unexplainable reason. While we can't stop all the issues, there are things that can be done for some marginal speed gains or even possibly some major speed improvements.

A couple of those things are:

  • Update your router. This could mean actually replacing the router itself or updating the firmware.
  • Look for things that might be interfering with the signal. Believe it or not this includes not just that cordless phone but also the microwave... Put some distance between these devices.
  • Of course, it may be as simple as your internet speed being too slow, which unfortunately means a call to your service provider.

While nothing is full proof, these options are a start and can help to improve the quality of the WIFI within your building.

Emailing Invoices

Recently we wrote about being more efficient. Now we’re back at it with another tip.

Tip: Emailing invoices is a great way to save money and become more efficient.

First off, it saves paper and in this day and age we should all be working toward that mentality.

Secondly, it saves money. No more paper for invoices, people spending time printing those invoices, wear and tear on the printer, which then incurs cost. It also means no more purchasing and stuffing those envelopes, which saves time and materials.

Also, keep in mind while one stamp is relatively inexpensive, the cost of a thousand can add up very quickly.

On the other hand, our accounting software Cyltech can process the invoices for you. With a little bit of setup, daily and rental invoices as well as statements can be automatically sent with out anyone having to lift a finger or even remember to do it for that matter.

Have questions or suggestions? Let us know by sending an email!

Efficiency

Recently I was at a youth camp that has a philosophy of no-debt, a bare-bones crew, and to be as efficient as possible. The no-debt aspect was impressive given that the last building cost over 10 million. The bare-bones crew was in order to be able to offer more amenities, which they did. What this means is that the youth at the camp have to "pull their weight". Instead of having a large kitchen staff, the youth serve each other and they all clean up. At the end of the week, the youth tidy up the cabin and basically take on a philosophy of leave it like you found it. They also did things like automatic lights. They come on when you walk in and after a period of inactivity, they turn off. In talking to one of the leaders, they said that they always try to learn from other camps, listen to the problems that they have experienced, and then try to improve how they operate. This mentality of being more efficient, planned, streamlined, focused, and open-minded could save a company in the long run. As the year progresses on, try to think of ways that you can improve operations and create a better foundation for the company.

Passwords

We never stop talking about passwords and that’s because they are so important. There’s a couple of things that we would like to review about passwords and how they should be setup.

1. Don’t create a password that is too short or too simple
This should be obvious… password, 123546, your name, your birthday, etc. are not secure passwords. Hackers are going to run the simplest combinations and most obvious words first. The password should be meaningful to you, but, when you create this password, remember to add in things like special characters with your letters and numbers. For example: use the @ symbol instead of the letter A or an exclamation point ( ! ) instead of an L.

2. Never changing passwords or changing them too often
This is a double edged sword. Never changing your password isn’t good, but on the reverse, changing your password too often can also have negative side effects. For example, if you haven’t changed your password in two years, especially if it’s something like your Netflix account, then it’s definitely time. Why? Because, most people don’t type those passwords in, they’re just saved and when they’re saved they tend to be forgotten. On the flip side, changing passwords too often, statistically speaking, will cause most people to use a less secure password. This might be because people don’t want to be creative when the password is created or they’re just tired of changing the password and simply don’t care anymore. With that in mind, just remember that multiple years is too long but every month is probably too often…

Have questions or suggestions? Let us know by sending an email or simply responding to this email!

September Training Class

Whether it's through reading, watching videos, or any other method, we should always be learning. Doing so helps us to keep up to date, to find new ideas, solve problems, and invest in our futures. Something that I've seen repeated time after time, is that many of the most successful people throughout history were avid readers. These leaders didn't just read about one subject either, but instead read a wide assortment of topics. They were always trying to expand their knowledge. If expanding your knowledge is something you are interested in, we still have some seats available for our training class in September. The class is in Dallas, Tx (not a bad place to visit) and it's on September 19th and 20th. Outside of all the great information that you'll learn, there will also be time to talk with other distributors, to brainstorm new ideas and talk about creative solutions for problems that you're currently facing. To see all we have to offer in these sessions, click here: Training Class. If you're already hooked and would like to sign up, contact Andi either by phone or email.

DataWeld’s 35th Anniversary

How many times have you heard or used the expression “How Time Flies”? This year marks DataWeld’s 35th Anniversary. Time has truly flown for us since those first few days when the concept of providing specialized software for the welding supply industry was conceived. There were very few options for the compressed gas distributor in those early days.

For those of you who have never heard the story of our humble beginnings in the welding supply industry I will tell you the short version. We were out making sales calls in Texarkana, Arkansas and happened into Langdon Oxygen Company. Reese Langdon was the owner and one of the nicest people you would ever meet. He needed a software solution to handle cylinder rent. We were a young software company with lots of energy and needed customers. We were a perfect match. Several times a week we would gather in his break room and discuss cylinder rent, special pricing, billing and any other areas unique to the industry. Many of the topics discussed in those meetings 35 years ago formed the foundation for the software you use today.

Reese and his son-in-law, Pete Snow, were two of the best mentors we could have had. Reese and Pete not only taught us the welding supply industry, they also taught us a lot about business. The success we have had as a company is due in large part to these two outstanding men.

Technology has changed dramatically in 35 years. The cell phone you use today is many times more powerful than the first computers we sold that were often the size of a refrigerator and cost more than a new Corvette! Software has also changed a lot. In those early days sitting around the table at Langdon Oxygen, we never dreamed of using cell phones, Wi-Fi, RFID or Blue Tooth technologies to solve problems for the gas distributor.

So on behalf of everyone here at DataWeld we want to say thank you to Reese Langdon, Pete Snow, each of you reading this article and every other gas or chemical distributor that has given us the opportunity to help them through the years. We sincerely appreciate the opportunity that you have given us.

Jim Broughton
CEO
DataWeld Incorporated

Do you have a digital junk drawer?

Do you have a digital junk drawer? I sat listening to a webinar looking at a list of social media apps that just seemed absolutely absurd to me. The list literally took over multiple pages. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm on Instagram, I have a Facebook account, and post regularly to Twitter. But as so many of us know or are starting to realize, these platforms, while they can be extremely beneficial both in our personal life and professionally, can become a time vacuum. Does that mean that we should just eliminate the use of these platforms? No, of course not, because these tools can be used to help businesses be more effective, efficient, and simply better at connecting and helping the customers. But maybe, just maybe, we should be a little picky about which ones we use. Making sure to only use the platforms that genuinely help a company better serve the customer and bring in revenue (this can and should be tracked). With that in mind, is it time for you to de-clutter your digital life?

Spring Growth

Given that it's spring time I figured that it was a good time to talk about growth. We all know that we're supposed to work hard and that hard work is supposed to produce results (at least in most cases). Recently I heard someone put that idea into one simple sentence. The person said "growth only occurs in a state of discomfort". Everyone knows that we should and need to work hard, but what does that look like? That's why this stuck out to me. Working hard should challenge and push you out of your comfort zone. It should cause a little discomfort. It's like exercise, if you don't push yourself out of your comfort zone then you'll never improve. So as spring takes off, think about your comfort level, what it would take to get out of it, and then get moving.

AcuTrax Digital Proof of Delivery

If you've ever had a customer ask you to show them who signed for a delivery, then you need DataWeld’s digital proof of delivery. Digital proof of delivery does several things, but the most important is that it makes it possible to prove delivery fast and easy. This can be done, in most cases, in a few seconds which helps in saving time and improving customer service.

The other major benefit is the elimination of paper. Orders and who signed for them are all digital, which eliminates the need for filing the paper and more importantly, trying to find the piece of paper when it's needed.

Want to learn more on how to save time and energy with DataWeld’s digital proof of delivery? Then please give me a call at 318-317-7977 or send me an email to andi@dataweld.com. I would love the opportunity to explain how AcuTrax can help with digital proof of delivery.

Don't have time for a phone call or email? We understand, so if you want some more information and have time for a quick 5 minute read, then click the link below to learn more!

Andrea Striegel
AcuTrax Specialist

Lot number headaches?

If you're having issues tracking lot numbers, then DataWeld has the solution. For more information on how we can help solve your lot number problems, just stop by our table top booth (#51) while making the rounds of all the exhibits at the IBDEA meeting in Orlando. We'd be happy to explain how AcuTrax can help track cylinder assets, keep track of lot numbers in individual cylinders and even keep track of lot numbers for bulk gases. 

If you're not attending the IBDEA meeting in Orlando, then please give me a call at 318-317-7977 or send me an email to andi@dataweld.com. We would love the opportunity to explain how AcuTrax can help get rid of your lot number headaches.

Don't have time for a phone call or email? We understand, so if you want some more information and have time for a quick 5 minute read, then click the link below to learn more!

Andrea Striegel
AcuTrax Specialist

Coffee and Customer Service

When I picked up my coffee the other day something unusual happened. The person behind the counter handed me a coupon for a free drink and explained that the wait time had been longer than what they felt was acceptable. Maybe someone got upset and said something, maybe no one did, regardless, I didn’t express to them that I was upset and yet they still gave me the free coffee. Now that free coffee probably didn’t cost them much and could easily be considered a marketing expense, but they made an effort to take care of their customers even when no action was technically required. I’m not suggesting here that we start giving away things for free, but rather to think about how we can go above and beyond to take care of the customer. I’d be remiss if, after writing this, I didn’t ask how we are doing with our customer service. So, please let us know how we’re doing. All you have to do is respond to this email with your thoughts and suggestions.

Need help with down payments?

When a customer makes a down payment on a piece of equipment, that money needs to be tracked and eventually applied to the final invoice once the equipment is delivered. But what's the best way to handle these down payments? A few things to keep in mind would be:

  • To have a Liability Account: because until the product is delivered there is a liability
  • To setup a Control Account: this will be used for the inventory item
  • To have an inventory item called Down Payment: this will be what the down payment is applied to
  • To apply the down payment to the final invoice: this is done by entering a line item for the down payment as a negative line on the invoice

Obviously, this is a brief summary, but rest asssured that we have a full write up on handling this specific scenario. Where do you get that you ask? Right here of course. Simply click the box below to read more!

Real Time Asset Tracking

DataWeld’s AcuTrax Asset Tracking software for cylinders, totes, bulk tanks and other types of assets now offers wireless capabilities to track in a near real time environment.

  1. Assets can be scanned and the database updated immediately.
  2. Bulk gases can move in and out quickly with lot numbers.
  3. Cylinders can be returned, filled, and immediately shipped to new customers with the database being updated at every step.

Want to talk more about this option? Great! You can simply send us an email or give us a call at 318-317-7977

Don't have time for a phone? That's fine, we know that you're busy, but, if you have a few minutes for a quick read, then click the Read More button below.

Andrea Striegel
AcuTrax Specialist

How much is too much?

As a company we never want to be sending out emails or any type of communication for that matter, that crosses that line of too many times. So how many is too many? That's a difficult number to pin down. It depends on many different variables and those variables can change from company to company. What we do know is that a gentle reminder can help spur a thought and/or lead to a sale without be intrusive. A gentle reminder could be a salesperson casually mentioning a sale without trying to "close the deal". It could also look like a reminder on an invoice or statement. However it's done, remember that, as Henry Ford once said, "a business that makes nothing but money is a poor business."