We just got home from our first-ever in-person JobTracker training event in Houston. Despite being exhausted, all of us have smiles on our faces from being there. It was an intense two days, but I really felt everyone there (including the folks from Moraware) learned a ton.
Thank you to all of our customers and partners for taking so much time out of their businesses to attend.
We started off the event Wednesday night with a reception on the rooftop of the aloft hotel in downtown Houston. The weather was warm and clear, and it was a great space to mingle and get to know each other.
About 30 countertop companies came to our training. Folks came from far and wide, including the UK and New Zealand.
We intentionally kept the event small-ish, and the size of the group felt right. It was a good balance of big enough to have interesting discussions, but small enough to dive deeply into everyone’s story.
In addition to hanging out, we also provided chromebooks to all of the attendees so we could work from the same baseline system for the next few days.
We capped off the evening with a pretty tough trivia quiz related to the industry, but it generated a lot of laughs and some fun new knowledge. Wow, everyone but me knew that quartz is a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale.
We started the first day with the whole Moraware team play-acting a typical day in the life of a fabrication company. We gave a short summary of how we see the roles of most employees – including shop worker, scheduler, templater, and the business owners of countertop shops.
After talking to hundreds of fabricators, we think we’ve got a pretty good idea of how a typical shop breaks down the work to be done every day.
Then, we dove into JobTracker software. Since the core of that software is scheduling and the calendar, Kathleen started there. Another key component of JobTracker is managing all of the information about jobs, the next section was forms.
We alternated classroom-style instruction with hands-on work. So after hearing about how you might change your calendar or forms for 15 minutes, everyone had a chance to actually make changes, either in a training system or in their real Moraware JobTracker.
Our partners made 1-minute presentations about their add-ons to our software. Thanks again to Job Well Done, Duda Consulting, Fabricator’s Choice, and DataBridge Integrations for their help and support throughout the event.
After a super-tasty lunch, we continued the fast-paced instruction by covering phases, sales leads, and inventory.
After another break for dinner, we ended the evening with a JobTracker lab – imagine math lab in high school where you’re working on your homework but an expert is there to help. It’s amazing, but the three hours in the evening flew by.
I couldn’t believe that it was almost 10pm by the time everyone left, after more intense hours of working on digging into JobTracker and making changes based on what they learned throughout the day.
On the second day, we kept the same idea of the format. Patrick started with an overview of reporting, and we all spent time working on that for a little while. But, for the rest of the morning we broke into smaller groups to cover other topics more intensely.
Jason hosted a session about external and shop users, Kathleen went into even more detail on forms and phases, Eric discussed tracking sales leads and using CounterGo, and Patrick and I helped with additional open-ended lab sessions.
Our official agenda ended around noon, but because almost everyone was staying in the same hotel, the discussions continued throughout the day.
That evening, a group of about 14 of us went out bowling. I loved our Moraware team shirts, and maybe next time I play I’ll break triple digits.
A theme that emerged over the course of our training event is that even though Moraware JobTracker is a tool and we can help with the technical details, that’s not the whole story. Another really important aspect of our work for our customers is understanding their businesses.
For any technical question we get, there’s a business “why?” lurking close behind.
I really enjoyed spending time with so many of our customers and understanding their businesses. We’ve all got problems and opportunities, and if you have those business conversations over the course of a few days, you really get a new perspective.
Our work isn’t done yet. As part of doing this training, the whole team has been working really hard on a new set of help articles, videos, and toolkits.
Keep an eye out on our blog and newsletter for those as we share them with everyone.
Want to know more? At Moraware, we make software for countertop fabricators. CounterGo is countertop drawing, layout, and estimating software. JobTracker is scheduling software that helps you eliminate the time you waste looking for job folders. RemnantSwap is a free place to buy and sell granite remnants with fabricators near you. We also sponsor StoneTalk, the podcast for countertop fabricators.