JUNE 2009


Good Customer Service is a Team Effort

ASI Expands to Dallas

Tech Support at Your Fingertips

Upgrade to VCK-SQL & Receive 100% Return on Software Investment

ASI Client Solution Profile: Nat'l Records Management

The Myth of Treating People Fairly & Equally

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Please update your contact information with our (not so) new fax number: 440-627-2089.

Tana's Tech Tip

Legal Hold and InfoKeeper

InfoKeeper customers that have boxes in litigation have an option to ensure those boxes will not be requested, destroyed, or permanently withdrawn by an InfoKeeper user. 

Legal Hold enables an authorized administrator to select boxes with an IN status and "hide" them from the general user base.  When boxes are placed on legal hold, they can only be viewed by the administrator and changes can not be made to the boxes or the files associated with the boxes.  Items can not be requested for retrieval, destruction, and/or permanent withdrawal until they are removed from Legal Hold.  Contact ASI Support today to activate Legal Hold.

Register for ASI WebShare Webinars

WebShare provides ASI Users with online webinar training sessions including step-by-step instruction and review of neat features offered by ASI's many records and information management software solutions. Visit our Online Learning Center for details of upcoming WebShare webinar learning opportunities!

ASI Expands to Dallas

ASI has expanded to Dallas, Texas! Actually, Customer Support Specialist and WebShare Guru Tana Schaad has relocated to the busy business mecca.

Calling itself "The City That Works," Tana is enjoying her new home and is still working for and providing tireless support for ASI clients. Rest assured, you can still reach Tana directly by calling ASI and selecting option 2 for support.

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Have an issue you need assistance with? Get help today by visiting our online Support Center with FAQs and more. Don't see an answer to your problem? Create a support trouble ticket. One of our support staff will respond within 24 hours, plus you can view the status of your support question at any time simply by logging in!

Upcoming Events

Shred School

August 26-28, 2009

PRISM and NAID Joint European Conference
September 14-16, 2009
Rome, Italy
Booth R5


Please send any payments, hardware and other correspondence to:

Andrews Software, Inc.
6900 W. Snowville Road
Cleveland, OH 44141

Toll-Free: 800-807-2093
(North America)
Phone: 440-546-9771
Fax: 440-627-2089


Good Customer Service Is a Team Effort
Scott Bidwell, President/COO

During the recent PRISM International Annual Conference we enjoyed an evening at the Daytona 500 Speedway. As always, PRISM Executive Director Jim Booth, Melissa and the crew had lots of fun things lined up for attendees to enjoy during the evening. Lee Miller and I decided we’d take a go at the “Pit Stop Challenge.” In this event, a team of three works together to simulate a pit stop tire change as would occur during a Daytona race. We took our positions – me at the car to remove the old tire, Lee to my left ready to roll the new tire in position and a third person at the jack to lift the car. Poised and ready, we waited for the starting bell. “Ding!” and off we went. Up went the car and I raced to remove the lug nuts. Lug nuts off, Lee quickly rolled the tire forward and popped it onto the rim. A few more seconds and a few turns of the air wrench and the tire was replaced.

PRISM Daytona event

Do we have a career in NASCAR? Based on our time, I’d say it’s a good bet we’ll stick with the software business. It did strike me as I was kneeling by the wheel that, success on the race track comes down to seamless performance from the whole team – particularly the guys in the pits. The driver is the guy who takes the car across the finish line, but the whole team helps get him there. Like the crews who are performing successful pit stops race after race, success in business also requires a team effort. Consistent communication between departments or “teams” ensures all staff are informed of the latest information to better serve client interests. And like well-rehearsed pit stop, responsive customer support is achieved when all parties know what is expected of them and a consistent protocol is in place so service is provided in a timely manner.

I’d encourage you to examine your customer service “pit stop protocol.” Are departments within your organization in frequent communication? Do you have a standardized system in place to ensure customers receive prompt response when a concern arises? Is there also a protocol established that helps team members share client service information with other departments? If your answer is “yes,” you’re well on your way to winning the race. If you find your customer service is not up to par, make the necessary adjustments. Otherwise, you may find yourself stuck in the pits.

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Tech Support at Your Fingertips

Have you checked out ASI's client support resources lately? Many users are finding access to common support questions simply by logging onto the Support Area of the ASI website. Here, you can access the Knowledge and conduct a keyword search for answers to your support issue. This is also where you'll find release notes, product updates, and lots of useful info related to better utilizing your ASI solutions. If you aren't finding the information you require, it's easy to submit your question and track its progress with our support center online.

Of course, technical support is available 24/7, 365 days a year. During normal business hours, which are 8:00am to 5:00pm EST, users can reach an ASI Technical Support Team member directly by calling or emailing:

Toll-free: 800-807-2093 ( North America only)
Phone: 440-546-9771
Email: support@andrewssoftware.com

Emergency Support
It is also critical that our customer have access to emergency support. Support calls placed during non-business hours will be returned within one hour. You'll find full details on our Emergency Support Procedures on the Support home page the ASI website.

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Upgrade to VCK-SQL Today &
Receive 100% Return on Your VCK Investment

If you haven’t yet taken advantage of ASI’s SQL Server upgrade offer, now is the time! Act by December 31st and you’ll receive 100% of your existing VCK software investment as a credit toward your VCK-SQL upgrade.

Why upgrade? Utilizing SQL Server, VCK offers the highest degree of power, reliability, scalability and access to data regardless of where it is stored from your desktop to mobile devices. This translates to improved workplace efficiency, accuracy and revenue for your business.

VCK-SQL 9.2 will ship with step-by-step instructions and conversion tools which will enable you to perform your own conversion. If you wish ASI to perform the conversion for you, we are happy to provide you with a quote. Our intention is to provide you with the tools necessary to work on the migration at your own pace on a schedule that works for your business schedule.

For more information on how you can initiate your VCK-SQL upgrade, contact an ASI Sales Associate via email or call 1- 800-807-2093 (within North America) or 440-546-9771 (outside North America. And remember if you act today, you receive a 100% credit toward your VCK-SQL upgrade.

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ASI Client Solution Profile:
National Records Management

National Records Management; Des Moines, Iowa

  • 450,000+ boxes
  • Approximately 80 deliveries daily
  • 18 employees, including 4 part-time
  • ASI customer since 1991

With dedicated team members and ASI software methodologies, National Records Management (NRM) was able to pull, palletize, ship, unload, and rack over 40,000 containers in just 14 business days. That's processing an average of 3 semi-truckloads per day! Plus, the client gained online access to inventory data and requests across multiple offices.

Vance Gehlbach, co-founder/general manager of National Records Management , faced a daunting task, but one he knew was well in-hand. In early April 2009, NRM acquired a records contract with a local hospital that included 32 clinics and would require 40,000+ boxes and containers to be relocated by month’s end. While not an easy task, Vance knew his investment in ASI’s VCK records center software would enable the transition to be executed efficiently and most importantly, accurately. Here’s how they did it.

NRM began the records center purge on April 13th and expected to complete it by the end of May. With NRM teamwork and ASI technology and support, they completed the task in half that time on April 30th. By using ASI's "customer box capture" option in the handheld mobile computer, all barcoded containers belonging to the hospital and clinics were scanned and matched to a new NRM VCK-printed barcode, creating a link to a unique identifier (the customer box number) in the VCK database. Boxes were pulled off the shelves at the client site, labeled with the new VCK-generated box barcode, then NRM team members scanned the old box number, the new VCK generated barcode and a pallet location, tying all three numbers together. This provided the audit trail needed to continue servicing the hospital during the move.

Having matched the "old" barcode to the "new" barcode, a data conversion was easily performed by ASI Support, providing a transition that was transparent to both the end user and records center. A further service enhancement for the client is the ability to access records information and generate service requests online using ASI’s InfoKeeper solution. Now, instead of going to the medical records room to look for a record, client representatives login to InfoKeeper and request the necessary items directly from their computers. 

According to Gehlbach, the benefits are numerous.

  1. The technology available via ASI’s handheld mobile computer and VCK records center software literally saved hundreds of labor hours in data entry by automating this time-consuming task.
  2. Essentially provided an invoice that reflects accurate inventory and billing across a large volume, multiple department client.
  3. Via InfoKeeper, the client now has web access to their records information .
  4. Knowing the ASI Support Team has the knowledge and culture of client support NRM can rely on to formulate an effective service plan for the client’s requirements.

In closing:
Says Gehlbach: “We are a dynamic warehouse operation filling in empty slots as they open up. With VCK’s software scanning and audit capabilities, if someone asks about a file or a box, I have all the confidence in the world of its location. I’ve used other industry software products. My experience is that unlike the others, ASI’s software solutions force you to wand everything for every action. Yes, it’s a lot of work on the front-end, but it ensures accuracy and client satisfaction. ASI is always available to work with me and respond to everyday needs as well as those requests that go beyond the every day”

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The Myth of Treating People Fairly & Equally
Jeff Mowatt, Business Strategist

I'll just come right-out and say it. I believe that treating customers fairly and equally is a mistake. It's unprofitable. It belittles customers and employees. And it's unethical. There, I've said it. Certainly, we should treat people fairly -- but not equally. I'm not advocating some Orwellian decree that 'some animals are more equal than others'. This has nothing to do with a customer's value as a person. It has to do with bending so-called 'rules' to give exceptional customers the kind of unique service they deserve. In my many years working as a consultant and trainer with dozens of companies and bureaucracies, it's unfortunate that I continue to encounter employees who buy-in to the myth of the virtue of treating all customers equally. If this is the case in your organization, consider this scenario...

Imagine that as part of your daily routine, you stop into your local convenience store to buy a coffee and newspaper. The store employees know you by sight. One day you find yourself needing to change a $100 bill. You stop in, pick up a couple of items and pay for them with the hundred. The store has a policy that they don't accept hundreds, so the cashier simply refuses you. You are fully aware that they make more than that much change every 15 minutes. You also know that when added-up, you've given them hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of business over the years. Yet they refuse to grant you this slight favor. How's your customer loyalty now?

Refusing your $100 bill would have been an incredibly bad decision on the part of the cashier as well as the management who created the 'rule' that permits no exceptions for the store's best customers. The problem is that by definition a 'rule' treats everyone equally -- whether it's fair or not.

What if we treated our children this way?
Imagine the consequences of a parent treating their six-year-old and seventeen-year-old equally. That would mean telling the younger child, "Make sure you are home from grade one by midnight!" Most people appreciate that it makes sense to treat children fairly. It would, however, be a mistake to treat them all equally, and apply the same rules regardless of their ages. That's more than just a mistake; we might even call it immoral.

We already discriminate in the workplace
There's a certain irony to taking this approach to the workplace. The same individuals who assume that all customers should be treated equally, often have no objection whatsoever to the organization offering preferential parking and restroom facilities to customers with disabilities. Yet, that's a blatant example of treating customers fairly but not equally. I don't know of anyone who objects to organizations giving better parking spots to the disabled. Yet, every day we hear employees using inane statements like, "If I did that for you, I'd have to do it for everyone."

The challenge for business owners and managers is providing the kind of training and authority that front-line employees need, so that they will make more appropriate on-the-spot decisions for customers.

The truth about word-of-mouth
"What happens when customers talk to each other?" That's one of the most common concerns I hear from employees in my training sessions where we address this subject. They are afraid that if they accommodate one customer's special request, then that customer will talk to other customers, and the employee will be pressured to do the same for everyone, which, of course, they can't do. In other words, they're going to have a lot of unhappy people out there if they accommodate special requests. This is the kind of convoluted logic that stems from the underlying belief in treating everyone equally (not necessarily fairly). Another way of putting it is: I'm afraid that if I provide an extra service for one customer (because we made an error or the customer does a lot of business with us), then I'm going to disappoint other customers whose circumstances don't warrant the extra service. So to avoid disappointing some people, we'll just make a rule that no one gets special treatment. That way, we'll just disappoint everyone, including customers whose unique situation deserves extra service.

Customers understand the concept of fairness. If I've never been to a particular convenience store and suddenly walk in just to change a hundred-dollar bill, I'm not likely to get outraged when the employee explains that they don't have enough change on hand so they can't help me. If, on the other hand, I'm doing business there every day, I'm more likely to be upset if my store won't make change for me when I know they make that much change every fifteen minutes. If they do make an exception for me because I'm a good customer, I'm not going to rush out, phone all my friends, and tell them, "Hey, my convenience store made change for me, and they don't usually accept hundreds." Customers rarely go out of their way to talk about good service. The occasion when customers share information about a business is when the service is bad. Bottom line: employees needn't worry about possible negative ramifications of taking extra care of good customers. What they should be far more concerned about is the negative impact of treating all customers the same.

This article is based on the critically acclaimed book, Becoming a Service Icon in 90 Minutes a Month, by business strategist and international speaker Jeff Mowatt. To obtain your own copy of his book or to inquire about engaging Jeff for your team, visit www.jeffmowatt.com or call 1-800-JMowatt (566-9288).

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