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IQ Professional Services

While many software companies simply sell you a ‘Box’ of software, The IQ Group of Companies sees your licensing of IQ as the beginning of a relationship.

Feel free to contact us to discuss any of these services that would benefit your company.

All Professional Services are performed at a rate of $120/hr and are collected in advance.

Business Process Consulting

Implementing a business system requires an understanding of the business process that the system will support.  If you have no formal business process in place, one of IQ’s standard business process outlines may be sufficient for your company.

For Furniture Installers, we have a pre-defined business process that is comprehensive yet straight-forward and is part of our standard pricing.  Most all installers work within this model.

However, Furniture Dealerships often have a wide variety of processes and cultural considerations that go beyond ‘typical’.  While we offer a business process outline for dealerships, we highly recommend a separate Business Process Consulting engagement prior licensing IQ.  This engagement can be performed over the phone or on-site with on-site being the most effective method.

This Consulting Engagement will include a full review of your business process with each department to ensure that there is a clear understanding of how IQ will interact with all departments and interact with any other systems used by the company.  This process typically takes 3-5 days.

Please contact us for additional information.

Change Management

IQ Consultants understand change is difficult, especially when that change includes introducing new software into your company.  We have heard Office Furniture Manufacturer Executives say, “We’ve seen software implementations fail, and it is rarely the fault of the software.  Typically, the company simply doesn’t manage the change well and the rest is history.”

It is not uncommon for software implementations to fail when there is no official change management leader.  Luckily, IQ Consultants have been there many times in their careers and have helped their clients navigate these choppy waters.

It seems the larger the company, the more complicated the process.  Compound those processes with many ‘opinions’ of how things should be done and the potential for failure increases exponentially.

For any company ready to improve their process, there will always be a few that don’t necessarily embrace change.  With empathy and understanding, IQ Consultants work with your management and implementation teams to create a vision to share with employees.  That effort will continue with individual team members to help them see the personal and broad benefits and understand what it will take to get there.

By creating a clear vision of the future, and by working closely with your team during the adoption process, IQ Consultants help your software implementation go smoothly.  Regardless of the size of your implementation or organization, we encourage you to engage an IQ Consultant to oversee your Change Management.

 

Database Implementation

Like any other software, you’ll need help implementing the system, but implementation is more than just setting things up.  Implementation is understanding your business enough to not only know ‘what’ you do by ‘why’ you do it and the most efficient way to do it.  So, with IQ, your implementation will be guided by someone with years of industry experience and technical knowledge of IQ.

During implementation, we will review several topics including:

  • A Business Process Review
  • A Business Questionnaire that covers topics from your company’s divisional structure, to how you’ll perform job costing, to your overtime rules.
  • Data collection for your employees, customers, products and expenses, and labor rates
  • Accounting system support such as GLs, Chart of Accounts, and Items so IQ can either integrate with your accounting system or at least provide reports for easy posting of job summary information.

Once all information is gathered, our implementers will build our your database and test it to make sure it fully supports your business process.  From there, we’ll have a 2-hour web meeting to show you the system and make sure you feel it’s ready for training.

Introductory Training

Once implemented, you’ll receive ‘Introductory Training’ to introduce your staff to IQ and how to use it to accomplish your business process.

We call it ‘Introductory Training’ because, let’s face it, your business is complicated, the system is comprehensive, and we can’t possibly show you every option in a single week of training.  So we make sure you have a good understanding of the system to ensure a successful launch.  Then, when your staff is proficient in the basics, you’ll be capable of going the next level of training.

For some companies, the initial training is all they ever need.   If you choose to go further, you’ll want to engage us in ‘Extended Training’.

Extended Training

The number of topics for which you could want Extended Training is endless.  The need for this training is typically discovered by your ‘Power Users’ who have fully grasped the Introductory Training and see how IQ could take them much further if they only knew more.  This usually happens about 6 months into using IQ.

At this point, a list of topics is developed and we jointly determine how to get your staff to the next level where they can be even more productive and efficient with the system.  Once we know the list of topics, we typically have a conference call to plan for the training where the topics are presented to an IQ Consultant along with the desired outcomes.  A course of action is then documented and the Consultant comes on site to meet with your staff to dive into the topics.

If you have mature IQ users internally, let’s have a meeting to discuss their use of the system and determine how your company could capitalize on the system’s advanced functionality.

Note: These sessions often result in a number of Custom Programming requests by your staff.  We’re happy to accommodate those requests by provide a quote of the effort required to add that functionality to the systems.

Administrative Training

Introductory Training and Extended Training focus on efficiencies in using IQ.  But there are dozens of database tables, settings and preferences that are simply too deep to discuss during user training.  However, we recommend that you eventually raise up an “IQ Guru” internally that knows the true inner-workings of IQ.

Administrative Training is an overview of the database tables that were used to support your business process.  We explore each table and explain how that information is used throughout the system.

Some tables are very simple, like Customer Categories, where there is simply a descriptive field that is connected to customers and can be used as a reporting filter.  Other topics such as Service Catalogs have many layers and the logic of understanding how they work can take a few hours to full vet.  Regardless of the depth of the topic, it is healthy for your company to have at least one person who grasps the engine “Under the Hood” of IQ.

If you would like to have such an engagement, please contact us.

Support

It is the experience of IQGC that Customers require heavier support when they first implement IQC or introduce new modules but little to no support once their processes are firmly in place.  Thus, IQGC does not charge for Support as part of IQC Monthly Subscription.  When Customers opt to request support, which can come in the form of responding to inquiries related to general system usage, researching database-oriented/configuration problems, researching 3rd Party integration problems, discussing business process-oriented questions, discussing additional system functionality and its effect on the Customer’s current implementation, training users on any aspect of the system, custom development, etc., IQGC shall provide that support and invoice the Customer accordingly each month on a T&M basis.

How Customer Support works:

  • Each customer has an open-ended T&M Support Order which support services are posted against.
  • At the end of the month, an invoice is created for each customer that utilized IQGC’s support services during that month (Each support event will include the date, duration, and notes related to the support).
  • That invoice is emailed to the Customer’s Authorized Representative with a notice that an ACH transaction will follow in 5-7 days.
  • Customer will contact IQGC if there are any questions regarding the support provided.
  • IQGC will process the invoices via ACH like the Customer’s Monthly Subscription Payment.

Customers who do not choose to follow this support process will not receive support from IQGC.

  • Customer should inform their Users that only designated Authorized Representatives are authorized to contact IQGC for all technical support communications between IQGC and Customer at all times. This person will act as the Customer’s Primary Contact. Only the Primary Contact should contact IQGC for support unless Customer has granted employees with permission to request support that could possibly be invoiced.
  • To avoid unwanted support charges, IQGC encourages Customer to only permit designated Authorized Personnel to contact IQ Support. By calling or sending an email to IQGC, Customer acknowledges the Customer Support portion of this Agreement and agrees to be invoiced for the time spent addressing the support topic(s).
  • IQC Support has adopted protocols in which both Phone and Email support shall generally be answered within 8 business hours of receipt.
  • Standard Customer Support Services shall be provided during normal business hours (9-5 CST). IQ Support personnel will be paged 24×7 for emergency support occurring outside of normal business hours.
  • Support time is tracked to the nearest 15 minute increment, and is invoiced at $120/hr as of 1/1/2016.
    • Multiple Support Emails/Calls in a single day which total 30+ minutes may be combined into a single support event and billed accordingly.
  • Customer Support includes all interaction with IQGC or their affiliate personnel (hereafter “IQC Support”).
  • Customer Support (assisting a customer with their specific use of IQ Coordinator), which falls outside the definition of Network Support (maintaining the general viability and availability of IQ Coordinator), including, but not limited to, time spent by IQGC support personnel performing the following tasks:
    • Responding to general system usage inquiries
    • Researching database-oriented/configuration inquiries
    • Researching 3rd Party integration inquiries
    • Discussing business process-oriented questions
    • Discussing additional system functionality and its effect on the current implementation
    • Training users on any aspect of the system
  • Communications with IQC Support regarding issues that are eventually deemed to be the fault of the system will not be charged to the Customer. However, reports of the system not working properly that are deemed to be outside the fault of IQGC will be charged to the Customer.
  • Customer agrees to accept invoices in the form of standard printed invoice delivered via standard mailing methods, or an email with a PDF document attachment distributed by IQGC to the Customer’s Primary or Designated Contact for Customer Support services.

An invoice delivered by email shall be considered acceptable means of notification that a Payment is due and Customer shall permit IQGC to process said invoice via the Customer’s standard method of payment.

Custom Programming

With 1000’s of users, Feature Requests come in by the dozens each week.  We appreciate and value the input but it is not practical to program every idea.  When presented, the vast majority are accepted and put on the IQ Master Feature List.  This list gets reviewed for ideas when we update a module or add new functionality into the system.

However, some customers feel their idea would have a strong impact on their company’s efficiency and are willing to pay to have their feature request programmed in the near future vs waiting for it to be part of a future coding effort.  If you have such a situation, you can present your feature request(s) to us for a quote.

Some features are simple and require little design to understand their impact on the system.  Those features will be quoted at no charge.  Other feature requests can take days to determine their complexity and can even require visual design to make sure you and our developers are on the same page with the requirements.  Such effort, if requested, will be billed as a custom programming effort even if you ultimately reject the feature because we still had to invest resources to provide your quote.  If this is the case, we’ll discuss it ahead of time and get your approval.

Here is the more formal verbiage related to Custom Programming:

You may choose to pay for customized programming additions, improvements, enhancements, modifications or changes (“Enhancements”) to IQ.  Such Enhancements are intrinsically part of IQ and will be part of the common code base (you will not ‘own’ or have rights to your custom feature).

If you desire Enhancements to IQ, we will outline the scope along with the estimated number of hours required to accomplish your requested Enhancement.  Upon Your written approval, we will begin work on the enhancement and will bill you at the end of each month for the hours worked that month.

You understand and agree that actual time to accomplish your requested Enhancement may vary from the estimate.  If you want a ‘firm’ quote, you will need to pay upfront for a formal design effort.  If you are willing to have your Enhancement programmed without formal design, the effort will be invoiced on a T&M basis.

IQ will bill you through your IQ Support order on a separate line called Custom Programming.  The hours spent will be noted along with notes related to each programming session.

Database Maintenance

When you license IQ, we will provide the most updated version of our Office Furniture template.  This template has approximately 10,000 database records that represent our current understanding of the furniture industry.  However, the template provided by IQGC contains limited information as well as mathematical logic that is the opinion of IQGC and those professionals that were involved in the assembly of the template’s information.  The template is a ‘starter kit’ and IQGC does not present it as comprehensive enough to include ‘all’ information for the industry.  Thus, once your copy of IQ has been established, you are responsible for adding information to the template to make it suitable for your daily use.

If you deem that changes are necessary, you may either use IQ Support to perform those changes or you can engage us in Administrative Training where we will teach you how to perform those changes on your own. Most customer’s initially want to do it on their own but later realize there are many ‘connections’ that must be considered when working in the database and training on a topic that will not be used on a regular basis is not as cost-effective as having IQ Support perform the needed changes.  In the end, it is your option as all database configuration tools are accessible by your administrators.

Beyond the changes mentioned above, it is very common for new lines of furniture and/or types of products to be added to the industry.  If you discover that your template does not have representation of either, contact us and we’ll help you document the estimating logic behind the new items so we can extend the system for you.

If you need help with any of the database topics mentioned here, please contact us.

Installation Quoting Services

In 2011, we had a large customer reach out and ask that we help them with their installation quoting in their copy of IQ to help them get through a peak time in their business.  Since IQ Support knows the system intimately and has industry experience, we established a method where the customer could send us the information known about the installation, IQ Support would log into their system and build the quote and, when complete, would then share it with their internal customer (Sales or PM as designated).

The time was billed on a variable T&M basis, essentially extending their internal staff without the obligation of additional full-time employees.  This later expanded to help cover the work load when estimators were on vacation and has even been used to perform the documentation on large projects.

Essentially, while the service is predominately Quoting Assistance, it can be used to support your company on any aspect of IQ from Opportunity Tracking to Project Management.

If you feel your company could benefit from this type of support, please contact us to discuss the details.