Dayton 2018 in Review
It's been my intention to get this out since Monday. Things didn't return to normal until about ten minutes ago!
This year, for the first time I can recall, we received only positive feedback. Folks gave us some friendly constructive feedback too - and we're grateful for that. What I'd like to do in this newsletter is to give a bit of an overview for our time at the 2018 Dayton Hamvention.
We like the changes in the company and its direction
Thank you. Putting our customers first has been our #1 objective since Randy and I took control of the company on 1/1/2017. It's important for us to know that you've noticed. While it's impossible to turn things around over-night - trust is earned, not given - we have done nothing but focus on being completely transparent and we treat our customers with respect. Always.
We like the new website
Whereas in the past, we tried to build a good website from scratch, we're no longer in the business of being web developers. We put our focus on our own software. In June of 2017, we moved our website to an eCommerce provider called, UltraCart. These guys are great!
We've found ways to reduce our costs and automate the delivery of services to our clients. When clients want to buy a CD or USB thumb drive, mugs, shirts, or hats - then that part of the transaction goes directly to the company that fulfills the order. We don't touch any part of that piece of the transaction. The result is lower cost for us and faster service to our customers. The site is 100% online and available. They handle all the payment transactions and that reduced our risk and responsibility. I sent them a gift certificate last holiday with one stipulation. That is - the UltraCart support team must spend it together. They're top-knotch. By the time you read this, we will be very close to a full year on the new website. Fantastic.
No more waiting for software activation keys
One of the first things we did after 1/1/2017 was to hire someone to fix problems we were having with software activation keys not being automatically generated. This was a big plus for customer service and it decreased our costs.
Prompt and reliable support
With the change that puts our customers first always, it frees the sales and technical support team to do the right thing. They're prompt and helpful. We've published our support processes. I track their service very closely. One of the best things I did was to add my wife Tammy (KB9YHU) to run Sales and Marketing. She's fantastic. She has a background in sales and is fantastic at customer service.
We like the newsletter
Clients like the fact that we're letting folks know about what's going on. We like stories that contain general information about things like the DX cluster.
We're not just about Ham Radio Deluxe. We want to expand amateur radio. If it involves our software - great! But fundamentally, we need more hams. We need a new generation of hams. And they see things we don't see. I welcome their feedback. But the newsletter is intended to be informational and thought-provoking at times. Soon, we expect to have
You told us you wanted some things fixed or added:
Satellite tracking and certain radios
This is one of our priorities. I've got a developer assigned to the application and it's our goal to get through all these open items this year.
The same is true for Rotor Control and the north/south stop problems. We'll get the done this year.
Why does it take so long to add a feature?
The fundamental limiting factor is that there is more work in the product backlog than can get done rapidly. When we obtained the code and intellectual property rights to the software back in 2011, we also inherited a list of defects and enhancement requests. When we started working on things, folks added new requests to the bucket. Until 2017, incoming requests were out-pacing our development efforts. But at the beginning of 2017, we have changed the way we prioritize the work and taken steps to go after development where a single effort addresses many items in the backlog. We hope to catch up by year's end. From there, we hope to become more aggressive about adding ground-breaking features.
Folks ask about how to contact us:
The best approach is to go to www.HamRadioDeluxe.com and look at the Support dropdown menu at the top. It provides many options for contacting us and obtaining support.
Folks also said they want:
- Slices for FlexRadio
- Improvements to remote access
- Software for the Icom waterfall
- Create County Hunters award
- Canada awards
- CQ Marathon
- Improve your documentation; We've put the manual online as a wiki at https://wiki.hamradiodeluxe.com and our Release Notes are available to the public in transparent detail.
All these things are on our To-Do list. I'm excited to work on them.
What I find interesting overall, is that we now have more people asking for new things than we have folks asking us to fix things. Be aware - we're going to do both in a balanced approach. But this alone is a great indicator.
We published a Dayton photo album our our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/HamRadioDeluxe. Thanks also to all the folks around the world who joined us on Facebook Live to keep an eye on us in our booth. Like us on Facebook! We're very close to the magical 10,000 mark!
Due to expense considerations, we could only bring the full-time staff - Tim (KB3NPH), Kevin (KC7FPF), Peggy, and Tammy (KB9YHU). Also joining me and Randy (K0CBH) this year were my daughter Lindy (KB9PIE), her daughter Peighton, and Randy's son Peter (KC0CLY). We appreciate the assist!
Please see our website for the remainder of our 2018 hamfest schedule. Next up - Sea-Pac!
Best of DX de Mike, WA9PIE
HRD Software, LLC