I said this last year, and it’s worth repeating in 2018: I feel about RetailNOW the way a little kid feels about Christmas. I look forward to it all year long, and I’m always thrilled to discover some unexpected gifts. But the big difference between RetailNOW and Christmas (besides the whole guy-in-a-red-suit thing) is the kiddos aren’t allowed to peek at the presents while we adults are free to get advance notice on what’s going to happen at the RSPA’s annual show.
This year’s educational lineup is perhaps the strongest in association history because of a concerted effort by the RSPA leadership team. President/CEO John Kirk and new VP of Education Services Kathy Meader have laser-focused the show on our industry’s most important topics and organized a volunteer “faculty” to share their experiences and best practices.
With apologies to the presenters not mentioned in this article, here are my 7 “can’t-miss” education sessions for resellers and ISVs at RetailNOW 2018, scheduled for Aug. 5-8 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville:
Business Valuation: Working on My Business
Official RSPA Summary: The best candidates for mergers or acquisitions have well-documented and purposeful M&A (merger and acquisition) strategies. Healthy Balance Sheet is where we will start with emphasis around revenue streams, cash flow, and human capital. For those just getting started in thinking about it, we will give you guidance in several areas to focus on your business.
Roddy’s Take: Back in May when I first heard David explain the concept of this presentation during an RSPA Education Committee call, I wrote myself a note in all caps to make sure I attended this session come heck or high water. David will share details of his 12-year journey (yes, I said 12 years) to stop working in his business and work on his business, enabling his team to run the organization. Postec is one of the most respected resellers in our industry, and I can’t wait to learn more about what makes them tick.
The Solutions for Your Issue with Recruiting/Selecting Sales Reps (and Other Hard to Fill Positions)
Official RSPA Summary: You’re not alone! We’ve all been through (or currently going through) the difficult process of finding, interviewing, and hiring solid sales representatives, implementation, and other hard to fill positions. Learn why it’s so challenging to find good candidates and best practices in interviewing, hiring, and onboarding for when you do finally uncover potential candidates. Best practices come from not only Chelsey’s experience in hiring over 300 employees but also from other POS industry experts.
Roddy’s Take: I might get escorted out of this session by security because there’s a good chance I’ll interrupt Chelsey and shout “AMEN!” too often. She’s one of the sharpest HR minds in our channel and really understands the best practices for hiring well. She won’t provide you with an easy-to-adopt silver bullet to solve your hiring issues; but if you implement her disciplined methodology, your hiring success rate will improve. Also, if you haven’t heard my recent “On The Edge” podcast interview with Chelsey, it’s worth a listen. Our chat might be a perfect companion during your RetailNOW travels.
Make Managed Services a Reality: Critical First-Steps, Must-Have Automation Tools, and Business Process Changes
Official RSPA Summary: You’ve heard a lot about the importance of adopting a managed services type of business model, but with 40+ services you could be offering your customers, getting started can feel overwhelming. Join Mike Monocello to learn about the definitive transitional steps you should take, services that easily dovetail into your existing offering, and the tools that will help you succeed.
Roddy’s Take: Mike has been at the forefront of the as-a-Service transition in the POS industry since his days as the Chief Editor of Business Solutions Magazine. He goes beyond enthusiastically supporting the recurring revenue business model to teach resellers and ISVs specific details of how to make the transition. Among the “starter services” he’ll discuss at RetailNOW will be remote monitoring and management (RMM), backup and disaster recovery (BDR), security-as-a-service, plus retail- and restaurant-specific services (payments, loyalty, online ordering, reservations, guest Wi-Fi). He’ll also discuss tools you should adopt such as PSA software (professional services automation), RMM platforms, remote control/access tools, and quoting tools.
You’ve Hired the Best, Now Develop Your Team for Success! (Building Productive Teams for the Long Term)
Official RSPA Summary: Let’s face it. Today’s tech savvy workforce has options, and because of this, finding the right people for your business can be a challenge. This ranges from salespeople, administrative staff, and everyone in between to keep your organization running at optimal velocity. And, more importantly, keeping the right people is even more challenging! This session will assist with how to invest in developing your most valuable resource, your people, and demonstrate why this is so critical now more than ever before, and how you can maximize your ROI in your talent development.
Roddy’s Take: Even if Shannon and Paul weren’t my co-workers, I’d encourage you to attend this session. I’m a fan of the self-development concept that “iron sharpens iron,” and both Shannon and Paul will help improve your people-development abilities … and possibly reshape your attitude about your staff. Shannon and Paul both have natural empathy for others – an internal gyroscope to put you before themselves – which is foundational to growing a team. They are also veterans/experts in customer service and sales, so I’m sure after engaging with them you’ll have tons of takeaways for your business.
Professional Service – The Key to the Next Sale
Official RSPA Summary: This session will cover the three key areas of today’s Professional Service Organization: Field Service, Professional Services, and Managed Services. This overview will provide insight including people, components, key metrics, and pricing.
Roddy’s Take: To be honest with you, I labeled this a “can’t-miss” session before reading the summary. This class made my list the moment I read that Bob Bauer was presenting. I’ve talked industry best practices with Bob for many years, and I’ve left every interaction with a better understanding of our channel. I specifically recall an hour-long conference call Bob and I had with world-famous business author Chip Heath to help get Chip up to speed on our industry before he presented at RSPA Inspire 2015. I went into that call thinking to myself, Wow – I get to talk with Chip Heath! and I ended the call saying out loud, Holy smokes does Bob Bauer know this industry – we should put him on stage! The twist on Bob’s can’t-miss presentation at RetailNOW this year is that I’m actually going to miss it. He’s hosting this session twice but both times it goes head-to-head with the recurring revenue panel I’m moderating. Please attend this session and then fill me in on what you learned.
Demystifying Managed Services: Why I am more profitable than you; how you can steal my secret sauce; and what vendor-partners can do to make your life simpler
Official RSPA Summary: Follow Rumpf, a North American restaurant and retail managed services developer and provider, as he debates the allure of today’s broken aaS (that’s, “as-a-service” for traditionalists) models; postulates on how B2B hospitality/retail providers can flourish by taking advantages of gaps caused by consolidation; gives specific tools, strategies and employee skills that when cultivated properly can increase gross margin by 3x; and engages vendor-partners on what they can, are, and are not doing to facilitate this success.
Roddy’s Take: Warning to small resellers: prepare to have your I-can’t-do-managed-services excuses crushed when you attend this session. Over the past decade, Chris has brought his business back from the brink and built it into a thriving small organization that aggressively pursues recurring revenue opportunities. And don’t think this session’s title is overhyped. Chris actually will show you the ingredients of his secret sauce; I’ve seen him on stage at past RSPA and Business Solutions events sharing details that will lead to dollar signs for you.
How Leading POS Resellers Implement Recurring Revenue Products & Services
Official RSPA Summary: Our industry’s top-performing resellers frequently add new recurring revenue streams to their offering. This session will go in-depth with executives from those organizations detailing how they select, evaluate, bundle, market, sell, and service their recurring revenue products and services. We’ll discuss headaches and success stories plus practical tactics and techniques for transitioning your business to the highly profitable recurring revenue model.
Roddy’s Take: I have to recommend my own session, right? Actually, with the expert panelists who have been assembled for this conversation, you could make that raccoon who climbed a skyscraper earlier this summer the moderator instead of me, and this session would still be a big hit. Our panelists – some you’ve probably heard of and others making their RetailNOW debut – are pacesetters for implementing recurring revenue products and services:
- Josh Byers, President & CEO, Lonestar POS
- Jeremy Julian, COO, CBS NorthStar
- Scott McClannahan, Senior IT Manager, Simple POS Solutions
- Mike Maudlin, VP, C&M Business Machines
- Chris Rumpf, President & Founder, Flyght
- Jim Stewart, VP, Advanced Data Systems
For the complete list of RetailNOW 2018 education sessions, follow this link to the RSPA website. See you at the show – you don’t want to miss it!