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The 2019 Qualtrax User Conference is officially in the books!

We had a great turnout and the atmosphere was amazing! The collaboration between attendees – even across industries – was fun to watch as users shared best practices and unique workflows. We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our attendees, who emphasized a great learning environment and value for themselves and their organizations.

The conference opened with an Avengers-themed intro (check it out in our conference photo gallery!), followed by a spoof of The Match Game, in which Qualtrax CEO, Amy Ankrum, and VP of Operations, CJ Page, faced down a panel of compliance superheroes and villains to discuss new additions and fulfilled promises to the system since the last User Conference. Highlights included:

  • The addition of the “track changes” feature, which was identified by our users as the most helpful new feature.
  • The suite of Best-in-Class workflows, which are free and come pre-packaged for all new customers. We also introduced a new addition to the suite, the Risk Assessment Workflow, which is now available to all Qualtrax customers.
  • Introduction of a new user interface, making Qualtrax easier to navigate and providing a more modern look and feel. It’s designed to reduce clutter and confusion for users, as well as reduce the number of clicks it takes to get simple tasks done.
  • The transition to Azure for hosted customers. Azure is a cloud layer on top of a number of Windows Server systems, which use Windows Server 2008, and a customized version of Hyper-V, known as the Microsoft Azure Hypervisor to provide virtualization of services. In short, it allows Qualtrax to manage your infrastructure for you. If you have questions about Azure or want to take advantage of switching to a hosted subscription model, please contact our Services Team!
  • Introduction of Dashboards, which will provide two viewing options. The first, My Dashboard, will give the end user a variety of line-of-sight, easy-to-digest windows that breakdown open tasks into a variety of configurations. The second, Qualtrax Dashboard, is meant for Quality Managers and System Administrators. It gives the same view, but for every open task across your QMS. Dashboards will be released under a Beta tag to allow our users to provide feedback on the feature and help determine where we go next, so please let us know what you think!

The conference featured three keynote presentations over the first two days. On day one, Jeff Smith of Voltage Leadership offered advice in identifying and retaining key talent in your organization. He also addressed the unique challenges in integrating a multi-generational workforce and building cohesion and getting buy-in from all segments. Jeff was followed by Melissa Kennedy of ANAB, who talked about the value of a process-driven workplace. On the second day, Tim Osborne of A2LA kicked off the festivities with a keynote on a risk-based approach to accreditation.

The subsequent educational sessions ran in one-hour intervals from 11:15am to 4:45pm on day one, and 9:30am to 5pm on day two. The Qualtrax team led sessions on document control, system administration, testing and training, emails, reports, risk management and new feature training.

A dedicated collaboration room was open at all times for attendees and Qualtrax team members, where users could work one-on-one to solve their most challenging issues. It also provided an opportunity for users to connect with other users, sharing best practices and workflows.

In conjunction with the system workshops, the conference featured customer spotlight sessions, allowing some more advanced Qualtrax users to share how they have deployed the system within their organization. These sessions often focused on unique workflows that these customers have built to solve problems unique to their organization. However, it’s amazing how often other customers look at the idea being presented and immediately connect the concept to a process at their own organization. This frequently results in a follow-up conversation after the presentation, where many of our presenters are willing to share their workflows and talk with others about how it could be tweaked for implementation at their facility.

Customer presentations and sessions included:

  • Austin Water – Using Qualtrax workflows to meet TNI laboratory accreditation
  • Cornet Technology – ROI for your RMA process
  • Alpha Analytical – Using Workflows to capture critical information and how to retrieve and use it
  • US Army Corps of Engineers – Expanding the use of your Qualtrax system within your organization
  • Alabama Power – Using Qualtrax for a transition audit
  • JusticeTrax – Two powerful systems, one solution: Integrating your LIMS and QMS
  • RMB Products – The Specifications Spider Web
  • Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority – Getting ready for your audit
  • Texas A&M Vet Lab – Preparing workflow data to meet management review requirements

Of course, no conference would be complete without some evening events to unwind after a long day. At the end of the first day, the Qualtrax team invited the attendees back to our lair to show them where the magic happens! Super hero costumes were plentiful and a small dance party broke out on the main level.

On the second night, we spent an evening at The German Club, which is affiliated with Virginia Tech. Some attendees enjoyed playing cornhole and listening to the live band on the patio, while others preferred to try their luck in the casino – using fake money, of course – while enjoying a hot plate of Due South BBQ. There are always a few who are so locked into conference mode that they spend the evening drawing workflows on the backs of cocktail napkins while sipping a beer with friends new and old!

The Qualtrax User Conference is whatever you want it to be. Much like our workflows, it’s a very customizable experience that allows you to get what you need, leave what you don’t and network with other Quality Professionals doing the same!

We have already set the dates for our next conference, which will be held September 29-October 1, 2020. If you are thinking about attending, please keep these dates free on your calendar and start keeping a list of processes you would like to automate! We are also putting out a call for speakers, so if you think you’ve got a workflow that could provide value for others in your industry and beyond, please let us know! If you are selected to present, your conference registration will be on us!

We hope you’ll join us!

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