Q3 2020 Product Update

The quarter has flown by for us, as I’m sure it has for many of you! We’ve made good progress against most Q3 goals and had some new opportunities arise that pushed some of our initial Q2 priorities to the backburner for the moment.

So how do I feel about where we are?  Well, we have a few exciting opportunities on the horizon that could largely drive our focus for the next 6 months to a year and that could lead us down a path that could be very amazing for the company and our customers.  Even without those opportunities landing, I can see 2-3 other paths we could go down that would still make us very successful.  In the end it will be more of a matter of whether the opportunities drive us or vice versa.  So yeah, I’m feeling pretty good, if a little overwhelmed.  

Business License

Forecasting

In preparation for SC legislation H.4431, a lot of our work focused on the forecasting module.  We can now set up a forecast with multiple scenarios and then apply rules to each scenario.  For the graph below, for example, the rules make the changes to revenue based on the changes dictated by the legislation:

Right now the interface shows the reports are working on the interface to allow the user to edit and update the rules.

Industrial Code Conversion

The other work related to SC.H4431 was to setup a mechanism whereby we can look at the existing SIC codes for each business within a jurisdiction and either tell the the proper NAICS code or (if there is more than one possible), let them know which NAICS codes may apply:

idbusinesssic_classnaics_classnaics_headernaics_options
223264Jacksons Boutique5651448140Family Clothing Stores[{“448140″=>”Family Clothing Stores “}]
223262Karls Kablez Co LLC1541236220Commercial and Institutional Building Construction[{“236220″=>”Commercial and Institutional Building Construction “}, {“236210″=>”Industrial Building Construction “}]

This is currently exported to csv/spreadsheet so the customer can work with it offline.  Once they’re done, we can upload the file and update the business in our system.  

Workflow

One of our goals is to make any process in our system highly configurable so customers can route approvals to the appropriate personnel. We’ve made good strides , but aren’t as far as planned.  A workflow may be set up and configured and now we’re working through the execution and tracking of that workflow.

SBIR

We have also applied for an SBIR grant with the USDA.  The summary is:
Rural municipalities face multiple challenges when trying to modernize their software system that impact their ability to procure the software that may best enable them to compete in the 21st century.  Those factors include:

  1. Infrastructure Support: The ability to procure and maintain new PCs and servers in a rural area may be hampered by Information Technology expertise availability
  2. Internet Access: The ability to reliably connect to and interact with cloud-base resources in their community
  3. Training/Technological Literacy:  Usage of a given system may not only require learning the software itself, but may also bring requirements to learn new operating systems or other items.

We propose addressing these issues by providing a combined solution that provides the municipality the software, hardware client, OS, support, system management, and internet connectivity needed along with a streamlined user experience that provides immediate access to the government ERP software.

Phase I consists of a regional study of rural local governments with Clemson University.  The study will focus on rural communities between 1000 and 7500 in population to determine the extent to which any of the above items are roadblocks to more quickly implementing new technology as well as to discover any additional barriers.  The study will be used to drive development of a minimum viable product for financial management for rural communities.

This was a decision based on SBIR week, which was only four weeks before the application due date! We did a good bit of scrambling to get it done, but I’m excited by the opportunities.  The study alone would be of great value to the local government community regardless; the last state-wide studies I can find regarding local government technology are about a decade old. If we can make it commercially viable, this type of offering would be unique in the marketplace and, if our hypothesis is correct, would serve a real need for the small communities that are our focus.  The USDA doesn’t plan to give feedback for at least two months, so we may hear right at the end of Q4 or the beginning of 2021 Q1.

Interface Improvements

We’ve made some progress on interface improvements:

  • Separated the license application from the license itself in the interface
  • Delinquency Management: The system now has an area to track delinquent/non-filing customers and provides the ability to print a delinquency letter.
  • Added several more reports to the system 
  • Updated our contact management interface to better manage addresses and reduce duplicate addresses within the system.

Q4 Goals

Workflow

  1. Complete the architecture:
    1. A programmer may programmatically configure a workflow in the system without code.
    2. The workflow allows for:
      1. Serial review of the item by single consecutive persons
      2. Triggering of processes at any point in the review.

Permitting

We anticipate starting our Permitting module this quarter! This is the main driver for the workflow module on which we’re working.

Business License

  1. Workflow: Insert the new workflow module into the application process for Business Licensing
  2. Forecasting: Complete the interface to allow users to modify rules
  3. Online Payments: Crucial to be ready for the new license cycle at the beginning of next year.

Interface Improvement: Continue to grind at interface improvements; invest in UI/UX programmer once budget allows.

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