Converge ‘21 Wrap-Up

Published on 30 September 2021

Converge ’21 went virtual this year for the health and safety of our customers and employees. For two and a half days, A+W employees and customers shared best practices, knowledge, and advice with each other. We accomplished and learned so much from each other.

Learning spanned multiple areas of our software solutions starting with barcoding and scanning, such as A+W Smart Companion, which is designed to replace the industrial scanner. It allows users to employ their smartphone as their scanner. Smartphones utilizing A+W Smart Companion, available for both iOS and Android operating systems, are replacing industrial barcode scanners. A+W Smart Companion replaces both the barcode scanner and acts as a mobile information terminal. Employees can display the locations of order components and the content of racks making communication bidirectional. Invalid bookings are now obsolete, while the read quality of each scan improves. A+W Smart Companion can also scan multiple barcodes at once (e.g., edge labels on a rack), which saves time, thus making work more productive with fewer errors.

During the Monday afternoon sessions, we explored more about production terminals, inventory, software customizations, and Avalara tax. Avalara allows your company to reduce non-compliance risk when collecting taxes or exemption certificates, while also increasing sales efficiency by off-loading time-consuming processes. Software customizations allow you to accelerate and simplify your commercial processes, while also automating your business systems via workflows.

Tuesday was highlighted by discussions of our wildly popular A+W iQuote and A+W iShape software solutions. A+W iQuote is a mobile/web-based quotation and order entry system that allows your business to communicate with customers 24/7. Real-time, online quoting, and order entry for you and for your customers using A+W iQuote. Our web-based interface allows direct communication between yourself and your customers. A+W iQuote provides fabricators the opportunity to reduce errors and allows their customers to view the status of orders (e.g., “order sent”) and download important documents, such as order confirmations, delivery notes, and invoices.

If A+W iQuote can help you with order entries, then A+W iShape is your key to success with customer templates. With A+W iShape, the template is fitted with L-shaped reference objects and then photographed with a high-end smartphone camera. The reference objects, high-quality precision metal pieces, are placed on the template or fastened to it. The Ls serve to correct any distortions when photographing. With the image taken, it is emailed and displayed in A+W CAD Designer (Shapes), where it is transformed into a stream of points defined by arcs and lines. To further process the image, the user compensates for any distortions before transferring to a CNC machine.

Did someone say IT best practices? During Dave Cox’s presentation, he taught everyone the basic principals of installing, maintaining, and setting up their SQL servers, terminal servers, and preforming maintenance on their databases and servers. All of these hints and advice allow for a more efficient server and thus factory.

During each presentation, many tips and tricks were shared with customers that can help them utilize their A+W software to its fullest. It is these tips, tricks, and nuances that many customers stated were the main reason they attended Converge 2021.

Overall, Converge ‘21 was an excellent opportunity to bring executives, employees, daily users, and customers together to exchange ideas and help guide the future of the software development program. We at A+W would like to all our customers who attended Converge 2021. We learned a lot from you and, based on your feedback, you learned new concepts from us. We look forward to gathering again in person, when it is safe, at the next A+W Converge User Conference.

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