As many of you know, JB Systems has always been a big proponent of the downtown area in Eau Claire. From 2005-2011 we were quietly tucked away in a second floor office off of E. Grand Ave., overlooking the beautiful Chippewa River. Now, in our new Barstow St. location, we are committed to staying here to grow our web development and design business. We’re very excited to watch this area flourish.
Recently, our very own founder and President, Jerry Bauer, took JB Systems’ commitment to downtown to the next level by accepting a position on the Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. Board of Directors. He will be representing the North River Fronts Neighborhood and will serve on the board for a 2-year term.
“Being a part of the DECI board is a great opportunity because it allows me – as a neighborhood resident and downtown business owner – to provide a voice regarding important downtown decisions such as its festivals, marketing campaigns, business development, and more,” says Jerry.
Not only does Jerry have his business located downtown, but he and his wife, Meghan (JB Systems’ Art Director), also live within walking distance of downtown.
“I like the convenience of being so close to downtown, and having the option to walk or bike to work,” says Meghan. “Not even just for work, but on a Saturday morning we can walk to Phoenix Park for the Farmer’s Market or music in the park. It saves money, too, since we’re not using much gas.”
Many of JB Systems’ employees live near downtown and frequently walk or bike to work – taking advantage of the amenities and convenience of the downtown area.
“I enjoy walking to work – it’s good exercise,” says Tyler, one of JB’s programmers.
“It’s so nice being able to run home quickly or walk down the street to grab something for lunch,” says Erin, our Marketing Director. “It’s really convenient, and getting better all the time.”
Jerry says he is excited about the potential to help grow the downtown area and bring some new ideas to the organization. He’s passionate about keeping the local businesses alive and well, and is looking forward to giving back to the downtown area.
“It’s a great opportunity for me personally, and a wonderful community service addition for JB Systems.”
JB Systems created the new DECI website in 2011 – check it out here for great information about Downtown Eau Claire!
Last week, JB Systems had our official ribbon cutting ceremony with the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce at our new location at 404 S. Barstow St. in Eau Claire. A big “Thank You” from our entire staff goes out to all who attended! We had a great turnout and some very kind words were shared about the work that we do. Special thanks to Becky and her staff at Obsession Chocolates for catering the event and hosting the ‘after party’!
For your enjoyment, here are a few photos from the event.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
A few folks mingling in the lobby.
Testing our the custom iPad app. We're now Certified iOS Developers!
This is how our programmers sing Christmas carols!
Jerry Bauer, Owner, with Bob Krause, DECI Board Member
Bob Pekol of Chippewa Valley Airport Service said some kind words about their project with JB Systems!
We’re done shooting, now you get to tell us your favorite!
Curt’s Gourmet Popcorn has been known for years in Madison, WI for his delectable popcorn that he sells from a cart on the Square downtown. Now he’s bringing his popcorn to the world (or at least the rest of Wisconsin!). We have the exciting opportunity to be working with Curt to create a rockin’ e-commerce store and have been shooting photos of all of his popcorn flavors. We’ve tried them all – now we want you to tell us your favorite! Stop in to the JB Systems office and take a taste of his fruit, caramel, cheese, or combination flavors….you can even try a peanut butter & jelly flavor!
Today will go down in history as the day the world mourns perhaps one of the greatest innovators of our time. While the merits of his “genius” or engineering “machismo” may be debated by some, his ingenuity, and ability to “tell consumers what they want” and then bring it to fruition (and ultimately to market) – set him apart from every other CEO and innovator in the last 50 years.
At JB Systems, we’ve embodied his principals and continue to innovate – although we may not create iPhones, iPads and consumer electronics – we do embrace change, revolution, and the general notion that if the bar is not pushed – a company will stagnate, and never evolve.
I have a history with Steve Jobs, when at the age of 16 I wrote an email voicing concern over the direction computers were going at our school district. It was sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Much to my surprise (and to the surprise of the Eau Claire School Superintendent and Memorial High School’s technology officer) that Jobs responded – and dispatched an Apple representative to confront our district and the decision they made buying bottom of the barrel Compact computers. I was befuddled, at the very least, and became instantly aware of the “power of the pen” (that’s going out to you, Fred Poss).
From that day forward, I studied Mr. Jobs – and his beloved company. Their product designs – flawless. Their marketing and campaigns – unforgettable. His passion and regard for what he did – incredible. JB Systems will continue to study this, and above all things – Think Different. Our promise, to not only our clients but to our company mentor, will be to “stay foolish, stay hungry” and that will allow us to innovate into our second decade of providing great service. Thanks Steve.
JB Systems has had a lot of unique opportunities over the years, but this one in particular has special meaning. Not only because it supports a worthy cause, but the people behind it are making it work for them beyond our expectations.
Where it All Began…
Hope Gospel Mission is a local organization providing shelter, education, and job opportunities to those who have lost their homes and have nowhere else to turn for help. They came to us about 3 years ago, sat down in our conference room, and told us of the troubles they were having finding the right kind of software to manage all of the residents that they take in – either for an overnight stay or a long-term renewal program. They had struggled with how to make this easier for staff and residents, but they knew there must be a way.
At the time, more and more businesses were starting to use software ‘in the cloud’ (hosted on web servers instead of local computers or servers), but it was still a somewhat new concept in our area, especially when you’re talking about building it from scratch and running your entire business with it.
But that’s exactly what the team at JB Systems set out to do. Our developers started from scratch, listening to the needs of Hope Gospel Mission, understanding what they do, how they do it, when they do it…and started building a web-based software solution that filled the void that the mission had been trying to fill with previous software solutions.
The initial result was ResidentTracker, a completely custom piece of software that now tracks hundreds of residents, including everything from their length of stay at the mission, to what medications they’re on, to what educational programs they’re in at the mission. The reporting capabilities are endless and help their staff to better understand the impact of their operations within the organization. Their logging system also keeps everyone informed on a daily basis about each resident and what’s happening across their multiple facilities.
However, their quest to streamline the organization didn’t end there. Once they saw the capabilities of ResidentTracker, they asked about finding a way to better track their 900+ volunteers. They wished to include a time clock to keep track of volunteer hours, a method for reporting of volunteer hours, and a way to post their volunteer needs on their website. And so, VolunteerTracker was born.
After using VolunteerTracker for six months, it proved to be extremely efficient and helpful in managing and coordinating their volunteers. So, they asked for the same capabilities for their staff. There were some additional features they wanted to add, like benefits management, PTO accrual and requests, wage information, document archiving, and more reporting. After some productive brainstorming sessions, HRTracker was born.
This full suite of software, all accessible via the Internet, has streamlined their business considerably in terms of staff time saved, accuracy of their records, enhanced internal communication, and cost savings. Because it’s fully customizable, it will grow with them as their needs change. Their tools also integrate directly with their website so there’s no need for entering information twice anymore.
And the Idea Grows…
Last spring, Hope Gospel Mission asked JB Systems to attend their national conference of the AGRM (Association of Gospel Rescue Missions). With excitement at the prospect of sharing this great software, a team from JB Systems headed to San Diego. There, we were welcomed by gospel mission staff from across the country, who were also seeking a better software solution. As the word spreads, we hope that other gospel missions will take advantage of the possibilities that lie in the easy-to-use, custom, web-based software that has now become known as MissionTracker.
Not only are gospel missions looking at MissionTracker as an option to run their businesses, but other small and medium sized businesses are looking at the individual components of it to use as stand-alone software. HRTracker, with its online time clock, PTO management, and benefits administration, is a much needed software solution for businesses who have several employees, but don’t have the cash for something like PeopleSoft.
VolunteerTracker has also caught the attention of local nonprofits, and could have a huge impact on small organizations that struggle with making the best use of limited staff time. Managing volunteers with an online system capable of quick reporting can save staff time that exceeds the cost of the program.
Both programs offer great opportunities for businesses to grow and make their lives easier, without having to invest as much as they would have in the past.
Obviously, Hope Gospel Mission played a HUGE role in the development of MissionTracker, and we don’t intend to take that for granted. A portion of all of the sales of MissionTracker go directly to Hope Gospel Mission. The funds will support the programs they provide for those who have to struggle daily just to survive. It is our intent to help them in their mission, as they have helped us in ours.
You can learn more about Hope Gospel Mission here.
Once again this year, we’re loading up our blog fans with FREE Chippewa Valley Predators tickets! Come on out and watch some great football at Carson Park!
So, here’s the deal-io:
To enter to win a pair of tickets to one of their home games, just comment on this blog post with a testimonial about working with JB Systems! If you’re not a client of ours, don’t fret! You can still enter! Just tell us about your favorite CV Predators or Carson Park experience.
We have tickets for the following dates:
Two lucky winners will be chosen to WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS! We’ll announce the winners right here on our blog, so be sure to check back often!
Special thanks to ALL of our clients and to the Chippewa Valley Predators! Check out their game schedule, roster, stats, and more on their website at: cvpredators.com