Travis Reedy of TRAVIS Inc. is currently designing, planning, and executing TD Ameritrade’s national conference. It’s a large event accommodating 3,000 attendees, 50 rooms, and multiple sessions. The dynamic stage is 100 feet wide and is accentuated by combining sophisticated LED technology with old-fashioned carpentry. The whole event took his team 8 months to plan.
But, he says he does much more than event planning and management — it’s corporate theater. Reedy holds a degree in Theater with a focus on Staging Design, which means he executes every event with the creative flair of an artist and the exacting precision of stage director.
This year TRAVIS Inc. will be celebrating 20 years as a leader in event execution and corporate theater industry. Fortune 500 companies hire TRAVIS Inc. to handle every step in the event planning process, from event design and messaging, to audiovisual and lighting equipment, to stage production, to hiring speakers and onstage talent, to handling all the details the day of the event.
He helps organizations put on sales conferences, product launches, award galas and more. As a full-service technical production company, the staff takes clients such as Walmart, Heineken and Harley-Davidson from the event design to the execution stage.
“We try to keep everything turnkey for our clients,” said Travis.
It’s that dedication to his clients that earned him the prestigious 2015 Best Supplier Award from Illinois Meetings + Events Magazine. Travis says he will everything to make a client’s vision a reality — even when they want to replicate an idea they saw at the Academy Awards without Hollywood’s budget.
“We’ll definitely try and make it happen for them,” said Travis.
He can see his visions come to life through carefully crafted staging design, sophisticated technology, visuals, and decorative details — but the challenge is always the intricate logistics of executing high-caliber events for Fortune 500 companies.
The logistics, Travis says, is where Flex comes in handy.
“There is a lot of planning that goes on into putting on these events, always a lot going on, we’re using Flex to keep us organized,” said Reedy, “it’s why we’re so happy with Flex, we can do everything from the discovery phase, to messaging, to the pre-production phase.”
He says he has been using Flex for over four years now, and although he has used others — like Intellievent and Rental Point — he said no one can compare to Flex’s extensibility, customization opportunities, and reliability.
“It’s one thing that has really helped us out a lot, Flex has a really good ear to listening to what people want in the software and making it happen, there has never been an instance where they’ve said ‘No, we can’t do that’ and if a request doesn’t merit a global feature update, they’ll customize it for you, many competitors just said ‘That can’t be done,’” said Reedy.
He likens it to making the perfect cookie.
“It’s kind of like a cookie recipe, you want to make sure the cookie is baked to perfection, you need to carefully manage the process step by step, all the way to post event, that can be a challenge, the great thing about Flex is that it really removes all those challenges,” he said.
Chris, Branden, and Roger from Flex visited with Mid-Atlantic customers during November. Included are some photos from those customer visits. We always enjoy connecting with our customers, learning how you use Flex in the warehouse, and answering questions about our rental management software.
Visiting with Atomic
Chris, Roger, & Branden with Control Freak
Chris and Branden stopped by the Clear Sound office
No contracts, no surprises: Flex always supports unlimited users with our convenient no-hassle monthly subscription per business location model.
But don’t take our word, hear what our current customers have to say:
“We switched [to Flex] and to be honest it was one of the best business decisions I have made” – Tyler Mayne, Evolve Media Group
“There are many things I like about Flex and it is an important part of our company. It’s stable and works well. It’s easy to learn the basics and being on the cloud, it updates instantly without needing to save.” – Dave Jackson, Showmax Events
“As we’re growing and adding complexity to our business, it’s so awesome to have a platform like Flex that seems like it’s a step ahead of us. Whenever we find we need a certain feature, we can usually track it down within 5-10 minutes, what a video on the proper workflow, and move on with our day. It’s fantastic.” – Jordan Kettner, Kettner Creative
We’re excited about Flex5, and where our product is headed in 2017 and beyond. We’re honored our current customers are committed to Flex, and we work hard every day to ensure our software meets your needs.
Flex Rental Solutions released version 4.18.0 of Flex’s web-based rental management software during August, as the sixth major release in 2016. The team released maintenance version 4.18.1 in September and version 4.18.2 the week of October 10. The 4.18 release includes several new features, performance improvements, and bug fixes. Select improvements include improved crew list email functionality, reformatting of reports for improved visual display of data, memory optimization, and improved performance of Flex software. The full release notes can be viewed here: https://dev.flexrentalsolutions.com/wiki/display/SUPPORT/4.18.0
The team is actively developing and quality assurance testing version 4.19.0 and working on database development to support Flex5, an HTML5 UI for tablet, phone and web (all which will be included in customer monthly subscriptions with no extra charge). Visit Flex at LDI Booth 2642 to see a demo of the in-development Flex5 product. Flex Rental Solutions, founded in 2009, provides award-winning, customizable rental management software. For more information about Flex, please visit http://www.flexrentalsolutions.com/or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris and Sonja traveled to Ireland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom to visit with Flex customers in September. They enjoyed connecting with customers, answering questions, and learning how each customer uses Flex in the warehouse. We appreciate our customers across the globe!
Want to positively impact your bottom line and significantly extend your geographical reach? ITRA membership is for you. Founded in 2002, the International Technology Rental Association has grown to 100 members today and provides industry connections that are known and trusted, along with a member-focused annual conference. ITRA membership “has been unbelievably, ridiculously great” Dan Kallen of Hartford Technology Rental and ITRA Board Chairman, says emphatically. “We’re doing about $1.25 million annually in business from and with member companies.” Kallen notes that the investment in ITRA membership and active membership participation is his company’s single greatest annual marketing investment in terms of dollar for dollar ROI.
Raj Jain of Aria AV, a long-term member of ITRA, agrees. “We’ve been able to earn a lot of business from fellow ITRA members. We have also pitched valuable business to ITRA members. A real trust value comes with the ITRA membership. We know ITRA members will carry out our level of service and take care of our customers.” This helps Jain, like many ITRA members, achieve a geographical advantage that can extend his ability to take care of his customers all over the country, regardless of where his physical offices are located.
“Through working with ITRA member companies, we’ve been able to expand both our product line and our geographic footprint dramatically” states Kallen. “We’re able to say yes to more people and to more business, thanks to the ability to partner with other ITRA members.” Dennis Pugh of MCR Rentals and ITRA President also affirms this, noting “the majority of companies are single location companies like ours. With ITRA, I now have partners in 70-some cities, and most I know personally from their involvement in ITRA. I know them, I’ll send them business, will take care of their customers as if they are my own – and know they will do the same for me.”
ITRA members also benefit from sharing industry challenges and best practices. “Members are really open and share a lot of ideas, from shipping, warehousing, and CRM processes, which we can then adopt as best practices across the industry” states Jain. Adds Kallen, “It’s great to go to meetings with people who know and face the same challenges I face. It’s a win/win.”
ITRA membership is also a lot of fun. Lisa Fossler of Flex Rental Solutions enjoys getting to know the members personally. She shares “I love to help connect people and foster business introductions, and ITRA provides a means for that networking, both internally within the organization and externally beyond the organization.” The friendly and open group has built a lot of trust with each other and the annual conference has become a great place to meet people, talk about the industry, and do business with those you know and trust: people who you can count on to deliver. “Literally everyone in the room is a potential customer, a potential partner,” Kallen agrees.
ITRA members can be found in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, and South America, though the organization’s goals are to continue to expand international membership – and thereby the geographic footprint for members. “It’s in everyone’s best interest to work together, and ITRA members help each other keep customers happy. When the customer is happy, we are all happy,” says Pugh.
For more information about membership in ITRA, visit it-ra.org, or contact Dan Kallen, Dennis Pugh, Raj Jain, or Lisa Fossler to learn more.
Registration is now open for our Flex User Conference October 19 & 20 at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas. Presenters will be Chris Stein, Lisa Fossler, and Branden Rosenlof. Wireless internet access will be provided. Please review available session descriptions, select those you would like to attend, and register for the conference. Thank you to InSync Show Productions for sponsoring AV!
Join us for two full days of dedicated Flex training sessions, pre-conference training materials, new roundtable discussions, networking with other Flex customers, optional one-on-one times to work on your specific questions with Lisa during Session 6 or 7 (optional), best practices sessions, lunch and refreshments each day, and Flex t-shirt for $490 (Register before September 15 for early bird pricing of $440!).
Wednesday, October 19:
8:30 AM – 9:00 AM: Registration
9:00 AM – 9:45 AM: Opening General Session
9:45 AM – 10:00 AM: Break
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Session 1 (3 classes available)
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch (provided)
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Session 2 (3 classes available)
3:00 PM – 3:15 PM: Break
3:15 PM – 5:15 PM: Session 3 (3 classes available)
5:15 PM – 6:15 PM: Networking Hour (appetizers and no-host bar provided)
How Registration Works: During registration you’ll be asked to select the class you would like to attend each session, and we’ll provide you with related materials for each session via email prior to the conference. Select video recordings will be made available to attendees following the conference. Available session descriptions are as follows:
Session 1 Offerings (select one):
Crash Course Part 1 (Lisa): Learn the basics of Flex in this course for beginner users! Part 1 will include an overview of business locations, corporate identities, contacts, calendars, inventory, and building quotes.
Inventory & Services Setup (Branden): Learn how to add and edit inventory items (serialized vs non-serialized items, pricing, suggestions, suppliers, etc.) and service offerings. (Note: this class does not include building containers, packages and virtual items. Another class covers these topics).
Pricing Models (Chris): Learn how to create custom pricing models in your system. This includes a variety of inventory pricing models and labor pricing models (including tiered pricing models).
Session 2 Offerings (select one):
Crash Course Part 2 (Lisa): Learn the basics of Flex in this course for beginner users! Part 2 will include an overview of pull sheets, rental and purchase orders, warehouse scanning, and job invoicing.
Building Containers & Packages (Branden): Learn how to build containers and packages in Flex, including serialized storage, serialized packages, free-pick containers, and virtual items.
Flex Financials (Chris): Learn all about financial elements in Flex (job costing, financial reports, recurring billing, and more).
Session 3 Offerings (select one):
Job Building Best Practices (Lisa): Learn some of the best ways to build and manage jobs in your system. We will especially look at some of the best ways to manage larger jobs in your system.
Warehouse Basics (Branden): Learn all about how to use Flex in the warehouse, including how to create pull sheets, scanning gear in and out, receiving POs, logging maintenance, and more.
Workflow (Chris): Learn all about workflows, including workflow actions, workflow jobs, security settings, chained parent/child actions, and some best practices on how you can effectively set up workflows in your system.
Session 4 Offerings (select one):
Labor and Staffing (Lisa): Learn how to use the labor module in Flex, including how to assign staff to different jobs and how to create and manage labor POs.
Inventory Best Practices (Branden): Learn some of the best tips and tricks for setting up and managing your inventory.
Security & Permissions (Chris): Learn about the different security settings in Flex, including user permissions, security policies, hiding inventory and financial information, security for workflows, and project element security settings.
Session 5 Offerings (select one):
Quoting/Sales Manager Roundtable (Lisa): The roundtable sessions are meant to provide a sharing atmosphere between customers. This Roundtable session will be moderated by Lisa and will include shared experiences by Flex customers (sharing their real-world experience) and an open Q&A atmosphere. This session will focus on strategies for quoting, managing jobs in Flex, and other sales related topics.
Warehouse Best Practices (Branden): Learn some of the best ways to use Flex in the warehouse. This class will build upon the Warehouse Basics class and show you some of the best ways to get the most out of Flex in the warehouse.
Conflicts & Availability (Chris): Learn how conflicts and availability work in Flex, including an in-depth look at Status Options in Flex.
Session 6 Offerings (select one):
Inventory/Warehouse Roundtable (Branden): The roundtable sessions are meant to provide a sharing atmosphere between customers. This Roundtable session will be moderated by Branden and will include shared experiences by Flex customers (sharing their real-world experience) and an open Q&A atmosphere. This session will focus on strategies for getting the most out of your warehouse experience, including inventory setup, warehouse management, and more.
Flex Hacks/Tips (Chris): Lead by Flex CEO Chris Stein, this class will cover some of the best ways to use Flex, useful tips, and general best practices for using the whole Flex system.
Session 7 Offerings (select one):
Operations & Reports Best Practices (Branden): Learn some of the best ways to use Flex from an operations perspective. This class will include a discussion on the best reports to use for warehouse/operations, the To-Do list, Automated Functions, and more.
System Administrator Roundtable (Chris): The roundtable sessions are meant to provide a sharing atmosphere between customers. This Roundtable session will be moderated by Chris and will include shared experiences by Flex customers (sharing their real-world experience) and an open Q&A atmosphere. This session will focus on how to get the most out of Flex from a system administrator perspective.
We will be offering a complimentary Flex Orientation Webinar tomorrow, Thursday, August 4th at 1PM PDT/4PM EDT. The webinar will last approximately two hours, but you are welcome to come and go as you please.
This webinar serves not only new Flex customers, but also any Flex customer who wants a refresher on some of the setup and basic functionality of Flex. Additionally, we encourage any new employees in your company to attend the webinar so they can become familiar with Flex.
The content of the webinar will basically follow the sections in our Starter Kit: http://flexrentalsolutions.com/starterkit/. Feel free to review each week in the Starter Kit to prepare for the webinar. We will end with a Q&A session via the webinar chat room.
To attend the webinar, join us at join.me/flexsupport or download the join.me app and use “flexsupport” as the meeting code. Be sure to click the phone icon to connect to audio so you can hear the webinar.
Remember: Thursday, August 4th at 1PM PDT/4PM EDT.
He got into the industry by mistake in 1986. After completing school for electronics repair, Robert Huskey went to his first interview. He accidentally walked into the rental department instead of the service department, and the rest is history.
“I’m still a show guy at heart” Robert said. He’s never forgotten his first time transforming an empty ballroom with a truckload of gear into a show – into an event. “It still gives me goosebumps when those doors open, people enter and the show starts,” then it’s off to the next event. The show is the culmination of why we do what we do in this industry.
Robert’s career has taken him from warehouse tech, driver, in-house AV, operations, and project manager working for Blumberg Communications, Caribiner, AVHQ, PSAV and Strong Communications – finding him today as VP of Operations at Evolve Media Group. Robert has seen a lot of companies and a lot of software programs over his career. He’s been able to take the best parts of those experiences an implement them over his half-decade career at Evolve.
Evolve Media Group’s business model, the event stager’s high-end video department for hire, is reminiscent of earlier years, before many companies transitioned more to one-stop shops. Evolve provides gear to companies who may not want to keep a specialized piece of gear in inventory but may need it 5-6 times a year, may have over-booked their existing video inventory, or are looking for a complete turn-key video solution. Evolve works in the background with the companies they support to ensure their customers’ needs are met.
Robert has worked with rental management software ranging from MBS, home-grown software, R2, Intellievent, and now Flex. He believes Flex is the fastest program on the market for generating a good-looking quote and getting it quickly into a client’s hands. Having worked with Flex for five years, he’s seen the software – and Evolve – grow during that time. With growth comes the transition from one warehouse to multiple warehouse locations. Evolve considered researching some other rental management platforms as their business grew, but ultimately decided to invest in a few days of on-site training to help customize workflows to meet the needs of multi-warehouse locations, transfer order integration, and availability tracking in line with their specific needs. The user interface of Flex is hard to beat, Robert notes, because everything is right in front of you and easily accessible. You don’t have to click down layers for information. Which is helpful, because in this business, you’re always looking ahead and working on that next show.