We're in the process of deploying a significant software stack update to the inventory system used by Brother's Brother Foundation, one of the nation's top medical supply re-use charities. BBF's processes are challenging, from an inventory management standpoint, with a wide variety of items coming in from donations, and being matched with needs, and going out again. BBF operates from several locations now, and also equips medical teams who travel to places with emergency needs, so flexibility and responsiveness are important factors.
We have just been awarded a next-phase contract to build out a membership management system for the American Finance Association. We've been helping them on other fronts, improving their internal processes, and our successes with NFA and WFA have been convincing. AFA is probably the largest association of finance professionals in the world, and the publisher of the Journal of Finance, one of the oldest and most prestigious journals in the field. AFA also maintains the Worldwide Directory of Finance Faculty, and SkyMark's development effort will make that easier to publish, use, and maintain.
SkyMark finished work on the "Swedenborg Reader" App, Version 3.0, for our client, the New Christian Bible Study Project. The app has been developed using Google's Flutter framework, and is available for iOS devices through Apple's App Store, and for Android devicese through Google Play Store. The app offers readers ready access to the theological, philosophical, and scientific works of Emanuel Swedenborg, in some 20 languages including the original Latin. User interfaces are available in English, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean, with more coming soon in point releases.
The Northern Finance Association held its 2020 conference online, using a SkyMark-developed conference management system. The NFA is based in Canada, but authors and attendees come from all over. The University of Calgary led this year's event, and it went well, with high attendance and positive feedback. Earlier in the year, SkyMark had rolled out a membership management system for the association, and then added modules for gathering and reviewing papers, and preparing a conference. As spring wore on into summer, it became clear that covid-19 concerns would force an online conference, we added the necessary functionality to automatically convene zoom meetings, generate online programes and calendars, connect and support attendees, and hold plenary sessions and social events.
The Western Finance Association held its conference online this month, for the first time ever. It had record attendance -- more than twice its previous high. We built the tooling needed to generate and support many simultaneous meeting sessions, and helped conferees find papers of interest, set reminders, see what what live and coming soon, and much more. The work was done on a tight timeline with a tight budget, and it worked well.
Word Gets Around... We've just gotten a contract to build a conference/membership system for the Northern Finance Association (NFA). The NFA is a Canada-based network of finance professors and people from related industries. They were using some frustrating conference and membership management systems, and... the word on the street was that the WFA had a new system that they really liked. So... the people from NFA talked to the people from WFA, and SkyMark got the nod, and we're building a system for NFA right now, on a fast-track for January use.
A Record Year for a Client. We've built and extended a web-based conference/membership system for the Western Finance Association. Supported by our latest improvements, the association just set a new record for paper submissions, and its operations management people have remarked on a smoother-than-ever-before process.
SkyMark has worked closely with the American Finance Association (AFA) over the past few months to study and evaluate their website and its related technology infrastructure. The primary goal of this analysis was to construct a set of recommendations that would result in an improved website experience for Journal of Finance readers, and for AFA members, and a more flexible and effective administrative UI for AFA staff. After the analysis was complete and the recommendations were delivered, the AFA chose to hire SkyMark's web development team to carry out the key recommendations. SkyMark got to work right away designing and building a new website for the AFA. The new site was set up to seamlessly integrate with their membership management system and provided authenticated access to the Journal of Finance online, via their publisher's website. The new site was launched successfully and smoothly on 3/19!
Brother's Brother Foundation is a medical/humanitarian supplies, re-use, and re-distribution organization based in Pittsburgh. SkyMark has provided a purpose-built inventory system since 2014, supporting BBF's growth and expansion to new locations. It's a cloud based system, and uses a Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP stack. One of BBF's challenges is how best to allocate inventory to places in need. It's essential for BBF staffers to be able to offer items to a potential recipient, and hold that offer until the recipient can come back with a request for the quantities needed. SkyMark has recently been working with BBF to build an enhanced allocation system that BBF can use to readily make offers, match requests, and keep products moving towards the places with the most pressing needs.
SkyMark has received a contract to work with the prestigious American Finance Association, consulting on IT-related matters. Like many professional associations, the AFA is lightly staffed, and yet works with a fairly complex set of information systems relating to publishing a top-ranked finance journal, running conferences, and providing member services. How can the the AFA keep doing what it needs to do, with the highest quality results and efficient operations? SkyMark is bringing its process improvement expertise to bear on that question.
The big Bible study site we've been building for the non-profit New Christian Bible Study has shown rapid traffic growth, topping 200,000 visits per month, and averaging almost 90% growth per year for the past 4 years. It's driven by a Linux/Apache/PostgreSQL/PHP/Symfony stack, and is presented in 12 UI languages.
We built a new website for The Cole Foundation, a small non-profit which promotes scholarly research around the cross section of religion and culture. It is a simple site, built with SquareSpace, that acts as their organiztion's calling card and is easy for them to keep up-to-date.
In April, we got a contract to rescue a website for the new Multi-Sensory Institute at PNCS, a private school in Pittsburgh. This was a classic case of a WordPress site whose graphic design had some good elements, but its problems under the hood were crippling. WordPress is a very capable platform, but it's fairly easy to get in trouble with it. SkyMark was able to use its WordPress experience to get the site sorted out pretty quickly. So, now, if you happen to live in Pittsburgh, and you're searching for a school that focuses on teaching kids with dyslexia -- you'll find PNCS/MSI on the first page of results, and you can browse a nice site.
The conference management system that we build for WFA powered them to a record-breaking year for both the number of papers submitted, and the number of attendees. We've continued to automate key steps in their process.
Conference Management System - Our conference management framework has raised the bar again. Conference programs, mobile conference apps, and name tags are now all easy to create, or update, with the click of a button. The Western Finance Association, a global network of finance professors, economists, bankers, and policy-makers, just used our system to run their large annual conference last week. It went off without a hitch.
CRM Migrations - SkyMark's team includes some engineers with a lot of experience. This comes in handy, when clients need help migrating old data to new platforms. We've recently helped several companies move their data from old homegrown CRM systems to Salesforce.
Document Management and API - We recently teamed up with Digital Wave to make a document management system for a network of churches and schools. The system allows teachers, ministers, and others to publish curricula, lessons, articles, media, and more. SkyMark was able to deliver a low-cost, fast-delivery system built using elements of from its existing document management frameworks. SkyMark's deliverables included a database, an administrative system with user interface, document search capabilities, and an API.
We deployed a website for The Lord's New Church, a Christian denomination with congregations in six countries. The work involved a substantial overhaul of an older site. We used Weebly for this project; it's a good fit for this situation. Weebly offers ease of use for site administrators, while still allowing for substantial customization.
Flowmeter Configurator - For many years, the Varea-Meter® variable area flow meter made by UGSI Chemical Feed have been providing reliable readout, transmission, and control of liquids or gases for most industrial process applications. There's a lot of engineering that goes into flow meters, and customers need just the right options for their situation - the appropriate meter for their particular fluid or gas, temperature range, pressure range, viscosity, flow rate, pipe connections, and monitoring methods. It's complicated! But the new online configurator that we've built for UGSI Chemical Feed makes it a lot easier and faster for customers to choose and order the best meters for the job, and to get quick consults from application engineers. It's a web-based system that can be used by customers and distributors, at their desks or out in the plant or refinery. The system embeds the broad expertise of UGSI Chemical Feed engineers, and is designed to support the growing product line, and specialty applications.
Brother's Brother Foundation (BBF) is one of the top-rated charities in America. It accepts donations of surplus medical and humanitarian supplies, and sends them to the many places in the world where they are badly needed. It's a great purpose! SkyMark has built an inventory management software system for BBF. The new software was deployed in mid-2015. We've been working closely with their management team since, doing quick development/deployment cycles for new modules and functions to meet the needs being generated by their rapid growth. This month, we deployed new updates that enhance the linkages between the inventory system and the accounting system, making the all-important year-end closing and audit process less time-consuming, and providing more options for data analysis and tracking.
October 2016The New Christian Bible Study Project has become another longtime client for SkyMark, dating back more than 5 years now. This project is ambitious; on a limited budget, the clients want a top-tier Bible Study site. There's a lot of text to process, there are many languages involved. It's open-ended and has roller-coaster funding. So... there lots of interesting challenges for our designers and developers! Over the summer, one of our projects for this client was the development of a system to import texts, in many languages, and correctly identify and link all the Bible references, as well as cross-references to other theological works. Many of the source texts are old, and there are many different methods used by authors and printers for citing passages. We've dramatically reduced the amount of time needed to import a source document; testing suggests that it's 3-4 times as fast as it was prior to this deployment, saving roughly 25 man-hours per work. We think we can do even better, so we are working on another upgrade for that; more news on that front will be coming soon.
We just built a nice little product configurator for UGSI Chemical Feed, Inc.. This tool allows customers and internal engineers to size and order Encore® 700 pumps that perfectly fit their required specifications.
Completed a round of updates to the drawing and document management system we built for Duquesne University's Facilities Management Department.
Finished the contracted work to build the inventory management system for Brother's Brother Foundation (BBF) and have moved into the maintenance and support phase of the project.
We have been continuing our web development work for the New Christian Bible Study Project. Recent accomplishments include: