Experienced and resourceful are two words that can be used to describe Terry Anderson. Growing up in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, Terry moved to Stevens Point, Wisconsin when he was eleven years old and helped work in the Piggly Wiggly grocery store his father owned. After attending the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for Business Administration, Terry managed the Stevens Point and Plover Piggly Wiggly stores. He first learned of Skyward when he met and golfed with founder Jim King.
Having managed two grocery stores, Terry talked to Jim about the importance of keeping the customer happy, starting with the first time they walk in the door. After discussing Skyward’s process for coordinating the implementation of the software at a new district, Terry became interested in joining Skyward and decided to apply for a position in the Project Management Department. In 2002, Terry became a project manager for Skyward and later became the head of the Project Management Department. In 2009, Terry accepted the position of vice president of corporate operations.
The Project Management Department at Skyward was created to provide customers an organized and formal approach to a new implementation. Previously, customer service managers were involved in scheduling the implementation process for new customers, but Skyward recognized the need for customers to have a dedicated team to coordinate the process of a new implementation. Today, the Project Management Department consists of 13 people who in 2008 coordinated the conversion of 141 new districts to Skyward, and to date in 2009 have implemented 159 new districts.
Anxiety levels run high when a district is converting to a new system and Terry understands the importance of the Project Management Team and new customers coming together to network and share ideas on the best ways to manage an implementation.
“Project Management really helps create a calming effect for districts by providing step-by-step instructions to guide them through a new implementation," said Anderson. “We are organized and we learn lessons from every new installation, so we can recommend the right steps a district should take.”
Terry describes Project Management as a cog in the wheel. Every customer they work with is an expert in their field, and Project Management is there to help the implementation move in the right direction by giving best practice tips, providing timelines, and coordinating training. The Project Management Department has seen the best of the best implementations, and Terry believes their role, and the role of Skyward, is to share those experiences and to continue to exceed customer expectations for customer service.
“The future of Skyward will be incredibly successful because we will continue doing what we are doing to keep the customer service standards high and stay passionate about the needs of the customers,” said Anderson.