News and Stories

We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!

October 31, 2012

John Eldredge, MIS Director


Over the 15 years that I’ve been on the Markon team, the technical abilities of the company have evolved significantly. Long gone are the days of numbered order pads and paper invoices delivered via snail mail! Today’s world relies on the power of the internet where documents are sent electronically through EDI providers.


It’s the Management Information Systems (MIS) Department’s responsibility to bring the most innovative, yet cost-effective technologies to the company. Although the MIS Department is a staff of one (me), don’t think I’m without amazing resources. You see, within Markon’s mission statement is a directive to ‘leverage world-class systems and processes.’ We certainly stay true to this by working closely with experts in the IT contractor community such as ZAG Technical Services, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Columbus IT, a Microsoft Dynamics Global Partner. With these knowledgeable resources, I can cherry-pick the best possible team for specific projects and still have time to help the in-house sales force become familiar with new procedures and how to implement them effectively.


What changes have I seen in the last 15 years?  Back in 2001 we moved to Amphire/EDI, a system that imports purchase orders in seconds. Fax machines became obsolete! 


In 2008, we made a huge leap forward by implementing Microsoft Dynamics Navision, an ERP software that created efficiencies across all departments at Markon. 


Last year Markon marketing rolled out our revamped website taking advantage of loads of new web functionality. Among other things, this led to developing virtual offices in inspector vehicles, including laptops, air cards, and camera equipment to film and share our Live from the Fields updates via YouTube


Our latest technological advance was Markon’s move to Office 365 for email this past summer, a change that allows us to keep our very important email in the “cloud”. In addition to email services online, we also utilize Microsoft SharePoint to manage distribution lists and calendar items. Before the end of 2012, we’ll implement a new Avaya phone system that integrates with Microsoft Outlook—and will ultimately help our staff better serve Markon’s members and partners.


Since I started working at Markon so long ago, the business world has been transformed in a positive way. As I think about the next year, I look forward to the next big advance that will take us farther into the future.


By the way, here’s your ‘geek’ joke of the day: “How many software developers does it take to install a light bulb?  None… that’s a hardware problem!”


Until next time!