9/6/2013 12:22:00 AM Meridian Provides Custom Computer Training to Beck's Farm Equipment
When driving by Beck's Farm Equipment in Guthrie most people wouldn't know that this seemingly small-town business is actually a national sales leader for its industry.
Beck's Farm Equipment is the third largest Vermeer hay equipment retailer in the nation and consistently places in the top five of Koyker front-end loader sales.
With the influx of Internet sales, it didn't take long for owners Ray and Tallerie Beck to realize that they needed help managing and tracking the sales of their tractors, harvesters and tillers.
The husband and wife duo have owned Beck's Farm Equipment since 1989 when they bought the business from Ray's father, a farmer who opened the store in 1953 following his return from the Korean War.
"It very much used to be a mom-and-pop store," Ray said. "Through the years it's grown, but we hadn't. Over time, Talleri and I recognized that we were still running it the way my dad did."
The Becks realized they needed to make changes. They also realized they couldn't do it alone.
"When you grow up in a family business, you know what to do, but you may not always know why you do it that way," he added.
QuickBooks Quick Fix
The Beck's sought the services of Meridian Technology Center and soon began working with Jami Cervantes, an adjunct instructor in the school's Computer Training Services department and QuickBooks expert. Cervantes came to their business, evaluated their current processes, listened to their needs and developed a custom account management system that Talleri would easily be able to manage.
"We had just upgraded our computer system," Talleri recalled. "There was a lot for me to learn. Jami really helped us create something that was unique for us, our business and our needs."
Because of the success they had using the program to manage their farm equipment business, the Becks later broadened their account management systems and converted their farming and ranching business and their oil and gas interests to QuickBooks.
"Now it's all in one place, without any of the headache," Talleri said, with obvious relief. "It's turned into a better way to manage everything we do. Until QuickBooks we literally did everything by hand - from invoices to checks."
Building a Better Business from Within
The Becks were so impressed with the training they received through Meridian that they didn't want to limit their learning opportunities.
"We told our employees that if they wanted to take any computer class at Meridian that we'd pay for it," Ray said. "We firmly believe that when our employees are informed and highly skilled they are better employees, better spouses, better parents and better citizens. Not to mention that when they aren't stressed about work, they go home happy. That generally means they come to work happy too."
Their store employee break room features a coffee pot, the required human resources notifications and a full list of upcoming computer classes offered at Meridian. The Becks have had several employees take them up on their continuing education offer. Since their initial contact with Meridian, both Talleri and Ray have taken several other computer classes and their office staff has learned the latest version of Excel.
As a workforce resource, Meridian provides customized training designed through needs assessment, curriculum design and a variety of training delivery methods. Training is conducted at times and places that meet individual business needs and the needs of staff.
The Business and Industry Services division at Meridian Technology Center provides comprehensive services to assist businesses and organizations. From business education to consulting and training for new technologies, to strategic planning for new business ventures, to skills training for regulatory compliance, and consulting process design, Meridian serves as a strategic partner to assist organizations in maximizing potential and achieving their goals.
Customized training similar to what the Becks received at Meridian is an essential part of the economic impact of Oklahoma's CareerTech system. Statewide, in fiscal year 12, enrollment in the CareerTech system's business and industry training programs offered by Oklahoma's technology centers totaled more than 363,200 individuals. During that same period, Meridian provided customized classes to 9,295 local employees. Additionally, the business and industry division helped 17 companies secure $272,805 in matching funds from the Oklahoma Department of CareerTech to assist with customized training.
To learn more about how Meridian can customize a training plan for any business in the areas of computer training, health care, industrial training, management and staff development, and safety, visit meridiantech.edu/business or call toll-free at (888) 607-2509.