How Summer Vacations Are Related to the First Rate Experience
At this time of year, summer vacations are very prevalent. Either you are planning one or Volkswagen-station-wagon-ad-cropped maybe you’re on it right now. I remember many summer vacations as a child. Our normal routine was to pack up our station wagon with mom, dad, brother, sister, and myself. We would take the dogs, our luggage, and other items we would need for the next three weeks and head out. It would take 9 hours to get to our final destination, Maine. We would spend the next three weeks visiting relatives, eating, and playing in the lake. We did this every year.
There are three aspects of reflecting on these summer vacations that remind me of what we strive for in the client experience with First Rate:
Relationship – When we would travel to Maine every year we would see pretty much the same group of family and friends. Though in many cases, we had not spoken with each other over the past year, we would immediately pick up on the relationship where it left off from the summer before. It was comforting to know this awaited my return to Maine. At First Rate, we value our relationships, especially the long-term nature of them at the team member, client and community levels. Our conferences, in some ways, have the feel of a family reunion and we look forward to them each year.
Reliability – When traveling to Maine, I always knew the route and knew where we were on the route. As I think back, that was probably annoying to my parents but it fed my curiosity. I could take the punch card they would give you when you got on the Mass Turnpike and use it is a guide to show me how far we had traveled and how many exits we had left. I knew the activities we would do and the things that were enjoyable once we arrived. In a word, vacation was reliable. I knew I would have a great time with family and friends. We sometimes had bad weather or had an interruption in the schedule; but in general, I knew I could expect my grandmother’s egg salad sandwiches and to eat a lot of Devil Dogs over those three weeks. At First Rate, we have invested in the infrastructure and systems to not only keep our client data available but also provide the tools to confirm the quality of the data. Our internal systems and processes help our clients either validate data themselves or we have our own professionals doing so on behalf of clients. Peace of mind in availability and accuracy of client information is a major emphasis here at First Rate.
Security – While having fun was a major objective of our summer vacation, it was also important that we be as safe as possible. As many of the activities were centered around the lake, we had many rules associated with that. For example, if lightning was in the area, you got out of the lake. If you were going swimming, there was always an adult keeping an eye on the group. If you went out in the boat or canoe, you wore a lifejacket. We even had the old rule of waiting a half hour after eating before going in the water to avoid cramps (highly questionable as being necessary now). All these rules were designed with our safety in mind. At First Rate, we are being entrusted to keep client data secure and realize the trust being given to us by our clients in this endeavor. Whether it be the way we develop our software, host the client data, or who is permitted access to it, we hold this trust extremely vital in all the services being provided.
I hope you have a great summer and create memories that last a lifetime. – Craig
Craig Wietz, President of First Rate, has been an integral part of the company since 1995. In this role, he oversees all the business lines, the functions that develop and maintain client relationships, as well as strategic planning and the groups responsible for internal operations. Prior to his current role, Wietz was responsible for the Service Bureau business line and has contributed strategic insights in statement processing, third-party data aggregation, model portfolios and benchmark services for First Rate. Connect with Craig via LinkedIn.