Beech Grove High School

Surpass Wins Praise for Incorporating Customer Suggestions

She wanted Surpass, but the answer was, “No.”

More than ten years ago, Library Director Sharon Shockey of Beech Grove High School (Beech Grove, Indiana) had selected Surpass for her school’s first automation software.

“I needed 14-digit barcodes, but at that time Surpass only supported 10-digits,” Sharon related. Therefore she couldn’t get permission to purchase the program. “So I told Surpass the problem, and they said they could fix that. And they did! I was the first person on Surpass that used 14-digit barcodes.”

That’s the kind of personal attention that helps Surpass, well, surpass the competition. “They wrote it for us!” Sharon said. “There are certain things I’ve recommended to Surpass development. They are willing to listen and do what we suggest. There aren’t a lot of systems you can say that about. It makes it so much easier to use a product when you have input. We’re the ones out there using the software!”

Over the years, Sharon’s suggestions and the suggestions of other Surpass users have resulted in the addition of features to the software.

“Surpass has a long history of listening to customer feedback in incorporating features into the software based on that feedback,” said Danny Humphress, Surpass’ creator and head programmer. “The customer is our most valuable tool for development. We’re proud of that.”

Once Mr. Humphress wrote a short program to help Sharon import student attendance records so that she didn’t have to input new students by hand. This is now a standard feature of Surpass.
How has Surpass performed over the long run?

“We’ve been using Surpass over ten years, and I’ve never once questioned my decision,” Sharon reported. “I don’t know if a lot of people can say that about their software!”

Praising the reliability of Surpass software, Sharon said, “There’s never been a day we couldn’t use it that was the fault of Surpass.”
And easy to use?

“The greatest thing is that I’ve never really had to look at the manual to do anything,” Sharon said. “It’s so easy to use, you don’t have to do that.”

Students easily do searches many different ways. “They’re good at looking things up; they don’t have questions,” she said.

Surpass has many features Sharon was unable to find in other products.”The English teachers have always liked the writing the reviews part,” Sharon explained. Sometimes they offer a few extra-credit points to encourage students to submit a review.

“I think it’s great that kids can read the reviews written by people they know,” Sharon said. She laughingly added, “It means more to them that a classmate has read it and recommended it than what I say to recommend something to them!”

Sharon has also used the reporting functions to identify and solve a problem in her library. After taking inventory, she was shocked to find her report showed the loss of a large number of titles. “I took that to my principal and said, ‘Look how many books are missing at the end of the year,’” she remembered. They decided to add a security system and the problem has improved greatly. “The documentation provided through the report that Surpass generated was helpful in documenting the need for that security system,” she asserted.

She was also impressed with the speed and ease of taking inventory with a portable barcode scanner. “It goes so fast,” she said, “which is great, because we close the library and it only takes a few days. It used to take a few weeks!”
Is Surpass right for you?

“I love Surpass and have recommended it to many others searching for a system,” Sharon reported, “The whole thing is even easy for kids to use, and I’ve not seen a system that will do more than mine even when they are three times more expensive.”