Radio World publishes User Reports on products in various equipment classes throughout the year to help potential buyers understand why a colleague made a given equipment choice. These are unpaid testimonials by users who have already purchased the gear. A Radio World Product Evaluation, by contrast, is a freelance article by a paid reviewer who typically receives a demo loaner.
BAKER CITY, Ore. — In 25 years as a radio traffic director I’ve used many kinds of traffic software.
For 11 years, I was in customer service and an on-site trainer for a traffic software vendor. Family responsibilities required I move, so I started an independent traffic contractor business. My husband Ken and I do traffic remotely from our home in Oregon for 13 radio stations.
Stations save money when they hire us part- or full-time to handle data entry conversions or substitute for personnel who are on vacation or out for emergencies or leave. The station doesn’t have to worry about taxes, vacation or sick time.
Stations require that I use software they already have, so I work with five different software systems every day.
One of my long-term accounts is the LKCM Radio Group, owner of stations in Texas and Oklahoma.
I do traffic for KFWR(FM) in Ft. Worth, plus KTFW(FM), KRVF(FM) and KRVA(FM) in three other Texas markets. LKCM also has four stations in Ardmore, Okla. and one in Frederick, Okla. Those are handled by someone else. Nine stations are in five offices within 100 miles.
Businesses are looking for ways to cut expense without losing value. Over the last year I have demoed six traffic systems, weighing the plusses and minuses of each. Stations vary in their traffic needs.
I found RadioTraffic.com to be user-friendly software at a great price. The traffic system is able to handle sports to news talk. Reports are easy to create and read. LKCM CEO Gerry Schlegel depends on reports to track his stations in all departments.
RadioTraffic installed quickly. In fact, training was fun. That may sound odd but when you do traffic 10 hours every day with five systems, it’s great to have software like RadioTraffic that rolls along so smoothly.
RadioTraffic trained us by phone and Internet. We walked through the screens and went step by step. LKCM has a large client base, but installation and startup were easy.
I had three weeks to get a lot of clients’ data entered in off-hours. For a typical traffic director, I estimate it would take a medium- to large-market cluster a week or two to start RadioTraffic.
I use a normal Windows PC and work remotely by Internet. A great thing about RadioTraffic is that I can do everything but the actual log export on the local drive of my machine with data in memory and seamlessly on the Internet. That means it is fast. Then I log in to the stations network to export finished logs to their automation.
When you enter an order in RadioTraffic, the screen takes you from one item to the next with your Tab key. You don’t have to leave your keyboard to use a mouse. That’s one of my favorite aspects of RadioTraffic.
Of the five systems I use, RadioTraffic is the fastest and easiest. Two other software products I use are really slow. Log editing can be cumbersome. In RadioTraffic, log editing is quick and smooth. That’s partly because the software does such a great job of scheduling orders correctly in the first place.
It’s also because RadioTraffic’s on-screen logs color-code spots by products. I color my auto dealerships blue and restaurants green because those are my two main conflicts. With last-minute orders, it’s easy to get two of those back to back, especially when you’re in a hurry. I can see quickly if two green or blue lines are back to back. It’s a huge help during log editing because you can drag and drop spots without being afraid of conflicts. Color coding is a wonderful part of the RadioTraffic system.
We haven’t had any problems exporting to automation. The automatic reconciliation works fine.
RadioTraffic has been 100 percent reliable. Even during huge storms we’ve never been down or had trouble. Everything is multi-user. It doesn’t bog down when many people at LKCM’s five offices are accessing production, printing invoices, making bank deposits, editing orders and everything else. Sales people can reprint invoices and statements for their own accounts without bothering traffic.
Reports are separate for market managers and consolidated for headquarters. Any data or report can export to Excel, but RadioTraffic has a feature called Smart Reports that are totally user customizable. We’ve had no problems relating to data security.
RadioTraffic phone support has been fast, responsive, dependable and friendly.
As I said, I use multiple traffic software systems every day. I was a beta test site for one of them for 10 years. I never thought I would like anything better. But I do now. In my experience RadioTraffic is the easiest, fastest and most affordable software out there.
The author is an independent traffic contractor.
For information, contact Dave Scott in Texas at (866) 500-0500 or visitwww.radiotraffic.com.