Author Archives: Web Admin

5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training in Copenhagen, Denmark!

Posted: July 16th, 2009 in Courses, Local Attractions

copenhagenCopenhagen will be the location for the 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training November 2-6, 2009. You will learn all the TapRooT® tools, and also many advanced skills that a Team Leader needs to collect information, analyze root causes, and develop effective fixes that will help your company improve performance.

For more information and to register for the course, visit http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=842&l=1.

Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark with a population of 1,167,569 and is situated on the Islands of Zealand and Amager. The city is a major regional center of culture, business, media, and science. In 2008 Copenhagen was ranked #4 by Financial Times-owned FDi Magazine on their list of Top 50 European Cities of the Future after London, Paris, and Berlin. Copenhagen has repeatedly been recognized as one of the cities with the best quality of life, and in 2008 it was singled out as the Most Livable City in the World by international lifestyle magazine Monocle.

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copenhagen)

Also considered one of the world’s most environmentally friendly cities, Copenhagen has an abundance of beautiful parks, lakes, and beaches. Additionally, visitors will enjoy world-class museums, restaurants, and shopping. Following are just a few suggestions for your visit to Copenhagen:

Parks: Copenhagen is a green city with many big and small parks. King’s Garden, the garden of Rosenborg Castle, is the oldest and most visited park in Copenhagen. Every year it hosts more than 2.5 million visitors and in the summer months it is packed with sunbathers, picnickers, and ballplayers.

Beaches: In and around Copenhagen, you are never far from a beach. Miles of sandy beaches are within 30 minutes of bicycling from the city centre. The beaches are supplemented by a system of Harbour Baths along the Copenhagen waterfront.

Museums: Copenhagen has a wide array of museums of international standard. The National Museum, Nationalmuseet, is Denmark’s largest museum of Aachaeology and cultural history, comprising the histories of Danish and foreign cultures alike. The National Gallery – “Statens Museum for Kunst” – is Denmark’s national art museum and contains collections dating from 12th century and all the way up to present day artists. Among artists represented in the collections are Rubens, Rembrandt, Picasso, Braque, Léger, Matisse and Emil Nolde.

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copenhagen)

Other Attractions in Copenhagen:

Nyhavn Canal is known as the “longest bar in Scandinavia” because the pretty pastel-painted old townhouses that line the canal are fronted with numerous restaurants, pubs and cafes, full of action and entertainment 24 hours a day.

Rosenborg Castle was designed by King Christian IV and served as his home until he died in 1648. Today the Castle is an important cultural institution, acting as a public museum detailing the history of Denmark’s royal family.

The Little Mermaid, basking on a rock at the Langelinie harbour, is one of Denmark’s biggest tourist attractions. The sculpture was put up in 1913, and over a million people visit the mermaid every year.

Dining in Copenhagen:

Zeleste is a quality dining experience and offers an extensive menu of freshly prepared dishes like Lobster, Summer Deer, Argentine Striploin, and fresh fish from the North Sea.

Kong Hans Kaelder is located in the oldest building in Copenhagen. Gothic arches, constructed more than half a millennium ago, lend the restaurant its medieval atmosphere. Try their Oysters Label Rouge with parsley oil, rye croutons, and horseradish mayonnaise or the Tenderloin of Danish Beef served with Sauce Béarnaise and Moutarde Violette.

Era Ora is uniquely Italian with a menu that reflects what is fresh and in-season, both locally and from Italy. While you’ll want to experience the traditional Danish delights while in Copenhagen, restaurants like Era Ora are hard to pass up.

Københavner Cafeen works hard to convey a sense of old-time Denmark. Here you can enjoy authentically prepared Danish favorites. A specialty of the house is the Københavner platte, which features several preparations of herring, marinated salmon, shrimp, meatballs, fresh vegetables, and fresh-baked, roughly textured bread with butter.

Fregatten offers traditional Danish and International cuisine. The restaurant is a miniature replica of a ship that was built in the 1740’s and sits on a freshwater lake in the middle of Tivoli Gardens.

For more information and to register for the course in Copenhagen, visit http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=842&l=1.

5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training in San Antonio, Texas!

Posted: July 16th, 2009 in Courses, Local Attractions

san-antonio-downtown

San Antonio, Texas, will be the location for a 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training October 19-23, 2009. When you complete the training, you will be confident that you have learned the tools and skills needed to effectively use the TapRooT® System to lead an investigation team to the real, fixable causes that are at the root of a problem. You will be able to help find causes that your investigations would have previously missed. You will learn how to find root causes without the negative finger-pointing and blame that hinders effective investigation.

For more information and to register for the 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training in San Antonio, visit http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=708&l=1.

San Antonio is the second largest city in Texas and the seventh largest city in the United States. The city is characteristic of other Southwest urban centers in which there is a low density rate and sparsely populated areas outside of the city. It was the fourth fastest-growing large city in the nation from 2000-2006 and has a population of 2,031,445 (based on the 2008 U.S. Census estimate). The city is the seat of Bexar County with a population of 1,622,899. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Antonio)

The city is also home to one of the largest military concentrations in the United States. Located here are Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base, and Brooks City-Base, with Camp Bullis and Camp Stanley just outside the city.

san-antonio-river-walkWhether you want to “remember the Alamo,” stroll along the famous River Walk, shop, dine, or enjoy the great outdoors, San Antonio has it all! The city is a cultural and geographical gateway into the American Southwest and has much to offer. Here are a few itinerary suggestions:

The River Walk is located 20 feet below street level and is just steps from the Alamo. Along the banks of the meandering San Antonio River, you’ll see stone pathways that connect shops, restaurants, hotels, and museums. You’ll hear mariachis serenading diners and see river taxis carrying guests across the beautiful spring-fed river.

The Alamo, originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero, is a former Roman Catholic mission and fortress compound, now a museum. The compound, which originally comprised a sanctuary and surrounding buildings, was built by the Spanish Empire in the 18th century for the education of local Native Americans after their conversion to Christianity. In 1793, the mission was secularized and soon abandoned. Ten years later, it became a fortress housing the Mexican Army group the Second Flying Company of San Carlos de Parras, who likely gave the mission the name “Alamo.” (Reference http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alamo_Mission_in_San_Antonio)

Tower of the Americas is a 750-foot-tall tower that offers visitors the most spectacular view of the “Alamo City.” Be sure to dine at the Tower’s revolving restaurant for great food with a great view!

SeaWorld San Antonio is a 250-acre marine life theme park located in the Westover Hills area of the city. The largest of the three parks in the SeaWorld chain, SeaWorld San Antonio is home to an array of marine life including sharks, whales, dolphins, penguins, sea lions and more!

Six Flags Fiesta Texas is located on 200 acres of land and treats thrill-seekers to the rides of their lives! In addition to their famous roller coasters and water park, several shows are presented throughout the day —and Six Flags Fiesta Texas won “Best Theme Park Shows in the Country” for ten consecutive years.

Golfing in San Antonio:

golf-cart-on-course1San Antonio has some of the most spectacular golf courses in the country. With its mild climate and pleasing location, the city begs you to enjoy the outdoors. So whether you’re a novice or a pro, pick up your clubs and hit the links!

There are many courses to choose from but here are a few suggestions:

Alamo Golf Club

Alsatian Golf Course

Briggs Ranch Golf Club

Canyon Lake Golf Club

Historic Brackenridge Park Golf Course

San Antonio Dining:

restaurant-in-san-antonioSan Antonio cuisine is some of the finest in the world. While Tex-Mex food is a favorite and a specialty here, the city features an array of restaurants—from Italian, French, Greek, and Asian, to the traditional Texas roadhouses where you can get the best steaks around. More than fifty restaurants line the River Walk alone, and you can dine alfresco at many of them.

Biga on the Banks is located on the famous River Walk and treats diners to a relaxed atmosphere and tantalizing cuisine. Sit along the beautiful San Antonio River and enjoy such favorites as Seared Red Grouper with Chipotle Grits or Mustard-Crusted Australian Lamb Rack with Parmesan Scallion Polenta Cake.

Achiote River Café on the River Walk features regional specialties from Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and more. Try their Puerto Rican Garbanzo Bean and Spicy Sausage Stew or Spanish Ham and Cheese Croquettes while enjoying a spectacular view of the river and the sounds of live Latin Jazz.

Mi Tierra Café never closes! Open year round, 24-7, this Texas tradition has been around since 1941. With strolling musicians to liven up the crowd, patrons can enjoy some of the best Tex-Mex food in the country. “A little loco and a lot of fun,” Mi Tierra promises great food, great times, and the coldest beer around.steak-and-lobster1

Morton’s The Steakhouse has been serving up the best steaks around for more than 30 years. They pride themselves on serving only the finest quality foods, featuring USDA prime-aged beef, fresh fish and seafood, hand-picked produce, delicious appetizers and mouth-watering desserts.

Blue Star Brewing Company crafts fine beers such as Pale Ale, Amber Lager, Golden Ale, Stout, and King William Ale. Kick back with a cold brew and enjoy their enticing menu selection with great appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, pizza, and more!

Bistro Vatel is arguably San Antonio’s favorite French restaurant. Locals frequent the bistro, praising its unparalleled food, service, and atmosphere. While Texas may be known for its Tex-Mex and BBQ, don’t miss out on the culinary experience at Bistro Vatel.

For more information and to register for the 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training in San Antonio, visit http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=708&l=1.

2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis in Cleveland, Ohio!

Posted: July 9th, 2009 in Courses, Local Attractions

cleveland1Cleveland, Ohio, will be the location for a  2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis on October 13-14, 2009. In just two days you will learn the basics of the TapRooT® System for finding the root causes of incidents, accidents, quality problems, near-misses, operational errors, hospital sentinel events, and other types of problems. Once you find the real root causes using this systematic process, learn to develop effective fixes that will keep problems from happening again.

For more information and to register for the course, visit: http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=672&l=1

Cleveland is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The municipality is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately 60 miles west of the Pennsylvania border. It was founded in 1796 near the mouth of the Cuyahoga River and became a manufacturing center owing to its location at the head of numerous canals and railroad lines.

In studies conducted by The Economist, Cleveland and Pittsburgh have been ranked as the most livable cities in the United States, and Cleveland was ranked as the best city for business meetings in the continental U.S.

(source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleveland,_Ohio)

Dubbed “The Rock n’ Roll Capital of the World,” Cleveland has more than music to offer. From shopping, dining, museums, and festivals to outdoor fun on Lake Erie and Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island, this all-American city will keep visitors on the move. Here are a few suggestions for your adventure in Cleveland:

rock-n-roll-hall-of-fameThe Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is located on the shores of Lake Erie in the heart of downtown Cleveland. No matter what kind of music you like, this museum is a must-see!

Cleveland Botanical Garden is located in the heart of University Circle, Cleveland’s cultural district. It includes 10 acres of award-winning gardens and a state-of-the-art conservatory.

The Steamship William G. Mather is a retired Great Lakes bulk freighter now restored as a maritime museum. She transported cargo such as ore, coal, stone, and grain to ports throughout the Great Lakes and was nicknamed “The Ship That Built Cleveland.”

The USS Cod is a World War II era Gato class fleet submarine. She is 312 feet long, weighs 1,525 tons and began her life on July 21, 1942. Tour the torpedo room, the galley, the officer’s quarters, the engine room and more!

The Nautica Queen Cruise Ship is Cleveland’s favorite cruise dining ship. Enjoy breathtaking views of the city and Lake Erie while enjoying live music and a buffet meal.

Put-in-Bay is located on South Bass Island and is the crown jewel of Lake Erie’s islands. You’ll enjoy a ferry ride to this tiny island which is dotted with historic homes, quaint restaurants, and local pubs.

Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands has something for everyone—boating, fishing, water sports, restaurants, waterparks, amusement parks, shopping and more! This large expanse of waterfront (and nearby islands) is a city unto itself.

Dining on Fabulous Lake Erie:

pier-w-restaurant-in-cleveland1Pier W is a landmark Cleveland restaurant that has been serving up the freshest seafood around since 1965. The restaurant’s unique architecture is designed to resemble the hull of a luxury liner cruising along Lake Erie, offering spectacular views of Lake Erie and the Cleveland skyline.

Crabby Joe’s Waterfront Bar & Grill is Located inside Anchors Away Marina with spectacular views of Lake Erie’s West Harbor. Sit on the back deck and enjoy marina favorites like calamari, coconut shrimp, and oysters on the half-shell.

Mariner’s Club Dockside Restaurant is located at the beautiful Mariner Village Marina. Take in the incredible view of Lake Erie while enjoying specialties like Shrimp and Tomato Broth with Cheddar Grits, Pan Seared Five-Spice Talapia, or go with traditional favorites like a Shrimp Po Boy or a giant Mariner Burger.

Other Dining in Cleveland:

Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery features excellent handcrafted beers, an exciting menu, and a spirited place to enjoy food and brew. Their motto, “Serious About Our Food. Crazy About Our Beer,” rings true as soon as you walk through the door.

Blue Point Grill is Cleveland’s premiere seafood restaurant. Located in the historic Warehouse District, the Blue meal-13Point Grill has been voted Cleveland’s Best Seafood Restaurant every year since it opened.

One Walnut Restaurant not only offers a spectacular menu, but the décor is something to be seen! Try their Eggplant Filet Mignon with Fried Green Tomatoes and White Bean Minestrone or Braised Lamb Shoulder with Fontina Potato Puree and Wild Mushroom Tomato Gateau. Finish it off with Cinnamon Beignets with Banana Custard and Coconut Brittle.

For more information and to register for the 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis course in Cleveland, visit http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=672&l=1.

5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training in Portland, Oregon!

Posted: July 2nd, 2009 in Courses, Local Attractions

portland-skyline-and-bridgePortland will be the location for the 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training September 28-October 2, 2009. You will learn all the TapRooT® tools, and also many advanced skills, that a Team Leader needs to collect information, analyze root causes, and develop effective fixes that will help your company improve performance.

For more information and to register for the course, visit http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=707&l=1

Portland is a city located in the Northwestern United States, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers. As of July 2008, it has an estimated population of 575,930, making it the thirtieth most populous city in the United States, and has been referred to as the greenest city in the United States. Portland is Oregon’s most populous city, and the third most populous city in the Pacific Northwest, after Vancouver, British Columbia, and Seattle, Washington.
(Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portland,_Oregon)

Often called “the big city with the small town feel,”  Portland is known for its mild weather, breathtaking scenery, exciting location, and friendly people. The city has made many “Best Of” lists, including Top 10 Least Expensive Cities, Top 10 Places to Vacation, Top 10 Best Places to Live, and Top 25 Arts Destinations. With so much to offer, here are just a few attractions and restaurants to check out on your visit to Portland:

pittock-mansionThe Pittock Mansion was home to Henry and Georgiana Pittock from 1914 to 1919. Located high in the West Hills of Portland, the mansion sits 1,000 feet above the city’s skyline.

Portland Japanese Garden is nestled in the city’s scenic West Hills. The garden is authentically Japanese and consists of five separate and distinct garden styles.

The Pearl District offers visitors outstanding shopping, dining, arts & crafts and much more in this historical area of Portland.

Page’s Northwest Guide Service will show you the best fishing in Oregon, specializing in sturgeon, salmon, steelhead, shad, and walleye. Enjoy a day fishing many of Portland’s beautiful rivers–the Columbia, Willamette, Tillamook Bay, Yaquina, Siletz, and the Nehalem.

The Grotto is set among 62 acres of botanical gardens. As an internationally renowned Catholic sanctuary, The Grotto offers a place of peace and quiet reflection. More than 100 beautifully sculpted statues and shrines are nestled among flower-lined pathways, and visitors can enjoy spectacular cliffside vistas.

Dining in Portland:

restaurant-in-portlandPortland is a diverse city, and she shows that off in many ways. But the city’s passion for food and drink is something to be reckoned with. New restaurants pop up as often as daily menu specials, and emerging neighborhoods, markets, microbreweries and wineries make Portland a culinary playground.

Henry’s 12th Street Tavern features fresh seafood, USDA choice steaks, pastas, pizzas, and even authentic Asian dishes. They also offer more than 100 varieties of beer.

Huber’s is Portland’s oldest restaurant and creates delicious entrées like Prosciutto-Wrapped Turkey Florentine, Hazelnut Encrusted Gorgonzola Filet, and Beef Stroganoff.

Lucy’s Table is located in the trendy Nob Hill district and offers such dishes as Wild Boar Ravioli, Seared Scallops, and Tea Smoked Crispy Skinned Duck Breast.italian-meal2

Meriwether’s Restaurant is located in the historic Vaughn building on the site of the famous 1905 World’s Fair. They offer beautiful garden dining with a Pacific Northwest menu.

Mint 820 is located in the historic Frederick Torgler Building and they offer a wide range of menu options like Tequila Marinated Pan Fried Snapper with a Quinoa Salad, Red Chili Sauce, and Snow Peas topped with Spicy Slaw.

For more information and to register for the course in Portland, visit http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=707&l=1

2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis in Phoenix, Arizona!

Posted: June 17th, 2009 in Courses, Local Attractions

phoenix-skylinePhoenix, Arizona, will be the location for a 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis on September 17-18, 2009. In just two days you will learn the basics of the TapRooT® System for finding the root causes of incidents, accidents, quality problems, near-misses, operational errors, hospital sentinel events, and other types of problems. Once you find the real root causes using this systematic process, learn to develop effective fixes that will keep problems from happening again.

For more information and to register for the course, visit http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=706&l=1

Phoenix was incorporated as a city in 1881 after being founded in 1868 near the Salt River, near its confluence with the Gila River. The city eventually became a major transportation hub in North America and a main transportation, financial, industrial, cultural and economic center of the Southwestern United States. The city has a notable and famous political culture and has been home to numerous influential American politicians and other dignitaries, including Barry Goldwater, William Rehnquist, John McCain, and Sandra Day O’Connor.

Located in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has the hottest climate of any major city in the United States. The average high temperatures are over 100 °F (38 °C) for almost five months out of the year, and have spiked over 120 °F (49 °C) on occasion. (source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix,_Arizona)

Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or love to shop and dine, Phoenix has much to offer. Here are some itinerary recommendations:

Hiking is very popular in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. Parks and trails abound for those looking for a casual stroll or a strenuous challenge.

Arizona’s Salt River Tubing & Recreation offers an exciting day tubing down the river. Located in Tonto National Forest, the Salt River is a recreational paradise.

The Dolly Steamboat will take you on a breathtaking day or dinner cruise on beautiful Canyon Lake. Rated one of the “Best Things to Do in Arizona,” the lake and steamboat have been a premier Arizona attraction for locals and tourists alike.

The Hook Up Outfitters specialize in half day to multi-day guided fishing and fly fishing excursions to Arizona’s most beautiful and unique waterways.

Copper Square is in the heart of downtown Phoenix and offers visitors the best of shopping, dining, art and culture. You can find anything you need in beautiful Copper Square.

Dining in Phoenix:

Durant’s has something for everyone. Whether you’re craving steak, chicken, or seafood you will find all menu items are prepared with the freshest ingredients.

Matador Restaurant has been serving authentic Mexican food for more than 25 years. All items are homemade, and it is a local favorite.

Cibo serves traditional Italian cuisine and is also a local favorite. Winner of the “Best of Phoenix,” they are a true crowd pleaser.

Seamus McCaffrey’s Irish Pub will impress you with all your Irish favorites like Corned Beef & Cabbage, Shepherd’s Pie, and Irish Beef Stew. And, don’t forget to wash it down with a stout Irish brew!

For more information and to register for the course in Phoenix, visit http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=706&l=1

Meet Our Staff: Editorial Team

Posted: June 2nd, 2009 in Meet Our Staff

Barb and Leslie make up the Editorial Team at System Improvements.

An Indianapolis native, Barb moved to Knoxville in 2004 and came on board with System Improvements, Inc. in 2006.

Juggling many responsibilities, Barb enjoys the fact that no two days are ever the same. “Presently, we’re working on social media integration — transforming monologues into dialogues.  I think our clients will value this added communication.”

Barb handles many aspects of the company including assisting the president and coordinating keynote and best practice speakers at the annual Summit (67 and counting!).  “I manage other critical day-to-day operational tasks,” Barb added, “for example, if someone sees a mouse (the furry kind) or spiders invade his or her office, I’m the go-to person.  If we run out of water bottles for the water cooler, ten people will report that to me.  I’m kidding….a little….with 30 onsite employees, there has to be someone available to take care of these things.”

She received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University.  She is an accomplished writer and her 50+ published works include national and regional magazine articles, audiobook scripts, anthology essays and a non-fiction book.  She has also taught writing workshops for the Knoxville Writers’ Guild, Writers’ Helper and for the public library.

Having recently joined the staff at System Improvements, Inc., Leslie is Editorial Assistant to Barb. Leslie builds and edits the monthly e-newsletter TapRooT® Friends & Experts and is responsible for some of the articles as well.

“I’ve only been with the company a short time,” Leslie said, “but I am really enjoying my job. Everyone is so nice, and Barbara and I have become fast friends…she’s a pleasure to work with.”

Leslie works part-time for the company and runs her own freelance writing business from home. She received her undergraduate degree from The University of Tennessee-Knoxville and her master’s degree in journalism from The University of Memphis.  “Leslie has stepped up to the plate and hit every assignment I’ve pitched to her out of the park,” Barb said, “and now we are taking editorial projects up to the next level.”

Pictured below:  Barb (left), Leslie (right)

meleslie

5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training in Edmonton, Canada!

Posted: May 28th, 2009 in Courses, Local Attractions

Edmonton, Canada, will be the location for the 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training September 14-18, 2009. You will learn all the TapRooT® tools, and also many advanced skills, that a Team Leader needs to collect information, analyze root causes, and develop effective fixes that will help your company improve performance.

To get more information and to register for the course, visit http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=705&l=1.

Edmonton is the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta and is located on the North Saskatchewan River in the central region of the province, an area with some of the most fertile farmland on the prairies. It is the second largest city in Alberta, with a population of 752,412. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmonton)

Canada’s second most populous provincial capital (after Toronto), Edmonton is a cultural, governmental, and educational center. It plays host to a year-round slate of world-class festivals, earning it the title of “The Festival City,” and it is also home to North America’s largest mall. Edmonton’s thriving arts & culture scene boasts everything a major metropolis should offer: galleries, museums, live theatre, concerts, opera, and ballet. The shopping and dining options are endless, as is the array of outdoor activities.

Area Attractions:
The West Edmonton Mall boasts more than 800 stores and employs more than 23,000 people. Visitors will be overwhelmed with all the mall has to offer: the world’s largest indoor amusement park, a five-acre waterpark, an 18-hole miniature golf course, an indoor lake, a National Hockey League sized ice rink, and much, much more!

The Great Divide Waterfall spans 91 meters along the expanse of Edmonton’s High Level Bridge and is higher than Niagara Falls. The waterfall effect is created when approximately 50,000 liters of water per minute rush out through specially-designed nozzles. For a two hour waterfall showing, the water measures approximately 4,600 cubic meters.

The Muttart Conservatory is set in Edmonton’s lush river valley. Four huge, glass pyramids make up the conservatory, and it is home to thousands of species of plants, both domestic and exotic. There is The Tropical Pyramid, The Temperate Pyramid, The Arid Pyramid, and The Show Pyramid, which is completely changed six times a year.

The Valley Zoo is one of Edmonton’s premier attractions, offering fun and education for children and adults alike. With more than 350 animals, the zoo has a strong conservation focus, which is evident in their exhibits and educational programs.

Park and River Valley activities abound in Edmonton, with more than 460 parks in the city. The River Valley alone has 22 major parks and forms a “Ribbon of Green” that winds its way along the North Saskatchewan River and through the heart of the city, featuring wildlife areas, trails (natural and paved) and other amenities.

Fort Edmonton Park is North America’s largest interactive historic park. Go back in time as you walk through four historical periods – costumed interpreters bring the past to life, answer your questions, and invite you to experience the best of the period. Take a ride on a steam train, play pioneer games, bake bread the old-fashioned way, shop, or hit the midway for rides and games.

The Edmonton Queen Riverboat is a popular attraction in the heart of downtown Edmonton. It offers a unique experience, a relaxing atmosphere, and one of the most picturesque views of the city and the beautiful River Valley.

Dining in Edmonton:

The Creperie is a delightful French restaurant and was voted Edmonton’s “Most Romantic Restaurant.”  As the name implies, the menu offers delicious crepes filled with chicken, seafood, beef and vegetables. Not limited to crepes, patrons can also enjoy steaks, lamb, fresh mussels, salmon, and more.

Chianti Café is located in the historic “Old Post Office” building in Edmonton’s entertainment and theater district. They offer casual Italian dining, and all menu items are made fresh from scratch. They will even accommodate customers on a gluten-free diet.

Yiannis Taverna is located in Old Strathcona in the heart of Edmonton. Enjoy unique Greek dishes like KEFTEDES (traditionally prepared meat balls, topped with onions and served with tzaziki and lemon) or SPETSOFAI (spicy Greek sausage served with a sauté of tomato, onion and bell peppers). You can also enjoy your favorite pizzas with loads of Greek ingredients to choose from…and on weekends you’ll be entertained by belly dancers!

La Ronde is located on the 24th floor of Crowne Plaza Chateau Lacombe Hotel and offers a spectacular view of the city. Revolving once every 90 minutes, La Ronde treats its guests to an unmatched view and dining experience.

The Blue Pear Restaurant is a local favorite in Edmonton where guest enjoy unique entrées in a boutique/bistro-like setting. Specials like Brazil nut coated pike fillet and scallop ceviche with triple cooked yam fries, green beans and butter enriched Acai sauce will tantalize your taste buds.

To get more information and to register for the course, visit http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=705&l=1.

2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Course in Lake Tahoe, Nevada!

Posted: May 21st, 2009 in Courses, Local Attractions

lake-tahoe-21Lake Tahoe will be the location for the 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Course, August 6-7, 2009. In just two days you will learn the basics of the TapRooT® System for finding the root causes of incidents, accidents, quality problems, near-misses, operational errors, hospital sentinel events, and other types of problems. Once you find the real root causes using this systematic process, learn to develop effective fixes that will keep problems from happening again.

For more information and to register for the course, visit http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=666&l=1.

Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America and, with a depth of 1,645 feet, it is the second deepest in the United States. Lake Tahoe is not only one of the bluest, purest and clearest bodies of water in the world, it’s one of the most inviting. From swimming to water skiing to cruises of all types, Lake Tahoe begs for everyone to come on in.

And, when you’re not enjoying the lake itself, there’s hiking, fishing, camping, golf, tennis, mountain biking and, of course, over a dozen world-class ski resorts. Here are some itinerary ideas:

Lake Tahoe Casinos:

Crystal Bay Club Casino

The Montbleu Resort Casino & Spa

Lakeside Inn and Casino

Harrah’s Lake Tahoe

Dining at Lake Tahoe:

Gar Woods Grill and Pier remains the North Shore’s brightest restaurant. It offers great views with lakefront dining year round. Try their Dungeness Crab Sandwich, Blackened Pacific King Salmon, or the Wasabi-Macadamia Nut Scallops.

Edgewood Terrace also offers lakeside dining with a varied menu offering such entrées as stuffed chicken breast, pork loin and sea bass.

Evan’s American Gourmet Café is nestled in a vintage Tahoe cabin, surrounded by towering pine trees. One of Lake Tahoe’s finest restaurants, Evan’s features a blend of cuisine styles from around the world.

Cafe Fiore is perfect for an intimate, candlelit dinner. They feature Italian cuisine with unusual dishes like Eggplant Crepes served with sun-dried tomatoes and sherry wine sauce.

Outdoor Activities:

Woodwind II Sailing Cruises offer spectacular views of the surrounding Sierra Mountains and beautiful Lake Tahoe. Whether you fancy a traditional sailboat or the luxury of a motor yacht, the experienced crews and U.S. Coast Guard certified boats will have you enjoying the lake in style.

Coyote Moon Golf Course is a tranquil environment that seems worlds away from civilization. The course was designed around the natural settings of the area with  towering pines, granite outcroppings, and the beautiful Trout Creek.

HeliTahoe offers the best way to enjoy Lake Tahoe…by helicopter! You’ll enjoy the fun and adventure of a helicopter ride while taking in the breathtaking views of the Lake.

Tributary Rafting Tours will take you down the Truckee River offering exciting whitewater rafting. Close to Reno and North Lake Tahoe, this rafting trip is a fun, 7-mile guided white water adventure, with many Class 2-3 rapids for the first 6 miles and exciting Class 3+ rapids in the last mile.

For more information and to register for the  2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Course in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, visit http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=666&l=1.

Meet Our Staff: Implementation Strategists

Posted: May 19th, 2009 in Meet Our Staff

The TapRooT® Implementation Strategists Team

Pictured below from the left are Benna Dortch, Michelle Young, Dan Verlinde, and Stephanie Miles

benna13michelle13

dan-verlinde4

steph25

Benna Dortch, TapRooT® Implementation Strategist

Michelle Young, TapRooT® Implementation Strategist/Licensing Paralegal

Dan Verlinde, Web Software Implementation Strategist and Web Software Development Manager

Stephanie Miles, TapRooT® Implementation Strategist

linda19Linda Unger, Vice President of System Improvements, Inc. is co-developer of the TapRooT® System and training courses and co-author of the book, TapRooT®  Changing the Way the World Solves Problems, © 2008.  Linda manages the TapRooT® Implementation Strategists Team, the Certified TapRooT® Instructor Program, the TapRooT® Licensing Program, and teaches TapRooT® Courses.  Her favorite job is working with clients to bring about the successful implementation of TapRooT®.

Call Linda Unger at 865-539-2139 to discuss:

•    Why you should use TapRooT®

•    How to arrange a webcast to show you and your management how TapRooT® and our amazing Web Enterprise  Software can meet your company’s needs

•    How TapRooT® can help you stop Human Errors at your company

•    How TapRooT® can improve your company’s bottom line

•    Why TapRooT® is “Business Critical” for companies in 2009 and 2010

Linda’s team works with clients to develop strategies for implementing TapRooT® in a way that best fits our clients’ needs. We help you implement TapRooT® as part of your performance improvement programs in a way that works successfully within your business model.

Call one of us at (865) 539-2139 to:

•    Schedule or get a quote for an onsite TapRooT® Course
•    Discuss which TapRooT® Course is best for you
•    Design a long-term strategy for using TapRooT® within your company
•    Learn how to become a Certified TapRooT® Instructor
•    Discuss a company wide training or software license
•    Determine which TapRooT® Software (Single User, LAN, or Web) you need
•    Schedule a WebEx with Dan Verlinde to see the Web Software

Already have a training or software license? Michelle can provide you with what you need to do in order to upgrade your license or receive current material.

Our team will be onsite at the 2009 TapRooT® Summit in Nashville, Tennessee, October 7-9, and available by appointment to discuss your TapRooT® implementation goals for next year. Call Michelle now to make your appointment with any one of our team members.

5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training in Seattle, Washington!

Posted: May 14th, 2009 in Courses, Local Attractions

seattleSeattle, Washington, will be the location for the 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training July 27-31, 2009. You will learn all the TapRooT® tools, and also many advanced skills, that a Team Leader needs to collect information, analyze root causes, and develop effective fixes that will help your company improve performance. To get more information and to register for the course, visit: http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=704&l=1.

As the most populous city in the state of Washington, Seattle encompasses the entire Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area. A coastal city and major seaport, it is located on an isthmus between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, about 96 miles south of the Canada/United States border. A major economic, cultural, and educational center in the region, Seattle is the county seat of King County. With a population of more than 594,000, Seattle is the 24th largest city in the US.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle)

Enjoy some of these attractions and hotspots while visiting Seattle:

Pioneer Square is the cultural heartbeat of the Pacific Northwest and features more than 20 city blocks of Victorian Romanesque architecture, more than 30 fine art galleries, and over 200 unique and independently-owned shops. It is the epicenter of Seattle’s nightlife and home to an array of restaurants and coffee houses.

Pike Place Market is one of Seattle’s most visited spots. The Market is built on the edge of a steep hill and consists of several levels. Each features a variety of unique shops, antique dealers, comicbook sellers, and small family-owned restaurants. The upper street level contains fishmongers, fresh produce, and crafts. Local farmers and craftspeople sell year-round, making the Market a favorite of locals and visitors alike.

The Seattle Aquarium is committed to marine conservation and, as such, they work diligently to preserve the spectacular beauty and health of Puget Sound. The Seattle Aquarium helps more than 800,000 visitors, including 50,000 students, each year to understand and become aware of the impact they have on our marine environment.

The Space Needle was built in 1962 and served as the symbol of that year’s World’s Fair. It has since become the symbol of Seattle and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. Rising 607 feet above the city, the tower boasts many observation decks, gift shops, and a revolving restaurant.

The Seattle Center Monorail is the nation’s first full-scale commercial monorail system. It provides a quick, fun, and convenient link from downtown Seattle to Seattle Center, home of the Space Needle, the Pacific Science Center, and other Seattle hotspots. 

Green Lake Park is one of Seattle’s most beloved parks. The park draws thousands of people daily from all over the city and serves as a natural preserve for hundreds of species of trees and plants, as well as numerous birds and water fowl.

Dining in Seattle:

Restaurant Zoë is an urban bistro located in the heart of Belltown. The chef creates delicious American dishes, prepared with only the freshest ingredients.

Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria is the Northwest’s first and most celebrated authentic Neapolitan pizzeria. They use the finest imported ingredients and century old artisan traditions so patrons can enjoy the true Neapolitan Pizzeria experience. 

La Spiga Osteria is renowned for its Northern Italian cooking. The chefs prepare traditional Romagnola cuisine using the very finest ingredients, and menus are changed seasonally to reflect what is freshest in local markets.

94 Stewart is a chef-owned Northwest style bistro featuring fresh seafood, as well as locally grown meats and produce. The bistro offers an extensive wine selection, local microbrews, and an array of cocktails.

Cafe Campagne is a Parisian cafe that serves traditional French fare in a cozy, unpretentious setting. The Cafe has a wine bar which offers forty wines by the glass.

To get more information and to register for the 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training July 27-31, 2009 in Seattle, Washington, visit: http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=704&l=1.

2-Day and 3-Day TapRooT® Courses to be Offered in Houston, Texas!

Posted: May 7th, 2009 in Courses, Local Attractions

houstonThe 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis will be held June 23-24, 2009 and the 3-Day TapRooT®/Equifactor® Equipment Troubleshooting & Root Cause Failure Analysis will be held June 23-25, 2009.

In just a few short days you will learn the basics of the TapRooT® System for finding the root causes of problems PLUS, if you stay the extra day, you’ll learn the Equifactor® Equipment Troubleshooting Technique for Root Cause Failure Analysis of Equipment Problems. Once you find the real root causes using this systematic process, learn to develop effective fixes that will keep problems from happening again.

For more information and to register for the 3-Day TapRooT®/Equifactor® Equipment Troubleshooting & Root Cause Failure Analysis, visit

http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=664&l=1.

For more information and to register for the 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis, visit http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=663&l=1.

Houston is a city that sparkles, and the attractions, dining, shopping, and outdoor excursions are endless. With a population of more than 2 million, the city is always on the go. The bustle of Houston offers visitors many options for fun, and the beauty of the region and mild climate are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.

Quirky and fun, Houston boasts some very unique attractions: a house covered in beer cans, a monument dedicated to the orange, the world’s oldest and largest Art Car parade, and even a museum dedicated to the funeral industry. Consider some of these suggestions when visiting Houston:

The 1940 Air Terminal Museum is the only educational institution in Houston dedicated to promoting the city’s significant civil aviation history. The terminal is a beautiful and rare example of classic art deco airport architecture from the golden age of flight.

The Houston Museum District attracts more than seven million visitors each year and is considered to be one of the top cultural districts in the country. Eighteen institutions make up the Houston Museum District, and 11 are free all the time.  

The Armand Bayou Nature Center is an astonishingly beautiful part of the Texas Gulf Coast. Visitors can learn about indigenous plant and animal inhabitants, bird-watch, hike on the Nature Center’s trails, or view the live animal displays of snakes, spiders, hawks, and bison.

Battleship Texas is the last of the battleships to participate in World War I and II. It became the first battleship memorial museum in the U.S. in 1948. The battleship is now permanently anchored on the Buffalo Bayou and the busy Houston Ship Channel.

The Beer Can House is a folk art gallery and workshop consisting of more than 50,000 beer cans. The house is blanketed with beer cans and the lawn with concrete blocks inlaid with bits of colorful glass. The owner also drilled holes in the redwood fence, filling the spaces with marbles. Clinking curtains hanging on the porch are made out of the cans’ pull-tabs. Truly a must-see!

The Downtown Aquarium is a 500,000-gallon underwater adventure complex that includes a Ferris wheel, an aquatic carousel, Shark Voyage, a white tiger exhibit, and a restaurant. The aquarium boasts more than 200 species of marine life.

Gulf Greyhound Park offers live greyhound racing and pari-mutuel wagering year-round, rain or shine. The park offers a variety of dining and viewing options and also includes 318 teller windows and more than 1,100 closed-circuit televisions.

Haak Vineyards & Winery is a modern, 11,000 square-foot Mediterranean-style commercial winery with daily free tours and tastings. Enjoy a tour of the beautiful vineyards and winery and then check out the gift shop. Visitors can also relax and have lunch on the picnic grounds.

The North Lake Conroe Paddling Company is a unique kayak outfitter with lakefront property offering year-round rentals of solo, sit-on-top kayaks for recreation, touring, birding, and fishing.

Buffalo Bayou is a 52-mile slow-moving waterway and is the perfect destination for outdoor recreation near downtown Houston. It is one of the few bayous left in central Houston, and it contains an incredibly diverse urban ecosystem supporting dozens of native species of flora and fauna.

Houston Restaurants

El Tiempo Cantina (Mexican cuisine)

Agora (Greek cuisine)

Amazón Grill (Latin cuisine)

Arcodoro (Italian cuisine)

Baker St. Pub & Grill (English pub)

Café Annie (Bistro dining)

Brenner’s Steakhouse (A Houston tradition since 1936)

Golfing in Houston

Brock Park

Cypresswood Golf Club

The Hermann Park Golf Course

Augusta Pines

BlackHorse Golf Club

For more information and to register for the 3-Day TapRooT®/Equifactor® Equipment Troubleshooting & Root Cause Failure Analysis, visit

http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=664&l=1.

For more information and to register for the 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis, visit http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=663&l=1.

Root Cause Analysis Tips: Sharing SnapCharT®s

Posted: May 5th, 2009 in Root Cause Analysis Tips, TapRooT, Technical Support

Hello everybody and welcome to another Root Cause Analysis Tips Blog. This time around we’re going to take a look at attaching files to SnapCharTs.

The crux of the behavior you see is this: SnapCharT only places a reference to the file in question, and does not copy the data in any way.

The question is, how can I share these files with other network users? The key is in file location. More specifically, a shared file location that is available in the same places on all machines.

Let’s see how it works:

First, you’ll need to attach the file to the SnapCharT by right clicking on the object and choosing Launch:

Now the key here is the location of the file you are attaching. If you attach the file from your local hard drive instead of a network location, you’ll see the following error when another employee attempts to open it by double clicking on the small diamond icon next to the object:

Followed by a “File Open” dialog asking where the file is.

In order to fix this, attach the file from a shared network resource, such as a mapped drive that is the same drive name on all machines.

For example, attaching X:\image.jpg, where the “X:” drive is a network mapped drive on all machines, will allow all users to see the attached file with no problems.

I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about the file attaching process to SnapCharTs. Using this knowledge you should be able to keep your team further involved by ensuring all of their SnapCharT attachments are opening properly.

Thanks for reading, and if you are interested in learning more about the software, I would highly suggest you take a look at our 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leading Training Courses. These include a complete rundown of how the software works and how best you can implement it in your own business / safety needs, as well as teaching you the powerful and easy to use TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis.

Meet Our Staff: Accounting

Posted: May 5th, 2009 in Meet Our Staff

Not Just Bean Counters!

The Accounting Department at System Improvements, Inc. is not your ordinary group of accountants. “We are a fun group of people,” said Cherie Larson, Accountant. “We laugh and joke and just have a really good time with our jobs.”

Cherie oversees the department. She is responsible for payroll, HR issues, preparation of financial statements, and maintains the company’s financial stability—just to name a few of her many tasks.

As a CPA and with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Cherie has input in a lot of areas in the company. “Every department has financial aspects, so I’m called on to take care of many different issues.”

Cherie said she loves the people she works with and the company in general. “This is just a fantastic place to work. You will never find kinder people. I definitely enjoy my job…I have a passion for accounting. I get to see the big picture and that makes my job worthwhile and exciting.”

The others who make up the accounting department are equally enthusiastic about their jobs. Debbie Rice, Accounting Associate, works with contract instructors to get them paid and works with clients to invoice the courses. She also takes care of digital deposits of checks and vendor requests. She echoes what Cherie had to say: “I absolutely love the people at System Improvements—and especially my department. It is the best work environment I have ever experienced.” Debbie also is a CPA and holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Cathy Dunning is the Accounts Receivable Associate. “I am a people person,” Cathy said. “I love working with people.” And work with people she does! Cathy is responsible for all the receivables for the onsite public courses as well as all the billings. “I get to work with the clients and I love it. Interacting directly with the public really suits my personality…and when it comes to our department here, I’ve never found an easier, more fun group to work with.” Cathy has been with the company for two years and holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Keeping things running clerically is Accounting Clerk Lindsey Sowders. “She really keeps us from being overwhelmed with paperwork,” Cherie said. “She does all the data entry and filing and helps to keep us organized…she’s very responsible and reliable.” Lindsey is a student at The University of Tennessee majoring in advertising. She is also a DJ on the university’s radio station.

(Pictured below, left to right: Lindsey, Cherie, Debbie and Cathy)

accounting1cathy

5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training in San Antonio, Texas!

Posted: April 30th, 2009 in Courses, Local Attractions

downtown-san-antonio2

San Antonio, Texas, will be the location for a 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training July 13-17, 2009. When you complete the training, you will be confident that you have learned the tools and skills needed to effectively use the TapRooT® System to lead an investigation team to the real, fixable causes that are at the root of a problem. You will be able to help find causes that your investigations would have previously missed. You will learn how to find root causes without the negative finger-pointing and blame that hinders effective investigation.

This course is especially valuable for people interested in analyzing the causes of human error. You’ll learn rules and theories to help you improve human performance, including how to improve procedures, training, communications, human engineering, supervision, and management systems. You’ll also learn ways to improve your company’s investigation processes and procedures. For more information and to register for the course visit http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=703&l=1.

Whether you want to “remember the Alamo,” stroll along the famous River Walk, shop, dine, or enjoy the great outdoors, San Antonio has it all! The city is a cultural and geographical gateway into the American Southwest and has much to offer. Here are a few itinerary suggestions:

The Alamo

The Alamo, originally known as Mission San Antonio de Valero, is a former Roman Catholic mission and fortress compound, now a museum. The compound, which originally comprised a sanctuary and surrounding buildings, was built by the Spanish Empire in the 18th century for the education of local Native Americans after their conversion to Christianity. In 1793, the mission was secularized and soon abandoned. Ten years later, it became a fortress housing the Mexican Army group the Second Flying Company of San Carlos de Parras, who likely gave the mission the name “Alamo.”

(Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AlamoMissioninSanAntonio)

The River Walk

The River Walk is located 20 feet below street level and is just steps from the Alamo. Along the banks of the meandering San Antonio River, you’ll see stone pathways that connect shops, restaurants, hotels, and museums. You’ll hear mariachis serenading diners and watch river taxis carrying guests across the spring-fed river.

San Pedro Park

San Pedro Park is San Antonio’s oldest park and the second oldest park in the United States behind Boston Common. The park provides a beautiful and historic setting where you can take a swim in a lake shaded by cypress trees or stroll the grounds for a little R&R.

San Antonio Dining

San Antonio cuisine is some of the finest in the world. While Tex-Mex food is a favorite and a specialty here, the city features an array of restaurants—from Italian, French, Greek, and Asian, to the traditional Texas roadhouses where you can get the best steaks around. More than fifty restaurants line the River Walk alone, and you can dine alfresco at many of them.

Ácenar offers cutting-edge Texas regional Mexican cuisine.

Alamo Café offers Tex-Mex dishes like Tilapia Vera, CruzChimichangas, Chicken Laredo, and Chicken Ranchero.

Bill Miller Bar-B-Q has been a favorite for more than 50 years, offering only the choicest of meats, all cooked to perfection over a fire of 100% Texas Hill Country Live Oak in a brick pit.

CowCatchers Steaks Restaurant is an authentic Texas-style San Antonio Steakhouse serving up true Texas tradition.

Ciao Lavendaria serves traditional Italian cuisine in the upscale Olmos Park neighborhood of San Antonio. Enjoy dishes like ciopinni, paninis, osso bucco and gourmet pizzas straight from the wood-burning oven.

Demo’s will wow you with their Greek menu, complete with Gyro’s, souvlaki, feta, mousaka, baklava, and spanakopita.

Outdoor Fun in San Antonio

San Antonio is perfect for outdoor fun. Mild temperatures and nearly 300 days of sunshine annually have made this fine city a major destination for those who enjoy golf and other outdoor activities.

Golfing in San Antonio

Alamo Golf Club

Alsatian Golf Course

Blossom Golf Center

Briggs Ranch Golf Club

Canyon Lake Golf Club

Other Nearby Adventures

Cowboy for a Day in Bandera

Enjoy the wild, wild West with a day on a dude ranch. All summer long, the town of Bandera offers daily horseback riding and hiking trails.

Vineyards of Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg is dubbed “The City Surrounded by Lavender” because of its exquisite beauty. It is the perfect place to enjoy several notable wineries.

Water Adventures in San Marcos

Take on a watery adventure in San Marcos and gear up for trout fishing at the Guadalupe River. Go rafting, tubing or wading at one of Canyon Lake’s eight parks. While you’re there, be sure to visit the Aquarena Texas Rivers Center and take a glass-bottom boat tour. You can also enjoy the Aquarena Wetlands Boardwalk where you can view a variety of plants and wildlife in a picturesque atmosphere. And check out WonderWorld Park, an earthquake-formed cave, for some real adventure.

For more information and to register for the 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training, visit http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=703&l=1.

2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis in Calgary, Canada!

Posted: April 23rd, 2009 in Local Attractions

calgarycanada1

Calgary, Canada, will be the location for a 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis on June 10-11, 2009. In just two days you will learn the basics of the TapRooT® System for finding the root causes of incidents, accidents, quality problems, near-misses, operational errors, hospital sentinel events, and other types of problems. Once you find the real root causes using this systematic process, learn to develop effective fixes that will keep problems from happening again. For more information or to register, visit http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=662&l=1.

With all its grandeur, Calgary is a perfect place to attend a TapRooT® Course. This vibrant city offers the best of all worlds. While it is a cosmopolitan city of more than 1 million people, the beautiful landscapes, exciting adventures, and pristine wilderness are something to behold. Here are some attractions and destination to enjoy while you’re in Calgary:

The Calgary Tower

The Calgary Tower opened in June of 1968. Since then, the Tower has become the city’s most famous and identifiable landmark. The Calgary Tower offers the best view in Calgary and is a must-see.

And be sure to check out the glass floor experience! Imagine standing 525 feet above the ground in the heart of Calgary and being able to look straight down and directly out in front of you into the heart of the city. The glass floor is 36 feet long and more than four feet wide and, with only a glass wall in front, you will be treated to the unusual experience of literally being suspended in mid-air. It’s truly awe-inspiring and something you’ll never forget.

Calgary’s Breweries

Calgary has some of the most modern craft-brewing facilities in the world. Premium, batch-brewed ales, on-site production of craft beers, seasonal beers and more will tantalize your taste buds. Enjoy brewery tasting tours and then sit down to fine continental cuisine.

Big Rock Grill

Wild Rose Brewery & Taproom

Calgary Outdoors

While Calgary is famous for shopping, museums, and fine restaurants, the beauty of the outdoors is breathtaking. Visitors from all over the world come to admire the Canadian Rocky Mountains and Calgary’s lakes, rivers, and extreme wilderness.

Foot & Chain Fly Fishing Exchange

Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

Inside Out Experience Inc.
(Whitewater rafting in the Canadian Rocky Mountains)

McKenzie Meadows Golf Club

Mountain View Helicopters

Calgary Climbing Centre

Calgary Casinos

It might not be Las Vegas, but Calgary has their share of sporting casinos. From gaming tables to slot machines to great food and more, Calgary casinos will have you “rolling the bones” for hours.

Deerfoot Inn and Casino
This new, 60,000 square-foot complex has an eight-table private poker room, 26 table games, 719 slot machines, and a Fortune High limit room. They also feature a Sushi/Martini Bar and live entertainment.

Grey Eagle Casino & Bingo
This casino offers more than 50 gaming tables, 600 slot machines, and a poker room open 24 hours. They have a free Rewards Club, buffet and fine dining restaurants, and offer live entertainment on the weekends.

Visit www.tourismcalgary.com/visitors/tourswesternheritage.htm for these Calgary attractions:

Fort Calgary Historic Park: The North West Mounted Police, Canada’s famed “Mounties,” brought law and order to Calgary in 1875. Re-live the history at the interpretive centre and dine in the elegant Deane House, a charming setting for lunch, dinner or a murder mystery evening.

Heritage Park Historical Village: The largest living historical village in Canada re-creates all the sights and sounds of pre-1915 life in Western Canada. Enjoy sixty-six acres that includes the S.S. Moyie sternwheeler, antique midway, and a locomotive train ride.

Spruce Meadows: Open year-round you can explore the world-famous show jumping facility, attend the five major annual tournaments, shop during seasonal fairs or simply walk through the facilities and enjoy the surroundings. Spruce Meadows is approximately a half-hour drive from downtown Calgary.

Ranchman’s Restaurant Inc. An authentic western saloon, restaurant and dance hall complete with rodeo memorabilia and photographs. Live entertainment six days a week and a mechanical bull to test your cowboy skills.

Buzzards Cowboy Cuisine: Authentic cowboy restaurant specializing in steaks and burgers.

For more information and to register for the 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis in Calgary, Canada, on June 10-11, 2009 please visit:

http://www.taproot.com/courses.php?d=662&l=1.

Meet Our Staff: Natalie and Tamara

Posted: April 14th, 2009 in Meet Our Staff

tamaraandnatalie

Natalie (left), Tamara (right)

Natalie, Onsite Training Coordinator for System Improvements, Inc., wears a lot of hats, but she wears them well. “Once the courses are booked, all the information then comes to me and my assistant, Tamara.”

Both having been with the company for three years, they love their jobs. “We work well together,” Tamara said, “and it helps because we have so many details to attend to.”

As Natalie mentioned, once the courses are booked, she and Tamara are responsible for coordinating travel, purchasing, tracking marketing materials, tradeshow exhibits. . .and the list goes on.

“I do a lot of shipping and packing of materials,” Tamara said. “I have to order them all, keep them all organized for where they are going, track them to make sure they get to the right place with all the right quantities, order supplies. . .then I also enter every attendee into the database and print their completion certificates.”

Natalie said they also “set up travel for in-house instructors and work with Train the Trainer, managers, supervisors, software. . .and we work with the refresher and medical courses too.”

Meet Our Staff: The “A” Team

Posted: April 7th, 2009 in Meet Our Staff

Alison-1

Alison Diggs—Head of the “A” Team

Alison Diggs heads the administrative team at System Improvements, Inc., and has been with the company for more than 13 years. “We are the first line of defense,” Alison said. “We take care of reception, public course registration, product orders, database updates and maintenance, scheduling of workshops, marketing, newsletter distribution– and that’s a short list of what we do everyday.”

It really does take a village in a busy company like System Improvements, and no one knows that better than Alison. “I rely heavily on the administrative team. Everyone plays a vital role, and they all display the utmost of professionalism.”

Alison is certified in all the TaprooT® courses and has an associate’s degree in Chemical and Environmental Engineering and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. In fact, she came on board with the company while obtaining her degrees. “I was supposed to do data entry for six weeks but, now, 13 years later, I’m still here. That is evidence of what a great company System Improvements is, and it speaks volumes for the owners…they are the best!”

Alison’s team consists of Nicki Burwinkle, Linda Jeffers, Teresa Petersen, Melanie Stansberry, Carli Ashe, Emily Larson, and Ann Pruitt. “It’s hard to describe how much everyone means to our team,” Alison said. “We communicate well; we work well together; we support each other…we are the “A” Team!”

Meet Our Staff: Katherine and Sara

Posted: March 31st, 2009 in Meet Our Staff, Summit, TapRooT

“Attention to detail!” That’s how Katherine, Meeting Planner at System Improvements, Inc., sums up her job. “We coordinate more than 84 courses each year as well as the annual Summit,” Katherine said. “It’s very challenging, but it is also extremely rewarding.”

Sara, Katherine’s assistant, agrees. “It’s amazing how many things we juggle at once to keep all the courses organized…it definitely keeps us on our toes.” Sara, also a student at the University of Tennessee, is a valued employee. “Sara and I work very well together,” Katherine said. “It’s amazing how much the two of us accomplish.”

Katherine said their biggest challenge in 2009 is the economic environment and their efforts to “go green” when organizing the courses. “We work diligently with the hotels to make sure our participants have an educational experience and get the most for their money…we also are making enormous efforts, in cooperation with the hotels, to make environmental-friendly choices.”

The annual Summit will be held in Nashville, Tenn., this year on October 7. “This is our largest event of the year,” Sara said. “We have a great time organizing it…especially the reception which is a lot of fun.” The theme this year is Disco Fever, and there will be exhibits, food, prizes as well as a costume and dance contest. The band Entice will be the featured music.

“Every year,” Katherine said,” our participants tell us how much they enjoyed the Summit. Lots of valuable knowledge learned…then the reception for some well-deserved fun!”

Katherinesara-4
Sara (left), Katherine (right)

Come network, learn, and have some fun in Nashville at this year’s Summit!

TapRooT Root Cause Tips: Which Installation Deployment Is Right For You?

Posted: March 4th, 2009 in Root Cause Analysis Tips, Technical Support

Hello everybody and welcome to another edition of the Root Cause Tips Blog. This week I want to highlight the different deployment methods you can use when deploying the TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Software.

Method 1: Single User Installation

Best for: Individual users, very small groups (2-3 people)

The TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis software can be installed in many ways, but by default it installs a “Single User” copy, meaning a local database with no login credentials necessary when starting the software. Also note that a Single User license allows you to install the software in two places: Once on your primary desktop machine, and again on your personal laptop. Both of these computers need to be your personal machine(s) to be compliant with your license, and it’s nice to have the flexibility of using two different machines and simply importing and exporting data between them.

In the case of small groups, you’ll do a lot of importing and exporting. This means it will take time for you and your team to get “on the same page” as it were, and there will need to be an emailing system or file sharing system to allow everyone access to these exported files.

While this is one way to work, with more than one user your best bet is to ‘trade up’ for the Workgroup Version.

Method 2: Workgroup Installation

Best for: Small to medium-sized groups (2 – 10 People)

This method of installation has a client machine, that is a machine that is running Windows XP or Windows Vista (not Windows Server) “act” like a server by running the database for all connecting machines. This affords you power of user logins and incident-based permissions.

This is an installation for low-volume clients, those who may have two or more users logged in at the same time, but will rarely run at ‘full capacity’ where a dozen or more are logged in at once. This install doesn’t require the purchase or use of Microsoft SQL Server or Windows Server, but also can quickly degrade in performance based on usage and other factors.

For those who have a small safety or investigation team in place and have network access to a single machine that will act as a server, this is potentially the installation for you.

Method 3: Enterprise Web

Best for: Large-scale or company-wide implementations, groups across multiple sites, 10+ Users

This is our latest and most advanced Root Cause Analysis software yet, the Version 5 TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Enterprise Web. This software runs on Internet Information Services (IIS) on Windows Server and is fully powered by Microsoft SQL Server. This allows almost unlimited access to the TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis tools and techniques, along with powerful (and graphically enhanced) Crystal Reports with which to show your results to supervisors and management.

Thanks to the processing power of Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server, you should have no problems with scaling or the amount of users on the system at one time. A Workgroup installation method will see slowdowns and performance issues while a web application suffers from none of these drawbacks. And of course, since it runs in Internet Explorer, you will have access to your incident data anywhere you have network access. Removing the need for client-by-client installations greatly reduces the cost and strain on your IT resources and greatly streamlines both training and implementation.

This is our flagship product and the one recommended for new installations. If you’re thinking about implementing a powerful, robust, easy to use and implement product that takes your incident investigations and human performance programs to the next level, then the Version 5 Web Enterprise TapRooT® System Software is the choice for your business.

Thanks everyone for reading, we’ll see you next time.

Root Cause Analysis Tip: How To Install TapRooT® System Software In Windows Vista

Posted: February 25th, 2009 in Root Cause Analysis Tips, Technical Support

Hello everybody and welcome to another edition of the Root Cause Analysis Tips Blog. In this blog I want to highlight our most frequented support article, the one in which we detail how to install the TapRooT® System Software in Windows Vista. We get plenty of calls and emails about this, and hopefully providing this information here will make someone’s life easier.

If you’re looking for the best root cause analysis software, something that is effective, efficient, scalable and delivers immediate, proven results, feel free to contact us and we’ll get you started on the road to improvement.

With no further ado:

 

 

 

How Do I Install the TapRooT® Software in Windows Vista?

Windows Vista adds an additional security measure with User Access Control (UAC). In Vista, when a user is logged in as an Administrator, it allows you to install software but if that software tries to update core files either during install or when the application runs, it may fail. By turning off User Access Control, you can eliminate that second level of security that causes error messages when trying to install the TapRooT® System Software.

NOTE: You can always turn UAC back on after the installation is complete.

1) Click on the Start Orb and above the button in the search box type in msconfig and press [Enter] on the keyboard.

Say [Yes] when prompted by User Access Control to allow this program to execute.

2) When the dialog box comes up click on the “Tools” tab, scroll down, select ‘Disable UAC’ as shown below, and press [Launch]

This opens a window and runs the selected command shown above. After completion, you will need to reboot before completing the TapRooT® System Software installation.

Installation Begin

1) With the CD in your drive go to Start – Computer and double click on your CD-Rom drive. Double click on the “TapSWv4” folder and run setup.exe.

2) The first time the program is run, the TapRooT® software will install the MSDE component. You will get a message stating “This program has known compatibility issues” When this appears, select the button that says [Run Program].

Once it completes the install, the setup program will close and you can then open the TapRooT® System Software normally by clicking on the icon on your desktop.

Root Cause Tip: Attaching and Launching SnapCharT® Photos

Posted: February 18th, 2009 in Root Cause Analysis Tips, Technical Support

Hello everyone, and welcome to your weekly Root Cause Tips blog. This week we’re going to take a look at attaching pictures to a SnapCharT® and some issues you may encounter. Particularly: What if you double click on your attached image and it doesn’t launch? The issue is with the default program associated with opening these files.

In SnapCharT®, you attach a file by right clicking on the object and choosing Launch:

After choosing the file you will see the Launch Icon above the shape. If you right click on it you’ll see two options:

If you choose Open and nothing happens, you need to change the Default Program used to open these files. This appears to only occur with images that by default  open with the Microsoft Picture and Fax Viewer.To change this, Launch Windows Explorer (Windows Key + E, or Start Button – Programs – Windows Explorer) and navigate to the file in question. Then right click on the file and choose Open With – Choose Program…

Instead of the default program, select Internet Explorer and then check the box to always open this type of file with this program:

However, the file will still not launch. In order to make it work correctly after this association, you need to right click on the Launch icon and choose Clear:

Then right click on the object again and choose Launch. Then pick the image file again, and double clicking on the Launch icon or right clicking and choosing Open should open the file correctly.Note that Internet Explorer is just one option. Any image viewer other than the default Microsoft Picture and Fax Viewer will be fine.

If you are ready to begin tracking your Root Cause Analysis in a more efficient way, make a small investment in the TapRooT® System Software and you’ll see the benefits immediately. Our tech support team is here and ready to assist you in any issues you may have while using it. Feel free to read more about the software or contact us to begin your improvement.

Thanks for reading, we’ll talk more next week.

TapRooT® System Software Dictionary Update Complete!

Posted: August 29th, 2008 in Software Updates, TapRooT, Technical Support, Website Info and Updates

As I hinted at yesterday, we’ve been working hard to get your TapRooT® System Software Dictionary Help File up to date and not corrupting your investigations. Well, we kicked it into high gear and today the update is available!

Click here to download the new TapRooT® System Software Dictionary Update! (7.8MB)

For those who already have the last update installed, this simply upgrades the existing copy. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us via the link at the top right of this page. Thanks!

Tech Support Thursday: New Dictionary Update Issue

Posted: August 28th, 2008 in Software Updates, Website Info and Updates

Hello everybody, and welcome to another Tech Support Thursday. This week we’re going to talk about the latest TapRooT® System Software Dictionary Update that you may have installed over the past few months.

The update was to bring the Version 4 software and its associated content in-line with the new TapRooT® Dictionary that was released with the latest TapRooT® Book. And while it was updated with the latest wordings and definitions, its formatting turned out to have a few issues. They have to deal with Root Cause Tree® analysis comments and the dictionary formatting. Two things:

  • Bullet points (like the ones I’m using here) should never, ever be copied and pasted into Root Cause Tree® Analysis comments. If you do so, and you save the Causal Factor Root Cause Analysis, you will not be able to successfully import this incident into another installation until that Causal Factor is deleted and the analysis completed again. The bullet point character corrupts the database entry for that Causal Factor. Not rendering it useless on the originating machine, as you can still edit, look, and modify the Causal Factor properties and Root Cause Analysis, but any exported .TS4 files will not import into any other install and you will see a “Run-Time 91” error pop-up when trying to import it.
  • Quotes (” “) that are copied and pasted from the latest Root Cause Dictionary update will also cause this export/import issue. This is due to the character set used in the Dictionary Update.

Note that we’ve disabled any further downloads of the Dictionary Update while progress continues on the fixed version. The good news is, in the next few days you should see an update where you can find the latest version of the TapRooT® Dictionary that won’t corrupt your Root Cause Tree® analysis in the slightest. We’re working hard to get this update to you as soon as possible, as this problem just came to our attention recently.

Thanks for using TapRooT® and keep checking back for that update!

TapRooT® System Software Dictionary Help File Update Released!

Posted: April 8th, 2008 in Software Updates, TapRooT, Technical Support

This update is for all users of the TapRooT® System Software, regardless of version.

This file will update your local TapRooT® Dictionary Help File, the file that is referenced whenever you look up the definition of root causes and/or corrective actions.

Download the update here. The update is 7.5MB in size.

And remember, if you have any issues or questions regarding the TapRooT System Software, be sure to check out the Support Knowledgebase to help you in resolving them, or to contact Technical Support.

Remember Safety Veterans

Posted: September 25th, 2007 in Pictures

Even those intimately familiar with the terrain can make mistakes.

Connect with Us

Filter News

Search News

Authors

Angie ComerAngie Comer

Software

Barb CarrBarb Carr

Editorial Director

Chris ValleeChris Vallee

Human Factors

Dan VerlindeDan Verlinde

VP, Software

Dave JanneyDave Janney

Safety & Quality

Garrett BoydGarrett Boyd

Technical Support

Ken ReedKen Reed

VP, Equifactor®

Linda UngerLinda Unger

Co-Founder

Mark ParadiesMark Paradies

Creator of TapRooT®

Per OhstromPer Ohstrom

VP, Sales

Shaun BakerShaun Baker

Technical Support

Steve RaycraftSteve Raycraft

Technical Support

Wayne BrownWayne Brown

Technical Support

Success Stories

I know that accidents happen, but I always try and learn from them and absolutely aim…

ARKEMA

Our Acrylates Area Oxidation Reactor was experiencing frequent unplanned shutdowns (trips) that…

Rohm & Haas
Contact Us