Driving Growth With Confidence

February 6, 2024

Written by: Paul Van Metre and David Vuyk

You’ve likely heard it said that “knowing is half the battle” and in so many different contexts, it often rings true. Despite the wide acceptance that knowledge and access to good information is so important, manufacturers today put up with a lot of uncertainty, gray areas, and confusion. Ask yourself: Is the information being presented to your team clear, concise, and reliable? If a set-up technician loaded the tools, set the offsets, and loaded the g-code, could that person set the feed rates and rapids right up to 100%, press cycle start, walk away, and be confident that the machine will run as intended?

James Clear says “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” At ProShop, we like to preach a similar message. Team members ought to have confidence in those systems in order to be successful at their jobs. Does your team have that level of confidence today? Don’t guess – go ask them and find out! 

Perhaps they don’t. You certainly wouldn’t be alone if that’s the case. After all, with so many moving parts in the production process, how could you really be certain that the flow of information from team to team is absolutely correct? Besides, you hired smart people who can “figure it out”. There’s no sense in getting bogged down in ensuring that the instructions they receive are 100% accurate. Right? 

Wrong. While it may sound a bit crazy, trying to be 100% accurate would be a great starting point. Being vague and lacking specificity is often a choice. A choice that is probably holding your company back right now. Think about it:

  • If your set-up technicians were fully confident that the g-code, tool set-up list, work-holding instructions, and offsets presented for a job were correct, you would have reduced set-up times and increased spindle utilization.
  • If operators have total clarity with regard to process instructions and which jobs to be working on, more jobs would be completed in less time.
  • If purchasers were fully confident in the quantities, specs, and preferred vendors, they’d spend less time verifying purchase requirements and those items would arrive sooner, in correct quantities, with less expediting costs.
  • If shipping teams knew exactly when parts were ready to ship, how to specifically package those parts, and an easy way to generate shipping documentation and labels, those boxes of parts would get out the door and be invoiced sooner.  

Clarity wins every time. Much of the work we do at ProShop has to do with helping manufacturing business owners overcome problems and be successful. One of the common threads we’ve noticed in doing so is the need for accuracy in the information that is being presented to various teams throughout the manufacturing workflow. Don’t settle. Let’s set the bar higher. 

Manufacturing teams deserve clarity, and frankly, owners are pretty well-incentivised to give it to them. When everyone understands the goal, and how to get there, their job satisfaction, confidence, and productivity are increased. It’s a win all around. How do you provide that level of clarity? You put the systems in place. It’s that simple. Simple but admittedly not always easy to pull off. Apologies for the nuance, but it’s an important detail to acknowledge. The solutions often stare us in the face, but implementing those solutions can at times feel overwhelming, because in many cases, they are.

How ProShop Can Help?
At ProShop, we work alongside you in a consultative manner to reduce the overwhelm that so often accompanies the implementation process. When we talk about how ProShop deeply integrates various workflow functions together, we aren’t joking. The ultimate goal is to facilitate the flow of correct information so that everyone knows what to do because they have instructions that are specific and correct – no guesswork required. We accomplish that in several ways. Here’s a few of our favorites:

Pre-Processing Checklists: ProShop guides manufacturing teams through the job planning process so that every detail of the job is reviewed and planned for. Digital sign-offs on planning steps provide accountability to responsible individuals so that there is no confusion with regard to who is responsible for what. Job planning status is denoted on Work Orders and Production Schedules so that there is clarity with regard to which jobs are ready to be executed.

Sequence Detail & Tool Lists: A lack of detail regarding which tools to use in the machining process can lead to costly mistakes. ProShop’s tooling module supports detailed tool descriptions and accurate inventory information which flows down from programming to job planning, set-up, and production steps. There doesn’t need to be any confusion about which tool to use, where to find it, and how to set it up in the correct tool holder with the correct tool extension length.

ProShop even has a feature where the tool list documented by the programmer can be compared against the G-Code to highlight any differences which may cause a crash.

Work holding requirements: Knowing the specifics about workholding, which fixtures to use, and where to find them on the shop floor can save time, avoid confusion, and get your spindles turning sooner. ProShop’s fixture module allows you to catalog various systems of work holding, custom fixtures, and soft jaws. This allows you to specify storage location, and associated part numbers that those unique workholdings correspond to and integrates that information into the work instructions that set-up technicians depend on. With ProShop, you don’t have to waste any time looking around the shop for a fixture. You’ll know where it is every time.

Everything else: ProShop’s Digital Work Order system ties together all components of the manufacturing process including visual work instructions, procurement functions, inventory allocation, raw materials, QA, shipping, and more. This provides clarity to manufacturing teams, allowing them to confidently complete more jobs in less time with fewer mistakes. Don’t just take our work for it. Here’s what our clients have to say: 

“Using the tools in ProShop, We’ve been able to reduce our set-up times by over 50%” – Chris Guidotti, East Branch Engineering

Once you go into the job, there’s no chance of making a mistake. Everything is all on one page. That’s what’s really nice about it.” – Steven Mayle, Pioneer Cuts

The Machinists have all the information on hand, they don’t really have to go ask anybody for anything. The drawings are there. Any special documents. It all lives within the system.” –

These are just some of the ways in which ProShop sets manufacturing teams up for success. Can your team be confident in the information being supplied to them? Or do they need to double check everyone else’s work before feeling confident enough to press cycle start. The difference of having that confidence is a force multiplier that will allow your business to soar to new heights. If you’re interested in learning more about how ProShop can help you attain that confidence, book a call with us today!  

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