In this week’s MakingChips podcast, Jim and Jason discuss if you can be successful running a small machine shop, with Jim offering tips based on his own experiences.
Hello Metalworking Nation! Today we are excited to bring you another story that we hope will equip and inspire the younger generation of manufacturing leaders. Flying all the way in from Washington State, we are joined by Paul Van Metre, Co-Founder and VP Marketing of Adion Systems, an ERP-based software solutions company.
Paul shares with us his success story of co-founding a machine shop with his friends right out of college. With little money at first, they were able to grow the business to an $11 million dollar company during the tech boom of the late 90’s, by being ahead of the curve and utilizing several key processes including lean manufacturing and SEO. Eventually this led to the development of a web based and completely comprehensive ERP system that would take Paul and the company in a different direction.
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On this episode of MakingChips, Jim interviews his son Ryan Carr, Operations Manager at CARR Machine and Tool, Inc. along with Paul Van Metre, Co-Founder of ProShop ERP, about the risk and reward of implementing a new ERP system. During the interview, Ryan shares about the decision-making process and how they have been applying the new, full-spectrum ERP called ProShop. Listen as Ryan and Paul explain why an ERP is so important and how you can start the process of implementing one in your business.
Prior to purchasing the new ERP system, Ryan explains that there were inefficiencies and redundancies at CARR Machine and Tool, Inc. Data entry required multiple steps with numerous papers being unnecessarily shuffled around the office. Knowing that something had to be done to move the company forward, Jim and Ryan called in Paul Van Metre to explain how ProShop could help them. Hear how implementing the new ERP system is significantly minimizing redundancy and increasing efficiency.
Paul Van Metre was an experienced manufacturer prior to developing ProShop. He ran his own machine shop and experienced great success. His business grew to the point that they needed a better way to manage the company’s data. After searching and trying other ERPs, Paul and his team decided to build their own program. ProShop was originally intended only for internal use, but after a customer asked to purchase their proprietary software, Paul knew they had a product that the metal-working nation needed. Listen to the story of how ProShop became the premier ERP system in the manufacturing market during this episode of MakingChips.
Paul Van Metre says, “The economy drives off of taking raw materials and turning them into high-precision, value-added products. You can’t run an economy just making lattes and selling insurance.” Manufacturing is important, but it’s also challenging. An ERP creates a centralized place where all files are stored and easily accessed. Implementing an ERP can help streamline your processes, keep you organized and efficient, and better position you for success in your market.
Running your own manufacturing business can be difficult. Companies need as many tools as possible to help them be successful. Big, expensive decisions aren’t easy, but if you don’t change today, you’re competition will. You have to be willing to adapt and try new things to stay relevant in the market. Jim and Jason encourage you to analyze your company to see where you can reduce redundancies and inefficiencies. Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about how an ERP system can benefit your company.
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We often don’t think of a franchise and a manufacturing business as being an easy match, but systematizing your business according to the franchise model can vastly improve the functionality and profitability of your company. Tools such as an ERP system can help you boost efficiency and keep track of everything needed to streamline your business. In this episode, the co-founder and president of ProShop ERP, Paul Van Metre, shares the practical steps to take towards a more refined and systematized set of processes for optimal company performance.
Paul explains that the goal of modeling your business after a franchise isn’t to become the next Subway or McDonald’s. Instead, the vision is to design a franchise prototype. Creating standardized systems for every process and goal within your company will help you create repeatability and redundancy for every task and will help you pinpoint problems – leading to continual refining. The goal is to have the same and reliable output as a franchise delivers – consistent value, low labor costs, impeccable organization, and documented workflow that produces predictable product.
Whether your company is growing by leaps and bounds or not – establishing systems that streamline your processes and help ground the expectations and values of your business will help take your customer experience and your efficiency to the next level. The goal isn’t to duplicate your business into a thousand perfect replicas. The goal is to run your company in the most efficient and proven method available – with a franchise mindset applied to the small business structure.
What processes do you apply to the franchise model? Paul says that the answer is all of them. Systems like ERP can help minimize the labor involved in documenting your processes for storing fixtures, programming, job descriptions, hiring, training, company expectations, and procedures for making each and every product. Paul explains that one huge step for his company was standardizing jobs. Making sure that every person in your company is following the same procedures creates reliability.
Jim uses the ERP system in his discussions with new clients, allowing them to view the numbers and procedures used to create the products they need. With a standardized system in place, every operation is itemized and trackable. All the details are available in one place – not scattered across different platforms and mediums. Documenting your systems in one location allows for a higher level of professionalism that makes everything black and white for your customers – and for your employees.
Paul explains that you don’t need to create brand new procedures in order to streamline your business. Begin by bringing your team onboard with the mission to document every process you already have in place. It’s a team effort – unless you are a one-man shop. Each individual is going to have specific knowledge that is vital to the tribe. So much more information can be documented with ease when it is all inserted into one place – such as an ERP system. While it may seem daunting at first, it becomes easier the more your team utilizes it. Be sure to listen to the entire episode for Jim’s story of how implementing an ERP system in Carr Machine & Tool helped him keep a clear and focused approach to company growth.
It’s surprising how many steps you can eliminate when you centralize all of your processes and procedures in one location. Eliminating needless or unprofitable steps creates greater efficiency, which leads to greater profitability. It also helps streamline your customer experience so that they know exactly what to expect and are met with quality time after time.
Paul shares the 80/20 rule of profitability. Once you have the systems in place to track the profitability of each product, order, and customer, then you can begin to see the 80/20 rule take place. 80% of profits are derived by 20% of your jobs, and 20% of your jobs cause 80% of your losses. With a systemized process, you can see which jobs are losers and which are profitable. Having a procedure for killing off the losers will help keep your company moving forward and allow for less wasted time and resources.
It’s important to analyze how you define job profitability and how you analyze the urgency of a request within your business. Streamlining your processes and procedures will lead to unearthed problems within your systems. Constant improvement needs to be an understood key-to-success by everyone on the team. Humility and honesty are vital to the improvement of a company, but leaders don’t need to be bogged down and notified of every problem that arises. Know, as a leader, how you will analyze and prioritize what needs to be addressed, when, and by whom. Jason shares his strategy of IDS (Identify, Discuss, and Solve). Encouraging your team to understand why a problem occurred and report it into a centralized system – like ERP – will help minimize the risk of the same problems occurring over and over again. Be sure to listen to the entire episode for more insight into why a franchise model may be the next step you should take with your manufacturing business.
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Business automation can seem like an intimidating change, but the benefits are massive. Guest speaker, Paul Van Metre – president of Pro Shop ERP, shares how letting go of control can help grow your company and make it vastly more efficient. Automating your systems can help clear up communication, save you and your team energy and time, and help boost your profitability. Change can be daunting, but an automated system is definitely worth the cost.
Some may think that there are too many barriers to push through to make business automation worth it. Paul explains that people fear what they don’t understand and what they don’t know. While such fear is normal, it shouldn’t keep manufacturing leaders from making the switch. The initial expense and time invested in uploading your company’s data may seem like a shock at first, but the efficiency that comes with automation is incredible. Letting go of control could be the best decision you’ve ever made.
The tools you use to automate your business are crucial to your success. Paul gives some examples of automation, including robots for the machine shop floor, apps, and entire manufacturing eco-systems – such as Pro Shop ERP. Paul shares that his company grew out of the need to solve the problems they faced as a start-up. No one offered the software they needed to automate their systems so that they could stay on top of their game and grow with their clients. Pro Shop ERP is the result of Paul’s team’s hard work and innovation. They wanted a way to tie all the details of their business together into one, centralized system. Paul encourages listeners to not be overwhelmed by the nuances of launching an automated system but to rather focus on the big picture: making chips so that you can make more money.
In every small business, there are going to be people who wear too many hats. Inefficiency isn’t something that growing manufacturing businesses can tolerate for long. Miscommunication, confusion, and extended lead time can all be results of outdated processes and the struggle of having to do everything manually – from customer on-boarding to running machinery. It’s easy to get caught up in the everyday chaos and not realize what could be easily solved through automation.
Excel isn’t always going to cut it for logging your processes and keeping track of customer information and accounting. Before Pro Shop ERP, there was automating software to help with the accounting side of business, but there wasn’t anything that was built from the shop floor perspective. Pro Shop ERP offers that perspective in an automated format so that you can focus on what’s important to the growth of your business.
There are so many details to consider when running a manufacturing business, and tools like Pro Shop ERP help take the busywork out of the picture. Jim shares the improvements made to his company through the implementation of automation.
You can automate your sales process as well as your manufacturing processes. Jim shares that he uses Pro Shop even in the initial “interview” with new customers. Since quality communication is one of the pillars of Carr Machine & Tool, Jim likes to show new customers how well Pro Shop allows them to communicate as a team – both internally as a company and externally with their customers. He can also establish trust and openness by showing new customers the automated breakdown of pricing with Pro Shop so that there is no guesswork when it comes to quoting a price.
While there is a good bit of front-end work with uploading and customizing all of the data for an automated system, the end-product is invaluable to the efficiency of your manufacturing business.
See this podcast episode on SpotifyIn this week’s episode, we get a look into Carr Machine’s setup process. Hosts Jim Carr and Nick Goellner invite guests Ryan Carr, Operations Manager at CARR Machine and Tool, Inc., and Paul Van Metre, Co-Founder of ProShop ERP on to discuss the challenges they face with long setup times and explore how ProShop has helped them refine the process while providing measurable analytics for future improvement. Segments:
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In this week’s podcast, hosts Jim Carr and Jason Zenger invite guests Paul Van Metre, Co-Founder of ProShop ERP, and Matt Gawlik, President of 3D Industries to discuss what it takes to properly implement a new ERP in a machine shop, and how it can change your culture.
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In this week’s MakingChips podcast, Jim and Jason discuss if you can be successful running a small machine shop, with Jim offering tips based on his own experiences.
0:00 | Jim and Jason talk about the different knowledge centers at IMTS Spark
1:10 | Jim mentions how he used ProShop ERP to extract the necessary data to collect the federal R&D tax credit
5:06 | Jim shares information on the failure rates of new businesses
7:45 | Jason explains why he’s planning on taking a sabbatical from work
13:00 | Jim reads a news articles about the manufacturing economy bouncing back in 2021, and the different factors that will affect it
20:08 | Jim and Jason talk with Dan from Xometry and Vinny from PenCo Precision to discuss their experience with Xometry during the 2020 pandemic
26:22 | Jim asks “what is success in business?”
31:27 | Jim shares his tips for running a successful small machine shop
39:30 | Jim and Jason talk about how they analyze risks before they make business decisions
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In this episode of MakingChips, Jason, Jim and Nick discuss the R&D Tax Credit. This could be a huge saving for your manufacturing company, but please don’t take this episode as legal, accounting or any similar advice; you should contact a professional after you have listened to this episode.
0:40 | Jim points out that he utilizes ProShop ERP tool “Work by Industry Dashboard” to receive real time data
3:12 | Jason asks Nick and Jim “Do you guys like paying taxes?”
3:45 | Jason references Oliver Wendall Holmes, Jr., Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court – quoted “Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society”
4:22 | Jason references Billings Learned Hand, Former American Judge and Judicial Philosopher who served in the U.S. District Court of Appeals quoted “Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes”
9:43 | Jason shares manufacturing news – what are legislators trying to accomplish, when they come out with a new tax law?
12:45 | Jim calls Paul Van Metre of ProShop ERP to talk about how a client of his utilized the R&D Tax Credit
19:34 | Jason explains what type of research qualifies for the R&D Tax Credit
28:14 | Jim talks about ProShop ERP, to record Documentation Data Metrics
29:34 | Nick, Jim and Jason discuss what may qualify you for the R&D Tax Credit
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In this episode of MakingChips, hosts Jim Carr and Jason Zenger meet with Paul Van Metre of ProShop ERP to discuss 10 things to consider when going through the process of getting AS9100 certified.
0:13 | Jim talks about his time using Amper Technologies machine monitoring systems under their pilot program
2:27 | Jim shares manufacturing news about past experiences with IMTS Rockstars and the current boom in manufacturing
4:24 | Jason mentions his 2021 sabbatical and how it’s okay to take a break from work
6:04 | Jim introduces the topic of the episode and offers questions you can ask yourself to decide if AS9100 certification is needed
8:58 | Jason introduces this week’s guest: Paul Van Metre of ProShop ERP
10:45 | Paul talks about his time at his former company implementing AS9100 features into ProShop ERP
12:30 | Jason asks if a cutting tool distributor would benefit from being AS9100 certified
25:10 | Paul shares how ProShop ERP can help you build your process for getting AS9100 certified
See this podcast on the EECO WebsiteEECO is an expert in industrial automation and motor solutions, with the benefit of full line electrical distribution. Major manufacturers, OEMs, and contractors trust us to provide solutions that lower cost of ownership, increase reliability, and improve performance. Think about this – how can a shop know its profitability on every job? This is a common struggle area and in Paul’s recipe, he uncovers how with the right processes and platforms in place every shop can have accurate and to the minute data available to be successful. Helping others see how a system could improve their process and help in business growth are all areas that Paul expands upon. This is a thought-provoking recipe for differentiation and one that we feel could help many out there that are supporting the growing world of manufacturing.
See this podcast on the EBITDA Growth SystemsToo many companies struggle to produce healthy bottom lines and/or favorable valuations. EBITDA Growth Systems’ mission is to help business owners and executives substantially increase the profitability and value of their companies. We work with clients that have achieved some level of operational success but have not yet crossed the chasm to reach maximum profitability (EBITDA). Join Mike & Dave as they welcome some special guests - our friends from ProShop! There is a lot of good information here about ProShop ERP and how amazing our ERP is! Check it out. The people at EBITDA Growth Systems have gone so far as to say it’s the only ERP they recommend! This is an episode you need to listen to IMMEDIATELY!!
See this podcast on the Swarfcast WebsiteSwarfcast is for listeners interested in the precision machining world. We interview owners of manufacturing companies, inventors, tooling experts, machine tool builders, robotics experts and whoever else we think our listeners/readers would find interesting. On today’s show we’re talking about how to set up machine tools efficiently. Our guest is Paul Van Metre, co-founder of ProShop ERP. ProShop produces a comprehensive web-based and totally paperless shop management system for small to medium manufacturing companies. Paul says that using a few best practices, guided by ProShop’s management system, can reduce a machine setup time up to 50%.
See this podcast on the Manufacturing Happy Hour WebsiteWe go beyond the buzzwords and dissect real-life applications and success stories so that you can tackle your biggest manufacturing challenges and turn them into profitable opportunities. Stay Innovative, Stay Thirsty. In this episode, Paul shares his story about starting a company right out of college some Formula SAE buddies and how the challenges they faced as machine shop owners inspired them to create ProShop. In addition to hearing some of the lessons that Paul has learned throughout his entrepreneurial career, we discuss why systems, documentation, and business processes are the key differentiator for manufacturers – particularly machine shops – in today’s market. We even get into a little car talk before the interview wraps up, so make sure to stick around until the end!
See this podcast episode on SpotifyWithin Tolerance is a podcast where the hosts talk everything from machine shop work, CAD/CAM, and other manufacturing processes! Welcome to the Within Tolerance Podcast! This podcast is where Payton Dean (BrickTactical) and Dylan Jackson (Proteum Machining) talk shop! Today Payton and Dylan talk to Paul Van Metre from ProShop ERP! Paul tells his background in job shop machining and how that turned into an ERP software company that helps machine shops and manufacturing companies!