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.
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.
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.
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
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!