Processes Pave the Road to Success!

May 29, 2023

Written by: Paul Van Metre

I am very fortunate to have visited and toured hundreds of machine shops in my life. I never thought as a kid that machine shops would hold such a deep, meaningful place in my heart!  But I’ve come to realize that they are the bedrock of our world economy. Nothing physical in the modern world could exist without machine shops.  Please send me a comment if you don’t agree, and let’s have a healthy debate!!

In my hundreds of shop tours, there is one common theme that rises above all else. The most successful shops are the most process driven! Hands down, this is the most common theme I see.  There are many other common truths, like the industries they serve, how strong their culture is, and how diverse their customer base is…but to be honest, all of those things can be heavily influenced by process.  Process-based thinking is the linchpin to a successful business!

I just finished up a trip to Australia and got to visit 8 clients here.  They are all very successful shops, but the ones that are clearly thriving the most are also the most process-driven. It could be that there is only a correlation, but my money is on causality. It holds true for the vast majority of the most successful companies I’ve had the honor to visit.

Great employees come to work with drive and a growth mindset.  They are eager to do well and work towards the company mission.  But they aren’t mind readers, and they need direction and guidance from the leadership of the company about what and how to do it.  That guidance comes in the form of business processes, among other things. Here are a few key reasons why business processes are so essential to a successful business:

  • Ensures consistency and accuracy – Standard business processes provide a consistent and accurate approach to completing tasks, allowing employees to focus on their job and reducing the risk of mistakes. 
  • Provides a foundation for improvement – Without a firm basis for measuring performance, it’s very difficult to improve a process that’s always changing.
  • Increases efficiency – Standard processes allow businesses to streamline their operations and get more done in less time. 
  • Improves customer satisfaction – By providing consistent and reliable service, companies can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. 
  • Reduces costs – Standard processes can reduce costs by eliminating redundant tasks and streamlining operations. 
  • Enhances communication – By establishing standard processes, businesses can ensure that all employees understand the same thing and are on the same page.
  • Creates a better work environment – Standard processes can create a better work environment by reducing misunderstandings and improving collaboration. This reduces frustration and employee turnover!
  • Increases morale – When businesses use standard processes, employees feel more motivated and fulfilled. They can rally around a streamlined process they feel good about executing.

The companies I’ve visited that had the least amount of process invariably had a lot more chaos, higher employee turnover, lower business performance (delivery, quality, profit, etc.), and just a lot more stress. It’s immediately apparent once you’ve seen so many shops, and you can build a database in your head of the common traits of great shops! The shops with less success are the shops that shoot from the hip and reject standardized processes. They just want to” get ‘er dun” and think that going quick is the fastest and best way to run a business.  I’m here to tell you that’s categorically not the case.  But don’t get me wrong, the most successful shops are very action-oriented, make decisions quickly, and execute like nobody else.  They just do it around a standard set of business processes to guide their actions.

So if your shop is struggling to find success, consider my advice here. Focus on building efficient business processes in your company! I offer it freely with the goal of helping lift up the machine shop industry because it’s so important to have a strong manufacturing economy in our world.  Nothing else compares with helping to ensure that creating significant value out of raw materials can lead to lots of jobs and prosperity in the areas that we all live in.

How Can ProShop Help?
At its core, ProShop is nothing more than a set of really efficient software-driven business processes designed for precision manufacturing. Each process flows smoothly into the others and is taken in aggregate, and they create a highly efficient set of best practices that have been proven hundreds of times to be very effective and highly profitable.  I’ve even had long-term clients tell me that at the start, they pushed back on our process and tried to mold the workflows to their own way of wanting to do things.  But they’ve learned over the years that the more they buy into our method of running a shop, the more success they have in their business.  And that success fuels growth, value, and jobs.  It’s exactly what our mission statement is and why we’re convinced it’s so important to the world.

We deliver powerful manufacturing software by deeply understanding our clients’ challenges in order to meaningfully improve their businesses, and in turn, their communities.

We’d love to talk with you if you need help building proven processes to help drive your success.

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