– [Paul] Okay. Here we got Timothy’s scrolling in here. Hello, Craig. Deirdre, Kent, Tom.
– [Brian] Hey, Tom. How are ya?
– Morning, Tom.
– [Brian] And Kim and…
– [Paul] And phone-in listeners. They’ll miss the slides, but maybe they have, maybe you guys also have screens going to.
– [Brian] Hey, Kurt. And . Right, people are just rolling in. That’s great.
– [Paul] All right. Well, let’s go ahead and formally get started. It is the nine o’clock hour here in the West coast, noon Eastern time. So thank you everyone for joining us. My name is Paul, I’m one of the founders of ProShop, and I am very excited to do this webinar today. It’s the first one we’ve done of this kind and we have a great team of folks on with us. So we have Brian, who used to be an-
– [Paul] Yeah. Thanks, Brian. So why don’t you just introduce yourself, Brian?
– [Brian] Yeah, yeah, I’m, well, first of all, I’m a machinist by trade, so I’m very comfortable with most of the folks out there. And in fact that I’ve worked in a shop for many, many years, and done a lot of different functions. I’ve actually worked with this company since 2000 as a machinist and project manager, all sorts of different things. I came to the software company 2017 and up until the beginning of this year, really focused on this topic, on implementation and training and launching customers, getting them set up to use ProShop to help run their business. So that’s kind of where I’m at now and really helping people understand that from even a little bit, you know, more in the beginning of the process at this point, with the working with you guys in the technical sales side of things and showing you what ProShop can do for you.
– [Paul] Awesome, Brian, thank you. And we have Luc Dorais. You wanna say hi, Luc? Give it a little bit of background?
– [Luc] Hi, everyone. Yes, I also have been a machinist for many, many years and joined the ProShop team in 2004 Worked alongside with Brian for many years. I joined this implementation process about two and a half years ago, almost three years ago. Very rewarding, and we all have a strong manufacturing background. We all bring a lot to the table. So welcome aboard.
– [Paul] Thanks, Luc. And then we’re lucky, very lucky, to have James Marzilli, one of our customers out in Massachusetts. Do you wanna say hi, James?
– [Jamie] Hello, everybody. I’m glad to be here. I’m very passionate about the software and what it’s been able to do for my company, and I’m glad to give back and to share with the, with the rest of the team in the ProShop family.
– [Paul] Awesome. Thanks, Jamie. Okay, well let’s get going here. So just little bit of an agenda. We’re just gonna very briefly just talk about what sort of the goal of ERP implementation is. We’re gonna share a short little video that we put together of some of our customers talking about their experience. I will mention when we get to the video, Brian is in the video when he was a customer. So it’s…
– [Brian] Very true, yeah.
– [Paul] … a little, it was a little odd but he was a customer of ProShop at the time we shot that video. We’re gonna talk about some of the obstacles that we’ve seen in ERP implementations. And then James is gonna share with us a bit about his story. What made that go so successfully and kind of his thoughts about that. Luc is gonna talk about from his perspective. He’s one of our most talented trainers, implementation folks, I’ll say. Brian is gonna share a little bit about our process. We use ProShop to manage the implementation process of ProShop, so it’s kind of creative the way we do that. And then we’re gonna talk a little bit about some lessons learned, some things that we’ve seen that is best to avoid. So let’s-
– [Brian] Paul, I wanna just jump in real quick and mention the, just a little bit housekeeping for, for the RingCentral call here.
– [Paul] Oh, thank you. Yeah.
– [Brian] Yeah, so we do have the option, if you guys can see in your RingCentral apps, or if you’re on the web, for Q&A. We also have a chat option. Q&A’s a little bit better just because it’s a little easier for us to manage and be able to answer questions either directly through just kind of the chat interface, if you will, or we can answer questions live so if you do have any questions at any point, feel free to throw them at us and we’ll do the best we can to answer them. And, you know, like I said, either in that Q&A or chat or answer in real time. So.
– [Paul] Thank you, Brian. That’s great.
– [Brian] Yeah.
– [Paul] All right. So what is the goal with all this? We believe that the goal of any ERP implementation is to ensure that you get the absolute best possible results for long-term success, long-term ROI for the company. But we wanna do that, we wanna balance being very methodical and careful to get those results with not having it take too long and be too expensive. So there is some, we believe, a good sense of kind of positive pressure or urgency to, to get that done quickly. The systems, the companies we’ve worked with the most that had the most success, that was the most happy with it, went relatively quickly. And I think a lot quicker than what people typically think of as ERP timeframes. So let’s watch a video here.
– In my career, I’ve been through usage and in some cases implementations of JobBOSS, Plex, E2, Epicor, and Global Shop. And the major significant improvement from the box that we get here with ProShop is there are rules built in, and with all the other systems that I’ve dealt with, you have to develop your own rules just to be able to use the system. So I’d cut at least 40% out of the garbage I had to deal with when implementing something of this complexity.
– The user interface is very intuitive so it makes training new hires within a couple of days, they are fairly independent.
– I would absolutely recommend ProShop to other shops like ours. ProShop actually own a machine shop and they speak our language. They’ve been through the trenches. They’ve been through all the things that machine shops continually struggle with. So every problem you’ve had, they’ve had before, and it makes the communication so much easier when you’re talking with somebody that’s actually been through it, been through the growth, been through the problems that they’ve had with audits and customers and whatever problem that you could imagine they’ve been through.
– We’ve seen efficiency increases through every aspect of the shop, and we can’t imagine living without it. Making that transition was much simpler than we thought it would be. And then just the overall functionality. Everything is under one roof. There’s not five, six different systems anymore. Now the crew has full feedback loop, they can give us information, we can give them information. It’s all real time. Once people saw really how great it was, it was kind of like a freight train. We couldn’t even stop the progress. I’ve never had software support like that where they’re basically logging in, putting in time, truly caring about what you’re trying to do, and make it as easy as possible to change one of the most difficult things that you can do on a machine shop, switching ERP software.
– We started using ProShop almost instantly. We just started at the beginning of the manufacturing process, which was quoting. And once we developed and learned how to quote, we just moved into the next step of the process, doing work orders, ordering material, and just kind of developed the process through there all the way up to invoicing. The onboarding for ProShop was really pretty seamless. We did a lot of web-based training, Brian was one of our trainers. He used to be a machinist himself so it really seemed, you know, he spoke our language as far as how we learned and what our needs were.
– We’re currently installing ProShop in a second location of our company, and it’s helped us to eliminate four other softwares that were all kind of doing different parts but not really well of the whole management of the company. So yeah, have the implementation specialist was Michael Collins. We had a lot of questions, he had all the answers and if he didn’t, he would find someone that did and come back with them. Beyond that, he just showed us how to use ProShop. All of our training sessions were recorded for later review or for new employees that we hire. Overall, it was pretty good implementation experience.
– Yeah, I would recommend ProShop and I have recommended ProShop. Just check it out and you’ll like it.
– [Paul] All right. I heard you laugh when you saw your face go up, Brian.
– [Brian] Yeah, I got the quarantine beard going on so it’s-
– [Paul] That’s true.
– [Brian] Yeah, a little old. Different look going on. All right, let’s talk a little bit about some of the obstacles that, that we’ve seen, then we’ll get talking about the best practices part. So one of the biggest is just not having a vision of where you’re going and sort of what that end goal is gonna look like. And as James will talk about, the goal might actually change over time and that’s even possibly a good thing to be open to that. But starting with that is really important. One of the biggest, most impactful parts of an ERP is just the change in the organization. People will possibly have to take on different roles or do their jobs differently, and being open to that and managing that, managing people’s experiences, is really, really important because really, it comes all down to people. Lack of alignment. We have definitely seen great examples of this and not so great examples of this, where not everyone was in the boat rowing in the same direction. So that can be a significant downside. We’ve also seen clients just get so busy that they didn’t make it a priority to show up and actually do the work. Show up to training sessions, keep canceling. And that just makes the process take longer and you kind of lose momentum. We understand the job shops and companies doing, you know, manufacturing companies are crazy environments and our goal is to try to help you make it less crazy, but we definitely see trends and patterns. You know, some companies show up every single time pretty much and others don’t. And those are some of the, you see a big difference in the outcome they have.
– [Brian] Yeah, I’d like to just-
– Yeah, go ahead, Brian.
– Sorry, Paul, I just wanna just interject there and just say that, you know, some of those things that we call obstacles are actually things you’re experiencing already. You know, that’s one of the reasons you’re looking for a new system in the first place is that you, you may have some of these issues going on in the company as it is, and you’re wanting to address them. So with identifying those up upfront, I think it’s really important you know that those are things that can be a challenge for anything you do, whether it’s implementing an ERP or just trying to get better at what you do in general. These are things that can definitely impact that process. And so with having identified them you can actually then do something about them and you can bring on new tools like ProShop and really make a big difference in your company.
– [Paul] Yeah. Thank you, Brian, I love that point. That is, and I’ll, I’ll mention something that we sometimes say. ProShop or any ERP system or any software is not a cure for some of the systemic problems that some shops see where there’s perhaps the lack of accountability or lack of alignment or cohesion in the team. It can make things easier, but software is never gonna solve, you know, some of the root problems that companies sometimes have. And then lastly, choosing the right internal leader for the project. We call them ProShop Champions in our clients teams, but we’ll talk a little bit more about that later But having the right person with the right skillset and authorities and all that is really important. So let’s talk a little bit about the, what we call the ProShop Champion in our process. Really important to have a good knowledge of the big picture of the company. You know, an ERP system specifically covers the front to the back, right? Front door to back door the entire company, from sales and quoting all the way to invoicing and everything in between. And if you have someone that’s kind of leading the charge internally and making sure we, you know, they pull the right people in at the right times for the proper training sessions, and understanding if we change our process here, how is that gonna affect how it works down the line? That’s really crucial to have that sort of big picture perspective.
– [Brian] Yeah and one more point on that is that, you know, when you have a person like this, we’re not expecting that that person knows how to do everything from the front door to the back door. Now that may be possible, especially if you’re a business owner. You might know how to do everything in your company. But that’s not what we’re necessarily looking for. What we’re looking for is somebody to provide that glue to every team member, to get people in the right place at the right time. ProShop as a tool, it’s fairly easy. Once you know sort of one part and your set of modules, it’s fairly easy to know how to navigate around in others. So what we’re looking for is somebody that can really learn the basics navigations to help people out when they’re in individual parts. So if you have somebody that’s maybe in quality and that’s not your area of expertise, you can still help them out because you know how to use ProShop. And it all kind of works the same. So really kind of making that point, I think. You don’t have to be an expert on the entire company, but you will know what to do for anybody because ProShop is just built that way.
– [Jamie] I’d also like to comment on that. You actually, you even know what to do for yourself. So at my company, I am our ProShop champion, right? You have many modules you have to deal with. And so you learn how one module behaves and you find yourself into another module that maybe you just don’t use as often, so let’s say like the fixturing module, but if you understand how the tools get it is very easy and intuitive to figure out how you put your fixtures on your equipment.
– [Brian] Right, right, right.
– [Paul] Yeah, thanks, Jamie. Yeah, great points, you guys. Also very helpful if that person is respected, and of course, everyone in the company should be respected and that comes back to company culture. But it’s just nicer when people are talking with someone that, that they like and respect. Authority to make changes, that’s a big one. You know, again, if not gonna be the owner doing it, it’s gotta be, I think the owner has to put some trust into that person to be able to say, “Hey, here’s what I’m seeing that we need to change in order to, you know, do this new system,” and, you know, push for those changes and have them move forward. Being committed to the process, hugely important, of course. Again, that comes back to the sort of company alignment. Are we definitely doing this? Or is there a chance that we’re gonna decide we don’t wanna do this? And then being committed to doing it, you know, on the schedule you’ve set out. And then being open-minded when Jamie will talk in his area, we’ll hear a little bit about how he really changed what he thought was gonna happen going into it and then what actually did happen as they really got into the process. All right, James, let’s cue you up here. So we have a bunch of slides for pictures of what Jamie’s sent us. But yeah, go ahead and share your wisdom with us, please.
– [Jamie] Sure. So hi everybody, I’m Jamie Marzilli, I own Marzilli Machine Company. We started off as a one man shop with one machine, and in almost 10 years, we’ve been able to grow to like, we have 21 people on two shifts, and we have 15 CNC machines, all kind of stuffed Tetra style into a 5,000 square foot building. So we’re a very small place, but we’re growing very rapidly and we got into ProShop because we were looking for more from our ERP system. We had an older system that we refer to as the legacy system that had been here for almost eight years. So we understood how important managing our company as it grows with an ERP system of some sort, how important that was from the very beginning. But we always found it lacking. And so, you know, when I actually read about ProShop in a Modern Machine Shop magazine and the article was interesting and I wanted to dig into it. And as soon as I saw the first video on the website, I was hooked, I wanted to know more about it. And so, you know, as we got into it, I absolutely have no regrets about what we did here. And it’s been a very long and very enlightening journey. So, you know, Paul was getting into, you know, our expectations so, you know, we had a set of expectations of what we thought was gonna happen as we got into this, and the deeper we got into the system, the more we were blown away by what it was actually able to do, and it actually changed our expectations. So the expectations we have now for what we expect, we couldn’t have even imagined that when I first, you know, started looking into changing ERP systems. I couldn’t imagine where we are now and how we were able to get there in such a short amount of time. Things like building a tool crib, which was something we never had here in our shop. Different ways of handling our labor pool and who was responsible for what, kind of like what Paul was saying in the intro there. It really changed a lot about the behavior of our company and of each individual person. Made us a lot more efficient which gave us a lot more room to be creative with how we could solve problems. If you’re constantly just being buried by the day-to-day minutia of solving manufacturing problems, you have a hard time getting your head above water to start solving some of your just running a company kind of problems. And we felt that ProShop has really done a great job with that for us. Do you want me to just go through these?
– [Paul] Yeah. I’d love you to share that story about how you sat down your team, what you said to them at the very beginning. I think that was super insightful.
– [Jamie] So as I started getting into the software, one of my biggest fears was that, you know, a revolt, right? So you’re gonna go downstairs and, well for us, it’s down the stairs, and we talked to our guys about, you know, “We’re gonna bring in this new system. It’s gonna be something completely different but we believe it’s gonna be for the best for the company.” And it’s just in human nature to wanna resist change, you know? Especially to get 20 people on board with something so, such a dramatic change from what we were used to doing. And as I started getting into it and I started to catch a little bit of feedback from my crew, I had to be a leader. And so what I did was I got all of my crew together and I explained to them that in 10 years in business, and most of my people here have been with me for five years or more, I started training them up to be machinists. And so we have a very family atmosphere here. You know, I got them all together and I just said, “Look, in all this time, I’ve never steered you guys wrong. And so you’ve been with me this far, and you have to come with me the rest of the way, and I’m taking us into uncharted territory, but I believe this is what’s best for us.” And so I put my foot down very firmly and I said, “This is where we’re going. I’ve made the decision. I did my research on this. I’ve been looking into this for months and I’ve decided that this is what we’re doing. Anyone who is against me on this is immediately going to be terminated. Anybody who is not with me on this, I’m gonna move on without you.” “Do not let the company outgrow you,” was what I warned them. And I said, “But when I’m done, when it’s implemented, when it’s in place, I wanna hear what you guys think about this, and we will continue to make changes on that point. But until then, I just needed everybody to just get in line and get behind me because the changes were so dramatic. I can give you a great example of this. We built a tool crib, which was something new here in the company that we had never done before. We’re gonna show some pictures of, of the toolkit that we built. It was small, nothing complicated, it’s not much more than what we had before. It’s just organized much, much better and it’s secluded into a small corner of the company now. And when we started moving everything from the middle of the company into the corner of the company, we got a lot of feedback from people saying, “Aw, man, you know I gotta walk all the way over there now to get my tools. But what they didn’t understand was is actually you’re never gonna walk over there to go and get your tools. Your tools are from now on gonna be provided to you in caddies. And so I didn’t wanna have to fight non-problems from them constantly, and so I just put my foot down and said, “Look, you know, I’ve brought you this far. You gotta come with me. Just trust me. This is how we’re gonna do it. And then when you have to save up.”
– [Paul] I think that’s super insightful, Jamie.
– [Jamie] So I’m not sure who… So like, now that my name’s up, I’m not sure if I should be leading this thing or not, Paul, so…
– [Paul] Yeah, when we were prepping for this, you said you wanted to share a little bit about how you get treated, Well, actually let’s go ahead and move some of those pictures, go to some of those pictures and we’ll just kind of continue the discussion.
– [Jamie] Sure. So this is an example of what we were able to do with our quality control system. So if you notice where this young man is working there’s no paper. We used ProShop as our catalyst to move to a completely digital manufacturing system. So what we’ve been able to do was we took, I’m sure you can see here in the picture, We actually took the monitors. We hung them upside down and put Surface Pros there. So the guys can actually take the Surface for a lot of the dock, they use it to take pictures of their parts and stuff that we instantly add right into the system so everybody knows what they’re doing. He takes a picture of the print and he just casts it over the internet, right up to that television, and moves back to the other tab and that’s where he actually puts all of these data in, right in on the ERP, right on the word order. I can’t tell you how many hours we were counting of people just losing their inspection reports and travelers. Just how many hours a day they would spend just going “Oh man, where did I put that?” That never happens anymore. So just in that alone, I mean, it’s paid for itself just with people trying to hide their travelers. And this is just another example of how he would do this. So he’s actually physically doing his measurements. And up on that tablet, he would just type in the numbers with the print right in front of them, there’s no need for any paper anymore.
– [Paul] And you said you used a Bluetooth keypad so they could have it on the table.
– [Jamie] Yeah, we bought a Bluetooth number pad only, just the numbers, and he uses the pen that comes with the service to kind of guide himself around. But we found that bringing the keyboard up and down constantly like that, it was just easier to just have a number pad on the side of him to .
– [Paul] That’s awesome. Now let’s look at the tool crib.
– [Jamie] And so this is inside of our little tool crib. So we bought this cabinet. This picture is a little dated, it’s got, you know, all of these bins are full now. One of my favorite parts about the tool crib is that you can never outgrow it. When we were doing the warmup, I had described to you about how the keeping track of our tooling was the bane of my existence. Every year we had to pull the cabinets apart and reshuffle them around so that way people could find what they were looking for. You know, we were using that old tried and true method of going from smallest to biggest, and from English to metric, which is what most places do. And now there’s no rhyme or reason to how any of this stuff goes into the cabinet. In fact, you’re not supposed to shuffle through any of the cabinets. You go to the ERP, you type in what you’re looking for. And we have a rule in the shop that you should be able to find the tool you’re looking for in 10 seconds or less. And it works. I mean, we count Mississippis and we challenge people. “Tell me what you’re looking for.” “You wanna ball end mill? Half inch? tin-coated? Great. Somebody starts counting Mississippi’s and by the time they get to six, I usually have the end mill in my hand.
– [Paul] That’s so awesome.
– Yeah, it’s great. Yeah.
– [Paul] I love that. Yeah.
– [Jamie] And this is how we redid it. Now we used a slightly different system, mostly because I misunderstood when Luc had explained it to me, but then we ran with it and it worked good. When we, when we designed our tool numbering system, instead of just starting at one, we put the first two digits as the cabinet you should look in and the last four digits tell you the drawer and the bin number that you should be looking in. And so you really can find anything. And there’s 10 cabinets over there now. Cause you know exactly where to start looking when you pull it up in the ERP.
– [Paul] Very cool, I didn’t know that detail. That’s neat.
– [Jamie] And then this is how, you know, we put this little area together and this picture is just to show… This was a completely new thing for us in our company was to pre-stage the tools. And I know that it sounds like common sense and I know there are a lot of shops out there that take this for granted but when you’re first starting out, you grab the tools however you can. Most of the time people are hoarding them in their toolboxes cause they’re afraid you’re gonna lose them. And that was one of the things we had to do was go and get all of our tooling back because now I was able to prove to people you’re not gonna lose it. We know what it is, we know how many we have, and there’s a picture of it. And so don’t worry, we won’t lose this tool. Let’s put it into the system so everyone can use it.
– [Paul] That’s great. And you said something I thought was really, I dunno, thought was great. You said when Luc trained you, cause Luc was your implementation person, he didn’t just train you. Yeah, he didn’t- Yeah, you said he didn’t just train you on how to use ProShop, right? Can you elaborate on that a little bit?
– [Jamie] Yeah. Actually the software came very easy to me. If you can use a web browser and you know anything about working in your own machine shop, you should be able to pick up ProShop pretty quick. What Luc spent most of his time teaching me was better behaviors in my own company. He spent a lot of his time teaching me that there was a better way for me to address each individual system in my company. And then you put those systems together, and Luc kind of showed me a better way to run the machine shop. And we spent a lot of our time discussing things like that because, like what Brian was saying, that like once you learn one module, all of the other modules work the same way. They work with the same language, you’re just handling a different aspect of that module. That’s what I took from my implementation training was not just how to use the system, but just how to make better systems, how to get better behaviors out of my guys.
– [Paul] That’s awesome. Yeah. All right. Luc would love to give you some time to share some of your ideas as I introduced, you know, you’ve obviously had a lot of very successful implementations with us. You’ve earned the nickname, The Machinist Whisperer. So yeah. Share some of your thoughts with us, please.
– [Luc] So being an implementation specialist is a unique perspective on a couple of industries, shop floor management, making parts, and the ERP side, the actual implementation of how to incorporate a software package into a company. Having this much manufacturing background really does help in reading through the client’s needs, right? What do our customers want? Every customer’s different. Having launched 30+ is big number. You see the small little one or two person shops up to the 50 and 60 people shops where you do multi-level bombing, you know, bomb stuff, assemblies, estimations, all that kind of stuff with huge roll-ups. So it’s pretty dynamic and it is important. As Paul had mentioned earlier on that you see that vision, you set the visions for where you want the company to be. I believe completely in the implementation process should be fun. We really should laugh, we should have a lot of fun along the way. I bring my personality to the table. Jamie can, you know, Jamie and I would start 10 minutes a session saying, “Hey, what’s new, man? How was your vacation? What’s going on?” Right? We keep it real, we keep it fun. And we make it a joint venture, right? It’s a couple of people working together to better everything.
– [Jamie] Yeah. I can attest to that as well. From being on the other side of that with Luc. I actually looked forward to our training sessions and, as other business owners who are watching this can attest, it’s like going to college, honestly I spent, what? An hour, two hours, three days a week with Luc. I mean, that’s the equivalent of taking on a college course. Plus I had to do about whatever I did for class time, I had to also do the homework that had to be ready for the next training session, and I was very ambitious with mine. But I never thought, I never looked at it and went, “Aw, man. I gotta do training with Luc tonight.” It was always more like, “I wonder what we’re gonna get into today. I’m excited to see. I wonder if I can steer this conversation. I really wanna learn how this works and how that works.” And when it says on the screen, it says tough love. Luc does a good job of trying to help keep you on course. The course is important, people. Listen to him when he tells you, you wanna follow the path that they lay out. It is the fastest way there.
– [Luc] That’s great to hear and it was- … Great working with you as well, Jamie. It was a lot of fun. We, I think we had great results, a great success, right? I think that that relationship will continue to grow for years to come. And we will always be here to support and, you know, guide you as your needs change.
– [Paul] Now what was the, overall timeline that it took for you guys?
– [Jamie] Are you asking me?
– [Paul] Yeah.
– [Luc] Well, Jamie took a little bit of time off to handle some shop-related stuff, but I think, if you just put it together, it was probably 10 weeks.
– [Jamie] Yeah, I’d say it was probably around that, around 8 to 10 weeks I had it basically under my belt. And then I started, I was leading it down to the rest of my crew pretty much nonstop so as I was learning one module, you know, then I would go and I teach that to them. So we did the estimating module first, right? Where everybody starts. And once I learned that, I started teaching it to the people in the office who would help me with estimating. And then when we got into work orders, I started teaching that to the people in the office and the people in quality control. And then we kept doing that until basically, everybody kind of had an idea of what we were doing and my feedback from people on the floor, like once they started to see a couple of the test work orders that we were doing, you could see their eyes open up, like, “Wow, so every job is gonna run through the shop like this?” And I was like, “Yes. You’re gonna get everything I know about this job from the minute I looked at it and I started quoting it, whatever I have, it’s here, it’s in the ERP. You don’t have to chase it down. Every special tool I wanted to order is accounted for in there.” You know, the story of how I thought we were gonna make this, it’s all in there. And it’s always in there. One of the things I didn’t like about my old ERP was there was no differentiation between work travelers and part levels. Everything was always the same. And so you were constantly relying on bad data from old work orders, you could never just make fresh ones from good part levels like what you can with this.
– [Paul] Hmm.
– [Luc] Yeah, so, you know, that relationship between client and implementation person is really important. It’s really important that we have a good time, we enjoy what we’re doing, and we have the same vision and goals in mind. Along that path is the tough love aspect of things. As the implementation person, I’m pretty aware of when people wanna take off on on all kinds of tangents, and it’s not always productive. I will often suggest that you write those questions down and when we get to that area, if I don’t already answer them in training, then we can pick those up then. It is foundational training. You learn from the ground up just like you would build a building. And the amount of speed you pick up, by the time you get through estimates and quotes and you understand what a part level is, by the work order stuff and the whole vision comes. And I think Jamie called it a power up one day. He just looked at me and he goes, “Luc, thanks, that was an awesome power up.” Right? I don’t remember exactly what it was that I shared with you that moment, but you were just jazzed. I think you just saw that moment of clarity, the bulb came on, and that’s it. I mean that level of commitment and dedication that Jamie has in training his employees in real time was just a work of art. It’s a masterful work of art. So nice work, Jamie.
– [Jamie] Thank you.
– Luc, you’re-
– Power ups are awesome, though. I mean, even to this day, we get some power ups every now and then. I got one from watching one of Paul’s webinars, which I watch pretty much every one, just learning how to copy things wherever you want it to go and however you want it to go. Man, that was… Blew my mind. I’m like, “Ah, man, we don’t have to type this stuff in anymore.” It changed how we use templates as well. I didn’t know if I told you that, Luc. So we started making templates just for us to copy things over so that we didn’t have to constantly type things.
– [Paul] Mm. Yep, that was a good one. Yeah, that’s great. So Luc, I was on the topic of tough love and, as it relates to the ProShop Champion, would you share a story? I know you worked with a client who the owner had put, you know, one of his key employees in that role, but it turns out it really wasn’t the right fit. Can you share a little bit about that? Sure.
– [Paul] What you did?
– [Luc] This company’s great and it’s full of good people, but the decision was made pretty early on where the owner wouldn’t take the ProShop Champion position, even though that’s the person that went through the sales, made the decision to buy the software, and started the process. They put someone else in charge and that person just really wasn’t up to the task, right? It showed within the first three or four sessions of the slowness and the willingness to adapt quickly just really wasn’t there. And it’s in this tough love where I had to contact the owner directly and I say, “I’m not sure this person’s the right fit. I mean, when I’ve worked with you, you had that true commitment and dedication and that’s what we need in that position.” He understood and he took over the reins. Training has gone significantly faster and we’re back on track. So it is very important that the right people be in place. And oftentimes, as implementation people, we have to exercise a little tough love and, you know, make a stand and say “Is this really the direction we’re headed? Who else have we got? What can we pull from?” We all want this to be quick. As Paul had mentioned early in this session that a quick implementation is usually the faster, more successful ones, right? You get involved, you’re just committed. You dive in and you get it done. And ownership is… Ownership is where that comes from.
– [Jamie] Yeah.
– [Paul] Yeah, there’s a lot of weariness if it just goes on and on and on for months. And I know a lot of companies kind of expect, cause that’s what you hear all the time that ERP implementations take many, many months or years in large companies. And that’s true, I mean I do wanna be clear with all of you. We’re talking about, you know, small to medium-sized companies. We’re not talking companies with many hundreds of people that this is the exact approach. I think a lot of the principles still apply but obviously you’re gonna be training, you know, bigger teams and probably more than one, you know, trainer. But the principles still do apply. Ryan, I was hoping you would share a little bit about our actual process with us. And let me stop sharing my screen and let you take over and share yours.
– [Ryan] Okay, yeah. That works. Bear with me one second, I’ll get this adjusted here.
– [Paul] And Jamie, I know that you are on a super tight timeline. I appreciate all the time you spent with us, you’re welcome to stick around, but yeah, if you need to go, you can absolutely jump off.
– [Jamie] I do, but thanks again for having me. And, you know, if there’s anybody out there that’s watching this that’s on the fence about this, you could not ask to be in better hands. I’ve been through this, you know, quite a few times, you know, we had a system in here for a very long time and it was, it was a little bit, you know, nerve-wracking to make the plunge but, you know, once I did it and I was in, I was really, really really in good hands. And I’m still in good hands. And that’s the last thing that I wanna say is that, you know, I feel like now we’re part of a ProShop family. I know people throw that around all the time but, you know, when we talk about Luc, Luc is spoken about in my company as if like he’s a person who works there. Just like any one of my outside salespeople or, you know, somebody downstairs in quality control. I can’t tell you how many times we’re like, “Man, I wonder if we could do this,” and we’re like, “Hey man, let’s just ask Luc,” you know? And that’s something that you don’t really feel with a lot of other companies is that, that includes you. And so, you know, you guys are here with me and can I feel it from being in my chair. And so anybody out there who’s curious about whether or not this is the right punch for you to make you could not ask to be supported by a better team. Thank you again, guys, for having me. I gotta get going. Good luck.
– [All] Thank you.
– Really appreciate that.
– Great day.
– You know, that’s great. I love that feedback. Yeah, so let’s talk a little bit about the, the whole training process, what that looks like with ProShop. So we’re gonna take a look at the, what we call the TIP Process, or Training and Implementation Plan. I’ll jump over to our live demo system so we can take a look at some of the records that we’ll see, some of the things that you would see set up in your own system and how we track what needs to be trained on, what’s been trained on, who does what, that kind of thing. We’ll talk a little bit about data migration. That’s always a big topic. You know, well I have all this history and this other, and this other software, how do I keep track of that? How do I get all my current stuff into ProShop? There’s different approaches and we’ll talk about some of that. There’s an all up front and, you know, sort of a batch process where you just try to lump everything over. There’s a one piece flow process where you’re basically able to bring things in sort of one at a time, what that looks like and the opportunities that an approach like that can give you. So let me just move over here. I’m gonna jump into my live system if this let me. One of the very first things that we often talk about with starting to work with new people is going through and identifying and setting up the process as it applies, first of all, to the ProShop Champion as we’ve mentioned before. That’s where we went to identify sort of the right person in place to get that up and running. But we also wanna make sure that you can access the files and the records that you need very quickly. So because of the fact that we’re in a web browser, we often encourage that you set bookmarks and favorites and that kind of stuff. So in this example, you know, I can go right to my training work order, and I can see I’m gonna get right to the place that I need to be to talk about this particular topic. So you can do that with any of the areas and with any of the different things, specifically the different records and pages that you want individuals to follow so that’s a really sort of strong point. People don’t have to guess and navigate through menus to get to where they need to go. You get them there once, you can provide them links, and there’s all sorts of ways to do that. So our training implementation process or plan here is essentially we create a work order in your system with the implementation person at the very beginning. And we wanna follow this through the entire process step-by-step through each sort of area within the company. And we usually start at the front, work through the basics and fundamentals and getting everything sort of set up, and then move through into the front door, estimating and quoting, move through order entry, order tracking, creating job orders for the shop floor, planning those job orders, purchasing and scheduling, and all that kind of stuff. And, you know, by the time we get down through sort of some of these preliminary upfront things, usually the office planning, project management side of things, we get into the self-directed training for the people on the shop floor. Your operatives, your machinists, your assemblers, anything like that. And then we run them through a very similar process. So this entire… And we don’t need to worry too much about this, it looks like a lot because it is a lot, but we, again, the way we’ve organized it is sort of by section. So as we move through any individual section here, if we wanna take a look, for example, at the training for estimating and quoting, I can go right into the area that provides me my training videos, and this would be the expectation that you’re gonna have to get in and do some self-directed training for this portion of the module. And-
– [Paul] There Brian, you haven’t mentioned it specifically but people will notice that this page says first article, right?
– [Brian] Oh yeah.
– [Paul] We’re even… How we’re actually using the tools here.
– [Brian] Right. Right. Well, and actually, let me back up just one more step here, because I think that it’s probably also fair to talk about this work order now. At the very beginning, when you start working with your implementation person, you’ll go through this plan, cause I omitted this concept here, you’ll go through this plan and you’ll pick out the things that are the areas that you wanna plan in. So if, for some reason, you’re not doing something or you don’t intend to do something within ProShop that is part of this plan, we’ll simply adopt it, change it, and make it adhere to what your company needs. That’s all guided by the implementation person like Luc or any one of the other implementation people that we have to really, really customize this to your needs and talk about the things that are important to you. So-
– One of the things that I think I didn’t hear Jamie talk about it, and it sounded like Luc, you and he did all the training directly. Did he pull other people into those sessions? Or did he get trained and then he went and trained other people?
– Yeah, he didn’t pull anyone else in. I mean, he was pretty much the person. Being the owner gave him that kind of leverage. He was able to understand every aspect of what we were talking about and implement and share that quickly. That was a good fit.
– And I believe that’s a little different than what we often do. One of these points here, line number 30, Assigned Company Positions, right? One of the things we do is we import in the company, the org chart, basically, the list of employees, and that often will inform, especially in larger companies, which people will get pulled into which training sessions, right? We’re doing estimating today or we’re doing purchasing today or we’re doing quality today so those folks will be pulled and they’ll know in advance, right? Because it’s mapped out of what topics you’re gonna be covering in the future.
– Right, absolutely. And this goes back to what we were talking about earlier where, you know, if you are a person that knows every bit of the company and is gonna run through the process yourself and you can train others within your company, that’s great. But that’s definitely not the only expectation. So having an idea of what company positions, what your org chart looks like, is really gonna help other folks in that implementation, or sorry, the ProShop Lead or ProShop Champion position. Be able to pull those people in whether, again, we’re talking about estimating and quoting, or order entry or purchasing or whatever, to make sure that those people get in at the right point in time. One more point on that is that when you grow or when you have a change in employees, you can actually… This is in your system. So you’ll be able to utilize all the information that’s here, all the training records, the training videos any of that kind of stuff, for hiring new people and getting them trained up to the point where you need them to be. So let’s say that your purchasing agent retires and you’re hiring somebody new or training somebody new from within. You can create a new work order specifically for that person, limit the operations down to specifically what it is that they’re gonna be looking at, and they can run through this. So you can document it in the same way we’re about to look at, not just for the entire implementation process but really specifically for one individual as you see fit. Lots of different ways that this training can be structured and implemented through the company. And that’s what that implementation person is really gonna, at the very beginning of this kickoff step here, that’s really what that person is gonna do is identify what’s the best approach for you and sort of tailor that and get everybody in the right place, you know, in the right meeting at the right time. So as we kind of move through this, you’re gonna meet with your implementation person a couple of times a week, two, usually three times a week, hour, hour, and a half session each time. Just kind of depends on exactly what kind of time you’re gonna give us. Really give yourself, actually. When you do that… Before you do that, rather, there’s gonna be some sort of self-directed training which is kind of what we’re looking at here. Now, as Paul mentioned on this work order, this is the first article form. So on standard work orders in ProShop, on a first article form, you’re filling out inspection data. You’re logging your inspection results so you can keep tracking them and report them to a customer, whatever you have to do. We’re using the same exact functions here to keep track of our training and say, “Have I done this?” Yes or no. And this is something that you can fall back on both internally and your implementation person can follow to make sure that we’ve covered all the different areas that we need to cover. And do you feel comfortable in this? The extension of this is when we go into any individual step. And again, this is the sort of a self-directed level here. We get into these and there’s some self-directed videos. Now, these videos are fairly short. They’re usually three, four, or five minutes apiece and you’ll go through them. And this watching these things will prep you for your next session with your implementation person. When you kind of understand this stuff, you’re gonna build your records. You’re gonna build, in this case for, you know, creating estimates. We would build estimates either on your own or with your implementation person to match how you’re gonna run your business, how you’re gonna do your estimating, and you’re gonna run through that process. A little bit back and forth. There are some concepts that you can employ here where you may be doing things like just test work orders… Or sorry, test records rather, or you could do actual work. We more often than not encourage you to actually put in your real work in ProShop because it does two things. One, you’re training on something that you’re familiar with and two, you actually have the opportunity to put something in that you might pull back on later, or you should be pulling back on later. If you win the job, you know what you’re doing. So again, lots of different options about how you structure that, but the choice is yours. So as you also go through these steps, you’ll see on the right-hand side here we’re gonna be able to track which users have gone through this, and what their training proficiency is. So yet another time where, as you’re going through this, whether it’s like this, self-directed, or if you’re doing this jointly with your implementation person, as you’re signing this stuff off, it’s just gonna give you everything you need for tracking. Who’s trained on what and who needs, maybe who needs more training. And these training records are not only associated with individual users, they’re actually associated with company positions as well. So if I go into my user page here, I get to see this person, Adrian, here is an entry operator and an operator fills two different positions. And these are all the open training records that he has so you’ll be able to utilize these tools right away to see what people need training in what areas, et cetera. This is also really linked into all the QMS, all the different things that we need to keep track of for basically getting audited and satisfying if you’re ISO or AS certified or anything like that, satisfying all of that kind of stuff. It’s all packaged together and linked together. So as you go through this, like I said, you’ll meet with your… Or you’ll use the self-directed training. You’ll meet with your implementation person, build on all that stuff that you’ve done on your own, and then kind of break away and do a little bit more homework and bring that back. You’ll review that process with your implementation person, ask questions, and hopefully at that point, you’ll be moving, you know, really forward. Of course, you know, each module, each sort of steps, you know, some takes a little longer than others, just depends on what it is. But the idea is that everything that you’ve done in this estimating and quoting for example, move on, the next section would be for order entry and contract review. And that’s gonna be essentially built the same way, where you’re going to take all of that sort of pre-training or self-directed training stuff, you’re going to be able to do all that, and everything that you’ve done at estimating and quoting, you’ll be able to leverage right into your order entry and your contract review. And then you’ll be able to move that into planning and programming, and then into purchasing, and so on down the line. So really, that’s why we start our training process at the very front door is because as we build all those records, we can just continue to build on them. And everybody in the company then is connected with the same topics. We’re not talking about different things, we’re not talking about like a set curriculum, if you will. We’re talking about the work that you guys actually do that you’re familiar with, and that’s gonna aid in, you know, keeping this training and keeping this on path fairly quick and accurately.
– Brian, I’d like to add here that when you learn a skillset in ProShop, we encourage you to start using it. If you’re waiting to get all the way through this training and that some light switch is gonna go off and we’re gonna somehow fire a gun that says, “Okay, go,” we do that right from the beginning, right? As soon as you learn how to create an estimate and a quote in ProShop, start doing it.
– Right, yeah.
– We’re just gonna keep adding more knowledge to that. And that way, you get your team involved, you get other people going into the process. And next thing you know, you’re halfway through training, half of your crew is already doing it, right? And by the time we get to the finish line, you’re like, “Well, look at us, go.”
– Yeah, right and-
– It isn’t waiting for the finish line.
– Yeah, right. And I think, I dunno, Luc, you can maybe elaborate on this, but I think one of the things that I’ve encouraged folks to do in the training process is utilize the tools within ProShop to move that process forward. So like, if you wanted… What I mean is if I wanna tell somebody something, I’m gonna ask them to go into ProShop and find the answer there. So if I wanna share this with you, for example I would just send you a system record. Sorry, a system message, rather, and you can go into ProShop and find that. So you’re encouraging people to get in the system and use it, use it, use it. That’s how they’re gonna, that’s how they’re gonna learn it.
– Yeah, we heard that at the beginning video with the guys at OCD. They just started using it instantly, right? They, as soon as they learned how to quote, they started quoting their real parts. Those parts, they started winning orders. They started using that as the foundation for training import or entry and just, you know, like he said, they kind of started using it instantly.
– Right. Right. I wanna talk, just kind of watching the time here. We’re getting pretty close to the end of our hour. I do wanna talk a little bit about data import and data migrations. So we have a tool for that. We call it the CSV Import Tool. This is pretty much where, in ProShop, you can import into any of these modules here any number of information, any number of records that you want. At the very beginning, your implementation person will handle work cells, which are your scheduled resources, and users for you. They’ll get you up and running. Now, of course, you know, you can utilize these later on if you need to, or you could build those additional records in the future if you grow or whatever on your own. Any of the other areas, that trainer will actually show you how to use this tool for any of these specific tasks. So if you wanna learn how to import your part records, so your part history, if you will, with inventory, any of that kind of stuff, you can do that. We don’t need to get into how this tool works. It’s a little bit complicated, but it’s very powerful and it allows you to pull in lots and lots of different information at that point in time. So that brings me back to the topic of… Oh, my slide reset here. That topic of the process of do you do all upfront with a batch process or do you do one piece flow? So you can absolutely import your entire history of parts, your manufacturing, your inventory, everything you need to right at the very beginning. Now that’s a batch process. It takes time. That’s something that a lot of people don’t have a lot of is time to do that. And it turns out that’s not necessarily the fastest and most robust way to get into ProShop. What we find, and often will teach, is the one piece flow, which means that as you move through ProShop, as you get new work in, you’re going to be focusing on that work. So yes, you have a history of, you know, a thousand different parts that you’ve made in the last five years, whatever it might be. But really within the last six months, you’ve only made 120 of them. So we’re gonna be focusing on getting those 120 in. Now, we may do some importing or you may do some importing or you may do some more, you know sort of one piece where you’re anchoring them in manually. It gives you a lot of opportunity to focus on the work that’s in front of you, focus on getting better about how you use the system, and maybe even the internal processes that you use to execute those things. So if you do a batch process and bring everything in and kind of start where everything’s in the system, you’re kind of already set on whatever process was there before with not much opportunity to improve that process every time you see a new job. So, like I said, you usually get up and running a little bit faster with the one-piece flow idea where you’re just really working on the stuff that’s in front of you, because you don’t have this mountain of data that you’re trying to import into the system. And as you move through, you have the ability to say, “You know what? I wanna change this. And I wanna do this step before that step instead of the other way around.” And then everything from that point forward, we have the benefit of that change that you’ve made to your process.
– I often tell people that the module, some of the modules make a ton of sense to do a big bulk import, right? Put in your clients, put in your vendors, you know, put in your list of tools, your inspection equipment. You know, those are great for doing the bulk, but yeah, the part levels… Because oftentimes, like I said, people will realize that, “Hey, there’s these, you know,” “If I import my routers the way they were in my old system but ProShop has all these other tools and different methods and things that I really wanna put in here, and you have all this data that you then need to go back and rework again.
– Right. Right. Yeah, and you can also, just to be clear, if you just wanna create part records with an inventory table, but not have your actual routers, you can do that as well. If you’re trying to bring your just inventory in but not your manufacturing process, that’s an option as well. There’s no hard line about, “Well, you have to create the router to get the inventory table.” That’s not how it works. So you have a lot of flexibility there. I think we do need to move along. Why don’t you just presenting and we don’t switch again.
– So lessons, what not to do. Don’t surprise your company, especially during the kickoff meeting that, “Hey, we’re doing a brand new ERP implementation.” We did have a company. The owner saw ProShop. He knew that he knew another company that had successfully implemented it. He said, let’s go ahead. But nobody else was involved in the demoing process. And that should have really been a red flag for us. But, you know, they said at the intro meeting, they said, “What’s ProShop?” Right? And so from there on, it was just it was an uphill battle and it kind of went downhill, unfortunately. That was one of our failures. So some of the most successful companies we’ve had involved many people in their team in the demoing process or if they’ve decided, “Yeah, we’re moving ahead with ProShop,” let’s set up, you know, three or four meetings just to get the team excited to see what’s coming down the pipeline. And that helps get that sort of full company alignment, right from the beginning.
– And our ERP buyer’s guide, if you haven’t seen it, we have one available and it talks about a lot of this kind of stuff. So, you know, reach out to us if you don’t have it, we’d love to share it with you because we think that these things are pretty important.
– All right, next slide. Another what not to do, just really being not open and interested in looking at new ways of doing things. We’ve had, fortunately just a very small number of them, but definitely some clients that really wanted to just force ProShop into doing things the exact same way that their old system worked. Not even really looking at the bigger picture, like is this actually an efficient way to do things? Right? And, you know, I think Jamie said it well. You know at least with us, you’re in good hands. Like we’ve been doing this for a long time. We have some good perspective. We’ve gotten feedback from lots and lots of clients about what works well. So just being open is really important. And also don’t have unrealistic expectations. You know, this one company I’m thinking of, they just refuse to put a little bit more time investment up at the beginning of the process in their planning process, but they expected, you know, a level of resolution down the line with scheduling and other things that just wasn’t physically compatible, right? And they just were unfortunately just not open to learning about that. So next slide. All right. So just some best practices. Be really clear about your goals, what you want to get from the system, and the fact that you are truly committed to it and wanna do it on the timeframe and schedule that is really a best practice. Definitely be open to looking at the needs of all your folks. One of the things that we have also just kind of, you know, here in industry is oftentimes these ERP implementations and the selection process is often driven by the finance department or the accounting department. And that just, we don’t think that’s the best practice. In a manufacturing company, the heart and soul of it is the manufacturing process and those people in those departments. So really making sure those have equal weight. Again, having a plan and managing that change with all the people. Cause again, as Jamie mentioned people are resistant to change. That’s just human nature. But if you come into it with the right attitude and include them in the process, make them feel like their voice is heard. They’re often gonna be much more willing to do that. And then do it quickly. You know, speed is definitely a crucial part here. People do get weary of having double entry and systems for, you know, months and months potentially. So right. Let’s finish up the last couple of slides, I know we’re actually over time. Implementation can be really fast. It really, really can be. Our fastest ever was four weeks. That was a pretty small shop who was really motivated to get off their old systems so they didn’t have to renew their subscription for another year. We’ve often seen clients not have to add any other staff or, because sometimes people think, “Well, I’m gonna have to hire 10 people or bring in lots of consultants. Not the way we do it.” So it’s just that’s not generally necessary. And like the point of doing one piece flow and really starting to, you know, use the system immediately rather than doing, you know, months and months of work and then having a huge go live event. You know I’ve had clients said that once we started ProShop, rather than winding out the jobs in my old system- Excuse me, sorry. Rather than winding out the jobs in my old system, I started… Just trying to get rid of that, I’m so sorry. How do I get rid of that?
– Just gonna hang up on him.
– Did, I hit the ignore button. Oh, geez. Why don’t I mute myself and you take over?
– Yeah, no worries. All right. Yeah so you’ll be able to basically see a lot of the benefits right away where, you know, the sooner you start using it, the sooner you get the benefits of actually what ProShop can bring to the table, what the different, different roles are, the different improvements and efficiencies, and all that kind of stuff. I mean, it’s really, it’s really fairly straightforward. You can get those, you know, as soon as you have real work in the system, which is why we encourage you to actually use real work in the training process, you can actually reap those benefits right away.
– Thank you. And my phone finally went away.
– A couple more here. Yeah. So I’ll take this. I mean, this is just some examples of what customers have told us. Some of them are very consistent across lots of companies. You know, more throughput by optimizing the manufacturing process, having your spindles running more often we see that all the time in our customers. I generally believe when I get the feedback that 25% is probably about the average. We’ve had customers say 30 to 40, but that’s not typical. When more planning is done upfront, you can really reduce some of the firefighting and the cost reduction on the back end of things. We’ve had clients tell us they saw like a 93% reduction in their cost of expediting fees and overnight shipping charges being much faster through the actual lead time of getting work out on the shop floor. We won’t do all the rest of it, but just there, the things that can be done when you have really good alignment and it’s all working as it should, you know? Not just with ProShop, with any system that you’re following it the way it should be done. You can have great results. So let’s move on to just the last, we have another example of this. I’d love to invite you all on our website. In our case study area, we have had a video podcast series with a company called Ripley Machine. Andy is a young millennial machine shop owner, took it over from his grandfather and he asked to do a video series of his process. So kind of a brave man throwing it out there like that, but there’s a bunch of stuff he’s been doing in also in a really great way. And so that’s a resource you can check out.
– Yeah. I didn’t see any questions come in. So I think we’re probably clear on that.
– Well, yeah. That’s really kind of the end of it. We would love to talk with you all if you are interested in what you’ve seen today or wanna learn more about ProShop. It’s definitely a really important decision not to be taken lightly and, making sure that you are doing the things that you need to do internally to ensure the success of your implementation process is really, really crucial.
– Right, great. Okay.
– Was that our last slide?
– Think so.
– All right. Oh, there is a Q&A here. Oh, and information. Yep. We will send you that information. All right. Well, thank you everyone. Appreciate your time today. Sorry we went a few minutes over but hopefully that was useful to you. And have a great rest of your day. And thanks.
– All right. Thanks, everybody.
– We look forward to working with you.
– All right. Take care, you guys.
– Take care.