Dynamic Balance Full Interview
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– Yeah, my name is Ben Lang and I’m an owner at Dynamic Balance Machine. We specialize in precision machine work, in the aerospace, medical automation, and defense industries. We specialize in mostly production of high dollar valued components for the aerospace and medical industries. Yeah, multi-axis lays and multi-axis mills production vertical machining centers production, horizontal machine centers. We were using QuickBooks with Excel and trying to function that way with a quality management system that just wasn’t working. The biggest thing was keeping track of all the jobs that are in the shop and trying to do that with QuickBooks and trying to do that with Excel. It just didn’t work. We researched for a good amount of time ERP systems that would fit our industry as far as manufacturing goes and there were a handful of them that fit the bill but we just couldn’t find, you know, we wanted one that would fit our manufacturing processes. So the biggest thing that made us choose ProShop was that ProShop was developed in a manufacturing environment similar to ours, and the people that ran ProShop and started ProShop owned a shop previous to using ERP system. And so the biggest thing that I have found is that ProShop was in a manufacturing environment. The guys that used this system also ran a shop. That was the biggest for me. Implementation and training was a breeze, really. ProShop had everything that we needed, all the requirements for a server, all the requirements for us having computers, kiosks, all in place before they ever showed up. And then when it got to training, training went a lot faster and a lot quicker than I thought it was going to. I mean, it was incredibly intuitive. It was easy. All of our people caught on super quick on how everything worked, just the flow of it was incredibly easy. So we had Luke, that was our trainer and he worked in a shop as well. He knew how things functioned. He had seen so many things that helped us on our journey to implementing an ERP system. Luke, I mean, he’s awesome. Just great personality, great to work with. He gave us a lot of pointers on things that had nothing to do with ProShop which was amazing in and of itself that he cared to you know, say, Hey, here’s what I’ve seen in the past really worked well and so maybe here’s some pointers you can move in these directions. And he helped us, he definitely helped us and cared about us before he was trying to actually get ProShop going. So we really liked that. I told Luke, I said, let’s do a couple of samples, but then once we, let’s just get going, let’s do, let’s work the system into what we’re already doing. So literally the time that we started training we were doing actual functional jobs that were going to the shop floor. It was literally that first day that we started on the ERP system implementation as far as like creating a work order or receiving a purchase order or sending a job to the shop floor to be processed from, you know, receiving raw stock, cutting material, sending it to a machine you know, finishing and then ultimately packaging and delivering a job. So literally we started the implementation process from the day that our trainer showed up. We had work orders the very first day on the shop floor. So the systems that we replaced were QuickBooks, Excel we had hand notes. I mean we had our own little processes that we went through. We would receive a purchase order and then somebody, you know, print out a traveler and then we would have to manually process orders as far as like trying to remember the work order tooling or work holding or material, or, I mean everything that you could possibly think about was all a manual process. It was tough. That was tough. Those days were tough. I mean, there were so many things that would slip through the cracks that would cause so many frustrations to people on the shop floor that needed a specific tool. And so then we’d have delays and we’d have to move on to another job. Or, yeah, there were a lot of things that were being missed in the process that, you know we thought we could do without an ERP system, right? ‘Cause it’s a big undertaking to implement a ERP system. We were so surprised on how easy it is to implement an ERP system, especially with ProShop. I mean, I’ve been through the process of being an employee and working in a shop with a ERP system. And luckily we didn’t go with that ERP system because it was so clunky to me, just as an employee where I was a little hesitant to bring an ERP system into the mix without, from my past experiences. We used M1 in the past and to me it felt really clunky. So the biggest to me was visibility of all the work orders that were in the shop. So ProShop streamed our office processes in a way that is so hard to describe because it’s made us more efficient, more effective. We have more time to focus on actually becoming better at what we’re doing instead of focus on, focusing on what we are doing. So the biggest thing that we’ve seen is anytime there’s a reorder on a particular part we can get that into our system within minutes and have it sent to the shop floor. That’s one of the most incredible things I’ve seen. Now, if there’s changes, revision changes to a previously purchased part we can implement those changes, super efficient and also bringing on new work is extremely easy as far as getting, from the quoting process to receiving an order and then sending it to the shop floor is so seamless that it’s made our lives incredibly easy. In terms of percentage in how we’ve become more efficient, I would say we’re probably in the 30 to 35% range as far as being more efficient at taking on jobs we’ve been able to streamline our production, we’ve been able to streamline rapid prototyping so much faster than handing somebody a traveler and a print and saying, go with it. It’s been so much easier to just have that visibility in front of them. Nothing ever gets lost, nothing is misplaced. It’s easy. As far as ProShop goes there’s cues that we have to actually check off a box that gives us the cue to say, hey you need to order material, you need to order tooling, you need to order workholding, you need any special cots material, I mean, there’s so many things that a ProShop cues us to do that we don’t miss an actual operation. So when we have all those things in place the process going to the shop floor is seamless. There’s no missing parts, there’s no missing information. Everything’s there that they need to process a job. And by having all of that there that helps workflow in the shop. And we’ve increased our workflow by, you know, 20% just having everything we need at the time we need it. We have less downtime because we have visibility on what’s next and where jobs are going to, each machining cell at any given time. I don’t think I wanna keep track of how much money we’ve spent on overnight when we’ve missed tools or we’ve missed material, or we’ve missed a deadline too and especially lost jobs on not being able to perform, right? I would say that we lose out on opportunities when we’re not prepared to meet our customers’ requirements. We’ve seen a big increase in the last three years, mostly because we’re able to scale easily with ProShop. We’re roughly about 25% growth in revenue, year over year and ProShop has been able to make it so we can continue to have that growth. The one thing that I really like about ProShop is really the visibility for not just me as an owner but also all of the employees being able to see what their particular job function is and where things are at in the shop. They can see what job is next what they’re supposed to be doing and then being able to move the jobs that are in front of them, through the shop. At any given time they can visibly see what they need to do. So when we have a repeat order, our customers have specifications that we need to meet. And when we have a job come through for the first time we document how the job is ran what tools are used, what fixtures are used, what work holding is used, all of the information that’s necessary to run the job. And that’s all put into ProShop. So the next time around on the next job all that information is there. There’s no guesswork, there’s no questioning how to repeat a part. And we can basically build the same part the second time just like we did the first time. That was one of the biggest things we focused on in starting our shop was being able to quickly change from prototyping to production. And so the one thing ProShop has helped is being able to document that, how we document changes in the shop as far as setups, fixtures, workholding we’re able to document it instead of trying to go off of tribal knowledge or memory. So ProShop really has focused on the manufacturing process where in past ERP systems specifically M1 there were no, for us there was no direction given as far as any work information. And maybe that was a fault on where I worked but I felt it wasn’t part of the manufacturing process. It was something to just keep track of who was working on what and no manufacturing information really given to us to be able to manufacture a part. So really ProShop does focus on the manufacturing aspect like an ERP system should, or even an MRP system. It’s like the biggest key factor that we have to making sure that we have everything we need. So the pre processing checklist, PP check, we use it to keep track of, to make sure that we’re doing what we need to do. There’s a lot there with the pre processing checklist that is maybe a little more involved than sometimes we need but when we need it, it’s there. Yeah, we’ve changed a few things about it and we have customized our templates to reflect our actual manufacturing process. We use some of the part check processing but we also use inspection manager for all of our FAI stuffs. They get pretty detailed and putting some of that information into ProShop just doesn’t work for us when you have a part with 750 inspectable dimensions. Yeah, NCR capability is incredible from a quality management perspective, NCR can be pretty daunting and to create them there’s a lot of time involved and ProShop has streamlined that part of it for us. When those happen on occasion. It’s made it so easy to input what the causes are and how we can correct it. So really they’ve made our life a lot easier on inputting NCRs. The biggest part with NCRs is visibility, right? Everybody can see an NCR and we can talk about it in our shop meetings that people can go in and say, okay, what was the cause? Here’s the cause? And it’s so well laid out and thought through that it’s easy to see those and then make corrections. ProShop has been awesome with organizing. As far as blueprints any specifications that are associated with it, materials that need to be there. The one thing we like is visibility on certifications and calibrations is there at our fingertips. Any of the information that we need to get as far as purchase orders, work orders, blueprints, certs it’s all there at the click of a mouse. Yeah, we’re getting to a place where we’re putting our team together to work on becoming AS9100. So we got the Flying Start package with ProShop and it’s helped us as far as how intertwined it is with our daily activities, it has made it so easy to keep track of the things that you’re required to keep track of with the quality management system. That’s the one thing that I really like is that it’s so easy to maintain a system, even if you’re, even if you don’t have a system or if you’re not getting ISO or AS9100 or any other quality management system you’re already doing, ProShop is already prompting you to do the things that are required of a quality management system. We’ve been so busy with the COVID related parts. We’re doing a lot of ventilators right now. So we’re, everybody’s maxed right now. We are excited about that you guys have the ability to have somebody come in and say, hey, this is where you’re at, and this is where you should be before you make the move and there’s somebody to actually coach you through the whole thing, not going through it. So I like that you guys have somebody there that is a specialist that can help us get through any of the stage one audits and audits after that. It’s helped us as far as on-time performance get to a place where we can visibly see due dates coming up and approaching and know what needs to be done and being able to schedule according to due dates. So as far as percentages, we’ve increased by at least 10% not looking at any numbers but we have increased our on-time performance and delivery with our customers because we can visually see when due dates are coming and know how to schedule upcoming jobs according to delivery dates that are already in the system. So our customers really have noticed that we are focused on on-time delivery and quality, and they can see that and know that we really care about their deliveries and making sure that we don’t miss deliveries. Actually, we’ve had a handful of customers that say you return order confirmations in such a timely manner that we’re happy to send you work. You communicate so well and ProShop has given us that ability to be able to turn order confirmations back to our customer. They like to know that once they send out an order, we’ve received it and we’ve given them a delivery date because we can see into our scheduling that we can meet their needs. So our customers have a level of comfort with us that I don’t think they have with a lot of shops. And I give props to ProShop in being able to give us that visibility. Right, paperless has, it’s really been awesome. There is never a missed print, I mean, especially on the shop floor, all of the information is out there for them to see at any computer. They can go to any computer kiosk and be able to access any of the information that they need to, and not have to worry about trying to find a print or a tool or a gauge. They know in real time where things are at. We thought that going paperless was gonna be a pain and honestly everybody has embraced it and really enjoyed being able to be digital. We were all a little hesitant to not having a physical paper in front of us or a work instruction or a work order. It was a little daunting at first, but now everybody actually really loves being able to have access to all the information they need at any given time. When I can get a customer into the shop I love to show them what we’re using for our ERP system. And most of them are blown away that we can visually see all of their work orders at the click of a mouse. And I can tell them where they’re at and where their work in process is. And they’re just blown away that we can see what we need to do at any given time. I mean, it really has, you know, a lot of customers say, wow, we should be using something like this in our manufacturing, if it’s an offload company or if it’s a OEM, or if it’s a shop that sub work to us they have really been impressed. And I mean, if I were to have created a ERP system it would look a lot like ProShop, it really would because it has everything that I like there. And when it’s something that I don’t like I’ll let you know. But ProShop has really been a pretty good sales tool especially for quality guys. Quality guys love that they can come in and they can see all of our tools, a list of our equipment. They can see when the last PM was done they can see when a gage was calibrated. They can see when the CMM was calibrated and all of the certs associated with it. So it’s huge on the customer side and to anybody that’s coming in our shop we just love to show them what we’ve got. So we’ve had three employees in the past year that we brought on, and that was really one of the things that one of the employee liked. He said, I’m working at the shop now and I have no direction, I don’t know what I need to be doing and this is incredible that I know at any given time this is the job I’m working on and here’s all the information. So that was really one of the things that one of the employees in the last year have attracted them that they really liked that we’re organized we’re, we have all the information that they need to do their job. So it was really a game changer for that side of it, for employing people. So ProShop has helped us attract new employees because they could see, as we give in a shop tour, how organized we are and how easy it is to actually perform their job, to make their life easier. I have let other shops know that we use ProShop and that it’s such a great tool that I would like to see them be successful as well, and be organized and have all this information at their fingertips. So we have sent people shops that we know to ProShop and you know, give them an opportunity to, you know see what it’s all about. We’re 20% more efficient with ProShop than we would have been without having an ERP system. I mean, it could be up to 50%, really. We function better with ProShop. I was not expecting ProShop to perform as well as it has. And it’s really improved our productivity and efficiency by 30%. Our return on investment, I was thinking about it the other day and I’m like, maybe you guys are charging too little for ProShop At the same time, I say that with, you know, we wanna save money, right? But ProShop has let us save money by not having to have a big system that was hard to implement. And I think you guys get it. You understand that when you’re a small shop and you wanna grow to be a big shop, you have to save money, right? And ProShop, it’s an easy choice looking back, it’s an easy choice to make that financial decision, right? ‘Cause implementing a ERP system is not cheap, right? But you guys have given us a, there’s some value that you guys offer, really, from any of the ERP systems that I looked into when we first wanted to implement a system. So we looked at JobBOSS, we looked at M1 and we looked at another one that I can’t even remember, that really didn’t stand out. And so the return on investment for us was, it was huge, right? But the reason we took so long is really, we wanted to make our lives easy and ProShop really did that for us. They’re the ones that clicked for us to make the jump to purchasing an ERP system. It was after probably two months that we decided that we wanted to go with ProShop. You had a lot of things that were there that we wanted specifically the quality management system that was so intertwined with ProShop. Like that was a huge thing for us is knowing that we can take our time to become certified because nobody has forced us to be certified. And we knew that all of the information was there and it would be easy to tailor it to our shop. It’s given me a level of comfort, knowing that when I leave the shop is in good hands and I can, you know, it gives me an ability to take the time that I need to have some rest and relaxation really. I mean, it’s given me a level of comfort, knowing that I don’t have to be there always that ProShop is there for us when I’m not. I love ProShop, all right, I’m a fan. I’m a fan of ProShop. It’s awesome. I absolutely love ProShop. I love all you guys that really care about us and our businesses and wanna see us succeed. Like, I don’t think there’s another ERP system out there that’s gonna do what you guys have done for this industry. And really it hits home that you guys want us to succeed that you spent, who knows how much time on developing a system to make other companies better. So to us, that’s been awesome. That you guys are there and the support really, we get, any time we submit a ticket, if in the last three years there’s been one time I’ve submitted a ticket and it was basically a feature request but you guys jumped on top of it and were there and it was awesome. So we know that you care about us and that the support is there. Really to scale our business, you couldn’t do it any other way. There’s no other software that gives you the ability to shed some of your responsibilities and bring people in and let them fill those responsibilities so easily. Like, ProShop has allowed us to do that. The machining community is so small that you get to know everybody in the industry. And we have a couple of people who’re trying to build their own system. I said, listen, you’re gonna waste your time, don’t waste your time, get ProShop. It’s that easy. It’s really that easy. They’ve already went through all the hassle to develop the software that you’re gonna go through. So get the software, get ProShop. My name is Ben and my shop is powered by ProShop. My name is Ben Lang and my company, Dynamic Balance Machine is powered by ProShop.

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