Shop to Shop: The Secrets of Success
Back to the video library

Video Transcript

- We are live and people are streamin' in, so we'll give people a few minutes here, but I am lookin' forward to today. This is gonna be a super exciting and very different webinar than we've ever done before. So appreciate, first of all, my guests. Kind of amazing to have- I'm gonna change my view to gallery view so I can see everyone equally here. Thank you to my guests for being able to, for joining me today. Thank you for all those that are attending. I'm gonna start as I often do, for those attending, I would love if you would put in the chat where you're coming in from and where you're joining us, what city, state, or country, and just see the diversity of where everyone is at. I love that. Des Moines, Iowa. Thank you, Todd, for kicking us off. Vancouver, BC. Awesome. So we are talking today- West Liberty, Ohio, Titusville, Florida. Oh, all right. There we go. Starting to flow in. Thank you, Dallas. Thank you, CJ. Awesome. Kicking butt from Denver, Colorado. Hey, Jessica. Good to see you here. All right. So we are, we have big sort of Brady Bunch panelists here. The 3x3 grid with a bunch of shops that have made the bold move of going paperless, really changing what their shops, how their shops work and what they do, which can be a scary journey, I'm sure. Wow, Netherlands. Nice. Thank you, joining us from Europe. South Africa. Fantastic. Wow. Awesome. So it really is a global audience here today. So I'm gonna start. We have a list of four questions we're gonna go through today. Let me just pull those up for myself here. So we're gonna be asking for each shop to introduce themselves, a little bit about their company, and then the questions: When did you realize your shop needed to change? How did you motivate your team to be on board with that change? What impact has ProShop and going paperless had on your shop? And then what advice would you give to other shops looking to implement and make a big change like that? So, I know that we're gonna get a lot of wisdom from these folks, and again, thank you all for participating. And also just a reminder, these folks will all be at IMTS in our booth at various times of the week, so we will be posting some kind of schedule or something, so if you want to go, come talk to these folks in person, that would be super cool if you are happening to go to IMTS. At the, hopefully this sort of Q and A portion, or sort of chat portion, will take the first maybe 40 minutes and then we'll get into Q and A, so if you have questions for any one of these folks or for me, please use the Q and A feature rather than the chat feature, sometimes things get lost in the chat, and then we will get to those at the end. So I'm gonna start things off with Chris from East Branch Engineering. Chris actually has to go pick up his daughter in a little while, so he can't stay the full hour. So Chris, would love to have you first introduce yourself.

- Sure.

- And talk a little bit about why you realized you needed to change something, what was that like, what's the impact been, and what advice you'd give to other shops.

- Yeah, sure. So, as you know, you just mentioned, I work at East Branch Engineering. We're a job shop in Western Connecticut. We serve primarily local companies, so anyone we can drive to. That's kind of how we got our name is servicing the local customers. If there's an issue, we were able to literally show up at their doorstep and, you know, talk through whatever issues. You know, we run small to medium size parts. Typically the parts are stuff that nobody else wants to do. Either there was an issue in the past, there was quality issues, and we typically find a way to do it pretty, pretty well. We still have our issues, but we became known as like the problem solvers of our area. So we do anything from plastic to stainless to titanium. It really depends on the application and what they need. So, you know, a couple years ago we were running a different software, and one of the key things is we were having our management review meeting and we realized like, we're never gonna be able to grow this company the way we were running it. We had enough trouble just processing the orders. I'm not even talking about machining the orders. I'm just talking about processing. I mean, getting 'em from, you know, the purchase order onto the shop floor. I mean, we were absolutely slammed. And we said, you know, if we have any intention of growing the company, we can't keep doing this. We had some machine capacity, but it was just the front office stuff was horrendous. So that's when we, you know, at the same time, I think the first article in Modern Machine Shop came out and Paul and I did a demo and you know, it just took off from there. You know, one of the things we always talk about was that the time it took us to ship a job, especially anything with cert packets. Pulling certs packets out, we would miss shipments. The parts would be done sitting in shipping, but the cert packet would take a day to put together, and we would miss the shipment. So it was really one of the driving forces in looking for an alternative. I don't even wanna say software; it was more like a system, 'cause we knew we just couldn't keep up the way we were doing it. And once we did implement the change, you know, we didn't have so much trouble getting our guys on board, because they were frustrated with the current state back then. They were actually looking forward to having more information. So for us, the motivation to get our guys on board was actually pretty easy, 'cause they were self-motivated to do a better job.

- That's awesome.

- Yeah. I mean we had a few key people here that, you know, drove some of the changes, but we didn't really hit too much resistance with our guys on the floor. Now as to the impact ProShop has had, I think the best way to describe it is I just recently went on vacation internationally and I didn't log in once. I know, you know, it's a system that you can use remotely, but I think the fact that I didn't need to log in the week I was away was fantastic. You know, I didn't have to worry about job shipping, what was set up, what was not set up, did they need my help. You know, the system was in place and it worked, so I was able to actually enjoy my time away. You know, and it's- I, yeah, I know you like to tell people like to log in remotely and to work remotely, but for us, being able to remove myself for a week really showed the change that ProShop kind of had in our company. You know, it was no longer driven like a top-down system. You know the employees kinda- they have all the information to make the choices and decisions on their own, so it kinda like bubbles up from the bottom.

- Right. Wow. And what would you give as advice to a shop that was facing the same kind of problems you were facing, or is, you know-

- Yeah, that's actually a tough question, 'cause there's the classic answers, but I really think you have to understand the current state before you start making major changes in the company. So, you know, you can just put a new system in and expect it to make all these great changes in your company, but you know, it's a situation of garbage in, garbage out. So if you don't have the systems in place and the management in place to reinforce some of the things you wanna do, like, you know, saving certs or making sure time tracking is logged properly. No software's gonna get that right if you don't have somebody behind that, making sure that that stuff happens. So I think you really need to understand what the current state is, what the real issues are, if it's a software issue or if it's a management issue, and really understand that changing this and changing the whole system is a major change.

- Yeah. There's a lot of wisdom there. It's definitely not a straightforward, simple, super simple thing, and it's not a solution for more underlying structural issues, for sure.

- Yeah. You might see a change for a couple weeks, but then you're gonna fall back on your old ways and you're probably gonna get frustrated pretty quickly.

- Yeah. Awesome. Well thank you very much. I think you said you had about 20, 30 minutes, so hopefully we can get to some more stuff. But Tyler, I'd love to jump over and ask you to introduce your company and share when you realized your shop needed to make a change. And nice sweatshirt, by the way. I love it.

- Yeah, I was looking at my sweatshirts this morning. I figured why not wear it, you know? It's a good day, so... Yeah, so as Paul said, my name is Tyler. I work for a company, I'm the quality manager at a small aerospace machine shop called Component Products. We're located in Mukilteo, kind of really close to Paine Field, the Boeing facility up here in Everett. But this company is actually, it's a family company. My grandfather started it, I think it was late 1960s. And so we've been around for a while, and he retired in 2020 and actually transitioned ownership to me and a couple other employees, and so, you know, up until that point in time, we had been using a homegrown system that was programmed by an employee of ours. But, you know, we kind of all knew when we were taking over ownership that we were gonna need something that was gonna seriously improve the way that our company just processed jobs through the shop. Because, you know, though the system we had was good for what my grandfather was using it for, it lacked in many other areas. And I kind of also wonder if, you know, that was partially by design, because, you know, the programmer was perhaps designing the system to please the most important user, and the rest of the folks kind of got left out of it a little bit. But anyways, yeah, I mean, we all knew that we needed something because the system we had didn't have any sort of dashboards in place, that there was nothing in there for inventory control. There was no job costing, statuses like had to be updated manually in the system, and, you know, we were printing out paper travelers, and so you wouldn't update the status of those jobs until it came back into inspection. And so it's, if, you know, if you wanted to go find something on the shop floor, you would have to physically go out there and find it. So with all that, you know, being said, there really, it wasn't hard to motivate people to want the change. We all were very interested in making this improvement and kind of an interesting little fact, I actually, I'm not a machinist guy by my schooling. I actually went and got my degree in computer science and software engineering, and for my capstone project, I was actually working on like replacing our existing homegrown system with another homegrown ERP system, but you know, it turned, it quickly became apparent that that was not going to be a good idea, because, you know, if you have kind of like one programmer who's responsible for your system that's running your company, that's kind of a liability. You know, what happens if that programmer leaves. You know, are they even developing the system in such a way that it's gonna be easy to hand off to somebody else to maintain? And I also didn't have the domain expertise, so, you know, ProShop was just a big, it just made a lot of sense, because, you know, we'd be leveraging a company that was, had a ton of domain expertise and was, you know, not a liability, because, you know, they're not gonna go anywhere anytime soon.

- Awesome.

- So, yeah.

- Well, thank you. I'm gonna cut you off there and we'll get back to some of the other questions for you later. I did it with, since Chris had to leave, we kind of did all of 'em at once.

- Oh, okay.

- But thank you for sharing all that. So David, I'd like to jump over with you, if you'd introduce yourself and your company, and yeah. When did you, with your shop realize you guys needed to make a change?

- Sure. So my name is David Moso, and I'm the QA production manager for Campbell Engineering in Lake Forest, California. We came from using E2, and again, I've been with the company for a long time. I did part-time, about four years ago I started full-time, and that's when I kind of started getting involved more and more with their, you know, just the entire system at Campbell. I heard that we were moving from E2 to ProShop. To me, it was just like, you know, "Okay. A good change." I saw what it was happening, but I was just kind of like on the sidelines, just, you know, just looking at people drive the change. That, you know, that kind of, it did mess us up in the beginning. We've used it for three years, but just recently with, you know, again, having different people drive the change and get everyone on board, it just has made, you know, made it a lot easier. We have learned, I think, a lot more in the past, you know, nine months than, you know, when in the beginning of the implementation. But yeah, that's where we came from. Again, E2 wasn't giving us support or wasn't, you know, taking our suggestions to, you know, for improvements or things that we just needed to get it right. So we basically just outgrew our previous system, and that's, I guess that's when they decided, you know, what it's time to change and it's time to, you know, get things under control. 'Cause again, a lot of stuff was just all over the place. We kind of, we're always talking about being audit-ready, you know, then always, you know, just be ready for visitors, for anything, right? It wasn't the case before, you know, right now we're moving towards that, where everything is in place, you can see real time or, you know, information regarding POs, machine schedules, just anything that affects, you know, your day to day, you know, activities. So you have all of that, and you know, probably, again, major impact, you know, employee training, you know, you know where everyone's at, they can see what they need to do, you know, to keep growing, just, you know, just again, every area in our company was improved, definitely for, you know, after changing to ProShop.

- Thank you, David. Yeah. Being audit-ready includes having all your training records in order. So I'd love to jump over to Rich, and ask you that same question about when you realized you needed a change.

- Yeah. Hi. I'm Rich Olson, vice president, Sealth Aero Marine in Mill Creek, Washington, just north of Seattle. Mine's kind of a unique story. Paul ran a small shop called PRO CNC and we would outsource products to him. We got to know each other over the years, and they had some demand for kind of some high-end programmers. I had some free time, and so I worked the weekends up at PRO CNC, and while there ran across this homegrown software that they were using. I was like, "Wow, this is pretty neat. Nothing that we have had," and really didn't think much of it other than, and at that time I didn't even really know it was homegrown. I was just, I realized PRO CNC and Paul and their team had, you know, had advanced well beyond what we were doing, living in the life of paper, and just everything up there was just so efficiently ran, and tools, you just knew where everything was, fixed rings and tools, and it was just so clean, and just nothing that I had ever experienced. And at that time I was not in the vice president role. I was just a machinist in production, and didn't even know the in-depth impacts of ProShop, but just knew they were so far ahead of where we were with how they were managing jobs, that I thought, "Wow, we're really missing out." And joking, Paul, I had mentioned, "Oh boy. Would you guys ever wanna sell the software?" And he was like, "No, this isn't for us." So I went back to work. I had finished my time with PRO CNC and I was just back at Sealth Aero and I was looking at softwares and Paul called me randomly out of the blue one day to say, "Hey, we are considering jumping into the software business. Would you guys be willing to bring it into your shop?" I didn't hesitate. I had to talk with management to say, "Hey, this is something we need. You gotta trust me on it." I had our team come up to PRO CNC and look at it as well. We brought it in and it had instant impacts for us. You know, you just don't realize the day to day when you're just living with what you know. When you realize there's something better out there for you, how much it's gonna impact you for the positive, I mean, for most things, and ProShop is that for us. Our return on investments and things like that were measurable instantly for us. I argue to this day that it might have still be our most financial beneficial move we've made for our company by going to ProShop. The fact is, is you know, we just had so many people that chase jobs all day, every day, and once you are able to eliminate that area of waste, you realize opportunities to grow your company. And so that's when I realized, you know, ProShop was the right move for us.

- Well, thank you, Rich. Yeah, you definitely hold a special place in our history. And quite honestly, it was your results that gave us the confidence to really go full steam ahead and sell the shop and go into software full time. So thank you for sharing that. I'd love to move into our next question. How did you motivate your team to be on board with the change? And Hernan, I'd love to start with you. Share a little bit about your company and talk about how you motivated your team.

- Sure. Hernan Ricaurte. Ricaurte Precision is the name of our company. I'm second generation. I actually started my career just not working in machine shop. I was, my father ran the machine shop, I was off in Japan doing medical device and healthcare. He was thinking of selling the business, I started to look at it, and I decided to give it a shot. So that was in 2016.

- Brave man.

- So, yeah. So, you know, it's been a journey. A lot of learning to do, but I was from day one, really cognizant of the need for discipline, accountability, processes and procedures and things like that, and so that's been our focus. You know, in listening to, you know, Chris and Tyler and Rich and everyone, I'm always curious to see, you know, you guys are, what you guys are- I totally agree with everything you guys are saying, but I'm just always curious as to how many people, you know, are in the organizations, because, you know, every size is, and requires different resources and, you know, and the bigger you get, the more important culture comes into the equation, I think. But so we have 38 employees, and it hasn't been so much of, you know, maybe what Chris and Tyler maybe alluded to as well of, you know, the team being, "Hey, you know, let's go for something digital and something new that we can all implement." It was just more me and our management, trying to see what tools we can use in order to drive accountability, discipline, you know, efficiency and continuous improvement. So that's where we were looking for different options. We were also working with a paper-based ERP system. Digital ERP opportunities is like a no brainer for us. You know, what Rich was mentioning, you know, chasing down paper, I mean, what a waste of time. Having things, you know, at your disposal and on the fingertips is an absolute must. But yeah, I mean, it's definitely helped us, you know, on the accountability standpoint, traceability of jobs, you know, who's doing what, and, you know, it has been an effort, because this system is robust. You know, it has taken us longer than anticipated to, you know, get everything implemented, but it's for a reason, you know? And, you know, it's worked really, really well for us, and, you know, it's great to see. You know, even the guys that are out there, that are a little bit apprehensive in that, seeing them, you know, putting their notes in, and, you know, understanding and appreciating, you know, what efficiencies are realized when you become a little bit more disciplined. And ProShop is a tool that allows us to do that. Did you have a, I imagine, a range of folks that some, that really sort of crave that discipline and others that are a little bit more, you know, off the hip kind of thing,

- Yeah. Absolutely.

- and pushed back on that?

- Absolutely, yeah.

- Especially on those folks that weren't kinda as bought in, how did you go about approaching getting them on board?

- Yeah. Like with anything, right? You choose the guys that are easiest to work with, you know, and your true leaders. You know, and I think that's something that a lot of us, and, you know, especially in small businesses that we all have struggle with, because we don't all have the luxury of having, you know, finance expertise or finance department, HR department, what have you, but you just always, you know, need to avoid the square peg round hole situation. And so that's where sort of our leadership has driven, is the guys that have the same vision and appreciation for continuous improvement. So we got those guys involved first, of course, and communicated with them very, very closely in order to get their input as we implemented throughout the shop. So, you know, putting everyone, you know, and thinking that everyone's gonna be as receptive as the others and things like that never works. Get your most receptive guys and understanding guys, and most open-to-discipline guys involved first, and then make it as unintimidating as possible to those guys that are the cynical ones. And that's another thing too, is, you know, and I don't mean to crap on too much, but, you know, in our company, we've got, you know, the four C's, you know, the cynical guys, the complacent guys that are, you know, often, you know, sucked in by the cynical guys. And you've got the guys that are, you know, more dedicated and, you know, and so forth. So, you know, the guys that are cynical and stuff like that, you know, we have a pretty strong management style where we just don't put up with it. So, you know, we've let go of, you know, six, seven people over the last, you know, three months.

- Oh, wow.

- Because we just need to drive efficiency, and it's just not worth our time, and it's not worth, you know, risking the energy and the, you know, motivation of, you know, some key members with bad apples. So, you know, that's all been part of it, you know, and ProShop has helped us to like, weed that out as well.

- Right. Wow. Thank you for sharing that. I know that's a hard decision to make, especially with as hard as it is to find employees right now, so-

- Right.

- But yeah, making sure those bad apples aren't spoiling the whole lot is certainly important. Thank you for sharing that, Hernan. I'd love to jump over to you, Susan. How did you motivate your team? First of all, share us a little bit about Frey and Weiss, and how did you motivate your team when you decided to make the change?

- Hi, I'm Susan from Frey and Weiss. We're outside Chicago in Illinois. We're a outsource manufacturer. We've been in business over 50 years. My dad's a Frey, so he started it. I'm second generation.

- And what size is your company? And if, for maybe the rest of you, if you'd put in the chat, I'd love to you just put in the chat, what size, to answer Hernan's question.

- We are around 20 people now. 20 people, so we're on the smaller end, and for us, I mean, we've been on it since 2017, so when the IMTS show came in 2016, we were so frustrated with the software that we had. My sister, also my partner, she's not here, decided to find something else. And then we were able to, since we had a small size, take everybody to the show and say, "Hey, look. We need some communication." For us, that's what the biggest thing is, is the communication. And everybody was on board with the software. Everybody loved it because the software that we had before was only, you know, managers and us, you know, so we knew he had a better way. However, everybody was on board, and so we installed it and then some people weren't on board. And all I can say is we communicated, "This is your job." And in order for us to stay in business, we have to do our jobs through the software as they have to. And all I could say is the people that didn't support ProShop, we no longer employ, because it wasn't part, I agree with the apple, that everybody had to partake. Even though they may not like it, this is their job now. And I could say, especially with, you know, employees wanna work any hours, and we're open to that, to any hours, and this was a great way for all of us to communicate anywhere, you know? And so, and that was the basis of our com- and we could communicate, and that's how we motivated people, saying that we could look at areas that we could stay in business because it's helping us to cost correctly, train people. And also, I'm not a machinist. I wasn't a machinist. I was always in the office, and we have a lot of repeat business, and all that information, instead of it's in the drawer or in machinist's head, it's in the software. So, just communication. And I think that was really how we motivated our employees. And plus the bosses were happy. So if we're happy, they're happy. So, okay? So that's what I would say, and everybody, and being even smaller, we have less people, but we do the same output. So it has helped us, you know, especially with the COVID, working anywhere, at home. I mean, we could not have done that with the last software, because everything is on paper. So it's, you know, that was a best way for us to transfer information to everybody, whether you are machine maintenance or you're the salesperson, and everybody in between, you know, so...

- Thank you, Susan. I appreciate that. Yes. I still remember fondly sitting with you and Linda, your sister, at the 2016 IMTS.

- Yes. And it was great. And we love it. We should have found you in 2014.

- We weren't there in 2014, so...

- Okay. So it was good for us. Thank you.

- All right. Kody, let's jump over to you. Please share a bit about Coastal, and yeah, what your change was like to get your team on board and anything else you'd like to share.

- Yeah. So I'm Kody Guidry. I'm the operations manager at Coastal. We're mainly a job shop down in Louisiana. Mostly do work for oil and gas, but in the past year or two kind of diversified into space and defense industry. So, and-

- What size are you?

- 50 employees, 22 machines. So we were actually introduced to ProShop through an employee interview. We were interviewing an employee that was at another shop that had, they implemented ProShop over there, and he just started showing it to us on his phone right there. And we really didn't know we needed something until I started looking into ProShop, basically. Everything was just there. We, things we couldn't do before that we just thought was the norm, we found that ProShop could do. And we evaluated ProShop probably for about a year. We went to 2018 IMTS. I remember going to the booths over there and visiting Yelp and everything, and it took us so long to evaluate and make the change because we had some people who were not necessarily on board right away. They just didn't want the change. They could kind of see it, but they didn't wanna make the change and lose all the data and everything and go through that whole process. So my move with that was I took him to IMTS. I took him to the ProShop booth, you know, I let him, introduced him to everybody, you know, see the system, and then anytime something would come up in our system that we had trouble doing, or we had a problem or anything, I'd say, "Well, ProShop can do this," you know, or I'd say, "Look, ProShop can do it this way, man. It'd be so much faster and so much easier, so much more efficient." So that's basically how I would motivate people to get 'em on board is I would wait for them to complain about doing something in the system a way we couldn't do it, and say, "Look, this is how ProShop can do it. Look how much easier it would be, how much more efficient it would be, you know, if we moved systems, and we can do this." And finally he gave in and they were like, "Okay, yeah, we just gotta switch." And now that guy, our sales manager, he, which is the one who didn't want change, he loves ProShop. He tells me all the time that, you know, "I could never go back. There's no way. I can't believe we waited a year, you know, to make that change." And so, yeah, I mean, it's been a big plus for us. We've been, you know, improved in every aspect of the shop. So it's been a huge thing.

- How was the adoption process for your machinists?

- So we actually had even a couple machinists that were at the shop that had ProShop too. So that helped also. Yeah. So I think we had two other machinists that were already working here that came from that same shop that that other employee came from. And so it helped having them on board and knowing how the system worked, but we were already time tracking and everything before, so that wasn't a big change for them. We were real strict on doing that in the previous system. So once they understood about, you know, you can do set up sheets digitally and all that stuff, and they wouldn't have to fill out papers and all that, it got through pretty quick.

- Yeah. I appreciate you bringing up the question about time tracking. Sometimes that simultaneously is a big shift for people if they have not been doing that in the past. And just even that alone, regardless of what software they're putting it into, is a big cultural change. So yeah. Thanks for mentioning that.

- Yeah, no problem.

- CJ, I'd love to- You have a unique story and unique position here, being a one-man shop with your highly-automated equipment. So yeah. Introduce yourself, your company. And obviously there was no convincing anyone else to get on board, so why don't you just share a little bit about why you decided you needed some change and the impact?

- Okay. Thanks, Paul. My name is CJ Abraham. I'm the owner of Precision Product Development LLC. I started my business in 2017 with a VF-2 and a dream. I was originally making tools and fixtures for my one customer that I was doing- Well, I was working for Autodesk during the day, and machining at night. My customer decided that I needed to start making the products, and that was a huge change. I went from being a machine shop to a supplier almost overnight. Buying ProShop was, I had nothing before, I had the benefit of having nothing, really. And so the goal was to start off on the right foot, and ProShop was the right solution. It was the best solution. And I had worked in a couple shops before. In my other experience, I had seen a lot of other implementations of ERP systems that didn't look right. And some of the things that Chris said totally resonate with me, where all of the documentation is taken care of automatically. It's all, it's basically procured for me to click. And my customer has said that I'm like a one-man machine arm, because everything that ProShop does for me, just it's like a force multiplier. It's an employee multiplier. So that was the driving factor in buying ProShop. And man, it, honestly, I don't have much more to add beyond that unless you have some specific questions, but-

- Well, I think, yeah, thank you for sharing that. I think you, you know, you're in a unique position, obviously being a one-man shop, now with two of your cool Willemins running all the time, unattended. Amazing stuff. But just, I think the wisdom of putting that sort of structural component in place of all your data, all your information, you know, it's not a decision that a lot of one-man shops decide, to put in an ERP system, right? It's kinda counterintuitive.

- One way I could also put this, is that I'm a good machinist, right? But before buying ProShop, I wasn't that great of a businessman. I wasn't- I knew how to run machines, not how to run a business. And ProShop filled that gap. And actually, I had written down some answers for the other questions, and one is what would you give advice to other shops they were implementing ProShop? With the ProShop I had a lot of guidance. Like my implementation specialist gave me so much guidance. And not just on ProShop, but running a business. And so ProShop really fills a lot of that knowledge gap for me, personally.

- Right. Thank you. Yeah. I was talking to a client just a couple weeks ago, who said he used to, we would sometimes give advice that he thought wasn't the best advice and he didn't do it, and then things would go poorly. And now he's like, "Whatever you guys say, I'm just gonna do it that way. Like, no matter what it is, I'm just all in." So I appreciate you sharing that. So Chris had to drop off to go get his daughter from school. We're gonna kind of circle back. Rich, I'd love to ask, you already shared a little bit, but what impact has ProShop had on the shop?

- Yeah, so, you know, you have measurable impacts and immeasurable impacts, and I would say the measurables are the efficiencies and time tracking and being able to see what jobs are costing. And the immeasurables though, are the ones that, to me that are the ones that are way more beneficial in ProShop. It sounds crazy maybe, but the fact that our employees now have a little more work-life balance because of ProShop, but they're able to better efficiently schedule their machines so they know when things are gonna be where, if they have, you know, whatever reasons, the doctor's appointments, or like Chris have to run off and get the kids, they have a lot more flexibility in, you know, what they're able to do. And just the eventually getting people to buy in, in that culture of why we went this route. To me, it's those immeasurables that were most shocking for me, Paul, after, you know, running it for, you know, a couple years, how I find to be really much more beneficial from a business standpoint. The measurables are, you'll find right away. They show up day one, once you get it implemented. But for me, yeah, Paul, it's those immeasurables.

- Thank you. Yeah. I know when we interviewed you years ago, you said it was always felt like you were treading in water, but you couldn't keep your head above water, and the change allowed you to kind of really keep that head above and not have so much stress, which is, we love to hear that. I know Hernan needs to head off, 'cause you have six members of a large prime there for an audit. That sounds intense. So yeah, let's jump to you next, Hernan, and just let you share. I know you're newer into your implementation than many of the folks on this panel, but you know, what impact have you seen, you know, in the last several months?

- Well, for sure accountability. You know, before we were, you know, on paper, logging in information, you know, and process inspections stuff and things like that, but now being digital, it is so much more transparent. And then also when we do our Gemba Walks, the guys are able to, we, you guys probably do too, we schedule all of our jobs specifically to a specific machine. And so every machinist at their station can see, you know, their current schedule, and you know what they're gonna be machining next. So we're able to discuss with them in a little bit more structured manner of, you know, what's next, what's out to look for, you know, tooling issues. You know, should we really be machining these parts at this machine, or do we move it somewhere else. So that kind of flexibility and accountability has been significant for us. We're in the midst of, you know, implementing IQA as well, so, you know, we're not certain how that's gonna play into everything, but there's so many little things that we're able to do now that, you know, we really didn't recognize before. You know, and it's been a learning process, but it's great to see the involvement as well of, you know, everyone, you know, and everyone, you know, I think, you know, being a little bit proud of themselves, of overcoming some of the initial roadblocks and fears, and everyone beginning to realize, you know, again, the importance of discipline and what benefits we get out of it.

- Yeah. I love that. We think of the process of going paperless and providing everyone almost equal access to the data, almost democratizes it, allows them to contribute, allows the employees that really care a lot to show up in their sort of full ability. And kinda like you already alluded to, some of the folks that are more cynical or just kind of, you know, just the clock punchers, it's very apparent right away, which ones aren't a really great cultural fit for you.

- Exactly.

- Yeah. That's awesome. Thank you for sharing that. David, let's jump back to you about some of the impacts that ProShop's had on your shop, and maybe just a little bit about what advice you'd give to other shops as well.

- Okay. Yeah. So again, I mentioned before, every area was, you know, was improved, but one of the probably personal experience, since I'm a quality manager, and I do, you know, have to be there in front of the auditor, just audits just became a lot easier. You know, I remember my first audit at Campbell. I was, you know, it was my first one ever, actually. I was just all over the place, you know, trying to get documents for the auditor, trying to remember, you know, where to find things. It was just a, you know, it was just a first bad experience for an audit. Then my second audit was, you know, in ProShop. It was a little bit better. I had more experience where to find things. You know, third, fourth audit, it just kept getting faster and faster. You know, it just get- I noticed the auditor, just trying to find, you know, time to fill in, you know, "Okay, let's take a 10 minute break." You know, just every document that he wanted to see is just a couple clicks away. You, know, just how highly customizable ProShop is, you know, to again, to make it work for you, and in an effective way. You know, it's just, again, it's just a big, big help. So again, audits are probably my biggest, you know, benefit that I see for myself, again, 'cause I'm the one who has to be there. The other one, again, I think Hernan said it, you know, chasing paper's just a waste of time, you know. I don't remember when's the last time we had to ask, "Oh, where's this work order?" or "What is the status of this work order." Having to, you know, go out there in the shop and actually, you know, physically looking at where you are, you know, how many parts are left to be machined, or just all of that stuff, you know. That's pretty much, I mean, we don't do that anymore, right? So again-

- Beautiful thing.

- One. Yep. One of the, another, you know, great, great benefit for us. So yeah. And just say the other question? Was-

- Oh, it was just, what other, what advice would you give to shops? And I think you've already kind of, you know, in your answer shared, you know, if they're looking to make audits easier, if they're looking to have more real-time statuses, but-

- Yeah. So just again, another one, just make sure you watch all the webinars for sure. That has helped me, you know, a lot.

- You mean the client ones?

- The ProShop webinars.

- Yeah.

- Yeah. You guys just doing amazing work, you know, putting out webinars that really, you know, just a lot of value, easy to understand. And again, all that has helped me, you know, again, understand the system and how to just keep growing. Again, ProShop is just there waiting for you to, you know, just to grow into it and just make it, you know, as effective as you can make it for your company. So...

- Thank you, David. Tyler, I'd love to jump over to you. Just talk a little bit about impact and advice, besides don't make your own custom system and be reliant on one developer.

- Right. Yeah. I mean, as the impact that we've seen is just the availability of whatever information you want. I mean, there are very few questions that you can ask that ProShop can't answer. And so, I mean, that just makes life, you know, a lot smoother. It makes work, I think more fun, too, for people. I mean, we've got one guy here who's like a ninja on the screen, he's got three monitors and, you know, ProShop open pretty much on like all of them, and he's bouncing back and forth, and- But yeah, I mean, it's just, I think I already mentioned, like inventory control is something we didn't have, now we have that. You know, job costing is not something that we had at all, but now, you know, the guys who do our quotes, they can go back and look at profitability of past jobs and pricing for things like materials and processing. And it's very easy for them to get at that information, whereas it wasn't before. So I would also say I'm looking forward to the impacts that ProShop will have, because we are a small company and I know that this was grown within a small company, and that company grew to be about, I think it was 80 employees, right?

- Yeah. About that.

- About 80 employees. And it's, you know, it's a aerospace and medical device company, right? You guys? Yeah. So pretty much like the same industry that we're in, with the same sort of problems that we're gonna face. And, you know, there's a lot of stuff in ProShop that we haven't actually utilized yet. And I'm actually excited for that because I think it's almost kinda like having somebody guide your path a little bit. If, you know, if we're gonna go the route of like really controlling our tooling better, you know, I know that there's a module for us to take advantage of, and I don't kind of have to invent the system myself. I can just, I can do it. So it's a system that will grow with us, and that's exciting. As far as advice is concerned, Paul, you already mentioned one, you know, like resist the urge to do it in-house, although you were successful at doing that. But I would just say, I think other people already mentioned it, just make sure that there's a strong commitment from management, 'cause switching an ERP is really hard for everybody. I mean, 'cause everybody's gonna be learning how to use and interact with the new system. ERPs are complex, you know, and ProShop's no exception to that. Like, I would say it's pretty, pretty easy to use, but there's a lot to it, and, you know, you need to, management needs to demonstrate full commitment to implementing it. I know that you guys tell all of your clients to have the ProShop champion, that one person who's kind of in charge of just encouraging everyone to use the system or the go-to guy for the answer. I think that's really good too, because it's good to have somebody that sees how all of the pieces come together. And yeah, somebody else already mentioned it, but make sure you take the path of least resistance. So if, you know, if ProShop's telling you that, you know, this is the way that you need to use this system, or this is the way you need to use this feature, use it that way, because we've been bit a couple times by trying to be clever and just not realizing that, you know, we were doing something that we shouldn't have done. So, yeah.

- Thank you. Let's see here. Kody, I'd love to have you share just a little bit about advice for- I mean, you guys were one of the quickest and smoothest implementation, you know, you were like three months and you were done. So what advice would you give to shops implementing a new system.

- Yes, I'll piggyback off of Tyler, and just say it's the buy-in. You need a 100% buy-in from your key leadership people that's gonna be heavily involved in implementation. And I think that was such a big thing for us to implement so fast, and then spread kinda like wildfire through the shop. I didn't force it upon anybody. I didn't say this is what we're doing. I made sure that, you know, the key people that were gonna be involved in implementation and making sure this thing runs right, I made sure they were 100% on board with it. That's why it took us so long to evaluate it and to finally pull the trigger. I knew this was gonna be a big thing within the shop and a big change, and just having that 100% buy-in, that was the major thing.

- Yeah. Yeah, and I think also just from what I observed a bit from the outside, just really relentless execution to just do it quickly and smoothly and thoroughly. I think that's one of your talents, personally, and that extended to the whole team. And obviously your owners had complete buy-in and trust of what you were doing. We have a few questions coming in. I'd love to kind of move over to those. Someone said, "Sorry I had to miss a big chunk of this, so it's already addressed, why is digital transformation such a blind spot for leadership teams? Having a digital foundation assets like these systems should be seen as adding immense value, but rarely are they seen this way." Anyone wanna jump on that one?

- I can answer.

- Okay.

- Because they're not the ones using it.

- Mm. Right.

- I mean, if you're not the one that's actually using it, sometimes you don't immediately see the value.

- Yeah.

- I said this to you earlier. I'm doing every click from estimate to packing stuff, right?

- Right.

- So, with someone like that, it's obvious.

- Right. Yeah, that's a good one. I mean, sometimes we have owners that they say, "I don't even need a login to the system, 'cause I don't deal with any of that stuff." And while that might be the case, that, and you know that they're not doing the jobs of the people doing the work, being curious and understanding really what are the pain points, what are the frustrations, what are the wastes that are happening on a daily basis? Maybe Rich, you could share, since you were not an owner or as much in senior leadership when you made that change, but you drove the, you know, you drove the initiative to change. What was that like?

- Yeah. And what's funny is you're correct. Our owners have never been in ProShop. They're very much involved with decisions, but just not the day to day activities within the business. So getting them to buy into it was them understanding exactly that: our frustrations that we had with our day to days. We'd have daily meetings about why these, you know, however many orders are past due. And why are we not able to chip into these? And we, you know, we knocked three off and add three more, you know, and it was just everything around what we were doing was just failures. We were a successful business. We made money. But the business wasn't failing from the perspectives of giving our customers what they needed. And ultimately that's why we're in business, is supplying products to our customers for what they need. And when you fail your customers, they have the ability to, you know, search other resources for that product. So from the outside of things, you know, we got them to understand where we were failing and why we needed to go this route. They didn't hesitate much. Like I said, a couple of 'em came up to look at the system and understood what I was seeing and how it could benefit us. And it's really about that, getting them to understand the buy-in and how it's gonna benefit the company as a whole. And so, yeah, that's kind of my story, Paul.

- Okay. I appreciate that. Another question here, this actually from an existing client. "We're using ProShop, but still use a single piece of paper as a traveler or drawing to initiate and track a job. Are you guys truly paperless on the shop floor?" And he says, as well, "We sometimes get orders that might be a hundred work orders, and it'd be nice not to print all those drawings off or travelers off." I know my sort of default advice would be, you know, don't print off the drawing or a single piece of paper. You don't actually need something, you should not need something physical to initiate things. Like the dashboards to have it show up for purchasing, for planning, for cutting raw material, should all happen on the dashboards. The first time you have something physical probably is when you need to pair up material with the job for traceability. And in those cases using one of the labels, you know, work order labels, box labels, to attach to that carton, to that bar of material, whatever it might be. That's the first time you need to actually print something physical, so you have that traceability. Any other comments or feedback about that from anyone? Cody?

- Yeah, we use, so we laminated a bunch of sheets of paper, hundreds of them, and it basically just says work order number, and then quantity. We don't put revs, we don't put due dates, and don't put anything that might change. And it basically sits at the saw or sits at receiving area. And once material comes in, he fills that out and puts it with the material, and that follows throughout the shop. If something leaves to go out to our outside process, that piece of paper just goes back to the receiving area for when something comes back and you just use another one. So we just constantly reuse those laminates.

- You just wipe 'em clean at the end? Yeah. I mean, that's what actually what we did at PRO CNC. And I love the part about don't put things that'll change. Don't put due dates, don't put revs, 'cause then you'll have to go chase it down and change it if you have a change. So...

- Yeah, the whole point of being paperless is not having to go find things, chase paper, so...

- David, I saw you unmute for a second. Did you wanna share?

- Yeah. There's three pieces of papers that, excuse me, that we still kind of print out every now and then. The print is gonna be one. We do still allow our machinists to print out the drawing. It's just, there's something that they feel like they need right in front of them, you know, to hold. So we do allow for that. And it's mainly when they're doing the, you know, the first operation, when they're setting up the machine, that, you know, they need to verify some dimensions that they need to carry that drawing over to an inspection equipment. So that's one of the cases where they'll print out the drawing. Some of our drawings are, you know, gonna be multiple pages, three plus pages. So they wanna hold it. So we're still, you know, let that happen. The other one is gonna be the label, which is normal. I mean, everything has to be labeled, so we do print that label. So that goes in there. The third one, and it's the one that we're, that I'm really trying to kind of get 'em not to do it. It's gonna be the, like an IPC template where they record their dimensions as they're measuring. We are trying to have everything, you know, our in-process inspections be fully on the CMM, so that way they don't have to print that template and record their data, because ultimately they're gonna have to go to their workstation and input that data. So we're trying to have it that they, you know, put it on the CMM, save that report from the CMM, and upload it to the operation for the IPC. So again, those two things, the third one is the one that I'm really trying to get rid of it, just because it is just, again, unnecessary to have them to, you know, go to a high gauge and measure their part when we can put it again on the CMM and save that report and upload it to the operation. So, yeah.

- Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. Yeah. The gentleman that asked the question said he just got burned on a rev change mid-job and the paper didn't get caught, so definitely a big upvote for not putting revisions on the things out on the shop floor. I will say, and I know Hernan had to jump off to go to his audit, but in his shop and many of our other shops, I know, Susan, you've done this, is using two monitors at each screen. And Hernan's even going with like a 40-inch TV above the main monitor, so he could really zoom into those drawings, look at page three of this one detail. I know with my, you know, old eyes now, I have to wear reading glasses, you know, if I wanna look at a drawing, and so being able to really zoom into a big image of a detailed, you know, multi-page drawing can sometimes be really nice. And, but I totally get, it's a hard thing to, you know, just to hold something in your hand is a, sometimes a comfort thing that it's hard to get people to- Oh, there you go, CJ. Look at that. The mobile station. Nice. That looks awesome. So we are getting up to the top of the hour here. Any last comments that anyone wants to make before we kind of wrap things up? Yes, Susan.

- I just wanna mention, I don't, you talked about your customer service, okay, and having past software and had horrendous customer service. This is probably one of the nicest things that for me as being smaller and having an issue, I can contact your team and they'll get back to you. And they even let you know that they'll get back to you. I mean, if your customer service is, from your previous software is horrendous, it's not like this at all. It's 360. And I think for that, because we, in the beginning, you don't know everything, and your team, even now, five years later, I still contact, say, "I forgot. How can you do this?" And your team is up and running. Tremendous. I just wanted to say that, that was probably one of the best things about ProShop for me was customer service and helping you to succeed. And that's why I feel, that's how I feel about the software. We're succeeding because of your help and your knowledge. And I wanted to thank you for your best customer service team. Thanks.

- Thank you so much.

- Yeah, I-

- I got something I could- Oh, go ahead.

- I'll be quick. Yeah, I would the thing I would say. I've been using ProShop now for 13 years, and the thing I appreciate the most, along with the customer service like Susan, is your team is never satisfied with ProShop being where it is. Like they are always improving it, adding features, making things easier for us. If I could take a snapshot of where we were 13 years ago to today, the features and everything that has come into play over that 13 years, just that much more time, and waste has been eliminated and things that we, you never realize would make your life easier, because it was just so much, you know, everything was easy 13 years ago, but the fact is you guys just aren't ever satisfied with ProShop being complete, and I think that's a huge benefit, as well with the software.

- Thank you, Rich. Appreciate that. And yeah, Tyler.

- Yeah, kind of along the same lines as to what Rich was saying, we're really happy to see just all of the effort that ProShop's been putting into things like CMMC and other sort of, you know, difficult compliance issues. It's, we feel like this is a system that is gonna grow, you know, with our company or enable our company to grow. So if anyone else is facing, you know, requirements like that, I think that it is gonna be hard to find a system that's gonna beat ProShop. So...

- Thank you very much. I know some of our folks have to jump off, so to be respectful for everyone, we're gonna wrap things up here, but thank you all so much. I look forward to giving you hugs in Chicago and having spent some time with you. Thank you for attending. Thanks for your questions today. Again, if you're gonna be in Chicago, we'd love to have you come by our booth. And if you are around on Thursday, we will have a happy hour nearby. So come by the booth and sign up for that. And thank you all again. I really appreciate everything you've shared today. Hopefully folks took some good wisdom away from that, regardless of where their situation is today. Just any major change or problems they might be facing. So thanks again, everyone. And we'll see you all very soon in Chicago. Have a good rest of your day.

- Bye.

- Bye.

- We are live and people are streamin' in, so we'll give people a few minutes here, but I am lookin' forward to today. This is gonna be a super exciting and very different webinar than we've ever done before. So appreciate, first of all, my guests. Kind of amazing to have- I'm gonna change my view to gallery view so I can see everyone equally here. Thank you to my guests for being able to, for joining me today. Thank you for all those that are attending. I'm gonna start as I often do, for those attending, I would love if you would put in the chat where you're coming in from and where you're joining us, what city, state, or country, and just see the diversity of where everyone is at. I love that. Des Moines, Iowa. Thank you, Todd, for kicking us off. Vancouver, BC. Awesome. So we are talking today- West Liberty, Ohio, Titusville, Florida. Oh, all right. There we go. Starting to flow in. Thank you, Dallas. Thank you, CJ. Awesome. Kicking butt from Denver, Colorado. Hey, Jessica. Good to see you here. All right. So we are, we have big sort of Brady Bunch panelists here. The 3x3 grid with a bunch of shops that have made the bold move of going paperless, really changing what their shops, how their shops work and what they do, which can be a scary journey, I'm sure. Wow, Netherlands. Nice. Thank you, joining us from Europe. South Africa. Fantastic. Wow. Awesome. So it really is a global audience here today. So I'm gonna start. We have a list of four questions we're gonna go through today. Let me just pull those up for myself here. So we're gonna be asking for each shop to introduce themselves, a little bit about their company, and then the questions: When did you realize your shop needed to change? How did you motivate your team to be on board with that change? What impact has ProShop and going paperless had on your shop? And then what advice would you give to other shops looking to implement and make a big change like that? So, I know that we're gonna get a lot of wisdom from these folks, and again, thank you all for participating. And also just a reminder, these folks will all be at IMTS in our booth at various times of the week, so we will be posting some kind of schedule or something, so if you want to go, come talk to these folks in person, that would be super cool if you are happening to go to IMTS. At the, hopefully this sort of Q and A portion, or sort of chat portion, will take the first maybe 40 minutes and then we'll get into Q and A, so if you have questions for any one of these folks or for me, please use the Q and A feature rather than the chat feature, sometimes things get lost in the chat, and then we will get to those at the end. So I'm gonna start things off with Chris from East Branch Engineering. Chris actually has to go pick up his daughter in a little while, so he can't stay the full hour. So Chris, would love to have you first introduce yourself.

- Sure.

- And talk a little bit about why you realized you needed to change something, what was that like, what's the impact been, and what advice you'd give to other shops.

- Yeah, sure. So, as you know, you just mentioned, I work at East Branch Engineering. We're a job shop in Western Connecticut. We serve primarily local companies, so anyone we can drive to. That's kind of how we got our name is servicing the local customers. If there's an issue, we were able to literally show up at their doorstep and, you know, talk through whatever issues. You know, we run small to medium size parts. Typically the parts are stuff that nobody else wants to do. Either there was an issue in the past, there was quality issues, and we typically find a way to do it pretty, pretty well. We still have our issues, but we became known as like the problem solvers of our area. So we do anything from plastic to stainless to titanium. It really depends on the application and what they need. So, you know, a couple years ago we were running a different software, and one of the key things is we were having our management review meeting and we realized like, we're never gonna be able to grow this company the way we were running it. We had enough trouble just processing the orders. I'm not even talking about machining the orders. I'm just talking about processing. I mean, getting 'em from, you know, the purchase order onto the shop floor. I mean, we were absolutely slammed. And we said, you know, if we have any intention of growing the company, we can't keep doing this. We had some machine capacity, but it was just the front office stuff was horrendous. So that's when we, you know, at the same time, I think the first article in Modern Machine Shop came out and Paul and I did a demo and you know, it just took off from there. You know, one of the things we always talk about was that the time it took us to ship a job, especially anything with cert packets. Pulling certs packets out, we would miss shipments. The parts would be done sitting in shipping, but the cert packet would take a day to put together, and we would miss the shipment. So it was really one of the driving forces in looking for an alternative. I don't even wanna say software; it was more like a system, 'cause we knew we just couldn't keep up the way we were doing it. And once we did implement the change, you know, we didn't have so much trouble getting our guys on board, because they were frustrated with the current state back then. They were actually looking forward to having more information. So for us, the motivation to get our guys on board was actually pretty easy, 'cause they were self-motivated to do a better job.

- That's awesome.

- Yeah. I mean we had a few key people here that, you know, drove some of the changes, but we didn't really hit too much resistance with our guys on the floor. Now as to the impact ProShop has had, I think the best way to describe it is I just recently went on vacation internationally and I didn't log in once. I know, you know, it's a system that you can use remotely, but I think the fact that I didn't need to log in the week I was away was fantastic. You know, I didn't have to worry about job shipping, what was set up, what was not set up, did they need my help. You know, the system was in place and it worked, so I was able to actually enjoy my time away. You know, and it's- I, yeah, I know you like to tell people like to log in remotely and to work remotely, but for us, being able to remove myself for a week really showed the change that ProShop kind of had in our company. You know, it was no longer driven like a top-down system. You know the employees kinda- they have all the information to make the choices and decisions on their own, so it kinda like bubbles up from the bottom.

- Right. Wow. And what would you give as advice to a shop that was facing the same kind of problems you were facing, or is, you know-

- Yeah, that's actually a tough question, 'cause there's the classic answers, but I really think you have to understand the current state before you start making major changes in the company. So, you know, you can just put a new system in and expect it to make all these great changes in your company, but you know, it's a situation of garbage in, garbage out. So if you don't have the systems in place and the management in place to reinforce some of the things you wanna do, like, you know, saving certs or making sure time tracking is logged properly. No software's gonna get that right if you don't have somebody behind that, making sure that that stuff happens. So I think you really need to understand what the current state is, what the real issues are, if it's a software issue or if it's a management issue, and really understand that changing this and changing the whole system is a major change.

- Yeah. There's a lot of wisdom there. It's definitely not a straightforward, simple, super simple thing, and it's not a solution for more underlying structural issues, for sure.

- Yeah. You might see a change for a couple weeks, but then you're gonna fall back on your old ways and you're probably gonna get frustrated pretty quickly.

- Yeah. Awesome. Well thank you very much. I think you said you had about 20, 30 minutes, so hopefully we can get to some more stuff. But Tyler, I'd love to jump over and ask you to introduce your company and share when you realized your shop needed to make a change. And nice sweatshirt, by the way. I love it.

- Yeah, I was looking at my sweatshirts this morning. I figured why not wear it, you know? It's a good day, so... Yeah, so as Paul said, my name is Tyler. I work for a company, I'm the quality manager at a small aerospace machine shop called Component Products. We're located in Mukilteo, kind of really close to Paine Field, the Boeing facility up here in Everett. But this company is actually, it's a family company. My grandfather started it, I think it was late 1960s. And so we've been around for a while, and he retired in 2020 and actually transitioned ownership to me and a couple other employees, and so, you know, up until that point in time, we had been using a homegrown system that was programmed by an employee of ours. But, you know, we kind of all knew when we were taking over ownership that we were gonna need something that was gonna seriously improve the way that our company just processed jobs through the shop. Because, you know, though the system we had was good for what my grandfather was using it for, it lacked in many other areas. And I kind of also wonder if, you know, that was partially by design, because, you know, the programmer was perhaps designing the system to please the most important user, and the rest of the folks kind of got left out of it a little bit. But anyways, yeah, I mean, we all knew that we needed something because the system we had didn't have any sort of dashboards in place, that there was nothing in there for inventory control. There was no job costing, statuses like had to be updated manually in the system, and, you know, we were printing out paper travelers, and so you wouldn't update the status of those jobs until it came back into inspection. And so it's, if, you know, if you wanted to go find something on the shop floor, you would have to physically go out there and find it. So with all that, you know, being said, there really, it wasn't hard to motivate people to want the change. We all were very interested in making this improvement and kind of an interesting little fact, I actually, I'm not a machinist guy by my schooling. I actually went and got my degree in computer science and software engineering, and for my capstone project, I was actually working on like replacing our existing homegrown system with another homegrown ERP system, but you know, it turned, it quickly became apparent that that was not going to be a good idea, because, you know, if you have kind of like one programmer who's responsible for your system that's running your company, that's kind of a liability. You know, what happens if that programmer leaves. You know, are they even developing the system in such a way that it's gonna be easy to hand off to somebody else to maintain? And I also didn't have the domain expertise, so, you know, ProShop was just a big, it just made a lot of sense, because, you know, we'd be leveraging a company that was, had a ton of domain expertise and was, you know, not a liability, because, you know, they're not gonna go anywhere anytime soon.

- Awesome.

- So, yeah.

- Well, thank you. I'm gonna cut you off there and we'll get back to some of the other questions for you later. I did it with, since Chris had to leave, we kind of did all of 'em at once.

- Oh, okay.

- But thank you for sharing all that. So David, I'd like to jump over with you, if you'd introduce yourself and your company, and yeah. When did you, with your shop realize you guys needed to make a change?

- Sure. So my name is David Moso, and I'm the QA production manager for Campbell Engineering in Lake Forest, California. We came from using E2, and again, I've been with the company for a long time. I did part-time, about four years ago I started full-time, and that's when I kind of started getting involved more and more with their, you know, just the entire system at Campbell. I heard that we were moving from E2 to ProShop. To me, it was just like, you know, "Okay. A good change." I saw what it was happening, but I was just kind of like on the sidelines, just, you know, just looking at people drive the change. That, you know, that kind of, it did mess us up in the beginning. We've used it for three years, but just recently with, you know, again, having different people drive the change and get everyone on board, it just has made, you know, made it a lot easier. We have learned, I think, a lot more in the past, you know, nine months than, you know, when in the beginning of the implementation. But yeah, that's where we came from. Again, E2 wasn't giving us support or wasn't, you know, taking our suggestions to, you know, for improvements or things that we just needed to get it right. So we basically just outgrew our previous system, and that's, I guess that's when they decided, you know, what it's time to change and it's time to, you know, get things under control. 'Cause again, a lot of stuff was just all over the place. We kind of, we're always talking about being audit-ready, you know, then always, you know, just be ready for visitors, for anything, right? It wasn't the case before, you know, right now we're moving towards that, where everything is in place, you can see real time or, you know, information regarding POs, machine schedules, just anything that affects, you know, your day to day, you know, activities. So you have all of that, and you know, probably, again, major impact, you know, employee training, you know, you know where everyone's at, they can see what they need to do, you know, to keep growing, just, you know, just again, every area in our company was improved, definitely for, you know, after changing to ProShop.

- Thank you, David. Yeah. Being audit-ready includes having all your training records in order. So I'd love to jump over to Rich, and ask you that same question about when you realized you needed a change.

- Yeah. Hi. I'm Rich Olson, vice president, Sealth Aero Marine in Mill Creek, Washington, just north of Seattle. Mine's kind of a unique story. Paul ran a small shop called PRO CNC and we would outsource products to him. We got to know each other over the years, and they had some demand for kind of some high-end programmers. I had some free time, and so I worked the weekends up at PRO CNC, and while there ran across this homegrown software that they were using. I was like, "Wow, this is pretty neat. Nothing that we have had," and really didn't think much of it other than, and at that time I didn't even really know it was homegrown. I was just, I realized PRO CNC and Paul and their team had, you know, had advanced well beyond what we were doing, living in the life of paper, and just everything up there was just so efficiently ran, and tools, you just knew where everything was, fixed rings and tools, and it was just so clean, and just nothing that I had ever experienced. And at that time I was not in the vice president role. I was just a machinist in production, and didn't even know the in-depth impacts of ProShop, but just knew they were so far ahead of where we were with how they were managing jobs, that I thought, "Wow, we're really missing out." And joking, Paul, I had mentioned, "Oh boy. Would you guys ever wanna sell the software?" And he was like, "No, this isn't for us." So I went back to work. I had finished my time with PRO CNC and I was just back at Sealth Aero and I was looking at softwares and Paul called me randomly out of the blue one day to say, "Hey, we are considering jumping into the software business. Would you guys be willing to bring it into your shop?" I didn't hesitate. I had to talk with management to say, "Hey, this is something we need. You gotta trust me on it." I had our team come up to PRO CNC and look at it as well. We brought it in and it had instant impacts for us. You know, you just don't realize the day to day when you're just living with what you know. When you realize there's something better out there for you, how much it's gonna impact you for the positive, I mean, for most things, and ProShop is that for us. Our return on investments and things like that were measurable instantly for us. I argue to this day that it might have still be our most financial beneficial move we've made for our company by going to ProShop. The fact is, is you know, we just had so many people that chase jobs all day, every day, and once you are able to eliminate that area of waste, you realize opportunities to grow your company. And so that's when I realized, you know, ProShop was the right move for us.

- Well, thank you, Rich. Yeah, you definitely hold a special place in our history. And quite honestly, it was your results that gave us the confidence to really go full steam ahead and sell the shop and go into software full time. So thank you for sharing that. I'd love to move into our next question. How did you motivate your team to be on board with the change? And Hernan, I'd love to start with you. Share a little bit about your company and talk about how you motivated your team.

- Sure. Hernan Ricaurte. Ricaurte Precision is the name of our company. I'm second generation. I actually started my career just not working in machine shop. I was, my father ran the machine shop, I was off in Japan doing medical device and healthcare. He was thinking of selling the business, I started to look at it, and I decided to give it a shot. So that was in 2016.

- Brave man.

- So, yeah. So, you know, it's been a journey. A lot of learning to do, but I was from day one, really cognizant of the need for discipline, accountability, processes and procedures and things like that, and so that's been our focus. You know, in listening to, you know, Chris and Tyler and Rich and everyone, I'm always curious to see, you know, you guys are, what you guys are- I totally agree with everything you guys are saying, but I'm just always curious as to how many people, you know, are in the organizations, because, you know, every size is, and requires different resources and, you know, and the bigger you get, the more important culture comes into the equation, I think. But so we have 38 employees, and it hasn't been so much of, you know, maybe what Chris and Tyler maybe alluded to as well of, you know, the team being, "Hey, you know, let's go for something digital and something new that we can all implement." It was just more me and our management, trying to see what tools we can use in order to drive accountability, discipline, you know, efficiency and continuous improvement. So that's where we were looking for different options. We were also working with a paper-based ERP system. Digital ERP opportunities is like a no brainer for us. You know, what Rich was mentioning, you know, chasing down paper, I mean, what a waste of time. Having things, you know, at your disposal and on the fingertips is an absolute must. But yeah, I mean, it's definitely helped us, you know, on the accountability standpoint, traceability of jobs, you know, who's doing what, and, you know, it has been an effort, because this system is robust. You know, it has taken us longer than anticipated to, you know, get everything implemented, but it's for a reason, you know? And, you know, it's worked really, really well for us, and, you know, it's great to see. You know, even the guys that are out there, that are a little bit apprehensive in that, seeing them, you know, putting their notes in, and, you know, understanding and appreciating, you know, what efficiencies are realized when you become a little bit more disciplined. And ProShop is a tool that allows us to do that. Did you have a, I imagine, a range of folks that some, that really sort of crave that discipline and others that are a little bit more, you know, off the hip kind of thing,

- Yeah. Absolutely.

- and pushed back on that?

- Absolutely, yeah.

- Especially on those folks that weren't kinda as bought in, how did you go about approaching getting them on board?

- Yeah. Like with anything, right? You choose the guys that are easiest to work with, you know, and your true leaders. You know, and I think that's something that a lot of us, and, you know, especially in small businesses that we all have struggle with, because we don't all have the luxury of having, you know, finance expertise or finance department, HR department, what have you, but you just always, you know, need to avoid the square peg round hole situation. And so that's where sort of our leadership has driven, is the guys that have the same vision and appreciation for continuous improvement. So we got those guys involved first, of course, and communicated with them very, very closely in order to get their input as we implemented throughout the shop. So, you know, putting everyone, you know, and thinking that everyone's gonna be as receptive as the others and things like that never works. Get your most receptive guys and understanding guys, and most open-to-discipline guys involved first, and then make it as unintimidating as possible to those guys that are the cynical ones. And that's another thing too, is, you know, and I don't mean to crap on too much, but, you know, in our company, we've got, you know, the four C's, you know, the cynical guys, the complacent guys that are, you know, often, you know, sucked in by the cynical guys. And you've got the guys that are, you know, more dedicated and, you know, and so forth. So, you know, the guys that are cynical and stuff like that, you know, we have a pretty strong management style where we just don't put up with it. So, you know, we've let go of, you know, six, seven people over the last, you know, three months.

- Oh, wow.

- Because we just need to drive efficiency, and it's just not worth our time, and it's not worth, you know, risking the energy and the, you know, motivation of, you know, some key members with bad apples. So, you know, that's all been part of it, you know, and ProShop has helped us to like, weed that out as well.

- Right. Wow. Thank you for sharing that. I know that's a hard decision to make, especially with as hard as it is to find employees right now, so-

- Right.

- But yeah, making sure those bad apples aren't spoiling the whole lot is certainly important. Thank you for sharing that, Hernan. I'd love to jump over to you, Susan. How did you motivate your team? First of all, share us a little bit about Frey and Weiss, and how did you motivate your team when you decided to make the change?

- Hi, I'm Susan from Frey and Weiss. We're outside Chicago in Illinois. We're a outsource manufacturer. We've been in business over 50 years. My dad's a Frey, so he started it. I'm second generation.

- And what size is your company? And if, for maybe the rest of you, if you'd put in the chat, I'd love to you just put in the chat, what size, to answer Hernan's question.

- We are around 20 people now. 20 people, so we're on the smaller end, and for us, I mean, we've been on it since 2017, so when the IMTS show came in 2016, we were so frustrated with the software that we had. My sister, also my partner, she's not here, decided to find something else. And then we were able to, since we had a small size, take everybody to the show and say, "Hey, look. We need some communication." For us, that's what the biggest thing is, is the communication. And everybody was on board with the software. Everybody loved it because the software that we had before was only, you know, managers and us, you know, so we knew he had a better way. However, everybody was on board, and so we installed it and then some people weren't on board. And all I can say is we communicated, "This is your job." And in order for us to stay in business, we have to do our jobs through the software as they have to. And all I could say is the people that didn't support ProShop, we no longer employ, because it wasn't part, I agree with the apple, that everybody had to partake. Even though they may not like it, this is their job now. And I could say, especially with, you know, employees wanna work any hours, and we're open to that, to any hours, and this was a great way for all of us to communicate anywhere, you know? And so, and that was the basis of our com- and we could communicate, and that's how we motivated people, saying that we could look at areas that we could stay in business because it's helping us to cost correctly, train people. And also, I'm not a machinist. I wasn't a machinist. I was always in the office, and we have a lot of repeat business, and all that information, instead of it's in the drawer or in machinist's head, it's in the software. So, just communication. And I think that was really how we motivated our employees. And plus the bosses were happy. So if we're happy, they're happy. So, okay? So that's what I would say, and everybody, and being even smaller, we have less people, but we do the same output. So it has helped us, you know, especially with the COVID, working anywhere, at home. I mean, we could not have done that with the last software, because everything is on paper. So it's, you know, that was a best way for us to transfer information to everybody, whether you are machine maintenance or you're the salesperson, and everybody in between, you know, so...

- Thank you, Susan. I appreciate that. Yes. I still remember fondly sitting with you and Linda, your sister, at the 2016 IMTS.

- Yes. And it was great. And we love it. We should have found you in 2014.

- We weren't there in 2014, so...

- Okay. So it was good for us. Thank you.

- All right. Kody, let's jump over to you. Please share a bit about Coastal, and yeah, what your change was like to get your team on board and anything else you'd like to share.

- Yeah. So I'm Kody Guidry. I'm the operations manager at Coastal. We're mainly a job shop down in Louisiana. Mostly do work for oil and gas, but in the past year or two kind of diversified into space and defense industry. So, and-

- What size are you?

- 50 employees, 22 machines. So we were actually introduced to ProShop through an employee interview. We were interviewing an employee that was at another shop that had, they implemented ProShop over there, and he just started showing it to us on his phone right there. And we really didn't know we needed something until I started looking into ProShop, basically. Everything was just there. We, things we couldn't do before that we just thought was the norm, we found that ProShop could do. And we evaluated ProShop probably for about a year. We went to 2018 IMTS. I remember going to the booths over there and visiting Yelp and everything, and it took us so long to evaluate and make the change because we had some people who were not necessarily on board right away. They just didn't want the change. They could kind of see it, but they didn't wanna make the change and lose all the data and everything and go through that whole process. So my move with that was I took him to IMTS. I took him to the ProShop booth, you know, I let him, introduced him to everybody, you know, see the system, and then anytime something would come up in our system that we had trouble doing, or we had a problem or anything, I'd say, "Well, ProShop can do this," you know, or I'd say, "Look, ProShop can do it this way, man. It'd be so much faster and so much easier, so much more efficient." So that's basically how I would motivate people to get 'em on board is I would wait for them to complain about doing something in the system a way we couldn't do it, and say, "Look, this is how ProShop can do it. Look how much easier it would be, how much more efficient it would be, you know, if we moved systems, and we can do this." And finally he gave in and they were like, "Okay, yeah, we just gotta switch." And now that guy, our sales manager, he, which is the one who didn't want change, he loves ProShop. He tells me all the time that, you know, "I could never go back. There's no way. I can't believe we waited a year, you know, to make that change." And so, yeah, I mean, it's been a big plus for us. We've been, you know, improved in every aspect of the shop. So it's been a huge thing.

- How was the adoption process for your machinists?

- So we actually had even a couple machinists that were at the shop that had ProShop too. So that helped also. Yeah. So I think we had two other machinists that were already working here that came from that same shop that that other employee came from. And so it helped having them on board and knowing how the system worked, but we were already time tracking and everything before, so that wasn't a big change for them. We were real strict on doing that in the previous system. So once they understood about, you know, you can do set up sheets digitally and all that stuff, and they wouldn't have to fill out papers and all that, it got through pretty quick.

- Yeah. I appreciate you bringing up the question about time tracking. Sometimes that simultaneously is a big shift for people if they have not been doing that in the past. And just even that alone, regardless of what software they're putting it into, is a big cultural change. So yeah. Thanks for mentioning that.

- Yeah, no problem.

- CJ, I'd love to- You have a unique story and unique position here, being a one-man shop with your highly-automated equipment. So yeah. Introduce yourself, your company. And obviously there was no convincing anyone else to get on board, so why don't you just share a little bit about why you decided you needed some change and the impact?

- Okay. Thanks, Paul. My name is CJ Abraham. I'm the owner of Precision Product Development LLC. I started my business in 2017 with a VF-2 and a dream. I was originally making tools and fixtures for my one customer that I was doing- Well, I was working for Autodesk during the day, and machining at night. My customer decided that I needed to start making the products, and that was a huge change. I went from being a machine shop to a supplier almost overnight. Buying ProShop was, I had nothing before, I had the benefit of having nothing, really. And so the goal was to start off on the right foot, and ProShop was the right solution. It was the best solution. And I had worked in a couple shops before. In my other experience, I had seen a lot of other implementations of ERP systems that didn't look right. And some of the things that Chris said totally resonate with me, where all of the documentation is taken care of automatically. It's all, it's basically procured for me to click. And my customer has said that I'm like a one-man machine arm, because everything that ProShop does for me, just it's like a force multiplier. It's an employee multiplier. So that was the driving factor in buying ProShop. And man, it, honestly, I don't have much more to add beyond that unless you have some specific questions, but-

- Well, I think, yeah, thank you for sharing that. I think you, you know, you're in a unique position, obviously being a one-man shop, now with two of your cool Willemins running all the time, unattended. Amazing stuff. But just, I think the wisdom of putting that sort of structural component in place of all your data, all your information, you know, it's not a decision that a lot of one-man shops decide, to put in an ERP system, right? It's kinda counterintuitive.

- One way I could also put this, is that I'm a good machinist, right? But before buying ProShop, I wasn't that great of a businessman. I wasn't- I knew how to run machines, not how to run a business. And ProShop filled that gap. And actually, I had written down some answers for the other questions, and one is what would you give advice to other shops they were implementing ProShop? With the ProShop I had a lot of guidance. Like my implementation specialist gave me so much guidance. And not just on ProShop, but running a business. And so ProShop really fills a lot of that knowledge gap for me, personally.

- Right. Thank you. Yeah. I was talking to a client just a couple weeks ago, who said he used to, we would sometimes give advice that he thought wasn't the best advice and he didn't do it, and then things would go poorly. And now he's like, "Whatever you guys say, I'm just gonna do it that way. Like, no matter what it is, I'm just all in." So I appreciate you sharing that. So Chris had to drop off to go get his daughter from school. We're gonna kind of circle back. Rich, I'd love to ask, you already shared a little bit, but what impact has ProShop had on the shop?

- Yeah, so, you know, you have measurable impacts and immeasurable impacts, and I would say the measurables are the efficiencies and time tracking and being able to see what jobs are costing. And the immeasurables though, are the ones that, to me that are the ones that are way more beneficial in ProShop. It sounds crazy maybe, but the fact that our employees now have a little more work-life balance because of ProShop, but they're able to better efficiently schedule their machines so they know when things are gonna be where, if they have, you know, whatever reasons, the doctor's appointments, or like Chris have to run off and get the kids, they have a lot more flexibility in, you know, what they're able to do. And just the eventually getting people to buy in, in that culture of why we went this route. To me, it's those immeasurables that were most shocking for me, Paul, after, you know, running it for, you know, a couple years, how I find to be really much more beneficial from a business standpoint. The measurables are, you'll find right away. They show up day one, once you get it implemented. But for me, yeah, Paul, it's those immeasurables.

- Thank you. Yeah. I know when we interviewed you years ago, you said it was always felt like you were treading in water, but you couldn't keep your head above water, and the change allowed you to kind of really keep that head above and not have so much stress, which is, we love to hear that. I know Hernan needs to head off, 'cause you have six members of a large prime there for an audit. That sounds intense. So yeah, let's jump to you next, Hernan, and just let you share. I know you're newer into your implementation than many of the folks on this panel, but you know, what impact have you seen, you know, in the last several months?

- Well, for sure accountability. You know, before we were, you know, on paper, logging in information, you know, and process inspections stuff and things like that, but now being digital, it is so much more transparent. And then also when we do our Gemba Walks, the guys are able to, we, you guys probably do too, we schedule all of our jobs specifically to a specific machine. And so every machinist at their station can see, you know, their current schedule, and you know what they're gonna be machining next. So we're able to discuss with them in a little bit more structured manner of, you know, what's next, what's out to look for, you know, tooling issues. You know, should we really be machining these parts at this machine, or do we move it somewhere else. So that kind of flexibility and accountability has been significant for us. We're in the midst of, you know, implementing IQA as well, so, you know, we're not certain how that's gonna play into everything, but there's so many little things that we're able to do now that, you know, we really didn't recognize before. You know, and it's been a learning process, but it's great to see the involvement as well of, you know, everyone, you know, and everyone, you know, I think, you know, being a little bit proud of themselves, of overcoming some of the initial roadblocks and fears, and everyone beginning to realize, you know, again, the importance of discipline and what benefits we get out of it.

- Yeah. I love that. We think of the process of going paperless and providing everyone almost equal access to the data, almost democratizes it, allows them to contribute, allows the employees that really care a lot to show up in their sort of full ability. And kinda like you already alluded to, some of the folks that are more cynical or just kind of, you know, just the clock punchers, it's very apparent right away, which ones aren't a really great cultural fit for you.

- Exactly.

- Yeah. That's awesome. Thank you for sharing that. David, let's jump back to you about some of the impacts that ProShop's had on your shop, and maybe just a little bit about what advice you'd give to other shops as well.

- Okay. Yeah. So again, I mentioned before, every area was, you know, was improved, but one of the probably personal experience, since I'm a quality manager, and I do, you know, have to be there in front of the auditor, just audits just became a lot easier. You know, I remember my first audit at Campbell. I was, you know, it was my first one ever, actually. I was just all over the place, you know, trying to get documents for the auditor, trying to remember, you know, where to find things. It was just a, you know, it was just a first bad experience for an audit. Then my second audit was, you know, in ProShop. It was a little bit better. I had more experience where to find things. You know, third, fourth audit, it just kept getting faster and faster. You know, it just get- I noticed the auditor, just trying to find, you know, time to fill in, you know, "Okay, let's take a 10 minute break." You know, just every document that he wanted to see is just a couple clicks away. You, know, just how highly customizable ProShop is, you know, to again, to make it work for you, and in an effective way. You know, it's just, again, it's just a big, big help. So again, audits are probably my biggest, you know, benefit that I see for myself, again, 'cause I'm the one who has to be there. The other one, again, I think Hernan said it, you know, chasing paper's just a waste of time, you know. I don't remember when's the last time we had to ask, "Oh, where's this work order?" or "What is the status of this work order." Having to, you know, go out there in the shop and actually, you know, physically looking at where you are, you know, how many parts are left to be machined, or just all of that stuff, you know. That's pretty much, I mean, we don't do that anymore, right? So again-

- Beautiful thing.

- One. Yep. One of the, another, you know, great, great benefit for us. So yeah. And just say the other question? Was-

- Oh, it was just, what other, what advice would you give to shops? And I think you've already kind of, you know, in your answer shared, you know, if they're looking to make audits easier, if they're looking to have more real-time statuses, but-

- Yeah. So just again, another one, just make sure you watch all the webinars for sure. That has helped me, you know, a lot.

- You mean the client ones?

- The ProShop webinars.

- Yeah.

- Yeah. You guys just doing amazing work, you know, putting out webinars that really, you know, just a lot of value, easy to understand. And again, all that has helped me, you know, again, understand the system and how to just keep growing. Again, ProShop is just there waiting for you to, you know, just to grow into it and just make it, you know, as effective as you can make it for your company. So...

- Thank you, David. Tyler, I'd love to jump over to you. Just talk a little bit about impact and advice, besides don't make your own custom system and be reliant on one developer.

- Right. Yeah. I mean, as the impact that we've seen is just the availability of whatever information you want. I mean, there are very few questions that you can ask that ProShop can't answer. And so, I mean, that just makes life, you know, a lot smoother. It makes work, I think more fun, too, for people. I mean, we've got one guy here who's like a ninja on the screen, he's got three monitors and, you know, ProShop open pretty much on like all of them, and he's bouncing back and forth, and- But yeah, I mean, it's just, I think I already mentioned, like inventory control is something we didn't have, now we have that. You know, job costing is not something that we had at all, but now, you know, the guys who do our quotes, they can go back and look at profitability of past jobs and pricing for things like materials and processing. And it's very easy for them to get at that information, whereas it wasn't before. So I would also say I'm looking forward to the impacts that ProShop will have, because we are a small company and I know that this was grown within a small company, and that company grew to be about, I think it was 80 employees, right?

- Yeah. About that.

- About 80 employees. And it's, you know, it's a aerospace and medical device company, right? You guys? Yeah. So pretty much like the same industry that we're in, with the same sort of problems that we're gonna face. And, you know, there's a lot of stuff in ProShop that we haven't actually utilized yet. And I'm actually excited for that because I think it's almost kinda like having somebody guide your path a little bit. If, you know, if we're gonna go the route of like really controlling our tooling better, you know, I know that there's a module for us to take advantage of, and I don't kind of have to invent the system myself. I can just, I can do it. So it's a system that will grow with us, and that's exciting. As far as advice is concerned, Paul, you already mentioned one, you know, like resist the urge to do it in-house, although you were successful at doing that. But I would just say, I think other people already mentioned it, just make sure that there's a strong commitment from management, 'cause switching an ERP is really hard for everybody. I mean, 'cause everybody's gonna be learning how to use and interact with the new system. ERPs are complex, you know, and ProShop's no exception to that. Like, I would say it's pretty, pretty easy to use, but there's a lot to it, and, you know, you need to, management needs to demonstrate full commitment to implementing it. I know that you guys tell all of your clients to have the ProShop champion, that one person who's kind of in charge of just encouraging everyone to use the system or the go-to guy for the answer. I think that's really good too, because it's good to have somebody that sees how all of the pieces come together. And yeah, somebody else already mentioned it, but make sure you take the path of least resistance. So if, you know, if ProShop's telling you that, you know, this is the way that you need to use this system, or this is the way you need to use this feature, use it that way, because we've been bit a couple times by trying to be clever and just not realizing that, you know, we were doing something that we shouldn't have done. So, yeah.

- Thank you. Let's see here. Kody, I'd love to have you share just a little bit about advice for- I mean, you guys were one of the quickest and smoothest implementation, you know, you were like three months and you were done. So what advice would you give to shops implementing a new system.

- Yes, I'll piggyback off of Tyler, and just say it's the buy-in. You need a 100% buy-in from your key leadership people that's gonna be heavily involved in implementation. And I think that was such a big thing for us to implement so fast, and then spread kinda like wildfire through the shop. I didn't force it upon anybody. I didn't say this is what we're doing. I made sure that, you know, the key people that were gonna be involved in implementation and making sure this thing runs right, I made sure they were 100% on board with it. That's why it took us so long to evaluate it and to finally pull the trigger. I knew this was gonna be a big thing within the shop and a big change, and just having that 100% buy-in, that was the major thing.

- Yeah. Yeah, and I think also just from what I observed a bit from the outside, just really relentless execution to just do it quickly and smoothly and thoroughly. I think that's one of your talents, personally, and that extended to the whole team. And obviously your owners had complete buy-in and trust of what you were doing. We have a few questions coming in. I'd love to kind of move over to those. Someone said, "Sorry I had to miss a big chunk of this, so it's already addressed, why is digital transformation such a blind spot for leadership teams? Having a digital foundation assets like these systems should be seen as adding immense value, but rarely are they seen this way." Anyone wanna jump on that one?

- I can answer.

- Okay.

- Because they're not the ones using it.

- Mm. Right.

- I mean, if you're not the one that's actually using it, sometimes you don't immediately see the value.

- Yeah.

- I said this to you earlier. I'm doing every click from estimate to packing stuff, right?

- Right.

- So, with someone like that, it's obvious.

- Right. Yeah, that's a good one. I mean, sometimes we have owners that they say, "I don't even need a login to the system, 'cause I don't deal with any of that stuff." And while that might be the case, that, and you know that they're not doing the jobs of the people doing the work, being curious and understanding really what are the pain points, what are the frustrations, what are the wastes that are happening on a daily basis? Maybe Rich, you could share, since you were not an owner or as much in senior leadership when you made that change, but you drove the, you know, you drove the initiative to change. What was that like?

- Yeah. And what's funny is you're correct. Our owners have never been in ProShop. They're very much involved with decisions, but just not the day to day activities within the business. So getting them to buy into it was them understanding exactly that: our frustrations that we had with our day to days. We'd have daily meetings about why these, you know, however many orders are past due. And why are we not able to chip into these? And we, you know, we knocked three off and add three more, you know, and it was just everything around what we were doing was just failures. We were a successful business. We made money. But the business wasn't failing from the perspectives of giving our customers what they needed. And ultimately that's why we're in business, is supplying products to our customers for what they need. And when you fail your customers, they have the ability to, you know, search other resources for that product. So from the outside of things, you know, we got them to understand where we were failing and why we needed to go this route. They didn't hesitate much. Like I said, a couple of 'em came up to look at the system and understood what I was seeing and how it could benefit us. And it's really about that, getting them to understand the buy-in and how it's gonna benefit the company as a whole. And so, yeah, that's kind of my story, Paul.

- Okay. I appreciate that. Another question here, this actually from an existing client. "We're using ProShop, but still use a single piece of paper as a traveler or drawing to initiate and track a job. Are you guys truly paperless on the shop floor?" And he says, as well, "We sometimes get orders that might be a hundred work orders, and it'd be nice not to print all those drawings off or travelers off." I know my sort of default advice would be, you know, don't print off the drawing or a single piece of paper. You don't actually need something, you should not need something physical to initiate things. Like the dashboards to have it show up for purchasing, for planning, for cutting raw material, should all happen on the dashboards. The first time you have something physical probably is when you need to pair up material with the job for traceability. And in those cases using one of the labels, you know, work order labels, box labels, to attach to that carton, to that bar of material, whatever it might be. That's the first time you need to actually print something physical, so you have that traceability. Any other comments or feedback about that from anyone? Cody?

- Yeah, we use, so we laminated a bunch of sheets of paper, hundreds of them, and it basically just says work order number, and then quantity. We don't put revs, we don't put due dates, and don't put anything that might change. And it basically sits at the saw or sits at receiving area. And once material comes in, he fills that out and puts it with the material, and that follows throughout the shop. If something leaves to go out to our outside process, that piece of paper just goes back to the receiving area for when something comes back and you just use another one. So we just constantly reuse those laminates.

- You just wipe 'em clean at the end? Yeah. I mean, that's what actually what we did at PRO CNC. And I love the part about don't put things that'll change. Don't put due dates, don't put revs, 'cause then you'll have to go chase it down and change it if you have a change. So...

- Yeah, the whole point of being paperless is not having to go find things, chase paper, so...

- David, I saw you unmute for a second. Did you wanna share?

- Yeah. There's three pieces of papers that, excuse me, that we still kind of print out every now and then. The print is gonna be one. We do still allow our machinists to print out the drawing. It's just, there's something that they feel like they need right in front of them, you know, to hold. So we do allow for that. And it's mainly when they're doing the, you know, the first operation, when they're setting up the machine, that, you know, they need to verify some dimensions that they need to carry that drawing over to an inspection equipment. So that's one of the cases where they'll print out the drawing. Some of our drawings are, you know, gonna be multiple pages, three plus pages. So they wanna hold it. So we're still, you know, let that happen. The other one is gonna be the label, which is normal. I mean, everything has to be labeled, so we do print that label. So that goes in there. The third one, and it's the one that we're, that I'm really trying to kind of get 'em not to do it. It's gonna be the, like an IPC template where they record their dimensions as they're measuring. We are trying to have everything, you know, our in-process inspections be fully on the CMM, so that way they don't have to print that template and record their data, because ultimately they're gonna have to go to their workstation and input that data. So we're trying to have it that they, you know, put it on the CMM, save that report from the CMM, and upload it to the operation for the IPC. So again, those two things, the third one is the one that I'm really trying to get rid of it, just because it is just, again, unnecessary to have them to, you know, go to a high gauge and measure their part when we can put it again on the CMM and save that report and upload it to the operation. So, yeah.

- Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. Yeah. The gentleman that asked the question said he just got burned on a rev change mid-job and the paper didn't get caught, so definitely a big upvote for not putting revisions on the things out on the shop floor. I will say, and I know Hernan had to jump off to go to his audit, but in his shop and many of our other shops, I know, Susan, you've done this, is using two monitors at each screen. And Hernan's even going with like a 40-inch TV above the main monitor, so he could really zoom into those drawings, look at page three of this one detail. I know with my, you know, old eyes now, I have to wear reading glasses, you know, if I wanna look at a drawing, and so being able to really zoom into a big image of a detailed, you know, multi-page drawing can sometimes be really nice. And, but I totally get, it's a hard thing to, you know, just to hold something in your hand is a, sometimes a comfort thing that it's hard to get people to- Oh, there you go, CJ. Look at that. The mobile station. Nice. That looks awesome. So we are getting up to the top of the hour here. Any last comments that anyone wants to make before we kind of wrap things up? Yes, Susan.

- I just wanna mention, I don't, you talked about your customer service, okay, and having past software and had horrendous customer service. This is probably one of the nicest things that for me as being smaller and having an issue, I can contact your team and they'll get back to you. And they even let you know that they'll get back to you. I mean, if your customer service is, from your previous software is horrendous, it's not like this at all. It's 360. And I think for that, because we, in the beginning, you don't know everything, and your team, even now, five years later, I still contact, say, "I forgot. How can you do this?" And your team is up and running. Tremendous. I just wanted to say that, that was probably one of the best things about ProShop for me was customer service and helping you to succeed. And that's why I feel, that's how I feel about the software. We're succeeding because of your help and your knowledge. And I wanted to thank you for your best customer service team. Thanks.

- Thank you so much.

- Yeah, I-

- I got something I could- Oh, go ahead.

- I'll be quick. Yeah, I would the thing I would say. I've been using ProShop now for 13 years, and the thing I appreciate the most, along with the customer service like Susan, is your team is never satisfied with ProShop being where it is. Like they are always improving it, adding features, making things easier for us. If I could take a snapshot of where we were 13 years ago to today, the features and everything that has come into play over that 13 years, just that much more time, and waste has been eliminated and things that we, you never realize would make your life easier, because it was just so much, you know, everything was easy 13 years ago, but the fact is you guys just aren't ever satisfied with ProShop being complete, and I think that's a huge benefit, as well with the software.

- Thank you, Rich. Appreciate that. And yeah, Tyler.

- Yeah, kind of along the same lines as to what Rich was saying, we're really happy to see just all of the effort that ProShop's been putting into things like CMMC and other sort of, you know, difficult compliance issues. It's, we feel like this is a system that is gonna grow, you know, with our company or enable our company to grow. So if anyone else is facing, you know, requirements like that, I think that it is gonna be hard to find a system that's gonna beat ProShop. So...

- Thank you very much. I know some of our folks have to jump off, so to be respectful for everyone, we're gonna wrap things up here, but thank you all so much. I look forward to giving you hugs in Chicago and having spent some time with you. Thank you for attending. Thanks for your questions today. Again, if you're gonna be in Chicago, we'd love to have you come by our booth. And if you are around on Thursday, we will have a happy hour nearby. So come by the booth and sign up for that. And thank you all again. I really appreciate everything you've shared today. Hopefully folks took some good wisdom away from that, regardless of where their situation is today. Just any major change or problems they might be facing. So thanks again, everyone. And we'll see you all very soon in Chicago. Have a good rest of your day.

- Bye.

- Bye.

- We are live and people are streamin' in, so we'll give people a few minutes here, but I am lookin' forward to today. This is gonna be a super exciting and very different webinar than we've ever done before. So appreciate, first of all, my guests. Kind of amazing to have- I'm gonna change my view to gallery view so I can see everyone equally here. Thank you to my guests for being able to, for joining me today. Thank you for all those that are attending. I'm gonna start as I often do, for those attending, I would love if you would put in the chat where you're coming in from and where you're joining us, what city, state, or country, and just see the diversity of where everyone is at. I love that. Des Moines, Iowa. Thank you, Todd, for kicking us off. Vancouver, BC. Awesome. So we are talking today- West Liberty, Ohio, Titusville, Florida. Oh, all right. There we go. Starting to flow in. Thank you, Dallas. Thank you, CJ. Awesome. Kicking butt from Denver, Colorado. Hey, Jessica. Good to see you here. All right. So we are, we have big sort of Brady Bunch panelists here. The 3x3 grid with a bunch of shops that have made the bold move of going paperless, really changing what their shops, how their shops work and what they do, which can be a scary journey, I'm sure. Wow, Netherlands. Nice. Thank you, joining us from Europe. South Africa. Fantastic. Wow. Awesome. So it really is a global audience here today. So I'm gonna start. We have a list of four questions we're gonna go through today. Let me just pull those up for myself here. So we're gonna be asking for each shop to introduce themselves, a little bit about their company, and then the questions: When did you realize your shop needed to change? How did you motivate your team to be on board with that change? What impact has ProShop and going paperless had on your shop? And then what advice would you give to other shops looking to implement and make a big change like that? So, I know that we're gonna get a lot of wisdom from these folks, and again, thank you all for participating. And also just a reminder, these folks will all be at IMTS in our booth at various times of the week, so we will be posting some kind of schedule or something, so if you want to go, come talk to these folks in person, that would be super cool if you are happening to go to IMTS. At the, hopefully this sort of Q and A portion, or sort of chat portion, will take the first maybe 40 minutes and then we'll get into Q and A, so if you have questions for any one of these folks or for me, please use the Q and A feature rather than the chat feature, sometimes things get lost in the chat, and then we will get to those at the end. So I'm gonna start things off with Chris from East Branch Engineering. Chris actually has to go pick up his daughter in a little while, so he can't stay the full hour. So Chris, would love to have you first introduce yourself.

- Sure.

- And talk a little bit about why you realized you needed to change something, what was that like, what's the impact been, and what advice you'd give to other shops.

- Yeah, sure. So, as you know, you just mentioned, I work at East Branch Engineering. We're a job shop in Western Connecticut. We serve primarily local companies, so anyone we can drive to. That's kind of how we got our name is servicing the local customers. If there's an issue, we were able to literally show up at their doorstep and, you know, talk through whatever issues. You know, we run small to medium size parts. Typically the parts are stuff that nobody else wants to do. Either there was an issue in the past, there was quality issues, and we typically find a way to do it pretty, pretty well. We still have our issues, but we became known as like the problem solvers of our area. So we do anything from plastic to stainless to titanium. It really depends on the application and what they need. So, you know, a couple years ago we were running a different software, and one of the key things is we were having our management review meeting and we realized like, we're never gonna be able to grow this company the way we were running it. We had enough trouble just processing the orders. I'm not even talking about machining the orders. I'm just talking about processing. I mean, getting 'em from, you know, the purchase order onto the shop floor. I mean, we were absolutely slammed. And we said, you know, if we have any intention of growing the company, we can't keep doing this. We had some machine capacity, but it was just the front office stuff was horrendous. So that's when we, you know, at the same time, I think the first article in Modern Machine Shop came out and Paul and I did a demo and you know, it just took off from there. You know, one of the things we always talk about was that the time it took us to ship a job, especially anything with cert packets. Pulling certs packets out, we would miss shipments. The parts would be done sitting in shipping, but the cert packet would take a day to put together, and we would miss the shipment. So it was really one of the driving forces in looking for an alternative. I don't even wanna say software; it was more like a system, 'cause we knew we just couldn't keep up the way we were doing it. And once we did implement the change, you know, we didn't have so much trouble getting our guys on board, because they were frustrated with the current state back then. They were actually looking forward to having more information. So for us, the motivation to get our guys on board was actually pretty easy, 'cause they were self-motivated to do a better job.

- That's awesome.

- Yeah. I mean we had a few key people here that, you know, drove some of the changes, but we didn't really hit too much resistance with our guys on the floor. Now as to the impact ProShop has had, I think the best way to describe it is I just recently went on vacation internationally and I didn't log in once. I know, you know, it's a system that you can use remotely, but I think the fact that I didn't need to log in the week I was away was fantastic. You know, I didn't have to worry about job shipping, what was set up, what was not set up, did they need my help. You know, the system was in place and it worked, so I was able to actually enjoy my time away. You know, and it's- I, yeah, I know you like to tell people like to log in remotely and to work remotely, but for us, being able to remove myself for a week really showed the change that ProShop kind of had in our company. You know, it was no longer driven like a top-down system. You know the employees kinda- they have all the information to make the choices and decisions on their own, so it kinda like bubbles up from the bottom.

- Right. Wow. And what would you give as advice to a shop that was facing the same kind of problems you were facing, or is, you know-

- Yeah, that's actually a tough question, 'cause there's the classic answers, but I really think you have to understand the current state before you start making major changes in the company. So, you know, you can just put a new system in and expect it to make all these great changes in your company, but you know, it's a situation of garbage in, garbage out. So if you don't have the systems in place and the management in place to reinforce some of the things you wanna do, like, you know, saving certs or making sure time tracking is logged properly. No software's gonna get that right if you don't have somebody behind that, making sure that that stuff happens. So I think you really need to understand what the current state is, what the real issues are, if it's a software issue or if it's a management issue, and really understand that changing this and changing the whole system is a major change.

- Yeah. There's a lot of wisdom there. It's definitely not a straightforward, simple, super simple thing, and it's not a solution for more underlying structural issues, for sure.

- Yeah. You might see a change for a couple weeks, but then you're gonna fall back on your old ways and you're probably gonna get frustrated pretty quickly.

- Yeah. Awesome. Well thank you very much. I think you said you had about 20, 30 minutes, so hopefully we can get to some more stuff. But Tyler, I'd love to jump over and ask you to introduce your company and share when you realized your shop needed to make a change. And nice sweatshirt, by the way. I love it.

- Yeah, I was looking at my sweatshirts this morning. I figured why not wear it, you know? It's a good day, so... Yeah, so as Paul said, my name is Tyler. I work for a company, I'm the quality manager at a small aerospace machine shop called Component Products. We're located in Mukilteo, kind of really close to Paine Field, the Boeing facility up here in Everett. But this company is actually, it's a family company. My grandfather started it, I think it was late 1960s. And so we've been around for a while, and he retired in 2020 and actually transitioned ownership to me and a couple other employees, and so, you know, up until that point in time, we had been using a homegrown system that was programmed by an employee of ours. But, you know, we kind of all knew when we were taking over ownership that we were gonna need something that was gonna seriously improve the way that our company just processed jobs through the shop. Because, you know, though the system we had was good for what my grandfather was using it for, it lacked in many other areas. And I kind of also wonder if, you know, that was partially by design, because, you know, the programmer was perhaps designing the system to please the most important user, and the rest of the folks kind of got left out of it a little bit. But anyways, yeah, I mean, we all knew that we needed something because the system we had didn't have any sort of dashboards in place, that there was nothing in there for inventory control. There was no job costing, statuses like had to be updated manually in the system, and, you know, we were printing out paper travelers, and so you wouldn't update the status of those jobs until it came back into inspection. And so it's, if, you know, if you wanted to go find something on the shop floor, you would have to physically go out there and find it. So with all that, you know, being said, there really, it wasn't hard to motivate people to want the change. We all were very interested in making this improvement and kind of an interesting little fact, I actually, I'm not a machinist guy by my schooling. I actually went and got my degree in computer science and software engineering, and for my capstone project, I was actually working on like replacing our existing homegrown system with another homegrown ERP system, but you know, it turned, it quickly became apparent that that was not going to be a good idea, because, you know, if you have kind of like one programmer who's responsible for your system that's running your company, that's kind of a liability. You know, what happens if that programmer leaves. You know, are they even developing the system in such a way that it's gonna be easy to hand off to somebody else to maintain? And I also didn't have the domain expertise, so, you know, ProShop was just a big, it just made a lot of sense, because, you know, we'd be leveraging a company that was, had a ton of domain expertise and was, you know, not a liability, because, you know, they're not gonna go anywhere anytime soon.

- Awesome.

- So, yeah.

- Well, thank you. I'm gonna cut you off there and we'll get back to some of the other questions for you later. I did it with, since Chris had to leave, we kind of did all of 'em at once.

- Oh, okay.

- But thank you for sharing all that. So David, I'd like to jump over with you, if you'd introduce yourself and your company, and yeah. When did you, with your shop realize you guys needed to make a change?

- Sure. So my name is David Moso, and I'm the QA production manager for Campbell Engineering in Lake Forest, California. We came from using E2, and again, I've been with the company for a long time. I did part-time, about four years ago I started full-time, and that's when I kind of started getting involved more and more with their, you know, just the entire system at Campbell. I heard that we were moving from E2 to ProShop. To me, it was just like, you know, "Okay. A good change." I saw what it was happening, but I was just kind of like on the sidelines, just, you know, just looking at people drive the change. That, you know, that kind of, it did mess us up in the beginning. We've used it for three years, but just recently with, you know, again, having different people drive the change and get everyone on board, it just has made, you know, made it a lot easier. We have learned, I think, a lot more in the past, you know, nine months than, you know, when in the beginning of the implementation. But yeah, that's where we came from. Again, E2 wasn't giving us support or wasn't, you know, taking our suggestions to, you know, for improvements or things that we just needed to get it right. So we basically just outgrew our previous system, and that's, I guess that's when they decided, you know, what it's time to change and it's time to, you know, get things under control. 'Cause again, a lot of stuff was just all over the place. We kind of, we're always talking about being audit-ready, you know, then always, you know, just be ready for visitors, for anything, right? It wasn't the case before, you know, right now we're moving towards that, where everything is in place, you can see real time or, you know, information regarding POs, machine schedules, just anything that affects, you know, your day to day, you know, activities. So you have all of that, and you know, probably, again, major impact, you know, employee training, you know, you know where everyone's at, they can see what they need to do, you know, to keep growing, just, you know, just again, every area in our company was improved, definitely for, you know, after changing to ProShop.

- Thank you, David. Yeah. Being audit-ready includes having all your training records in order. So I'd love to jump over to Rich, and ask you that same question about when you realized you needed a change.

- Yeah. Hi. I'm Rich Olson, vice president, Sealth Aero Marine in Mill Creek, Washington, just north of Seattle. Mine's kind of a unique story. Paul ran a small shop called PRO CNC and we would outsource products to him. We got to know each other over the years, and they had some demand for kind of some high-end programmers. I had some free time, and so I worked the weekends up at PRO CNC, and while there ran across this homegrown software that they were using. I was like, "Wow, this is pretty neat. Nothing that we have had," and really didn't think much of it other than, and at that time I didn't even really know it was homegrown. I was just, I realized PRO CNC and Paul and their team had, you know, had advanced well beyond what we were doing, living in the life of paper, and just everything up there was just so efficiently ran, and tools, you just knew where everything was, fixed rings and tools, and it was just so clean, and just nothing that I had ever experienced. And at that time I was not in the vice president role. I was just a machinist in production, and didn't even know the in-depth impacts of ProShop, but just knew they were so far ahead of where we were with how they were managing jobs, that I thought, "Wow, we're really missing out." And joking, Paul, I had mentioned, "Oh boy. Would you guys ever wanna sell the software?" And he was like, "No, this isn't for us." So I went back to work. I had finished my time with PRO CNC and I was just back at Sealth Aero and I was looking at softwares and Paul called me randomly out of the blue one day to say, "Hey, we are considering jumping into the software business. Would you guys be willing to bring it into your shop?" I didn't hesitate. I had to talk with management to say, "Hey, this is something we need. You gotta trust me on it." I had our team come up to PRO CNC and look at it as well. We brought it in and it had instant impacts for us. You know, you just don't realize the day to day when you're just living with what you know. When you realize there's something better out there for you, how much it's gonna impact you for the positive, I mean, for most things, and ProShop is that for us. Our return on investments and things like that were measurable instantly for us. I argue to this day that it might have still be our most financial beneficial move we've made for our company by going to ProShop. The fact is, is you know, we just had so many people that chase jobs all day, every day, and once you are able to eliminate that area of waste, you realize opportunities to grow your company. And so that's when I realized, you know, ProShop was the right move for us.

- Well, thank you, Rich. Yeah, you definitely hold a special place in our history. And quite honestly, it was your results that gave us the confidence to really go full steam ahead and sell the shop and go into software full time. So thank you for sharing that. I'd love to move into our next question. How did you motivate your team to be on board with the change? And Hernan, I'd love to start with you. Share a little bit about your company and talk about how you motivated your team.

- Sure. Hernan Ricaurte. Ricaurte Precision is the name of our company. I'm second generation. I actually started my career just not working in machine shop. I was, my father ran the machine shop, I was off in Japan doing medical device and healthcare. He was thinking of selling the business, I started to look at it, and I decided to give it a shot. So that was in 2016.

- Brave man.

- So, yeah. So, you know, it's been a journey. A lot of learning to do, but I was from day one, really cognizant of the need for discipline, accountability, processes and procedures and things like that, and so that's been our focus. You know, in listening to, you know, Chris and Tyler and Rich and everyone, I'm always curious to see, you know, you guys are, what you guys are- I totally agree with everything you guys are saying, but I'm just always curious as to how many people, you know, are in the organizations, because, you know, every size is, and requires different resources and, you know, and the bigger you get, the more important culture comes into the equation, I think. But so we have 38 employees, and it hasn't been so much of, you know, maybe what Chris and Tyler maybe alluded to as well of, you know, the team being, "Hey, you know, let's go for something digital and something new that we can all implement." It was just more me and our management, trying to see what tools we can use in order to drive accountability, discipline, you know, efficiency and continuous improvement. So that's where we were looking for different options. We were also working with a paper-based ERP system. Digital ERP opportunities is like a no brainer for us. You know, what Rich was mentioning, you know, chasing down paper, I mean, what a waste of time. Having things, you know, at your disposal and on the fingertips is an absolute must. But yeah, I mean, it's definitely helped us, you know, on the accountability standpoint, traceability of jobs, you know, who's doing what, and, you know, it has been an effort, because this system is robust. You know, it has taken us longer than anticipated to, you know, get everything implemented, but it's for a reason, you know? And, you know, it's worked really, really well for us, and, you know, it's great to see. You know, even the guys that are out there, that are a little bit apprehensive in that, seeing them, you know, putting their notes in, and, you know, understanding and appreciating, you know, what efficiencies are realized when you become a little bit more disciplined. And ProShop is a tool that allows us to do that. Did you have a, I imagine, a range of folks that some, that really sort of crave that discipline and others that are a little bit more, you know, off the hip kind of thing,

- Yeah. Absolutely.

- and pushed back on that?

- Absolutely, yeah.

- Especially on those folks that weren't kinda as bought in, how did you go about approaching getting them on board?

- Yeah. Like with anything, right? You choose the guys that are easiest to work with, you know, and your true leaders. You know, and I think that's something that a lot of us, and, you know, especially in small businesses that we all have struggle with, because we don't all have the luxury of having, you know, finance expertise or finance department, HR department, what have you, but you just always, you know, need to avoid the square peg round hole situation. And so that's where sort of our leadership has driven, is the guys that have the same vision and appreciation for continuous improvement. So we got those guys involved first, of course, and communicated with them very, very closely in order to get their input as we implemented throughout the shop. So, you know, putting everyone, you know, and thinking that everyone's gonna be as receptive as the others and things like that never works. Get your most receptive guys and understanding guys, and most open-to-discipline guys involved first, and then make it as unintimidating as possible to those guys that are the cynical ones. And that's another thing too, is, you know, and I don't mean to crap on too much, but, you know, in our company, we've got, you know, the four C's, you know, the cynical guys, the complacent guys that are, you know, often, you know, sucked in by the cynical guys. And you've got the guys that are, you know, more dedicated and, you know, and so forth. So, you know, the guys that are cynical and stuff like that, you know, we have a pretty strong management style where we just don't put up with it. So, you know, we've let go of, you know, six, seven people over the last, you know, three months.

- Oh, wow.

- Because we just need to drive efficiency, and it's just not worth our time, and it's not worth, you know, risking the energy and the, you know, motivation of, you know, some key members with bad apples. So, you know, that's all been part of it, you know, and ProShop has helped us to like, weed that out as well.

- Right. Wow. Thank you for sharing that. I know that's a hard decision to make, especially with as hard as it is to find employees right now, so-

- Right.

- But yeah, making sure those bad apples aren't spoiling the whole lot is certainly important. Thank you for sharing that, Hernan. I'd love to jump over to you, Susan. How did you motivate your team? First of all, share us a little bit about Frey and Weiss, and how did you motivate your team when you decided to make the change?

- Hi, I'm Susan from Frey and Weiss. We're outside Chicago in Illinois. We're a outsource manufacturer. We've been in business over 50 years. My dad's a Frey, so he started it. I'm second generation.

- And what size is your company? And if, for maybe the rest of you, if you'd put in the chat, I'd love to you just put in the chat, what size, to answer Hernan's question.

- We are around 20 people now. 20 people, so we're on the smaller end, and for us, I mean, we've been on it since 2017, so when the IMTS show came in 2016, we were so frustrated with the software that we had. My sister, also my partner, she's not here, decided to find something else. And then we were able to, since we had a small size, take everybody to the show and say, "Hey, look. We need some communication." For us, that's what the biggest thing is, is the communication. And everybody was on board with the software. Everybody loved it because the software that we had before was only, you know, managers and us, you know, so we knew he had a better way. However, everybody was on board, and so we installed it and then some people weren't on board. And all I can say is we communicated, "This is your job." And in order for us to stay in business, we have to do our jobs through the software as they have to. And all I could say is the people that didn't support ProShop, we no longer employ, because it wasn't part, I agree with the apple, that everybody had to partake. Even though they may not like it, this is their job now. And I could say, especially with, you know, employees wanna work any hours, and we're open to that, to any hours, and this was a great way for all of us to communicate anywhere, you know? And so, and that was the basis of our com- and we could communicate, and that's how we motivated people, saying that we could look at areas that we could stay in business because it's helping us to cost correctly, train people. And also, I'm not a machinist. I wasn't a machinist. I was always in the office, and we have a lot of repeat business, and all that information, instead of it's in the drawer or in machinist's head, it's in the software. So, just communication. And I think that was really how we motivated our employees. And plus the bosses were happy. So if we're happy, they're happy. So, okay? So that's what I would say, and everybody, and being even smaller, we have less people, but we do the same output. So it has helped us, you know, especially with the COVID, working anywhere, at home. I mean, we could not have done that with the last software, because everything is on paper. So it's, you know, that was a best way for us to transfer information to everybody, whether you are machine maintenance or you're the salesperson, and everybody in between, you know, so...

- Thank you, Susan. I appreciate that. Yes. I still remember fondly sitting with you and Linda, your sister, at the 2016 IMTS.

- Yes. And it was great. And we love it. We should have found you in 2014.

- We weren't there in 2014, so...

- Okay. So it was good for us. Thank you.

- All right. Kody, let's jump over to you. Please share a bit about Coastal, and yeah, what your change was like to get your team on board and anything else you'd like to share.

- Yeah. So I'm Kody Guidry. I'm the operations manager at Coastal. We're mainly a job shop down in Louisiana. Mostly do work for oil and gas, but in the past year or two kind of diversified into space and defense industry. So, and-

- What size are you?

- 50 employees, 22 machines. So we were actually introduced to ProShop through an employee interview. We were interviewing an employee that was at another shop that had, they implemented ProShop over there, and he just started showing it to us on his phone right there. And we really didn't know we needed something until I started looking into ProShop, basically. Everything was just there. We, things we couldn't do before that we just thought was the norm, we found that ProShop could do. And we evaluated ProShop probably for about a year. We went to 2018 IMTS. I remember going to the booths over there and visiting Yelp and everything, and it took us so long to evaluate and make the change because we had some people who were not necessarily on board right away. They just didn't want the change. They could kind of see it, but they didn't wanna make the change and lose all the data and everything and go through that whole process. So my move with that was I took him to IMTS. I took him to the ProShop booth, you know, I let him, introduced him to everybody, you know, see the system, and then anytime something would come up in our system that we had trouble doing, or we had a problem or anything, I'd say, "Well, ProShop can do this," you know, or I'd say, "Look, ProShop can do it this way, man. It'd be so much faster and so much easier, so much more efficient." So that's basically how I would motivate people to get 'em on board is I would wait for them to complain about doing something in the system a way we couldn't do it, and say, "Look, this is how ProShop can do it. Look how much easier it would be, how much more efficient it would be, you know, if we moved systems, and we can do this." And finally he gave in and they were like, "Okay, yeah, we just gotta switch." And now that guy, our sales manager, he, which is the one who didn't want change, he loves ProShop. He tells me all the time that, you know, "I could never go back. There's no way. I can't believe we waited a year, you know, to make that change." And so, yeah, I mean, it's been a big plus for us. We've been, you know, improved in every aspect of the shop. So it's been a huge thing.

- How was the adoption process for your machinists?

- So we actually had even a couple machinists that were at the shop that had ProShop too. So that helped also. Yeah. So I think we had two other machinists that were already working here that came from that same shop that that other employee came from. And so it helped having them on board and knowing how the system worked, but we were already time tracking and everything before, so that wasn't a big change for them. We were real strict on doing that in the previous system. So once they understood about, you know, you can do set up sheets digitally and all that stuff, and they wouldn't have to fill out papers and all that, it got through pretty quick.

- Yeah. I appreciate you bringing up the question about time tracking. Sometimes that simultaneously is a big shift for people if they have not been doing that in the past. And just even that alone, regardless of what software they're putting it into, is a big cultural change. So yeah. Thanks for mentioning that.

- Yeah, no problem.

- CJ, I'd love to- You have a unique story and unique position here, being a one-man shop with your highly-automated equipment. So yeah. Introduce yourself, your company. And obviously there was no convincing anyone else to get on board, so why don't you just share a little bit about why you decided you needed some change and the impact?

- Okay. Thanks, Paul. My name is CJ Abraham. I'm the owner of Precision Product Development LLC. I started my business in 2017 with a VF-2 and a dream. I was originally making tools and fixtures for my one customer that I was doing- Well, I was working for Autodesk during the day, and machining at night. My customer decided that I needed to start making the products, and that was a huge change. I went from being a machine shop to a supplier almost overnight. Buying ProShop was, I had nothing before, I had the benefit of having nothing, really. And so the goal was to start off on the right foot, and ProShop was the right solution. It was the best solution. And I had worked in a couple shops before. In my other experience, I had seen a lot of other implementations of ERP systems that didn't look right. And some of the things that Chris said totally resonate with me, where all of the documentation is taken care of automatically. It's all, it's basically procured for me to click. And my customer has said that I'm like a one-man machine arm, because everything that ProShop does for me, just it's like a force multiplier. It's an employee multiplier. So that was the driving factor in buying ProShop. And man, it, honestly, I don't have much more to add beyond that unless you have some specific questions, but-

- Well, I think, yeah, thank you for sharing that. I think you, you know, you're in a unique position, obviously being a one-man shop, now with two of your cool Willemins running all the time, unattended. Amazing stuff. But just, I think the wisdom of putting that sort of structural component in place of all your data, all your information, you know, it's not a decision that a lot of one-man shops decide, to put in an ERP system, right? It's kinda counterintuitive.

- One way I could also put this, is that I'm a good machinist, right? But before buying ProShop, I wasn't that great of a businessman. I wasn't- I knew how to run machines, not how to run a business. And ProShop filled that gap. And actually, I had written down some answers for the other questions, and one is what would you give advice to other shops they were implementing ProShop? With the ProShop I had a lot of guidance. Like my implementation specialist gave me so much guidance. And not just on ProShop, but running a business. And so ProShop really fills a lot of that knowledge gap for me, personally.

- Right. Thank you. Yeah. I was talking to a client just a couple weeks ago, who said he used to, we would sometimes give advice that he thought wasn't the best advice and he didn't do it, and then things would go poorly. And now he's like, "Whatever you guys say, I'm just gonna do it that way. Like, no matter what it is, I'm just all in." So I appreciate you sharing that. So Chris had to drop off to go get his daughter from school. We're gonna kind of circle back. Rich, I'd love to ask, you already shared a little bit, but what impact has ProShop had on the shop?

- Yeah, so, you know, you have measurable impacts and immeasurable impacts, and I would say the measurables are the efficiencies and time tracking and being able to see what jobs are costing. And the immeasurables though, are the ones that, to me that are the ones that are way more beneficial in ProShop. It sounds crazy maybe, but the fact that our employees now have a little more work-life balance because of ProShop, but they're able to better efficiently schedule their machines so they know when things are gonna be where, if they have, you know, whatever reasons, the doctor's appointments, or like Chris have to run off and get the kids, they have a lot more flexibility in, you know, what they're able to do. And just the eventually getting people to buy in, in that culture of why we went this route. To me, it's those immeasurables that were most shocking for me, Paul, after, you know, running it for, you know, a couple years, how I find to be really much more beneficial from a business standpoint. The measurables are, you'll find right away. They show up day one, once you get it implemented. But for me, yeah, Paul, it's those immeasurables.

- Thank you. Yeah. I know when we interviewed you years ago, you said it was always felt like you were treading in water, but you couldn't keep your head above water, and the change allowed you to kind of really keep that head above and not have so much stress, which is, we love to hear that. I know Hernan needs to head off, 'cause you have six members of a large prime there for an audit. That sounds intense. So yeah, let's jump to you next, Hernan, and just let you share. I know you're newer into your implementation than many of the folks on this panel, but you know, what impact have you seen, you know, in the last several months?

- Well, for sure accountability. You know, before we were, you know, on paper, logging in information, you know, and process inspections stuff and things like that, but now being digital, it is so much more transparent. And then also when we do our Gemba Walks, the guys are able to, we, you guys probably do too, we schedule all of our jobs specifically to a specific machine. And so every machinist at their station can see, you know, their current schedule, and you know what they're gonna be machining next. So we're able to discuss with them in a little bit more structured manner of, you know, what's next, what's out to look for, you know, tooling issues. You know, should we really be machining these parts at this machine, or do we move it somewhere else. So that kind of flexibility and accountability has been significant for us. We're in the midst of, you know, implementing IQA as well, so, you know, we're not certain how that's gonna play into everything, but there's so many little things that we're able to do now that, you know, we really didn't recognize before. You know, and it's been a learning process, but it's great to see the involvement as well of, you know, everyone, you know, and everyone, you know, I think, you know, being a little bit proud of themselves, of overcoming some of the initial roadblocks and fears, and everyone beginning to realize, you know, again, the importance of discipline and what benefits we get out of it.

- Yeah. I love that. We think of the process of going paperless and providing everyone almost equal access to the data, almost democratizes it, allows them to contribute, allows the employees that really care a lot to show up in their sort of full ability. And kinda like you already alluded to, some of the folks that are more cynical or just kind of, you know, just the clock punchers, it's very apparent right away, which ones aren't a really great cultural fit for you.

- Exactly.

- Yeah. That's awesome. Thank you for sharing that. David, let's jump back to you about some of the impacts that ProShop's had on your shop, and maybe just a little bit about what advice you'd give to other shops as well.

- Okay. Yeah. So again, I mentioned before, every area was, you know, was improved, but one of the probably personal experience, since I'm a quality manager, and I do, you know, have to be there in front of the auditor, just audits just became a lot easier. You know, I remember my first audit at Campbell. I was, you know, it was my first one ever, actually. I was just all over the place, you know, trying to get documents for the auditor, trying to remember, you know, where to find things. It was just a, you know, it was just a first bad experience for an audit. Then my second audit was, you know, in ProShop. It was a little bit better. I had more experience where to find things. You know, third, fourth audit, it just kept getting faster and faster. You know, it just get- I noticed the auditor, just trying to find, you know, time to fill in, you know, "Okay, let's take a 10 minute break." You know, just every document that he wanted to see is just a couple clicks away. You, know, just how highly customizable ProShop is, you know, to again, to make it work for you, and in an effective way. You know, it's just, again, it's just a big, big help. So again, audits are probably my biggest, you know, benefit that I see for myself, again, 'cause I'm the one who has to be there. The other one, again, I think Hernan said it, you know, chasing paper's just a waste of time, you know. I don't remember when's the last time we had to ask, "Oh, where's this work order?" or "What is the status of this work order." Having to, you know, go out there in the shop and actually, you know, physically looking at where you are, you know, how many parts are left to be machined, or just all of that stuff, you know. That's pretty much, I mean, we don't do that anymore, right? So again-

- Beautiful thing.

- One. Yep. One of the, another, you know, great, great benefit for us. So yeah. And just say the other question? Was-

- Oh, it was just, what other, what advice would you give to shops? And I think you've already kind of, you know, in your answer shared, you know, if they're looking to make audits easier, if they're looking to have more real-time statuses, but-

- Yeah. So just again, another one, just make sure you watch all the webinars for sure. That has helped me, you know, a lot.

- You mean the client ones?

- The ProShop webinars.

- Yeah.

- Yeah. You guys just doing amazing work, you know, putting out webinars that really, you know, just a lot of value, easy to understand. And again, all that has helped me, you know, again, understand the system and how to just keep growing. Again, ProShop is just there waiting for you to, you know, just to grow into it and just make it, you know, as effective as you can make it for your company. So...

- Thank you, David. Tyler, I'd love to jump over to you. Just talk a little bit about impact and advice, besides don't make your own custom system and be reliant on one developer.

- Right. Yeah. I mean, as the impact that we've seen is just the availability of whatever information you want. I mean, there are very few questions that you can ask that ProShop can't answer. And so, I mean, that just makes life, you know, a lot smoother. It makes work, I think more fun, too, for people. I mean, we've got one guy here who's like a ninja on the screen, he's got three monitors and, you know, ProShop open pretty much on like all of them, and he's bouncing back and forth, and- But yeah, I mean, it's just, I think I already mentioned, like inventory control is something we didn't have, now we have that. You know, job costing is not something that we had at all, but now, you know, the guys who do our quotes, they can go back and look at profitability of past jobs and pricing for things like materials and processing. And it's very easy for them to get at that information, whereas it wasn't before. So I would also say I'm looking forward to the impacts that ProShop will have, because we are a small company and I know that this was grown within a small company, and that company grew to be about, I think it was 80 employees, right?

- Yeah. About that.

- About 80 employees. And it's, you know, it's a aerospace and medical device company, right? You guys? Yeah. So pretty much like the same industry that we're in, with the same sort of problems that we're gonna face. And, you know, there's a lot of stuff in ProShop that we haven't actually utilized yet. And I'm actually excited for that because I think it's almost kinda like having somebody guide your path a little bit. If, you know, if we're gonna go the route of like really controlling our tooling better, you know, I know that there's a module for us to take advantage of, and I don't kind of have to invent the system myself. I can just, I can do it. So it's a system that will grow with us, and that's exciting. As far as advice is concerned, Paul, you already mentioned one, you know, like resist the urge to do it in-house, although you were successful at doing that. But I would just say, I think other people already mentioned it, just make sure that there's a strong commitment from management, 'cause switching an ERP is really hard for everybody. I mean, 'cause everybody's gonna be learning how to use and interact with the new system. ERPs are complex, you know, and ProShop's no exception to that. Like, I would say it's pretty, pretty easy to use, but there's a lot to it, and, you know, you need to, management needs to demonstrate full commitment to implementing it. I know that you guys tell all of your clients to have the ProShop champion, that one person who's kind of in charge of just encouraging everyone to use the system or the go-to guy for the answer. I think that's really good too, because it's good to have somebody that sees how all of the pieces come together. And yeah, somebody else already mentioned it, but make sure you take the path of least resistance. So if, you know, if ProShop's telling you that, you know, this is the way that you need to use this system, or this is the way you need to use this feature, use it that way, because we've been bit a couple times by trying to be clever and just not realizing that, you know, we were doing something that we shouldn't have done. So, yeah.

- Thank you. Let's see here. Kody, I'd love to have you share just a little bit about advice for- I mean, you guys were one of the quickest and smoothest implementation, you know, you were like three months and you were done. So what advice would you give to shops implementing a new system.

- Yes, I'll piggyback off of Tyler, and just say it's the buy-in. You need a 100% buy-in from your key leadership people that's gonna be heavily involved in implementation. And I think that was such a big thing for us to implement so fast, and then spread kinda like wildfire through the shop. I didn't force it upon anybody. I didn't say this is what we're doing. I made sure that, you know, the key people that were gonna be involved in implementation and making sure this thing runs right, I made sure they were 100% on board with it. That's why it took us so long to evaluate it and to finally pull the trigger. I knew this was gonna be a big thing within the shop and a big change, and just having that 100% buy-in, that was the major thing.

- Yeah. Yeah, and I think also just from what I observed a bit from the outside, just really relentless execution to just do it quickly and smoothly and thoroughly. I think that's one of your talents, personally, and that extended to the whole team. And obviously your owners had complete buy-in and trust of what you were doing. We have a few questions coming in. I'd love to kind of move over to those. Someone said, "Sorry I had to miss a big chunk of this, so it's already addressed, why is digital transformation such a blind spot for leadership teams? Having a digital foundation assets like these systems should be seen as adding immense value, but rarely are they seen this way." Anyone wanna jump on that one?

- I can answer.

- Okay.

- Because they're not the ones using it.

- Mm. Right.

- I mean, if you're not the one that's actually using it, sometimes you don't immediately see the value.

- Yeah.

- I said this to you earlier. I'm doing every click from estimate to packing stuff, right?

- Right.

- So, with someone like that, it's obvious.

- Right. Yeah, that's a good one. I mean, sometimes we have owners that they say, "I don't even need a login to the system, 'cause I don't deal with any of that stuff." And while that might be the case, that, and you know that they're not doing the jobs of the people doing the work, being curious and understanding really what are the pain points, what are the frustrations, what are the wastes that are happening on a daily basis? Maybe Rich, you could share, since you were not an owner or as much in senior leadership when you made that change, but you drove the, you know, you drove the initiative to change. What was that like?

- Yeah. And what's funny is you're correct. Our owners have never been in ProShop. They're very much involved with decisions, but just not the day to day activities within the business. So getting them to buy into it was them understanding exactly that: our frustrations that we had with our day to days. We'd have daily meetings about why these, you know, however many orders are past due. And why are we not able to chip into these? And we, you know, we knocked three off and add three more, you know, and it was just everything around what we were doing was just failures. We were a successful business. We made money. But the business wasn't failing from the perspectives of giving our customers what they needed. And ultimately that's why we're in business, is supplying products to our customers for what they need. And when you fail your customers, they have the ability to, you know, search other resources for that product. So from the outside of things, you know, we got them to understand where we were failing and why we needed to go this route. They didn't hesitate much. Like I said, a couple of 'em came up to look at the system and understood what I was seeing and how it could benefit us. And it's really about that, getting them to understand the buy-in and how it's gonna benefit the company as a whole. And so, yeah, that's kind of my story, Paul.

- Okay. I appreciate that. Another question here, this actually from an existing client. "We're using ProShop, but still use a single piece of paper as a traveler or drawing to initiate and track a job. Are you guys truly paperless on the shop floor?" And he says, as well, "We sometimes get orders that might be a hundred work orders, and it'd be nice not to print all those drawings off or travelers off." I know my sort of default advice would be, you know, don't print off the drawing or a single piece of paper. You don't actually need something, you should not need something physical to initiate things. Like the dashboards to have it show up for purchasing, for planning, for cutting raw material, should all happen on the dashboards. The first time you have something physical probably is when you need to pair up material with the job for traceability. And in those cases using one of the labels, you know, work order labels, box labels, to attach to that carton, to that bar of material, whatever it might be. That's the first time you need to actually print something physical, so you have that traceability. Any other comments or feedback about that from anyone? Cody?

- Yeah, we use, so we laminated a bunch of sheets of paper, hundreds of them, and it basically just says work order number, and then quantity. We don't put revs, we don't put due dates, and don't put anything that might change. And it basically sits at the saw or sits at receiving area. And once material comes in, he fills that out and puts it with the material, and that follows throughout the shop. If something leaves to go out to our outside process, that piece of paper just goes back to the receiving area for when something comes back and you just use another one. So we just constantly reuse those laminates.

- You just wipe 'em clean at the end? Yeah. I mean, that's what actually what we did at PRO CNC. And I love the part about don't put things that'll change. Don't put due dates, don't put revs, 'cause then you'll have to go chase it down and change it if you have a change. So...

- Yeah, the whole point of being paperless is not having to go find things, chase paper, so...

- David, I saw you unmute for a second. Did you wanna share?

- Yeah. There's three pieces of papers that, excuse me, that we still kind of print out every now and then. The print is gonna be one. We do still allow our machinists to print out the drawing. It's just, there's something that they feel like they need right in front of them, you know, to hold. So we do allow for that. And it's mainly when they're doing the, you know, the first operation, when they're setting up the machine, that, you know, they need to verify some dimensions that they need to carry that drawing over to an inspection equipment. So that's one of the cases where they'll print out the drawing. Some of our drawings are, you know, gonna be multiple pages, three plus pages. So they wanna hold it. So we're still, you know, let that happen. The other one is gonna be the label, which is normal. I mean, everything has to be labeled, so we do print that label. So that goes in there. The third one, and it's the one that we're, that I'm really trying to kind of get 'em not to do it. It's gonna be the, like an IPC template where they record their dimensions as they're measuring. We are trying to have everything, you know, our in-process inspections be fully on the CMM, so that way they don't have to print that template and record their data, because ultimately they're gonna have to go to their workstation and input that data. So we're trying to have it that they, you know, put it on the CMM, save that report from the CMM, and upload it to the operation for the IPC. So again, those two things, the third one is the one that I'm really trying to get rid of it, just because it is just, again, unnecessary to have them to, you know, go to a high gauge and measure their part when we can put it again on the CMM and save that report and upload it to the operation. So, yeah.

- Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. Yeah. The gentleman that asked the question said he just got burned on a rev change mid-job and the paper didn't get caught, so definitely a big upvote for not putting revisions on the things out on the shop floor. I will say, and I know Hernan had to jump off to go to his audit, but in his shop and many of our other shops, I know, Susan, you've done this, is using two monitors at each screen. And Hernan's even going with like a 40-inch TV above the main monitor, so he could really zoom into those drawings, look at page three of this one detail. I know with my, you know, old eyes now, I have to wear reading glasses, you know, if I wanna look at a drawing, and so being able to really zoom into a big image of a detailed, you know, multi-page drawing can sometimes be really nice. And, but I totally get, it's a hard thing to, you know, just to hold something in your hand is a, sometimes a comfort thing that it's hard to get people to- Oh, there you go, CJ. Look at that. The mobile station. Nice. That looks awesome. So we are getting up to the top of the hour here. Any last comments that anyone wants to make before we kind of wrap things up? Yes, Susan.

- I just wanna mention, I don't, you talked about your customer service, okay, and having past software and had horrendous customer service. This is probably one of the nicest things that for me as being smaller and having an issue, I can contact your team and they'll get back to you. And they even let you know that they'll get back to you. I mean, if your customer service is, from your previous software is horrendous, it's not like this at all. It's 360. And I think for that, because we, in the beginning, you don't know everything, and your team, even now, five years later, I still contact, say, "I forgot. How can you do this?" And your team is up and running. Tremendous. I just wanted to say that, that was probably one of the best things about ProShop for me was customer service and helping you to succeed. And that's why I feel, that's how I feel about the software. We're succeeding because of your help and your knowledge. And I wanted to thank you for your best customer service team. Thanks.

- Thank you so much.

- Yeah, I-

- I got something I could- Oh, go ahead.

- I'll be quick. Yeah, I would the thing I would say. I've been using ProShop now for 13 years, and the thing I appreciate the most, along with the customer service like Susan, is your team is never satisfied with ProShop being where it is. Like they are always improving it, adding features, making things easier for us. If I could take a snapshot of where we were 13 years ago to today, the features and everything that has come into play over that 13 years, just that much more time, and waste has been eliminated and things that we, you never realize would make your life easier, because it was just so much, you know, everything was easy 13 years ago, but the fact is you guys just aren't ever satisfied with ProShop being complete, and I think that's a huge benefit, as well with the software.

- Thank you, Rich. Appreciate that. And yeah, Tyler.

- Yeah, kind of along the same lines as to what Rich was saying, we're really happy to see just all of the effort that ProShop's been putting into things like CMMC and other sort of, you know, difficult compliance issues. It's, we feel like this is a system that is gonna grow, you know, with our company or enable our company to grow. So if anyone else is facing, you know, requirements like that, I think that it is gonna be hard to find a system that's gonna beat ProShop. So...

- Thank you very much. I know some of our folks have to jump off, so to be respectful for everyone, we're gonna wrap things up here, but thank you all so much. I look forward to giving you hugs in Chicago and having spent some time with you. Thank you for attending. Thanks for your questions today. Again, if you're gonna be in Chicago, we'd love to have you come by our booth. And if you are around on Thursday, we will have a happy hour nearby. So come by the booth and sign up for that. And thank you all again. I really appreciate everything you've shared today. Hopefully folks took some good wisdom away from that, regardless of where their situation is today. Just any major change or problems they might be facing. So thanks again, everyone. And we'll see you all very soon in Chicago. Have a good rest of your day.

- Bye.

- Bye.

- We are live and people are streamin' in, so we'll give people a few minutes here, but I am lookin' forward to today. This is gonna be a super exciting and very different webinar than we've ever done before. So appreciate, first of all, my guests. Kind of amazing to have- I'm gonna change my view to gallery view so I can see everyone equally here. Thank you to my guests for being able to, for joining me today. Thank you for all those that are attending. I'm gonna start as I often do, for those attending, I would love if you would put in the chat where you're coming in from and where you're joining us, what city, state, or country, and just see the diversity of where everyone is at. I love that. Des Moines, Iowa. Thank you, Todd, for kicking us off. Vancouver, BC. Awesome. So we are talking today- West Liberty, Ohio, Titusville, Florida. Oh, all right. There we go. Starting to flow in. Thank you, Dallas. Thank you, CJ. Awesome. Kicking butt from Denver, Colorado. Hey, Jessica. Good to see you here. All right. So we are, we have big sort of Brady Bunch panelists here. The 3x3 grid with a bunch of shops that have made the bold move of going paperless, really changing what their shops, how their shops work and what they do, which can be a scary journey, I'm sure. Wow, Netherlands. Nice. Thank you, joining us from Europe. South Africa. Fantastic. Wow. Awesome. So it really is a global audience here today. So I'm gonna start. We have a list of four questions we're gonna go through today. Let me just pull those up for myself here. So we're gonna be asking for each shop to introduce themselves, a little bit about their company, and then the questions: When did you realize your shop needed to change? How did you motivate your team to be on board with that change? What impact has ProShop and going paperless had on your shop? And then what advice would you give to other shops looking to implement and make a big change like that? So, I know that we're gonna get a lot of wisdom from these folks, and again, thank you all for participating. And also just a reminder, these folks will all be at IMTS in our booth at various times of the week, so we will be posting some kind of schedule or something, so if you want to go, come talk to these folks in person, that would be super cool if you are happening to go to IMTS. At the, hopefully this sort of Q and A portion, or sort of chat portion, will take the first maybe 40 minutes and then we'll get into Q and A, so if you have questions for any one of these folks or for me, please use the Q and A feature rather than the chat feature, sometimes things get lost in the chat, and then we will get to those at the end. So I'm gonna start things off with Chris from East Branch Engineering. Chris actually has to go pick up his daughter in a little while, so he can't stay the full hour. So Chris, would love to have you first introduce yourself.

- Sure.

- And talk a little bit about why you realized you needed to change something, what was that like, what's the impact been, and what advice you'd give to other shops.

- Yeah, sure. So, as you know, you just mentioned, I work at East Branch Engineering. We're a job shop in Western Connecticut. We serve primarily local companies, so anyone we can drive to. That's kind of how we got our name is servicing the local customers. If there's an issue, we were able to literally show up at their doorstep and, you know, talk through whatever issues. You know, we run small to medium size parts. Typically the parts are stuff that nobody else wants to do. Either there was an issue in the past, there was quality issues, and we typically find a way to do it pretty, pretty well. We still have our issues, but we became known as like the problem solvers of our area. So we do anything from plastic to stainless to titanium. It really depends on the application and what they need. So, you know, a couple years ago we were running a different software, and one of the key things is we were having our management review meeting and we realized like, we're never gonna be able to grow this company the way we were running it. We had enough trouble just processing the orders. I'm not even talking about machining the orders. I'm just talking about processing. I mean, getting 'em from, you know, the purchase order onto the shop floor. I mean, we were absolutely slammed. And we said, you know, if we have any intention of growing the company, we can't keep doing this. We had some machine capacity, but it was just the front office stuff was horrendous. So that's when we, you know, at the same time, I think the first article in Modern Machine Shop came out and Paul and I did a demo and you know, it just took off from there. You know, one of the things we always talk about was that the time it took us to ship a job, especially anything with cert packets. Pulling certs packets out, we would miss shipments. The parts would be done sitting in shipping, but the cert packet would take a day to put together, and we would miss the shipment. So it was really one of the driving forces in looking for an alternative. I don't even wanna say software; it was more like a system, 'cause we knew we just couldn't keep up the way we were doing it. And once we did implement the change, you know, we didn't have so much trouble getting our guys on board, because they were frustrated with the current state back then. They were actually looking forward to having more information. So for us, the motivation to get our guys on board was actually pretty easy, 'cause they were self-motivated to do a better job.

- That's awesome.

- Yeah. I mean we had a few key people here that, you know, drove some of the changes, but we didn't really hit too much resistance with our guys on the floor. Now as to the impact ProShop has had, I think the best way to describe it is I just recently went on vacation internationally and I didn't log in once. I know, you know, it's a system that you can use remotely, but I think the fact that I didn't need to log in the week I was away was fantastic. You know, I didn't have to worry about job shipping, what was set up, what was not set up, did they need my help. You know, the system was in place and it worked, so I was able to actually enjoy my time away. You know, and it's- I, yeah, I know you like to tell people like to log in remotely and to work remotely, but for us, being able to remove myself for a week really showed the change that ProShop kind of had in our company. You know, it was no longer driven like a top-down system. You know the employees kinda- they have all the information to make the choices and decisions on their own, so it kinda like bubbles up from the bottom.

- Right. Wow. And what would you give as advice to a shop that was facing the same kind of problems you were facing, or is, you know-

- Yeah, that's actually a tough question, 'cause there's the classic answers, but I really think you have to understand the current state before you start making major changes in the company. So, you know, you can just put a new system in and expect it to make all these great changes in your company, but you know, it's a situation of garbage in, garbage out. So if you don't have the systems in place and the management in place to reinforce some of the things you wanna do, like, you know, saving certs or making sure time tracking is logged properly. No software's gonna get that right if you don't have somebody behind that, making sure that that stuff happens. So I think you really need to understand what the current state is, what the real issues are, if it's a software issue or if it's a management issue, and really understand that changing this and changing the whole system is a major change.

- Yeah. There's a lot of wisdom there. It's definitely not a straightforward, simple, super simple thing, and it's not a solution for more underlying structural issues, for sure.

- Yeah. You might see a change for a couple weeks, but then you're gonna fall back on your old ways and you're probably gonna get frustrated pretty quickly.

- Yeah. Awesome. Well thank you very much. I think you said you had about 20, 30 minutes, so hopefully we can get to some more stuff. But Tyler, I'd love to jump over and ask you to introduce your company and share when you realized your shop needed to make a change. And nice sweatshirt, by the way. I love it.

- Yeah, I was looking at my sweatshirts this morning. I figured why not wear it, you know? It's a good day, so... Yeah, so as Paul said, my name is Tyler. I work for a company, I'm the quality manager at a small aerospace machine shop called Component Products. We're located in Mukilteo, kind of really close to Paine Field, the Boeing facility up here in Everett. But this company is actually, it's a family company. My grandfather started it, I think it was late 1960s. And so we've been around for a while, and he retired in 2020 and actually transitioned ownership to me and a couple other employees, and so, you know, up until that point in time, we had been using a homegrown system that was programmed by an employee of ours. But, you know, we kind of all knew when we were taking over ownership that we were gonna need something that was gonna seriously improve the way that our company just processed jobs through the shop. Because, you know, though the system we had was good for what my grandfather was using it for, it lacked in many other areas. And I kind of also wonder if, you know, that was partially by design, because, you know, the programmer was perhaps designing the system to please the most important user, and the rest of the folks kind of got left out of it a little bit. But anyways, yeah, I mean, we all knew that we needed something because the system we had didn't have any sort of dashboards in place, that there was nothing in there for inventory control. There was no job costing, statuses like had to be updated manually in the system, and, you know, we were printing out paper travelers, and so you wouldn't update the status of those jobs until it came back into inspection. And so it's, if, you know, if you wanted to go find something on the shop floor, you would have to physically go out there and find it. So with all that, you know, being said, there really, it wasn't hard to motivate people to want the change. We all were very interested in making this improvement and kind of an interesting little fact, I actually, I'm not a machinist guy by my schooling. I actually went and got my degree in computer science and software engineering, and for my capstone project, I was actually working on like replacing our existing homegrown system with another homegrown ERP system, but you know, it turned, it quickly became apparent that that was not going to be a good idea, because, you know, if you have kind of like one programmer who's responsible for your system that's running your company, that's kind of a liability. You know, what happens if that programmer leaves. You know, are they even developing the system in such a way that it's gonna be easy to hand off to somebody else to maintain? And I also didn't have the domain expertise, so, you know, ProShop was just a big, it just made a lot of sense, because, you know, we'd be leveraging a company that was, had a ton of domain expertise and was, you know, not a liability, because, you know, they're not gonna go anywhere anytime soon.

- Awesome.

- So, yeah.

- Well, thank you. I'm gonna cut you off there and we'll get back to some of the other questions for you later. I did it with, since Chris had to leave, we kind of did all of 'em at once.

- Oh, okay.

- But thank you for sharing all that. So David, I'd like to jump over with you, if you'd introduce yourself and your company, and yeah. When did you, with your shop realize you guys needed to make a change?

- Sure. So my name is David Moso, and I'm the QA production manager for Campbell Engineering in Lake Forest, California. We came from using E2, and again, I've been with the company for a long time. I did part-time, about four years ago I started full-time, and that's when I kind of started getting involved more and more with their, you know, just the entire system at Campbell. I heard that we were moving from E2 to ProShop. To me, it was just like, you know, "Okay. A good change." I saw what it was happening, but I was just kind of like on the sidelines, just, you know, just looking at people drive the change. That, you know, that kind of, it did mess us up in the beginning. We've used it for three years, but just recently with, you know, again, having different people drive the change and get everyone on board, it just has made, you know, made it a lot easier. We have learned, I think, a lot more in the past, you know, nine months than, you know, when in the beginning of the implementation. But yeah, that's where we came from. Again, E2 wasn't giving us support or wasn't, you know, taking our suggestions to, you know, for improvements or things that we just needed to get it right. So we basically just outgrew our previous system, and that's, I guess that's when they decided, you know, what it's time to change and it's time to, you know, get things under control. 'Cause again, a lot of stuff was just all over the place. We kind of, we're always talking about being audit-ready, you know, then always, you know, just be ready for visitors, for anything, right? It wasn't the case before, you know, right now we're moving towards that, where everything is in place, you can see real time or, you know, information regarding POs, machine schedules, just anything that affects, you know, your day to day, you know, activities. So you have all of that, and you know, probably, again, major impact, you know, employee training, you know, you know where everyone's at, they can see what they need to do, you know, to keep growing, just, you know, just again, every area in our company was improved, definitely for, you know, after changing to ProShop.

- Thank you, David. Yeah. Being audit-ready includes having all your training records in order. So I'd love to jump over to Rich, and ask you that same question about when you realized you needed a change.

- Yeah. Hi. I'm Rich Olson, vice president, Sealth Aero Marine in Mill Creek, Washington, just north of Seattle. Mine's kind of a unique story. Paul ran a small shop called PRO CNC and we would outsource products to him. We got to know each other over the years, and they had some demand for kind of some high-end programmers. I had some free time, and so I worked the weekends up at PRO CNC, and while there ran across this homegrown software that they were using. I was like, "Wow, this is pretty neat. Nothing that we have had," and really didn't think much of it other than, and at that time I didn't even really know it was homegrown. I was just, I realized PRO CNC and Paul and their team had, you know, had advanced well beyond what we were doing, living in the life of paper, and just everything up there was just so efficiently ran, and tools, you just knew where everything was, fixed rings and tools, and it was just so clean, and just nothing that I had ever experienced. And at that time I was not in the vice president role. I was just a machinist in production, and didn't even know the in-depth impacts of ProShop, but just knew they were so far ahead of where we were with how they were managing jobs, that I thought, "Wow, we're really missing out." And joking, Paul, I had mentioned, "Oh boy. Would you guys ever wanna sell the software?" And he was like, "No, this isn't for us." So I went back to work. I had finished my time with PRO CNC and I was just back at Sealth Aero and I was looking at softwares and Paul called me randomly out of the blue one day to say, "Hey, we are considering jumping into the software business. Would you guys be willing to bring it into your shop?" I didn't hesitate. I had to talk with management to say, "Hey, this is something we need. You gotta trust me on it." I had our team come up to PRO CNC and look at it as well. We brought it in and it had instant impacts for us. You know, you just don't realize the day to day when you're just living with what you know. When you realize there's something better out there for you, how much it's gonna impact you for the positive, I mean, for most things, and ProShop is that for us. Our return on investments and things like that were measurable instantly for us. I argue to this day that it might have still be our most financial beneficial move we've made for our company by going to ProShop. The fact is, is you know, we just had so many people that chase jobs all day, every day, and once you are able to eliminate that area of waste, you realize opportunities to grow your company. And so that's when I realized, you know, ProShop was the right move for us.

- Well, thank you, Rich. Yeah, you definitely hold a special place in our history. And quite honestly, it was your results that gave us the confidence to really go full steam ahead and sell the shop and go into software full time. So thank you for sharing that. I'd love to move into our next question. How did you motivate your team to be on board with the change? And Hernan, I'd love to start with you. Share a little bit about your company and talk about how you motivated your team.

- Sure. Hernan Ricaurte. Ricaurte Precision is the name of our company. I'm second generation. I actually started my career just not working in machine shop. I was, my father ran the machine shop, I was off in Japan doing medical device and healthcare. He was thinking of selling the business, I started to look at it, and I decided to give it a shot. So that was in 2016.

- Brave man.

- So, yeah. So, you know, it's been a journey. A lot of learning to do, but I was from day one, really cognizant of the need for discipline, accountability, processes and procedures and things like that, and so that's been our focus. You know, in listening to, you know, Chris and Tyler and Rich and everyone, I'm always curious to see, you know, you guys are, what you guys are- I totally agree with everything you guys are saying, but I'm just always curious as to how many people, you know, are in the organizations, because, you know, every size is, and requires different resources and, you know, and the bigger you get, the more important culture comes into the equation, I think. But so we have 38 employees, and it hasn't been so much of, you know, maybe what Chris and Tyler maybe alluded to as well of, you know, the team being, "Hey, you know, let's go for something digital and something new that we can all implement." It was just more me and our management, trying to see what tools we can use in order to drive accountability, discipline, you know, efficiency and continuous improvement. So that's where we were looking for different options. We were also working with a paper-based ERP system. Digital ERP opportunities is like a no brainer for us. You know, what Rich was mentioning, you know, chasing down paper, I mean, what a waste of time. Having things, you know, at your disposal and on the fingertips is an absolute must. But yeah, I mean, it's definitely helped us, you know, on the accountability standpoint, traceability of jobs, you know, who's doing what, and, you know, it has been an effort, because this system is robust. You know, it has taken us longer than anticipated to, you know, get everything implemented, but it's for a reason, you know? And, you know, it's worked really, really well for us, and, you know, it's great to see. You know, even the guys that are out there, that are a little bit apprehensive in that, seeing them, you know, putting their notes in, and, you know, understanding and appreciating, you know, what efficiencies are realized when you become a little bit more disciplined. And ProShop is a tool that allows us to do that. Did you have a, I imagine, a range of folks that some, that really sort of crave that discipline and others that are a little bit more, you know, off the hip kind of thing,

- Yeah. Absolutely.

- and pushed back on that?

- Absolutely, yeah.

- Especially on those folks that weren't kinda as bought in, how did you go about approaching getting them on board?

- Yeah. Like with anything, right? You choose the guys that are easiest to work with, you know, and your true leaders. You know, and I think that's something that a lot of us, and, you know, especially in small businesses that we all have struggle with, because we don't all have the luxury of having, you know, finance expertise or finance department, HR department, what have you, but you just always, you know, need to avoid the square peg round hole situation. And so that's where sort of our leadership has driven, is the guys that have the same vision and appreciation for continuous improvement. So we got those guys involved first, of course, and communicated with them very, very closely in order to get their input as we implemented throughout the shop. So, you know, putting everyone, you know, and thinking that everyone's gonna be as receptive as the others and things like that never works. Get your most receptive guys and understanding guys, and most open-to-discipline guys involved first, and then make it as unintimidating as possible to those guys that are the cynical ones. And that's another thing too, is, you know, and I don't mean to crap on too much, but, you know, in our company, we've got, you know, the four C's, you know, the cynical guys, the complacent guys that are, you know, often, you know, sucked in by the cynical guys. And you've got the guys that are, you know, more dedicated and, you know, and so forth. So, you know, the guys that are cynical and stuff like that, you know, we have a pretty strong management style where we just don't put up with it. So, you know, we've let go of, you know, six, seven people over the last, you know, three months.

- Oh, wow.

- Because we just need to drive efficiency, and it's just not worth our time, and it's not worth, you know, risking the energy and the, you know, motivation of, you know, some key members with bad apples. So, you know, that's all been part of it, you know, and ProShop has helped us to like, weed that out as well.

- Right. Wow. Thank you for sharing that. I know that's a hard decision to make, especially with as hard as it is to find employees right now, so-

- Right.

- But yeah, making sure those bad apples aren't spoiling the whole lot is certainly important. Thank you for sharing that, Hernan. I'd love to jump over to you, Susan. How did you motivate your team? First of all, share us a little bit about Frey and Weiss, and how did you motivate your team when you decided to make the change?

- Hi, I'm Susan from Frey and Weiss. We're outside Chicago in Illinois. We're a outsource manufacturer. We've been in business over 50 years. My dad's a Frey, so he started it. I'm second generation.

- And what size is your company? And if, for maybe the rest of you, if you'd put in the chat, I'd love to you just put in the chat, what size, to answer Hernan's question.

- We are around 20 people now. 20 people, so we're on the smaller end, and for us, I mean, we've been on it since 2017, so when the IMTS show came in 2016, we were so frustrated with the software that we had. My sister, also my partner, she's not here, decided to find something else. And then we were able to, since we had a small size, take everybody to the show and say, "Hey, look. We need some communication." For us, that's what the biggest thing is, is the communication. And everybody was on board with the software. Everybody loved it because the software that we had before was only, you know, managers and us, you know, so we knew he had a better way. However, everybody was on board, and so we installed it and then some people weren't on board. And all I can say is we communicated, "This is your job." And in order for us to stay in business, we have to do our jobs through the software as they have to. And all I could say is the people that didn't support ProShop, we no longer employ, because it wasn't part, I agree with the apple, that everybody had to partake. Even though they may not like it, this is their job now. And I could say, especially with, you know, employees wanna work any hours, and we're open to that, to any hours, and this was a great way for all of us to communicate anywhere, you know? And so, and that was the basis of our com- and we could communicate, and that's how we motivated people, saying that we could look at areas that we could stay in business because it's helping us to cost correctly, train people. And also, I'm not a machinist. I wasn't a machinist. I was always in the office, and we have a lot of repeat business, and all that information, instead of it's in the drawer or in machinist's head, it's in the software. So, just communication. And I think that was really how we motivated our employees. And plus the bosses were happy. So if we're happy, they're happy. So, okay? So that's what I would say, and everybody, and being even smaller, we have less people, but we do the same output. So it has helped us, you know, especially with the COVID, working anywhere, at home. I mean, we could not have done that with the last software, because everything is on paper. So it's, you know, that was a best way for us to transfer information to everybody, whether you are machine maintenance or you're the salesperson, and everybody in between, you know, so...

- Thank you, Susan. I appreciate that. Yes. I still remember fondly sitting with you and Linda, your sister, at the 2016 IMTS.

- Yes. And it was great. And we love it. We should have found you in 2014.

- We weren't there in 2014, so...

- Okay. So it was good for us. Thank you.

- All right. Kody, let's jump over to you. Please share a bit about Coastal, and yeah, what your change was like to get your team on board and anything else you'd like to share.

- Yeah. So I'm Kody Guidry. I'm the operations manager at Coastal. We're mainly a job shop down in Louisiana. Mostly do work for oil and gas, but in the past year or two kind of diversified into space and defense industry. So, and-

- What size are you?

- 50 employees, 22 machines. So we were actually introduced to ProShop through an employee interview. We were interviewing an employee that was at another shop that had, they implemented ProShop over there, and he just started showing it to us on his phone right there. And we really didn't know we needed something until I started looking into ProShop, basically. Everything was just there. We, things we couldn't do before that we just thought was the norm, we found that ProShop could do. And we evaluated ProShop probably for about a year. We went to 2018 IMTS. I remember going to the booths over there and visiting Yelp and everything, and it took us so long to evaluate and make the change because we had some people who were not necessarily on board right away. They just didn't want the change. They could kind of see it, but they didn't wanna make the change and lose all the data and everything and go through that whole process. So my move with that was I took him to IMTS. I took him to the ProShop booth, you know, I let him, introduced him to everybody, you know, see the system, and then anytime something would come up in our system that we had trouble doing, or we had a problem or anything, I'd say, "Well, ProShop can do this," you know, or I'd say, "Look, ProShop can do it this way, man. It'd be so much faster and so much easier, so much more efficient." So that's basically how I would motivate people to get 'em on board is I would wait for them to complain about doing something in the system a way we couldn't do it, and say, "Look, this is how ProShop can do it. Look how much easier it would be, how much more efficient it would be, you know, if we moved systems, and we can do this." And finally he gave in and they were like, "Okay, yeah, we just gotta switch." And now that guy, our sales manager, he, which is the one who didn't want change, he loves ProShop. He tells me all the time that, you know, "I could never go back. There's no way. I can't believe we waited a year, you know, to make that change." And so, yeah, I mean, it's been a big plus for us. We've been, you know, improved in every aspect of the shop. So it's been a huge thing.

- How was the adoption process for your machinists?

- So we actually had even a couple machinists that were at the shop that had ProShop too. So that helped also. Yeah. So I think we had two other machinists that were already working here that came from that same shop that that other employee came from. And so it helped having them on board and knowing how the system worked, but we were already time tracking and everything before, so that wasn't a big change for them. We were real strict on doing that in the previous system. So once they understood about, you know, you can do set up sheets digitally and all that stuff, and they wouldn't have to fill out papers and all that, it got through pretty quick.

- Yeah. I appreciate you bringing up the question about time tracking. Sometimes that simultaneously is a big shift for people if they have not been doing that in the past. And just even that alone, regardless of what software they're putting it into, is a big cultural change. So yeah. Thanks for mentioning that.

- Yeah, no problem.

- CJ, I'd love to- You have a unique story and unique position here, being a one-man shop with your highly-automated equipment. So yeah. Introduce yourself, your company. And obviously there was no convincing anyone else to get on board, so why don't you just share a little bit about why you decided you needed some change and the impact?

- Okay. Thanks, Paul. My name is CJ Abraham. I'm the owner of Precision Product Development LLC. I started my business in 2017 with a VF-2 and a dream. I was originally making tools and fixtures for my one customer that I was doing- Well, I was working for Autodesk during the day, and machining at night. My customer decided that I needed to start making the products, and that was a huge change. I went from being a machine shop to a supplier almost overnight. Buying ProShop was, I had nothing before, I had the benefit of having nothing, really. And so the goal was to start off on the right foot, and ProShop was the right solution. It was the best solution. And I had worked in a couple shops before. In my other experience, I had seen a lot of other implementations of ERP systems that didn't look right. And some of the things that Chris said totally resonate with me, where all of the documentation is taken care of automatically. It's all, it's basically procured for me to click. And my customer has said that I'm like a one-man machine arm, because everything that ProShop does for me, just it's like a force multiplier. It's an employee multiplier. So that was the driving factor in buying ProShop. And man, it, honestly, I don't have much more to add beyond that unless you have some specific questions, but-

- Well, I think, yeah, thank you for sharing that. I think you, you know, you're in a unique position, obviously being a one-man shop, now with two of your cool Willemins running all the time, unattended. Amazing stuff. But just, I think the wisdom of putting that sort of structural component in place of all your data, all your information, you know, it's not a decision that a lot of one-man shops decide, to put in an ERP system, right? It's kinda counterintuitive.

- One way I could also put this, is that I'm a good machinist, right? But before buying ProShop, I wasn't that great of a businessman. I wasn't- I knew how to run machines, not how to run a business. And ProShop filled that gap. And actually, I had written down some answers for the other questions, and one is what would you give advice to other shops they were implementing ProShop? With the ProShop I had a lot of guidance. Like my implementation specialist gave me so much guidance. And not just on ProShop, but running a business. And so ProShop really fills a lot of that knowledge gap for me, personally.

- Right. Thank you. Yeah. I was talking to a client just a couple weeks ago, who said he used to, we would sometimes give advice that he thought wasn't the best advice and he didn't do it, and then things would go poorly. And now he's like, "Whatever you guys say, I'm just gonna do it that way. Like, no matter what it is, I'm just all in." So I appreciate you sharing that. So Chris had to drop off to go get his daughter from school. We're gonna kind of circle back. Rich, I'd love to ask, you already shared a little bit, but what impact has ProShop had on the shop?

- Yeah, so, you know, you have measurable impacts and immeasurable impacts, and I would say the measurables are the efficiencies and time tracking and being able to see what jobs are costing. And the immeasurables though, are the ones that, to me that are the ones that are way more beneficial in ProShop. It sounds crazy maybe, but the fact that our employees now have a little more work-life balance because of ProShop, but they're able to better efficiently schedule their machines so they know when things are gonna be where, if they have, you know, whatever reasons, the doctor's appointments, or like Chris have to run off and get the kids, they have a lot more flexibility in, you know, what they're able to do. And just the eventually getting people to buy in, in that culture of why we went this route. To me, it's those immeasurables that were most shocking for me, Paul, after, you know, running it for, you know, a couple years, how I find to be really much more beneficial from a business standpoint. The measurables are, you'll find right away. They show up day one, once you get it implemented. But for me, yeah, Paul, it's those immeasurables.

- Thank you. Yeah. I know when we interviewed you years ago, you said it was always felt like you were treading in water, but you couldn't keep your head above water, and the change allowed you to kind of really keep that head above and not have so much stress, which is, we love to hear that. I know Hernan needs to head off, 'cause you have six members of a large prime there for an audit. That sounds intense. So yeah, let's jump to you next, Hernan, and just let you share. I know you're newer into your implementation than many of the folks on this panel, but you know, what impact have you seen, you know, in the last several months?

- Well, for sure accountability. You know, before we were, you know, on paper, logging in information, you know, and process inspections stuff and things like that, but now being digital, it is so much more transparent. And then also when we do our Gemba Walks, the guys are able to, we, you guys probably do too, we schedule all of our jobs specifically to a specific machine. And so every machinist at their station can see, you know, their current schedule, and you know what they're gonna be machining next. So we're able to discuss with them in a little bit more structured manner of, you know, what's next, what's out to look for, you know, tooling issues. You know, should we really be machining these parts at this machine, or do we move it somewhere else. So that kind of flexibility and accountability has been significant for us. We're in the midst of, you know, implementing IQA as well, so, you know, we're not certain how that's gonna play into everything, but there's so many little things that we're able to do now that, you know, we really didn't recognize before. You know, and it's been a learning process, but it's great to see the involvement as well of, you know, everyone, you know, and everyone, you know, I think, you know, being a little bit proud of themselves, of overcoming some of the initial roadblocks and fears, and everyone beginning to realize, you know, again, the importance of discipline and what benefits we get out of it.

- Yeah. I love that. We think of the process of going paperless and providing everyone almost equal access to the data, almost democratizes it, allows them to contribute, allows the employees that really care a lot to show up in their sort of full ability. And kinda like you already alluded to, some of the folks that are more cynical or just kind of, you know, just the clock punchers, it's very apparent right away, which ones aren't a really great cultural fit for you.

- Exactly.

- Yeah. That's awesome. Thank you for sharing that. David, let's jump back to you about some of the impacts that ProShop's had on your shop, and maybe just a little bit about what advice you'd give to other shops as well.

- Okay. Yeah. So again, I mentioned before, every area was, you know, was improved, but one of the probably personal experience, since I'm a quality manager, and I do, you know, have to be there in front of the auditor, just audits just became a lot easier. You know, I remember my first audit at Campbell. I was, you know, it was my first one ever, actually. I was just all over the place, you know, trying to get documents for the auditor, trying to remember, you know, where to find things. It was just a, you know, it was just a first bad experience for an audit. Then my second audit was, you know, in ProShop. It was a little bit better. I had more experience where to find things. You know, third, fourth audit, it just kept getting faster and faster. You know, it just get- I noticed the auditor, just trying to find, you know, time to fill in, you know, "Okay, let's take a 10 minute break." You know, just every document that he wanted to see is just a couple clicks away. You, know, just how highly customizable ProShop is, you know, to again, to make it work for you, and in an effective way. You know, it's just, again, it's just a big, big help. So again, audits are probably my biggest, you know, benefit that I see for myself, again, 'cause I'm the one who has to be there. The other one, again, I think Hernan said it, you know, chasing paper's just a waste of time, you know. I don't remember when's the last time we had to ask, "Oh, where's this work order?" or "What is the status of this work order." Having to, you know, go out there in the shop and actually, you know, physically looking at where you are, you know, how many parts are left to be machined, or just all of that stuff, you know. That's pretty much, I mean, we don't do that anymore, right? So again-

- Beautiful thing.

- One. Yep. One of the, another, you know, great, great benefit for us. So yeah. And just say the other question? Was-

- Oh, it was just, what other, what advice would you give to shops? And I think you've already kind of, you know, in your answer shared, you know, if they're looking to make audits easier, if they're looking to have more real-time statuses, but-

- Yeah. So just again, another one, just make sure you watch all the webinars for sure. That has helped me, you know, a lot.

- You mean the client ones?

- The ProShop webinars.

- Yeah.

- Yeah. You guys just doing amazing work, you know, putting out webinars that really, you know, just a lot of value, easy to understand. And again, all that has helped me, you know, again, understand the system and how to just keep growing. Again, ProShop is just there waiting for you to, you know, just to grow into it and just make it, you know, as effective as you can make it for your company. So...

- Thank you, David. Tyler, I'd love to jump over to you. Just talk a little bit about impact and advice, besides don't make your own custom system and be reliant on one developer.

- Right. Yeah. I mean, as the impact that we've seen is just the availability of whatever information you want. I mean, there are very few questions that you can ask that ProShop can't answer. And so, I mean, that just makes life, you know, a lot smoother. It makes work, I think more fun, too, for people. I mean, we've got one guy here who's like a ninja on the screen, he's got three monitors and, you know, ProShop open pretty much on like all of them, and he's bouncing back and forth, and- But yeah, I mean, it's just, I think I already mentioned, like inventory control is something we didn't have, now we have that. You know, job costing is not something that we had at all, but now, you know, the guys who do our quotes, they can go back and look at profitability of past jobs and pricing for things like materials and processing. And it's very easy for them to get at that information, whereas it wasn't before. So I would also say I'm looking forward to the impacts that ProShop will have, because we are a small company and I know that this was grown within a small company, and that company grew to be about, I think it was 80 employees, right?

- Yeah. About that.

- About 80 employees. And it's, you know, it's a aerospace and medical device company, right? You guys? Yeah. So pretty much like the same industry that we're in, with the same sort of problems that we're gonna face. And, you know, there's a lot of stuff in ProShop that we haven't actually utilized yet. And I'm actually excited for that because I think it's almost kinda like having somebody guide your path a little bit. If, you know, if we're gonna go the route of like really controlling our tooling better, you know, I know that there's a module for us to take advantage of, and I don't kind of have to invent the system myself. I can just, I can do it. So it's a system that will grow with us, and that's exciting. As far as advice is concerned, Paul, you already mentioned one, you know, like resist the urge to do it in-house, although you were successful at doing that. But I would just say, I think other people already mentioned it, just make sure that there's a strong commitment from management, 'cause switching an ERP is really hard for everybody. I mean, 'cause everybody's gonna be learning how to use and interact with the new system. ERPs are complex, you know, and ProShop's no exception to that. Like, I would say it's pretty, pretty easy to use, but there's a lot to it, and, you know, you need to, management needs to demonstrate full commitment to implementing it. I know that you guys tell all of your clients to have the ProShop champion, that one person who's kind of in charge of just encouraging everyone to use the system or the go-to guy for the answer. I think that's really good too, because it's good to have somebody that sees how all of the pieces come together. And yeah, somebody else already mentioned it, but make sure you take the path of least resistance. So if, you know, if ProShop's telling you that, you know, this is the way that you need to use this system, or this is the way you need to use this feature, use it that way, because we've been bit a couple times by trying to be clever and just not realizing that, you know, we were doing something that we shouldn't have done. So, yeah.

- Thank you. Let's see here. Kody, I'd love to have you share just a little bit about advice for- I mean, you guys were one of the quickest and smoothest implementation, you know, you were like three months and you were done. So what advice would you give to shops implementing a new system.

- Yes, I'll piggyback off of Tyler, and just say it's the buy-in. You need a 100% buy-in from your key leadership people that's gonna be heavily involved in implementation. And I think that was such a big thing for us to implement so fast, and then spread kinda like wildfire through the shop. I didn't force it upon anybody. I didn't say this is what we're doing. I made sure that, you know, the key people that were gonna be involved in implementation and making sure this thing runs right, I made sure they were 100% on board with it. That's why it took us so long to evaluate it and to finally pull the trigger. I knew this was gonna be a big thing within the shop and a big change, and just having that 100% buy-in, that was the major thing.

- Yeah. Yeah, and I think also just from what I observed a bit from the outside, just really relentless execution to just do it quickly and smoothly and thoroughly. I think that's one of your talents, personally, and that extended to the whole team. And obviously your owners had complete buy-in and trust of what you were doing. We have a few questions coming in. I'd love to kind of move over to those. Someone said, "Sorry I had to miss a big chunk of this, so it's already addressed, why is digital transformation such a blind spot for leadership teams? Having a digital foundation assets like these systems should be seen as adding immense value, but rarely are they seen this way." Anyone wanna jump on that one?

- I can answer.

- Okay.

- Because they're not the ones using it.

- Mm. Right.

- I mean, if you're not the one that's actually using it, sometimes you don't immediately see the value.

- Yeah.

- I said this to you earlier. I'm doing every click from estimate to packing stuff, right?

- Right.

- So, with someone like that, it's obvious.

- Right. Yeah, that's a good one. I mean, sometimes we have owners that they say, "I don't even need a login to the system, 'cause I don't deal with any of that stuff." And while that might be the case, that, and you know that they're not doing the jobs of the people doing the work, being curious and understanding really what are the pain points, what are the frustrations, what are the wastes that are happening on a daily basis? Maybe Rich, you could share, since you were not an owner or as much in senior leadership when you made that change, but you drove the, you know, you drove the initiative to change. What was that like?

- Yeah. And what's funny is you're correct. Our owners have never been in ProShop. They're very much involved with decisions, but just not the day to day activities within the business. So getting them to buy into it was them understanding exactly that: our frustrations that we had with our day to days. We'd have daily meetings about why these, you know, however many orders are past due. And why are we not able to chip into these? And we, you know, we knocked three off and add three more, you know, and it was just everything around what we were doing was just failures. We were a successful business. We made money. But the business wasn't failing from the perspectives of giving our customers what they needed. And ultimately that's why we're in business, is supplying products to our customers for what they need. And when you fail your customers, they have the ability to, you know, search other resources for that product. So from the outside of things, you know, we got them to understand where we were failing and why we needed to go this route. They didn't hesitate much. Like I said, a couple of 'em came up to look at the system and understood what I was seeing and how it could benefit us. And it's really about that, getting them to understand the buy-in and how it's gonna benefit the company as a whole. And so, yeah, that's kind of my story, Paul.

- Okay. I appreciate that. Another question here, this actually from an existing client. "We're using ProShop, but still use a single piece of paper as a traveler or drawing to initiate and track a job. Are you guys truly paperless on the shop floor?" And he says, as well, "We sometimes get orders that might be a hundred work orders, and it'd be nice not to print all those drawings off or travelers off." I know my sort of default advice would be, you know, don't print off the drawing or a single piece of paper. You don't actually need something, you should not need something physical to initiate things. Like the dashboards to have it show up for purchasing, for planning, for cutting raw material, should all happen on the dashboards. The first time you have something physical probably is when you need to pair up material with the job for traceability. And in those cases using one of the labels, you know, work order labels, box labels, to attach to that carton, to that bar of material, whatever it might be. That's the first time you need to actually print something physical, so you have that traceability. Any other comments or feedback about that from anyone? Cody?

- Yeah, we use, so we laminated a bunch of sheets of paper, hundreds of them, and it basically just says work order number, and then quantity. We don't put revs, we don't put due dates, and don't put anything that might change. And it basically sits at the saw or sits at receiving area. And once material comes in, he fills that out and puts it with the material, and that follows throughout the shop. If something leaves to go out to our outside process, that piece of paper just goes back to the receiving area for when something comes back and you just use another one. So we just constantly reuse those laminates.

- You just wipe 'em clean at the end? Yeah. I mean, that's what actually what we did at PRO CNC. And I love the part about don't put things that'll change. Don't put due dates, don't put revs, 'cause then you'll have to go chase it down and change it if you have a change. So...

- Yeah, the whole point of being paperless is not having to go find things, chase paper, so...

- David, I saw you unmute for a second. Did you wanna share?

- Yeah. There's three pieces of papers that, excuse me, that we still kind of print out every now and then. The print is gonna be one. We do still allow our machinists to print out the drawing. It's just, there's something that they feel like they need right in front of them, you know, to hold. So we do allow for that. And it's mainly when they're doing the, you know, the first operation, when they're setting up the machine, that, you know, they need to verify some dimensions that they need to carry that drawing over to an inspection equipment. So that's one of the cases where they'll print out the drawing. Some of our drawings are, you know, gonna be multiple pages, three plus pages. So they wanna hold it. So we're still, you know, let that happen. The other one is gonna be the label, which is normal. I mean, everything has to be labeled, so we do print that label. So that goes in there. The third one, and it's the one that we're, that I'm really trying to kind of get 'em not to do it. It's gonna be the, like an IPC template where they record their dimensions as they're measuring. We are trying to have everything, you know, our in-process inspections be fully on the CMM, so that way they don't have to print that template and record their data, because ultimately they're gonna have to go to their workstation and input that data. So we're trying to have it that they, you know, put it on the CMM, save that report from the CMM, and upload it to the operation for the IPC. So again, those two things, the third one is the one that I'm really trying to get rid of it, just because it is just, again, unnecessary to have them to, you know, go to a high gauge and measure their part when we can put it again on the CMM and save that report and upload it to the operation. So, yeah.

- Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. Yeah. The gentleman that asked the question said he just got burned on a rev change mid-job and the paper didn't get caught, so definitely a big upvote for not putting revisions on the things out on the shop floor. I will say, and I know Hernan had to jump off to go to his audit, but in his shop and many of our other shops, I know, Susan, you've done this, is using two monitors at each screen. And Hernan's even going with like a 40-inch TV above the main monitor, so he could really zoom into those drawings, look at page three of this one detail. I know with my, you know, old eyes now, I have to wear reading glasses, you know, if I wanna look at a drawing, and so being able to really zoom into a big image of a detailed, you know, multi-page drawing can sometimes be really nice. And, but I totally get, it's a hard thing to, you know, just to hold something in your hand is a, sometimes a comfort thing that it's hard to get people to- Oh, there you go, CJ. Look at that. The mobile station. Nice. That looks awesome. So we are getting up to the top of the hour here. Any last comments that anyone wants to make before we kind of wrap things up? Yes, Susan.

- I just wanna mention, I don't, you talked about your customer service, okay, and having past software and had horrendous customer service. This is probably one of the nicest things that for me as being smaller and having an issue, I can contact your team and they'll get back to you. And they even let you know that they'll get back to you. I mean, if your customer service is, from your previous software is horrendous, it's not like this at all. It's 360. And I think for that, because we, in the beginning, you don't know everything, and your team, even now, five years later, I still contact, say, "I forgot. How can you do this?" And your team is up and running. Tremendous. I just wanted to say that, that was probably one of the best things about ProShop for me was customer service and helping you to succeed. And that's why I feel, that's how I feel about the software. We're succeeding because of your help and your knowledge. And I wanted to thank you for your best customer service team. Thanks.

- Thank you so much.

- Yeah, I-

- I got something I could- Oh, go ahead.

- I'll be quick. Yeah, I would the thing I would say. I've been using ProShop now for 13 years, and the thing I appreciate the most, along with the customer service like Susan, is your team is never satisfied with ProShop being where it is. Like they are always improving it, adding features, making things easier for us. If I could take a snapshot of where we were 13 years ago to today, the features and everything that has come into play over that 13 years, just that much more time, and waste has been eliminated and things that we, you never realize would make your life easier, because it was just so much, you know, everything was easy 13 years ago, but the fact is you guys just aren't ever satisfied with ProShop being complete, and I think that's a huge benefit, as well with the software.

- Thank you, Rich. Appreciate that. And yeah, Tyler.

- Yeah, kind of along the same lines as to what Rich was saying, we're really happy to see just all of the effort that ProShop's been putting into things like CMMC and other sort of, you know, difficult compliance issues. It's, we feel like this is a system that is gonna grow, you know, with our company or enable our company to grow. So if anyone else is facing, you know, requirements like that, I think that it is gonna be hard to find a system that's gonna beat ProShop. So...

- Thank you very much. I know some of our folks have to jump off, so to be respectful for everyone, we're gonna wrap things up here, but thank you all so much. I look forward to giving you hugs in Chicago and having spent some time with you. Thank you for attending. Thanks for your questions today. Again, if you're gonna be in Chicago, we'd love to have you come by our booth. And if you are around on Thursday, we will have a happy hour nearby. So come by the booth and sign up for that. And thank you all again. I really appreciate everything you've shared today. Hopefully folks took some good wisdom away from that, regardless of where their situation is today. Just any major change or problems they might be facing. So thanks again, everyone. And we'll see you all very soon in Chicago. Have a good rest of your day.

- Bye.

- Bye.

- We are live and people are streamin' in, so we'll give people a few minutes here, but I am lookin' forward to today. This is gonna be a super exciting and very different webinar than we've ever done before. So appreciate, first of all, my guests. Kind of amazing to have- I'm gonna change my view to gallery view so I can see everyone equally here. Thank you to my guests for being able to, for joining me today. Thank you for all those that are attending. I'm gonna start as I often do, for those attending, I would love if you would put in the chat where you're coming in from and where you're joining us, what city, state, or country, and just see the diversity of where everyone is at. I love that. Des Moines, Iowa. Thank you, Todd, for kicking us off. Vancouver, BC. Awesome. So we are talking today- West Liberty, Ohio, Titusville, Florida. Oh, all right. There we go. Starting to flow in. Thank you, Dallas. Thank you, CJ. Awesome. Kicking butt from Denver, Colorado. Hey, Jessica. Good to see you here. All right. So we are, we have big sort of Brady Bunch panelists here. The 3x3 grid with a bunch of shops that have made the bold move of going paperless, really changing what their shops, how their shops work and what they do, which can be a scary journey, I'm sure. Wow, Netherlands. Nice. Thank you, joining us from Europe. South Africa. Fantastic. Wow. Awesome. So it really is a global audience here today. So I'm gonna start. We have a list of four questions we're gonna go through today. Let me just pull those up for myself here. So we're gonna be asking for each shop to introduce themselves, a little bit about their company, and then the questions: When did you realize your shop needed to change? How did you motivate your team to be on board with that change? What impact has ProShop and going paperless had on your shop? And then what advice would you give to other shops looking to implement and make a big change like that? So, I know that we're gonna get a lot of wisdom from these folks, and again, thank you all for participating. And also just a reminder, these folks will all be at IMTS in our booth at various times of the week, so we will be posting some kind of schedule or something, so if you want to go, come talk to these folks in person, that would be super cool if you are happening to go to IMTS. At the, hopefully this sort of Q and A portion, or sort of chat portion, will take the first maybe 40 minutes and then we'll get into Q and A, so if you have questions for any one of these folks or for me, please use the Q and A feature rather than the chat feature, sometimes things get lost in the chat, and then we will get to those at the end. So I'm gonna start things off with Chris from East Branch Engineering. Chris actually has to go pick up his daughter in a little while, so he can't stay the full hour. So Chris, would love to have you first introduce yourself.

- Sure.

- And talk a little bit about why you realized you needed to change something, what was that like, what's the impact been, and what advice you'd give to other shops.

- Yeah, sure. So, as you know, you just mentioned, I work at East Branch Engineering. We're a job shop in Western Connecticut. We serve primarily local companies, so anyone we can drive to. That's kind of how we got our name is servicing the local customers. If there's an issue, we were able to literally show up at their doorstep and, you know, talk through whatever issues. You know, we run small to medium size parts. Typically the parts are stuff that nobody else wants to do. Either there was an issue in the past, there was quality issues, and we typically find a way to do it pretty, pretty well. We still have our issues, but we became known as like the problem solvers of our area. So we do anything from plastic to stainless to titanium. It really depends on the application and what they need. So, you know, a couple years ago we were running a different software, and one of the key things is we were having our management review meeting and we realized like, we're never gonna be able to grow this company the way we were running it. We had enough trouble just processing the orders. I'm not even talking about machining the orders. I'm just talking about processing. I mean, getting 'em from, you know, the purchase order onto the shop floor. I mean, we were absolutely slammed. And we said, you know, if we have any intention of growing the company, we can't keep doing this. We had some machine capacity, but it was just the front office stuff was horrendous. So that's when we, you know, at the same time, I think the first article in Modern Machine Shop came out and Paul and I did a demo and you know, it just took off from there. You know, one of the things we always talk about was that the time it took us to ship a job, especially anything with cert packets. Pulling certs packets out, we would miss shipments. The parts would be done sitting in shipping, but the cert packet would take a day to put together, and we would miss the shipment. So it was really one of the driving forces in looking for an alternative. I don't even wanna say software; it was more like a system, 'cause we knew we just couldn't keep up the way we were doing it. And once we did implement the change, you know, we didn't have so much trouble getting our guys on board, because they were frustrated with the current state back then. They were actually looking forward to having more information. So for us, the motivation to get our guys on board was actually pretty easy, 'cause they were self-motivated to do a better job.

- That's awesome.

- Yeah. I mean we had a few key people here that, you know, drove some of the changes, but we didn't really hit too much resistance with our guys on the floor. Now as to the impact ProShop has had, I think the best way to describe it is I just recently went on vacation internationally and I didn't log in once. I know, you know, it's a system that you can use remotely, but I think the fact that I didn't need to log in the week I was away was fantastic. You know, I didn't have to worry about job shipping, what was set up, what was not set up, did they need my help. You know, the system was in place and it worked, so I was able to actually enjoy my time away. You know, and it's- I, yeah, I know you like to tell people like to log in remotely and to work remotely, but for us, being able to remove myself for a week really showed the change that ProShop kind of had in our company. You know, it was no longer driven like a top-down system. You know the employees kinda- they have all the information to make the choices and decisions on their own, so it kinda like bubbles up from the bottom.

- Right. Wow. And what would you give as advice to a shop that was facing the same kind of problems you were facing, or is, you know-

- Yeah, that's actually a tough question, 'cause there's the classic answers, but I really think you have to understand the current state before you start making major changes in the company. So, you know, you can just put a new system in and expect it to make all these great changes in your company, but you know, it's a situation of garbage in, garbage out. So if you don't have the systems in place and the management in place to reinforce some of the things you wanna do, like, you know, saving certs or making sure time tracking is logged properly. No software's gonna get that right if you don't have somebody behind that, making sure that that stuff happens. So I think you really need to understand what the current state is, what the real issues are, if it's a software issue or if it's a management issue, and really understand that changing this and changing the whole system is a major change.

- Yeah. There's a lot of wisdom there. It's definitely not a straightforward, simple, super simple thing, and it's not a solution for more underlying structural issues, for sure.

- Yeah. You might see a change for a couple weeks, but then you're gonna fall back on your old ways and you're probably gonna get frustrated pretty quickly.

- Yeah. Awesome. Well thank you very much. I think you said you had about 20, 30 minutes, so hopefully we can get to some more stuff. But Tyler, I'd love to jump over and ask you to introduce your company and share when you realized your shop needed to make a change. And nice sweatshirt, by the way. I love it.

- Yeah, I was looking at my sweatshirts this morning. I figured why not wear it, you know? It's a good day, so... Yeah, so as Paul said, my name is Tyler. I work for a company, I'm the quality manager at a small aerospace machine shop called Component Products. We're located in Mukilteo, kind of really close to Paine Field, the Boeing facility up here in Everett. But this company is actually, it's a family company. My grandfather started it, I think it was late 1960s. And so we've been around for a while, and he retired in 2020 and actually transitioned ownership to me and a couple other employees, and so, you know, up until that point in time, we had been using a homegrown system that was programmed by an employee of ours. But, you know, we kind of all knew when we were taking over ownership that we were gonna need something that was gonna seriously improve the way that our company just processed jobs through the shop. Because, you know, though the system we had was good for what my grandfather was using it for, it lacked in many other areas. And I kind of also wonder if, you know, that was partially by design, because, you know, the programmer was perhaps designing the system to please the most important user, and the rest of the folks kind of got left out of it a little bit. But anyways, yeah, I mean, we all knew that we needed something because the system we had didn't have any sort of dashboards in place, that there was nothing in there for inventory control. There was no job costing, statuses like had to be updated manually in the system, and, you know, we were printing out paper travelers, and so you wouldn't update the status of those jobs until it came back into inspection. And so it's, if, you know, if you wanted to go find something on the shop floor, you would have to physically go out there and find it. So with all that, you know, being said, there really, it wasn't hard to motivate people to want the change. We all were very interested in making this improvement and kind of an interesting little fact, I actually, I'm not a machinist guy by my schooling. I actually went and got my degree in computer science and software engineering, and for my capstone project, I was actually working on like replacing our existing homegrown system with another homegrown ERP system, but you know, it turned, it quickly became apparent that that was not going to be a good idea, because, you know, if you have kind of like one programmer who's responsible for your system that's running your company, that's kind of a liability. You know, what happens if that programmer leaves. You know, are they even developing the system in such a way that it's gonna be easy to hand off to somebody else to maintain? And I also didn't have the domain expertise, so, you know, ProShop was just a big, it just made a lot of sense, because, you know, we'd be leveraging a company that was, had a ton of domain expertise and was, you know, not a liability, because, you know, they're not gonna go anywhere anytime soon.

- Awesome.

- So, yeah.

- Well, thank you. I'm gonna cut you off there and we'll get back to some of the other questions for you later. I did it with, since Chris had to leave, we kind of did all of 'em at once.

- Oh, okay.

- But thank you for sharing all that. So David, I'd like to jump over with you, if you'd introduce yourself and your company, and yeah. When did you, with your shop realize you guys needed to make a change?

- Sure. So my name is David Moso, and I'm the QA production manager for Campbell Engineering in Lake Forest, California. We came from using E2, and again, I've been with the company for a long time. I did part-time, about four years ago I started full-time, and that's when I kind of started getting involved more and more with their, you know, just the entire system at Campbell. I heard that we were moving from E2 to ProShop. To me, it was just like, you know, "Okay. A good change." I saw what it was happening, but I was just kind of like on the sidelines, just, you know, just looking at people drive the change. That, you know, that kind of, it did mess us up in the beginning. We've used it for three years, but just recently with, you know, again, having different people drive the change and get everyone on board, it just has made, you know, made it a lot easier. We have learned, I think, a lot more in the past, you know, nine months than, you know, when in the beginning of the implementation. But yeah, that's where we came from. Again, E2 wasn't giving us support or wasn't, you know, taking our suggestions to, you know, for improvements or things that we just needed to get it right. So we basically just outgrew our previous system, and that's, I guess that's when they decided, you know, what it's time to change and it's time to, you know, get things under control. 'Cause again, a lot of stuff was just all over the place. We kind of, we're always talking about being audit-ready, you know, then always, you know, just be ready for visitors, for anything, right? It wasn't the case before, you know, right now we're moving towards that, where everything is in place, you can see real time or, you know, information regarding POs, machine schedules, just anything that affects, you know, your day to day, you know, activities. So you have all of that, and you know, probably, again, major impact, you know, employee training, you know, you know where everyone's at, they can see what they need to do, you know, to keep growing, just, you know, just again, every area in our company was improved, definitely for, you know, after changing to ProShop.

- Thank you, David. Yeah. Being audit-ready includes having all your training records in order. So I'd love to jump over to Rich, and ask you that same question about when you realized you needed a change.

- Yeah. Hi. I'm Rich Olson, vice president, Sealth Aero Marine in Mill Creek, Washington, just north of Seattle. Mine's kind of a unique story. Paul ran a small shop called PRO CNC and we would outsource products to him. We got to know each other over the years, and they had some demand for kind of some high-end programmers. I had some free time, and so I worked the weekends up at PRO CNC, and while there ran across this homegrown software that they were using. I was like, "Wow, this is pretty neat. Nothing that we have had," and really didn't think much of it other than, and at that time I didn't even really know it was homegrown. I was just, I realized PRO CNC and Paul and their team had, you know, had advanced well beyond what we were doing, living in the life of paper, and just everything up there was just so efficiently ran, and tools, you just knew where everything was, fixed rings and tools, and it was just so clean, and just nothing that I had ever experienced. And at that time I was not in the vice president role. I was just a machinist in production, and didn't even know the in-depth impacts of ProShop, but just knew they were so far ahead of where we were with how they were managing jobs, that I thought, "Wow, we're really missing out." And joking, Paul, I had mentioned, "Oh boy. Would you guys ever wanna sell the software?" And he was like, "No, this isn't for us." So I went back to work. I had finished my time with PRO CNC and I was just back at Sealth Aero and I was looking at softwares and Paul called me randomly out of the blue one day to say, "Hey, we are considering jumping into the software business. Would you guys be willing to bring it into your shop?" I didn't hesitate. I had to talk with management to say, "Hey, this is something we need. You gotta trust me on it." I had our team come up to PRO CNC and look at it as well. We brought it in and it had instant impacts for us. You know, you just don't realize the day to day when you're just living with what you know. When you realize there's something better out there for you, how much it's gonna impact you for the positive, I mean, for most things, and ProShop is that for us. Our return on investments and things like that were measurable instantly for us. I argue to this day that it might have still be our most financial beneficial move we've made for our company by going to ProShop. The fact is, is you know, we just had so many people that chase jobs all day, every day, and once you are able to eliminate that area of waste, you realize opportunities to grow your company. And so that's when I realized, you know, ProShop was the right move for us.

- Well, thank you, Rich. Yeah, you definitely hold a special place in our history. And quite honestly, it was your results that gave us the confidence to really go full steam ahead and sell the shop and go into software full time. So thank you for sharing that. I'd love to move into our next question. How did you motivate your team to be on board with the change? And Hernan, I'd love to start with you. Share a little bit about your company and talk about how you motivated your team.

- Sure. Hernan Ricaurte. Ricaurte Precision is the name of our company. I'm second generation. I actually started my career just not working in machine shop. I was, my father ran the machine shop, I was off in Japan doing medical device and healthcare. He was thinking of selling the business, I started to look at it, and I decided to give it a shot. So that was in 2016.

- Brave man.

- So, yeah. So, you know, it's been a journey. A lot of learning to do, but I was from day one, really cognizant of the need for discipline, accountability, processes and procedures and things like that, and so that's been our focus. You know, in listening to, you know, Chris and Tyler and Rich and everyone, I'm always curious to see, you know, you guys are, what you guys are- I totally agree with everything you guys are saying, but I'm just always curious as to how many people, you know, are in the organizations, because, you know, every size is, and requires different resources and, you know, and the bigger you get, the more important culture comes into the equation, I think. But so we have 38 employees, and it hasn't been so much of, you know, maybe what Chris and Tyler maybe alluded to as well of, you know, the team being, "Hey, you know, let's go for something digital and something new that we can all implement." It was just more me and our management, trying to see what tools we can use in order to drive accountability, discipline, you know, efficiency and continuous improvement. So that's where we were looking for different options. We were also working with a paper-based ERP system. Digital ERP opportunities is like a no brainer for us. You know, what Rich was mentioning, you know, chasing down paper, I mean, what a waste of time. Having things, you know, at your disposal and on the fingertips is an absolute must. But yeah, I mean, it's definitely helped us, you know, on the accountability standpoint, traceability of jobs, you know, who's doing what, and, you know, it has been an effort, because this system is robust. You know, it has taken us longer than anticipated to, you know, get everything implemented, but it's for a reason, you know? And, you know, it's worked really, really well for us, and, you know, it's great to see. You know, even the guys that are out there, that are a little bit apprehensive in that, seeing them, you know, putting their notes in, and, you know, understanding and appreciating, you know, what efficiencies are realized when you become a little bit more disciplined. And ProShop is a tool that allows us to do that. Did you have a, I imagine, a range of folks that some, that really sort of crave that discipline and others that are a little bit more, you know, off the hip kind of thing,

- Yeah. Absolutely.

- and pushed back on that?

- Absolutely, yeah.

- Especially on those folks that weren't kinda as bought in, how did you go about approaching getting them on board?

- Yeah. Like with anything, right? You choose the guys that are easiest to work with, you know, and your true leaders. You know, and I think that's something that a lot of us, and, you know, especially in small businesses that we all have struggle with, because we don't all have the luxury of having, you know, finance expertise or finance department, HR department, what have you, but you just always, you know, need to avoid the square peg round hole situation. And so that's where sort of our leadership has driven, is the guys that have the same vision and appreciation for continuous improvement. So we got those guys involved first, of course, and communicated with them very, very closely in order to get their input as we implemented throughout the shop. So, you know, putting everyone, you know, and thinking that everyone's gonna be as receptive as the others and things like that never works. Get your most receptive guys and understanding guys, and most open-to-discipline guys involved first, and then make it as unintimidating as possible to those guys that are the cynical ones. And that's another thing too, is, you know, and I don't mean to crap on too much, but, you know, in our company, we've got, you know, the four C's, you know, the cynical guys, the complacent guys that are, you know, often, you know, sucked in by the cynical guys. And you've got the guys that are, you know, more dedicated and, you know, and so forth. So, you know, the guys that are cynical and stuff like that, you know, we have a pretty strong management style where we just don't put up with it. So, you know, we've let go of, you know, six, seven people over the last, you know, three months.

- Oh, wow.

- Because we just need to drive efficiency, and it's just not worth our time, and it's not worth, you know, risking the energy and the, you know, motivation of, you know, some key members with bad apples. So, you know, that's all been part of it, you know, and ProShop has helped us to like, weed that out as well.

- Right. Wow. Thank you for sharing that. I know that's a hard decision to make, especially with as hard as it is to find employees right now, so-

- Right.

- But yeah, making sure those bad apples aren't spoiling the whole lot is certainly important. Thank you for sharing that, Hernan. I'd love to jump over to you, Susan. How did you motivate your team? First of all, share us a little bit about Frey and Weiss, and how did you motivate your team when you decided to make the change?

- Hi, I'm Susan from Frey and Weiss. We're outside Chicago in Illinois. We're a outsource manufacturer. We've been in business over 50 years. My dad's a Frey, so he started it. I'm second generation.

- And what size is your company? And if, for maybe the rest of you, if you'd put in the chat, I'd love to you just put in the chat, what size, to answer Hernan's question.

- We are around 20 people now. 20 people, so we're on the smaller end, and for us, I mean, we've been on it since 2017, so when the IMTS show came in 2016, we were so frustrated with the software that we had. My sister, also my partner, she's not here, decided to find something else. And then we were able to, since we had a small size, take everybody to the show and say, "Hey, look. We need some communication." For us, that's what the biggest thing is, is the communication. And everybody was on board with the software. Everybody loved it because the software that we had before was only, you know, managers and us, you know, so we knew he had a better way. However, everybody was on board, and so we installed it and then some people weren't on board. And all I can say is we communicated, "This is your job." And in order for us to stay in business, we have to do our jobs through the software as they have to. And all I could say is the people that didn't support ProShop, we no longer employ, because it wasn't part, I agree with the apple, that everybody had to partake. Even though they may not like it, this is their job now. And I could say, especially with, you know, employees wanna work any hours, and we're open to that, to any hours, and this was a great way for all of us to communicate anywhere, you know? And so, and that was the basis of our com- and we could communicate, and that's how we motivated people, saying that we could look at areas that we could stay in business because it's helping us to cost correctly, train people. And also, I'm not a machinist. I wasn't a machinist. I was always in the office, and we have a lot of repeat business, and all that information, instead of it's in the drawer or in machinist's head, it's in the software. So, just communication. And I think that was really how we motivated our employees. And plus the bosses were happy. So if we're happy, they're happy. So, okay? So that's what I would say, and everybody, and being even smaller, we have less people, but we do the same output. So it has helped us, you know, especially with the COVID, working anywhere, at home. I mean, we could not have done that with the last software, because everything is on paper. So it's, you know, that was a best way for us to transfer information to everybody, whether you are machine maintenance or you're the salesperson, and everybody in between, you know, so...

- Thank you, Susan. I appreciate that. Yes. I still remember fondly sitting with you and Linda, your sister, at the 2016 IMTS.

- Yes. And it was great. And we love it. We should have found you in 2014.

- We weren't there in 2014, so...

- Okay. So it was good for us. Thank you.

- All right. Kody, let's jump over to you. Please share a bit about Coastal, and yeah, what your change was like to get your team on board and anything else you'd like to share.

- Yeah. So I'm Kody Guidry. I'm the operations manager at Coastal. We're mainly a job shop down in Louisiana. Mostly do work for oil and gas, but in the past year or two kind of diversified into space and defense industry. So, and-

- What size are you?

- 50 employees, 22 machines. So we were actually introduced to ProShop through an employee interview. We were interviewing an employee that was at another shop that had, they implemented ProShop over there, and he just started showing it to us on his phone right there. And we really didn't know we needed something until I started looking into ProShop, basically. Everything was just there. We, things we couldn't do before that we just thought was the norm, we found that ProShop could do. And we evaluated ProShop probably for about a year. We went to 2018 IMTS. I remember going to the booths over there and visiting Yelp and everything, and it took us so long to evaluate and make the change because we had some people who were not necessarily on board right away. They just didn't want the change. They could kind of see it, but they didn't wanna make the change and lose all the data and everything and go through that whole process. So my move with that was I took him to IMTS. I took him to the ProShop booth, you know, I let him, introduced him to everybody, you know, see the system, and then anytime something would come up in our system that we had trouble doing, or we had a problem or anything, I'd say, "Well, ProShop can do this," you know, or I'd say, "Look, ProShop can do it this way, man. It'd be so much faster and so much easier, so much more efficient." So that's basically how I would motivate people to get 'em on board is I would wait for them to complain about doing something in the system a way we couldn't do it, and say, "Look, this is how ProShop can do it. Look how much easier it would be, how much more efficient it would be, you know, if we moved systems, and we can do this." And finally he gave in and they were like, "Okay, yeah, we just gotta switch." And now that guy, our sales manager, he, which is the one who didn't want change, he loves ProShop. He tells me all the time that, you know, "I could never go back. There's no way. I can't believe we waited a year, you know, to make that change." And so, yeah, I mean, it's been a big plus for us. We've been, you know, improved in every aspect of the shop. So it's been a huge thing.

- How was the adoption process for your machinists?

- So we actually had even a couple machinists that were at the shop that had ProShop too. So that helped also. Yeah. So I think we had two other machinists that were already working here that came from that same shop that that other employee came from. And so it helped having them on board and knowing how the system worked, but we were already time tracking and everything before, so that wasn't a big change for them. We were real strict on doing that in the previous system. So once they understood about, you know, you can do set up sheets digitally and all that stuff, and they wouldn't have to fill out papers and all that, it got through pretty quick.

- Yeah. I appreciate you bringing up the question about time tracking. Sometimes that simultaneously is a big shift for people if they have not been doing that in the past. And just even that alone, regardless of what software they're putting it into, is a big cultural change. So yeah. Thanks for mentioning that.

- Yeah, no problem.

- CJ, I'd love to- You have a unique story and unique position here, being a one-man shop with your highly-automated equipment. So yeah. Introduce yourself, your company. And obviously there was no convincing anyone else to get on board, so why don't you just share a little bit about why you decided you needed some change and the impact?

- Okay. Thanks, Paul. My name is CJ Abraham. I'm the owner of Precision Product Development LLC. I started my business in 2017 with a VF-2 and a dream. I was originally making tools and fixtures for my one customer that I was doing- Well, I was working for Autodesk during the day, and machining at night. My customer decided that I needed to start making the products, and that was a huge change. I went from being a machine shop to a supplier almost overnight. Buying ProShop was, I had nothing before, I had the benefit of having nothing, really. And so the goal was to start off on the right foot, and ProShop was the right solution. It was the best solution. And I had worked in a couple shops before. In my other experience, I had seen a lot of other implementations of ERP systems that didn't look right. And some of the things that Chris said totally resonate with me, where all of the documentation is taken care of automatically. It's all, it's basically procured for me to click. And my customer has said that I'm like a one-man machine arm, because everything that ProShop does for me, just it's like a force multiplier. It's an employee multiplier. So that was the driving factor in buying ProShop. And man, it, honestly, I don't have much more to add beyond that unless you have some specific questions, but-

- Well, I think, yeah, thank you for sharing that. I think you, you know, you're in a unique position, obviously being a one-man shop, now with two of your cool Willemins running all the time, unattended. Amazing stuff. But just, I think the wisdom of putting that sort of structural component in place of all your data, all your information, you know, it's not a decision that a lot of one-man shops decide, to put in an ERP system, right? It's kinda counterintuitive.

- One way I could also put this, is that I'm a good machinist, right? But before buying ProShop, I wasn't that great of a businessman. I wasn't- I knew how to run machines, not how to run a business. And ProShop filled that gap. And actually, I had written down some answers for the other questions, and one is what would you give advice to other shops they were implementing ProShop? With the ProShop I had a lot of guidance. Like my implementation specialist gave me so much guidance. And not just on ProShop, but running a business. And so ProShop really fills a lot of that knowledge gap for me, personally.

- Right. Thank you. Yeah. I was talking to a client just a couple weeks ago, who said he used to, we would sometimes give advice that he thought wasn't the best advice and he didn't do it, and then things would go poorly. And now he's like, "Whatever you guys say, I'm just gonna do it that way. Like, no matter what it is, I'm just all in." So I appreciate you sharing that. So Chris had to drop off to go get his daughter from school. We're gonna kind of circle back. Rich, I'd love to ask, you already shared a little bit, but what impact has ProShop had on the shop?

- Yeah, so, you know, you have measurable impacts and immeasurable impacts, and I would say the measurables are the efficiencies and time tracking and being able to see what jobs are costing. And the immeasurables though, are the ones that, to me that are the ones that are way more beneficial in ProShop. It sounds crazy maybe, but the fact that our employees now have a little more work-life balance because of ProShop, but they're able to better efficiently schedule their machines so they know when things are gonna be where, if they have, you know, whatever reasons, the doctor's appointments, or like Chris have to run off and get the kids, they have a lot more flexibility in, you know, what they're able to do. And just the eventually getting people to buy in, in that culture of why we went this route. To me, it's those immeasurables that were most shocking for me, Paul, after, you know, running it for, you know, a couple years, how I find to be really much more beneficial from a business standpoint. The measurables are, you'll find right away. They show up day one, once you get it implemented. But for me, yeah, Paul, it's those immeasurables.

- Thank you. Yeah. I know when we interviewed you years ago, you said it was always felt like you were treading in water, but you couldn't keep your head above water, and the change allowed you to kind of really keep that head above and not have so much stress, which is, we love to hear that. I know Hernan needs to head off, 'cause you have six members of a large prime there for an audit. That sounds intense. So yeah, let's jump to you next, Hernan, and just let you share. I know you're newer into your implementation than many of the folks on this panel, but you know, what impact have you seen, you know, in the last several months?

- Well, for sure accountability. You know, before we were, you know, on paper, logging in information, you know, and process inspections stuff and things like that, but now being digital, it is so much more transparent. And then also when we do our Gemba Walks, the guys are able to, we, you guys probably do too, we schedule all of our jobs specifically to a specific machine. And so every machinist at their station can see, you know, their current schedule, and you know what they're gonna be machining next. So we're able to discuss with them in a little bit more structured manner of, you know, what's next, what's out to look for, you know, tooling issues. You know, should we really be machining these parts at this machine, or do we move it somewhere else. So that kind of flexibility and accountability has been significant for us. We're in the midst of, you know, implementing IQA as well, so, you know, we're not certain how that's gonna play into everything, but there's so many little things that we're able to do now that, you know, we really didn't recognize before. You know, and it's been a learning process, but it's great to see the involvement as well of, you know, everyone, you know, and everyone, you know, I think, you know, being a little bit proud of themselves, of overcoming some of the initial roadblocks and fears, and everyone beginning to realize, you know, again, the importance of discipline and what benefits we get out of it.

- Yeah. I love that. We think of the process of going paperless and providing everyone almost equal access to the data, almost democratizes it, allows them to contribute, allows the employees that really care a lot to show up in their sort of full ability. And kinda like you already alluded to, some of the folks that are more cynical or just kind of, you know, just the clock punchers, it's very apparent right away, which ones aren't a really great cultural fit for you.

- Exactly.

- Yeah. That's awesome. Thank you for sharing that. David, let's jump back to you about some of the impacts that ProShop's had on your shop, and maybe just a little bit about what advice you'd give to other shops as well.

- Okay. Yeah. So again, I mentioned before, every area was, you know, was improved, but one of the probably personal experience, since I'm a quality manager, and I do, you know, have to be there in front of the auditor, just audits just became a lot easier. You know, I remember my first audit at Campbell. I was, you know, it was my first one ever, actually. I was just all over the place, you know, trying to get documents for the auditor, trying to remember, you know, where to find things. It was just a, you know, it was just a first bad experience for an audit. Then my second audit was, you know, in ProShop. It was a little bit better. I had more experience where to find things. You know, third, fourth audit, it just kept getting faster and faster. You know, it just get- I noticed the auditor, just trying to find, you know, time to fill in, you know, "Okay, let's take a 10 minute break." You know, just every document that he wanted to see is just a couple clicks away. You, know, just how highly customizable ProShop is, you know, to again, to make it work for you, and in an effective way. You know, it's just, again, it's just a big, big help. So again, audits are probably my biggest, you know, benefit that I see for myself, again, 'cause I'm the one who has to be there. The other one, again, I think Hernan said it, you know, chasing paper's just a waste of time, you know. I don't remember when's the last time we had to ask, "Oh, where's this work order?" or "What is the status of this work order." Having to, you know, go out there in the shop and actually, you know, physically looking at where you are, you know, how many parts are left to be machined, or just all of that stuff, you know. That's pretty much, I mean, we don't do that anymore, right? So again-

- Beautiful thing.

- One. Yep. One of the, another, you know, great, great benefit for us. So yeah. And just say the other question? Was-

- Oh, it was just, what other, what advice would you give to shops? And I think you've already kind of, you know, in your answer shared, you know, if they're looking to make audits easier, if they're looking to have more real-time statuses, but-

- Yeah. So just again, another one, just make sure you watch all the webinars for sure. That has helped me, you know, a lot.

- You mean the client ones?

- The ProShop webinars.

- Yeah.

- Yeah. You guys just doing amazing work, you know, putting out webinars that really, you know, just a lot of value, easy to understand. And again, all that has helped me, you know, again, understand the system and how to just keep growing. Again, ProShop is just there waiting for you to, you know, just to grow into it and just make it, you know, as effective as you can make it for your company. So...

- Thank you, David. Tyler, I'd love to jump over to you. Just talk a little bit about impact and advice, besides don't make your own custom system and be reliant on one developer.

- Right. Yeah. I mean, as the impact that we've seen is just the availability of whatever information you want. I mean, there are very few questions that you can ask that ProShop can't answer. And so, I mean, that just makes life, you know, a lot smoother. It makes work, I think more fun, too, for people. I mean, we've got one guy here who's like a ninja on the screen, he's got three monitors and, you know, ProShop open pretty much on like all of them, and he's bouncing back and forth, and- But yeah, I mean, it's just, I think I already mentioned, like inventory control is something we didn't have, now we have that. You know, job costing is not something that we had at all, but now, you know, the guys who do our quotes, they can go back and look at profitability of past jobs and pricing for things like materials and processing. And it's very easy for them to get at that information, whereas it wasn't before. So I would also say I'm looking forward to the impacts that ProShop will have, because we are a small company and I know that this was grown within a small company, and that company grew to be about, I think it was 80 employees, right?

- Yeah. About that.

- About 80 employees. And it's, you know, it's a aerospace and medical device company, right? You guys? Yeah. So pretty much like the same industry that we're in, with the same sort of problems that we're gonna face. And, you know, there's a lot of stuff in ProShop that we haven't actually utilized yet. And I'm actually excited for that because I think it's almost kinda like having somebody guide your path a little bit. If, you know, if we're gonna go the route of like really controlling our tooling better, you know, I know that there's a module for us to take advantage of, and I don't kind of have to invent the system myself. I can just, I can do it. So it's a system that will grow with us, and that's exciting. As far as advice is concerned, Paul, you already mentioned one, you know, like resist the urge to do it in-house, although you were successful at doing that. But I would just say, I think other people already mentioned it, just make sure that there's a strong commitment from management, 'cause switching an ERP is really hard for everybody. I mean, 'cause everybody's gonna be learning how to use and interact with the new system. ERPs are complex, you know, and ProShop's no exception to that. Like, I would say it's pretty, pretty easy to use, but there's a lot to it, and, you know, you need to, management needs to demonstrate full commitment to implementing it. I know that you guys tell all of your clients to have the ProShop champion, that one person who's kind of in charge of just encouraging everyone to use the system or the go-to guy for the answer. I think that's really good too, because it's good to have somebody that sees how all of the pieces come together. And yeah, somebody else already mentioned it, but make sure you take the path of least resistance. So if, you know, if ProShop's telling you that, you know, this is the way that you need to use this system, or this is the way you need to use this feature, use it that way, because we've been bit a couple times by trying to be clever and just not realizing that, you know, we were doing something that we shouldn't have done. So, yeah.

- Thank you. Let's see here. Kody, I'd love to have you share just a little bit about advice for- I mean, you guys were one of the quickest and smoothest implementation, you know, you were like three months and you were done. So what advice would you give to shops implementing a new system.

- Yes, I'll piggyback off of Tyler, and just say it's the buy-in. You need a 100% buy-in from your key leadership people that's gonna be heavily involved in implementation. And I think that was such a big thing for us to implement so fast, and then spread kinda like wildfire through the shop. I didn't force it upon anybody. I didn't say this is what we're doing. I made sure that, you know, the key people that were gonna be involved in implementation and making sure this thing runs right, I made sure they were 100% on board with it. That's why it took us so long to evaluate it and to finally pull the trigger. I knew this was gonna be a big thing within the shop and a big change, and just having that 100% buy-in, that was the major thing.

- Yeah. Yeah, and I think also just from what I observed a bit from the outside, just really relentless execution to just do it quickly and smoothly and thoroughly. I think that's one of your talents, personally, and that extended to the whole team. And obviously your owners had complete buy-in and trust of what you were doing. We have a few questions coming in. I'd love to kind of move over to those. Someone said, "Sorry I had to miss a big chunk of this, so it's already addressed, why is digital transformation such a blind spot for leadership teams? Having a digital foundation assets like these systems should be seen as adding immense value, but rarely are they seen this way." Anyone wanna jump on that one?

- I can answer.

- Okay.

- Because they're not the ones using it.

- Mm. Right.

- I mean, if you're not the one that's actually using it, sometimes you don't immediately see the value.

- Yeah.

- I said this to you earlier. I'm doing every click from estimate to packing stuff, right?

- Right.

- So, with someone like that, it's obvious.

- Right. Yeah, that's a good one. I mean, sometimes we have owners that they say, "I don't even need a login to the system, 'cause I don't deal with any of that stuff." And while that might be the case, that, and you know that they're not doing the jobs of the people doing the work, being curious and understanding really what are the pain points, what are the frustrations, what are the wastes that are happening on a daily basis? Maybe Rich, you could share, since you were not an owner or as much in senior leadership when you made that change, but you drove the, you know, you drove the initiative to change. What was that like?

- Yeah. And what's funny is you're correct. Our owners have never been in ProShop. They're very much involved with decisions, but just not the day to day activities within the business. So getting them to buy into it was them understanding exactly that: our frustrations that we had with our day to days. We'd have daily meetings about why these, you know, however many orders are past due. And why are we not able to chip into these? And we, you know, we knocked three off and add three more, you know, and it was just everything around what we were doing was just failures. We were a successful business. We made money. But the business wasn't failing from the perspectives of giving our customers what they needed. And ultimately that's why we're in business, is supplying products to our customers for what they need. And when you fail your customers, they have the ability to, you know, search other resources for that product. So from the outside of things, you know, we got them to understand where we were failing and why we needed to go this route. They didn't hesitate much. Like I said, a couple of 'em came up to look at the system and understood what I was seeing and how it could benefit us. And it's really about that, getting them to understand the buy-in and how it's gonna benefit the company as a whole. And so, yeah, that's kind of my story, Paul.

- Okay. I appreciate that. Another question here, this actually from an existing client. "We're using ProShop, but still use a single piece of paper as a traveler or drawing to initiate and track a job. Are you guys truly paperless on the shop floor?" And he says, as well, "We sometimes get orders that might be a hundred work orders, and it'd be nice not to print all those drawings off or travelers off." I know my sort of default advice would be, you know, don't print off the drawing or a single piece of paper. You don't actually need something, you should not need something physical to initiate things. Like the dashboards to have it show up for purchasing, for planning, for cutting raw material, should all happen on the dashboards. The first time you have something physical probably is when you need to pair up material with the job for traceability. And in those cases using one of the labels, you know, work order labels, box labels, to attach to that carton, to that bar of material, whatever it might be. That's the first time you need to actually print something physical, so you have that traceability. Any other comments or feedback about that from anyone? Cody?

- Yeah, we use, so we laminated a bunch of sheets of paper, hundreds of them, and it basically just says work order number, and then quantity. We don't put revs, we don't put due dates, and don't put anything that might change. And it basically sits at the saw or sits at receiving area. And once material comes in, he fills that out and puts it with the material, and that follows throughout the shop. If something leaves to go out to our outside process, that piece of paper just goes back to the receiving area for when something comes back and you just use another one. So we just constantly reuse those laminates.

- You just wipe 'em clean at the end? Yeah. I mean, that's what actually what we did at PRO CNC. And I love the part about don't put things that'll change. Don't put due dates, don't put revs, 'cause then you'll have to go chase it down and change it if you have a change. So...

- Yeah, the whole point of being paperless is not having to go find things, chase paper, so...

- David, I saw you unmute for a second. Did you wanna share?

- Yeah. There's three pieces of papers that, excuse me, that we still kind of print out every now and then. The print is gonna be one. We do still allow our machinists to print out the drawing. It's just, there's something that they feel like they need right in front of them, you know, to hold. So we do allow for that. And it's mainly when they're doing the, you know, the first operation, when they're setting up the machine, that, you know, they need to verify some dimensions that they need to carry that drawing over to an inspection equipment. So that's one of the cases where they'll print out the drawing. Some of our drawings are, you know, gonna be multiple pages, three plus pages. So they wanna hold it. So we're still, you know, let that happen. The other one is gonna be the label, which is normal. I mean, everything has to be labeled, so we do print that label. So that goes in there. The third one, and it's the one that we're, that I'm really trying to kind of get 'em not to do it. It's gonna be the, like an IPC template where they record their dimensions as they're measuring. We are trying to have everything, you know, our in-process inspections be fully on the CMM, so that way they don't have to print that template and record their data, because ultimately they're gonna have to go to their workstation and input that data. So we're trying to have it that they, you know, put it on the CMM, save that report from the CMM, and upload it to the operation for the IPC. So again, those two things, the third one is the one that I'm really trying to get rid of it, just because it is just, again, unnecessary to have them to, you know, go to a high gauge and measure their part when we can put it again on the CMM and save that report and upload it to the operation. So, yeah.

- Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. Yeah. The gentleman that asked the question said he just got burned on a rev change mid-job and the paper didn't get caught, so definitely a big upvote for not putting revisions on the things out on the shop floor. I will say, and I know Hernan had to jump off to go to his audit, but in his shop and many of our other shops, I know, Susan, you've done this, is using two monitors at each screen. And Hernan's even going with like a 40-inch TV above the main monitor, so he could really zoom into those drawings, look at page three of this one detail. I know with my, you know, old eyes now, I have to wear reading glasses, you know, if I wanna look at a drawing, and so being able to really zoom into a big image of a detailed, you know, multi-page drawing can sometimes be really nice. And, but I totally get, it's a hard thing to, you know, just to hold something in your hand is a, sometimes a comfort thing that it's hard to get people to- Oh, there you go, CJ. Look at that. The mobile station. Nice. That looks awesome. So we are getting up to the top of the hour here. Any last comments that anyone wants to make before we kind of wrap things up? Yes, Susan.

- I just wanna mention, I don't, you talked about your customer service, okay, and having past software and had horrendous customer service. This is probably one of the nicest things that for me as being smaller and having an issue, I can contact your team and they'll get back to you. And they even let you know that they'll get back to you. I mean, if your customer service is, from your previous software is horrendous, it's not like this at all. It's 360. And I think for that, because we, in the beginning, you don't know everything, and your team, even now, five years later, I still contact, say, "I forgot. How can you do this?" And your team is up and running. Tremendous. I just wanted to say that, that was probably one of the best things about ProShop for me was customer service and helping you to succeed. And that's why I feel, that's how I feel about the software. We're succeeding because of your help and your knowledge. And I wanted to thank you for your best customer service team. Thanks.

- Thank you so much.

- Yeah, I-

- I got something I could- Oh, go ahead.

- I'll be quick. Yeah, I would the thing I would say. I've been using ProShop now for 13 years, and the thing I appreciate the most, along with the customer service like Susan, is your team is never satisfied with ProShop being where it is. Like they are always improving it, adding features, making things easier for us. If I could take a snapshot of where we were 13 years ago to today, the features and everything that has come into play over that 13 years, just that much more time, and waste has been eliminated and things that we, you never realize would make your life easier, because it was just so much, you know, everything was easy 13 years ago, but the fact is you guys just aren't ever satisfied with ProShop being complete, and I think that's a huge benefit, as well with the software.

- Thank you, Rich. Appreciate that. And yeah, Tyler.

- Yeah, kind of along the same lines as to what Rich was saying, we're really happy to see just all of the effort that ProShop's been putting into things like CMMC and other sort of, you know, difficult compliance issues. It's, we feel like this is a system that is gonna grow, you know, with our company or enable our company to grow. So if anyone else is facing, you know, requirements like that, I think that it is gonna be hard to find a system that's gonna beat ProShop. So...

- Thank you very much. I know some of our folks have to jump off, so to be respectful for everyone, we're gonna wrap things up here, but thank you all so much. I look forward to giving you hugs in Chicago and having spent some time with you. Thank you for attending. Thanks for your questions today. Again, if you're gonna be in Chicago, we'd love to have you come by our booth. And if you are around on Thursday, we will have a happy hour nearby. So come by the booth and sign up for that. And thank you all again. I really appreciate everything you've shared today. Hopefully folks took some good wisdom away from that, regardless of where their situation is today. Just any major change or problems they might be facing. So thanks again, everyone. And we'll see you all very soon in Chicago. Have a good rest of your day.

- Bye.

- Bye.

- We are live and people are streamin' in, so we'll give people a few minutes here, but I am lookin' forward to today. This is gonna be a super exciting and very different webinar than we've ever done before. So appreciate, first of all, my guests. Kind of amazing to have- I'm gonna change my view to gallery view so I can see everyone equally here. Thank you to my guests for being able to, for joining me today. Thank you for all those that are attending. I'm gonna start as I often do, for those attending, I would love if you would put in the chat where you're coming in from and where you're joining us, what city, state, or country, and just see the diversity of where everyone is at. I love that. Des Moines, Iowa. Thank you, Todd, for kicking us off. Vancouver, BC. Awesome. So we are talking today- West Liberty, Ohio, Titusville, Florida. Oh, all right. There we go. Starting to flow in. Thank you, Dallas. Thank you, CJ. Awesome. Kicking butt from Denver, Colorado. Hey, Jessica. Good to see you here. All right. So we are, we have big sort of Brady Bunch panelists here. The 3x3 grid with a bunch of shops that have made the bold move of going paperless, really changing what their shops, how their shops work and what they do, which can be a scary journey, I'm sure. Wow, Netherlands. Nice. Thank you, joining us from Europe. South Africa. Fantastic. Wow. Awesome. So it really is a global audience here today. So I'm gonna start. We have a list of four questions we're gonna go through today. Let me just pull those up for myself here. So we're gonna be asking for each shop to introduce themselves, a little bit about their company, and then the questions: When did you realize your shop needed to change? How did you motivate your team to be on board with that change? What impact has ProShop and going paperless had on your shop? And then what advice would you give to other shops looking to implement and make a big change like that? So, I know that we're gonna get a lot of wisdom from these folks, and again, thank you all for participating. And also just a reminder, these folks will all be at IMTS in our booth at various times of the week, so we will be posting some kind of schedule or something, so if you want to go, come talk to these folks in person, that would be super cool if you are happening to go to IMTS. At the, hopefully this sort of Q and A portion, or sort of chat portion, will take the first maybe 40 minutes and then we'll get into Q and A, so if you have questions for any one of these folks or for me, please use the Q and A feature rather than the chat feature, sometimes things get lost in the chat, and then we will get to those at the end. So I'm gonna start things off with Chris from East Branch Engineering. Chris actually has to go pick up his daughter in a little while, so he can't stay the full hour. So Chris, would love to have you first introduce yourself.

- Sure.

- And talk a little bit about why you realized you needed to change something, what was that like, what's the impact been, and what advice you'd give to other shops.

- Yeah, sure. So, as you know, you just mentioned, I work at East Branch Engineering. We're a job shop in Western Connecticut. We serve primarily local companies, so anyone we can drive to. That's kind of how we got our name is servicing the local customers. If there's an issue, we were able to literally show up at their doorstep and, you know, talk through whatever issues. You know, we run small to medium size parts. Typically the parts are stuff that nobody else wants to do. Either there was an issue in the past, there was quality issues, and we typically find a way to do it pretty, pretty well. We still have our issues, but we became known as like the problem solvers of our area. So we do anything from plastic to stainless to titanium. It really depends on the application and what they need. So, you know, a couple years ago we were running a different software, and one of the key things is we were having our management review meeting and we realized like, we're never gonna be able to grow this company the way we were running it. We had enough trouble just processing the orders. I'm not even talking about machining the orders. I'm just talking about processing. I mean, getting 'em from, you know, the purchase order onto the shop floor. I mean, we were absolutely slammed. And we said, you know, if we have any intention of growing the company, we can't keep doing this. We had some machine capacity, but it was just the front office stuff was horrendous. So that's when we, you know, at the same time, I think the first article in Modern Machine Shop came out and Paul and I did a demo and you know, it just took off from there. You know, one of the things we always talk about was that the time it took us to ship a job, especially anything with cert packets. Pulling certs packets out, we would miss shipments. The parts would be done sitting in shipping, but the cert packet would take a day to put together, and we would miss the shipment. So it was really one of the driving forces in looking for an alternative. I don't even wanna say software; it was more like a system, 'cause we knew we just couldn't keep up the way we were doing it. And once we did implement the change, you know, we didn't have so much trouble getting our guys on board, because they were frustrated with the current state back then. They were actually looking forward to having more information. So for us, the motivation to get our guys on board was actually pretty easy, 'cause they were self-motivated to do a better job.

- That's awesome.

- Yeah. I mean we had a few key people here that, you know, drove some of the changes, but we didn't really hit too much resistance with our guys on the floor. Now as to the impact ProShop has had, I think the best way to describe it is I just recently went on vacation internationally and I didn't log in once. I know, you know, it's a system that you can use remotely, but I think the fact that I didn't need to log in the week I was away was fantastic. You know, I didn't have to worry about job shipping, what was set up, what was not set up, did they need my help. You know, the system was in place and it worked, so I was able to actually enjoy my time away. You know, and it's- I, yeah, I know you like to tell people like to log in remotely and to work remotely, but for us, being able to remove myself for a week really showed the change that ProShop kind of had in our company. You know, it was no longer driven like a top-down system. You know the employees kinda- they have all the information to make the choices and decisions on their own, so it kinda like bubbles up from the bottom.

- Right. Wow. And what would you give as advice to a shop that was facing the same kind of problems you were facing, or is, you know-

- Yeah, that's actually a tough question, 'cause there's the classic answers, but I really think you have to understand the current state before you start making major changes in the company. So, you know, you can just put a new system in and expect it to make all these great changes in your company, but you know, it's a situation of garbage in, garbage out. So if you don't have the systems in place and the management in place to reinforce some of the things you wanna do, like, you know, saving certs or making sure time tracking is logged properly. No software's gonna get that right if you don't have somebody behind that, making sure that that stuff happens. So I think you really need to understand what the current state is, what the real issues are, if it's a software issue or if it's a management issue, and really understand that changing this and changing the whole system is a major change.

- Yeah. There's a lot of wisdom there. It's definitely not a straightforward, simple, super simple thing, and it's not a solution for more underlying structural issues, for sure.

- Yeah. You might see a change for a couple weeks, but then you're gonna fall back on your old ways and you're probably gonna get frustrated pretty quickly.

- Yeah. Awesome. Well thank you very much. I think you said you had about 20, 30 minutes, so hopefully we can get to some more stuff. But Tyler, I'd love to jump over and ask you to introduce your company and share when you realized your shop needed to make a change. And nice sweatshirt, by the way. I love it.

- Yeah, I was looking at my sweatshirts this morning. I figured why not wear it, you know? It's a good day, so... Yeah, so as Paul said, my name is Tyler. I work for a company, I'm the quality manager at a small aerospace machine shop called Component Products. We're located in Mukilteo, kind of really close to Paine Field, the Boeing facility up here in Everett. But this company is actually, it's a family company. My grandfather started it, I think it was late 1960s. And so we've been around for a while, and he retired in 2020 and actually transitioned ownership to me and a couple other employees, and so, you know, up until that point in time, we had been using a homegrown system that was programmed by an employee of ours. But, you know, we kind of all knew when we were taking over ownership that we were gonna need something that was gonna seriously improve the way that our company just processed jobs through the shop. Because, you know, though the system we had was good for what my grandfather was using it for, it lacked in many other areas. And I kind of also wonder if, you know, that was partially by design, because, you know, the programmer was perhaps designing the system to please the most important user, and the rest of the folks kind of got left out of it a little bit. But anyways, yeah, I mean, we all knew that we needed something because the system we had didn't have any sort of dashboards in place, that there was nothing in there for inventory control. There was no job costing, statuses like had to be updated manually in the system, and, you know, we were printing out paper travelers, and so you wouldn't update the status of those jobs until it came back into inspection. And so it's, if, you know, if you wanted to go find something on the shop floor, you would have to physically go out there and find it. So with all that, you know, being said, there really, it wasn't hard to motivate people to want the change. We all were very interested in making this improvement and kind of an interesting little fact, I actually, I'm not a machinist guy by my schooling. I actually went and got my degree in computer science and software engineering, and for my capstone project, I was actually working on like replacing our existing homegrown system with another homegrown ERP system, but you know, it turned, it quickly became apparent that that was not going to be a good idea, because, you know, if you have kind of like one programmer who's responsible for your system that's running your company, that's kind of a liability. You know, what happens if that programmer leaves. You know, are they even developing the system in such a way that it's gonna be easy to hand off to somebody else to maintain? And I also didn't have the domain expertise, so, you know, ProShop was just a big, it just made a lot of sense, because, you know, we'd be leveraging a company that was, had a ton of domain expertise and was, you know, not a liability, because, you know, they're not gonna go anywhere anytime soon.

- Awesome.

- So, yeah.

- Well, thank you. I'm gonna cut you off there and we'll get back to some of the other questions for you later. I did it with, since Chris had to leave, we kind of did all of 'em at once.

- Oh, okay.

- But thank you for sharing all that. So David, I'd like to jump over with you, if you'd introduce yourself and your company, and yeah. When did you, with your shop realize you guys needed to make a change?

- Sure. So my name is David Moso, and I'm the QA production manager for Campbell Engineering in Lake Forest, California. We came from using E2, and again, I've been with the company for a long time. I did part-time, about four years ago I started full-time, and that's when I kind of started getting involved more and more with their, you know, just the entire system at Campbell. I heard that we were moving from E2 to ProShop. To me, it was just like, you know, "Okay. A good change." I saw what it was happening, but I was just kind of like on the sidelines, just, you know, just looking at people drive the change. That, you know, that kind of, it did mess us up in the beginning. We've used it for three years, but just recently with, you know, again, having different people drive the change and get everyone on board, it just has made, you know, made it a lot easier. We have learned, I think, a lot more in the past, you know, nine months than, you know, when in the beginning of the implementation. But yeah, that's where we came from. Again, E2 wasn't giving us support or wasn't, you know, taking our suggestions to, you know, for improvements or things that we just needed to get it right. So we basically just outgrew our previous system, and that's, I guess that's when they decided, you know, what it's time to change and it's time to, you know, get things under control. 'Cause again, a lot of stuff was just all over the place. We kind of, we're always talking about being audit-ready, you know, then always, you know, just be ready for visitors, for anything, right? It wasn't the case before, you know, right now we're moving towards that, where everything is in place, you can see real time or, you know, information regarding POs, machine schedules, just anything that affects, you know, your day to day, you know, activities. So you have all of that, and you know, probably, again, major impact, you know, employee training, you know, you know where everyone's at, they can see what they need to do, you know, to keep growing, just, you know, just again, every area in our company was improved, definitely for, you know, after changing to ProShop.

- Thank you, David. Yeah. Being audit-ready includes having all your training records in order. So I'd love to jump over to Rich, and ask you that same question about when you realized you needed a change.

- Yeah. Hi. I'm Rich Olson, vice president, Sealth Aero Marine in Mill Creek, Washington, just north of Seattle. Mine's kind of a unique story. Paul ran a small shop called PRO CNC and we would outsource products to him. We got to know each other over the years, and they had some demand for kind of some high-end programmers. I had some free time, and so I worked the weekends up at PRO CNC, and while there ran across this homegrown software that they were using. I was like, "Wow, this is pretty neat. Nothing that we have had," and really didn't think much of it other than, and at that time I didn't even really know it was homegrown. I was just, I realized PRO CNC and Paul and their team had, you know, had advanced well beyond what we were doing, living in the life of paper, and just everything up there was just so efficiently ran, and tools, you just knew where everything was, fixed rings and tools, and it was just so clean, and just nothing that I had ever experienced. And at that time I was not in the vice president role. I was just a machinist in production, and didn't even know the in-depth impacts of ProShop, but just knew they were so far ahead of where we were with how they were managing jobs, that I thought, "Wow, we're really missing out." And joking, Paul, I had mentioned, "Oh boy. Would you guys ever wanna sell the software?" And he was like, "No, this isn't for us." So I went back to work. I had finished my time with PRO CNC and I was just back at Sealth Aero and I was looking at softwares and Paul called me randomly out of the blue one day to say, "Hey, we are considering jumping into the software business. Would you guys be willing to bring it into your shop?" I didn't hesitate. I had to talk with management to say, "Hey, this is something we need. You gotta trust me on it." I had our team come up to PRO CNC and look at it as well. We brought it in and it had instant impacts for us. You know, you just don't realize the day to day when you're just living with what you know. When you realize there's something better out there for you, how much it's gonna impact you for the positive, I mean, for most things, and ProShop is that for us. Our return on investments and things like that were measurable instantly for us. I argue to this day that it might have still be our most financial beneficial move we've made for our company by going to ProShop. The fact is, is you know, we just had so many people that chase jobs all day, every day, and once you are able to eliminate that area of waste, you realize opportunities to grow your company. And so that's when I realized, you know, ProShop was the right move for us.

- Well, thank you, Rich. Yeah, you definitely hold a special place in our history. And quite honestly, it was your results that gave us the confidence to really go full steam ahead and sell the shop and go into software full time. So thank you for sharing that. I'd love to move into our next question. How did you motivate your team to be on board with the change? And Hernan, I'd love to start with you. Share a little bit about your company and talk about how you motivated your team.

- Sure. Hernan Ricaurte. Ricaurte Precision is the name of our company. I'm second generation. I actually started my career just not working in machine shop. I was, my father ran the machine shop, I was off in Japan doing medical device and healthcare. He was thinking of selling the business, I started to look at it, and I decided to give it a shot. So that was in 2016.

- Brave man.

- So, yeah. So, you know, it's been a journey. A lot of learning to do, but I was from day one, really cognizant of the need for discipline, accountability, processes and procedures and things like that, and so that's been our focus. You know, in listening to, you know, Chris and Tyler and Rich and everyone, I'm always curious to see, you know, you guys are, what you guys are- I totally agree with everything you guys are saying, but I'm just always curious as to how many people, you know, are in the organizations, because, you know, every size is, and requires different resources and, you know, and the bigger you get, the more important culture comes into the equation, I think. But so we have 38 employees, and it hasn't been so much of, you know, maybe what Chris and Tyler maybe alluded to as well of, you know, the team being, "Hey, you know, let's go for something digital and something new that we can all implement." It was just more me and our management, trying to see what tools we can use in order to drive accountability, discipline, you know, efficiency and continuous improvement. So that's where we were looking for different options. We were also working with a paper-based ERP system. Digital ERP opportunities is like a no brainer for us. You know, what Rich was mentioning, you know, chasing down paper, I mean, what a waste of time. Having things, you know, at your disposal and on the fingertips is an absolute must. But yeah, I mean, it's definitely helped us, you know, on the accountability standpoint, traceability of jobs, you know, who's doing what, and, you know, it has been an effort, because this system is robust. You know, it has taken us longer than anticipated to, you know, get everything implemented, but it's for a reason, you know? And, you know, it's worked really, really well for us, and, you know, it's great to see. You know, even the guys that are out there, that are a little bit apprehensive in that, seeing them, you know, putting their notes in, and, you know, understanding and appreciating, you know, what efficiencies are realized when you become a little bit more disciplined. And ProShop is a tool that allows us to do that. Did you have a, I imagine, a range of folks that some, that really sort of crave that discipline and others that are a little bit more, you know, off the hip kind of thing,

- Yeah. Absolutely.

- and pushed back on that?

- Absolutely, yeah.

- Especially on those folks that weren't kinda as bought in, how did you go about approaching getting them on board?

- Yeah. Like with anything, right? You choose the guys that are easiest to work with, you know, and your true leaders. You know, and I think that's something that a lot of us, and, you know, especially in small businesses that we all have struggle with, because we don't all have the luxury of having, you know, finance expertise or finance department, HR department, what have you, but you just always, you know, need to avoid the square peg round hole situation. And so that's where sort of our leadership has driven, is the guys that have the same vision and appreciation for continuous improvement. So we got those guys involved first, of course, and communicated with them very, very closely in order to get their input as we implemented throughout the shop. So, you know, putting everyone, you know, and thinking that everyone's gonna be as receptive as the others and things like that never works. Get your most receptive guys and understanding guys, and most open-to-discipline guys involved first, and then make it as unintimidating as possible to those guys that are the cynical ones. And that's another thing too, is, you know, and I don't mean to crap on too much, but, you know, in our company, we've got, you know, the four C's, you know, the cynical guys, the complacent guys that are, you know, often, you know, sucked in by the cynical guys. And you've got the guys that are, you know, more dedicated and, you know, and so forth. So, you know, the guys that are cynical and stuff like that, you know, we have a pretty strong management style where we just don't put up with it. So, you know, we've let go of, you know, six, seven people over the last, you know, three months.

- Oh, wow.

- Because we just need to drive efficiency, and it's just not worth our time, and it's not worth, you know, risking the energy and the, you know, motivation of, you know, some key members with bad apples. So, you know, that's all been part of it, you know, and ProShop has helped us to like, weed that out as well.

- Right. Wow. Thank you for sharing that. I know that's a hard decision to make, especially with as hard as it is to find employees right now, so-

- Right.

- But yeah, making sure those bad apples aren't spoiling the whole lot is certainly important. Thank you for sharing that, Hernan. I'd love to jump over to you, Susan. How did you motivate your team? First of all, share us a little bit about Frey and Weiss, and how did you motivate your team when you decided to make the change?

- Hi, I'm Susan from Frey and Weiss. We're outside Chicago in Illinois. We're a outsource manufacturer. We've been in business over 50 years. My dad's a Frey, so he started it. I'm second generation.

- And what size is your company? And if, for maybe the rest of you, if you'd put in the chat, I'd love to you just put in the chat, what size, to answer Hernan's question.

- We are around 20 people now. 20 people, so we're on the smaller end, and for us, I mean, we've been on it since 2017, so when the IMTS show came in 2016, we were so frustrated with the software that we had. My sister, also my partner, she's not here, decided to find something else. And then we were able to, since we had a small size, take everybody to the show and say, "Hey, look. We need some communication." For us, that's what the biggest thing is, is the communication. And everybody was on board with the software. Everybody loved it because the software that we had before was only, you know, managers and us, you know, so we knew he had a better way. However, everybody was on board, and so we installed it and then some people weren't on board. And all I can say is we communicated, "This is your job." And in order for us to stay in business, we have to do our jobs through the software as they have to. And all I could say is the people that didn't support ProShop, we no longer employ, because it wasn't part, I agree with the apple, that everybody had to partake. Even though they may not like it, this is their job now. And I could say, especially with, you know, employees wanna work any hours, and we're open to that, to any hours, and this was a great way for all of us to communicate anywhere, you know? And so, and that was the basis of our com- and we could communicate, and that's how we motivated people, saying that we could look at areas that we could stay in business because it's helping us to cost correctly, train people. And also, I'm not a machinist. I wasn't a machinist. I was always in the office, and we have a lot of repeat business, and all that information, instead of it's in the drawer or in machinist's head, it's in the software. So, just communication. And I think that was really how we motivated our employees. And plus the bosses were happy. So if we're happy, they're happy. So, okay? So that's what I would say, and everybody, and being even smaller, we have less people, but we do the same output. So it has helped us, you know, especially with the COVID, working anywhere, at home. I mean, we could not have done that with the last software, because everything is on paper. So it's, you know, that was a best way for us to transfer information to everybody, whether you are machine maintenance or you're the salesperson, and everybody in between, you know, so...

- Thank you, Susan. I appreciate that. Yes. I still remember fondly sitting with you and Linda, your sister, at the 2016 IMTS.

- Yes. And it was great. And we love it. We should have found you in 2014.

- We weren't there in 2014, so...

- Okay. So it was good for us. Thank you.

- All right. Kody, let's jump over to you. Please share a bit about Coastal, and yeah, what your change was like to get your team on board and anything else you'd like to share.

- Yeah. So I'm Kody Guidry. I'm the operations manager at Coastal. We're mainly a job shop down in Louisiana. Mostly do work for oil and gas, but in the past year or two kind of diversified into space and defense industry. So, and-

- What size are you?

- 50 employees, 22 machines. So we were actually introduced to ProShop through an employee interview. We were interviewing an employee that was at another shop that had, they implemented ProShop over there, and he just started showing it to us on his phone right there. And we really didn't know we needed something until I started looking into ProShop, basically. Everything was just there. We, things we couldn't do before that we just thought was the norm, we found that ProShop could do. And we evaluated ProShop probably for about a year. We went to 2018 IMTS. I remember going to the booths over there and visiting Yelp and everything, and it took us so long to evaluate and make the change because we had some people who were not necessarily on board right away. They just didn't want the change. They could kind of see it, but they didn't wanna make the change and lose all the data and everything and go through that whole process. So my move with that was I took him to IMTS. I took him to the ProShop booth, you know, I let him, introduced him to everybody, you know, see the system, and then anytime something would come up in our system that we had trouble doing, or we had a problem or anything, I'd say, "Well, ProShop can do this," you know, or I'd say, "Look, ProShop can do it this way, man. It'd be so much faster and so much easier, so much more efficient." So that's basically how I would motivate people to get 'em on board is I would wait for them to complain about doing something in the system a way we couldn't do it, and say, "Look, this is how ProShop can do it. Look how much easier it would be, how much more efficient it would be, you know, if we moved systems, and we can do this." And finally he gave in and they were like, "Okay, yeah, we just gotta switch." And now that guy, our sales manager, he, which is the one who didn't want change, he loves ProShop. He tells me all the time that, you know, "I could never go back. There's no way. I can't believe we waited a year, you know, to make that change." And so, yeah, I mean, it's been a big plus for us. We've been, you know, improved in every aspect of the shop. So it's been a huge thing.

- How was the adoption process for your machinists?

- So we actually had even a couple machinists that were at the shop that had ProShop too. So that helped also. Yeah. So I think we had two other machinists that were already working here that came from that same shop that that other employee came from. And so it helped having them on board and knowing how the system worked, but we were already time tracking and everything before, so that wasn't a big change for them. We were real strict on doing that in the previous system. So once they understood about, you know, you can do set up sheets digitally and all that stuff, and they wouldn't have to fill out papers and all that, it got through pretty quick.

- Yeah. I appreciate you bringing up the question about time tracking. Sometimes that simultaneously is a big shift for people if they have not been doing that in the past. And just even that alone, regardless of what software they're putting it into, is a big cultural change. So yeah. Thanks for mentioning that.

- Yeah, no problem.

- CJ, I'd love to- You have a unique story and unique position here, being a one-man shop with your highly-automated equipment. So yeah. Introduce yourself, your company. And obviously there was no convincing anyone else to get on board, so why don't you just share a little bit about why you decided you needed some change and the impact?

- Okay. Thanks, Paul. My name is CJ Abraham. I'm the owner of Precision Product Development LLC. I started my business in 2017 with a VF-2 and a dream. I was originally making tools and fixtures for my one customer that I was doing- Well, I was working for Autodesk during the day, and machining at night. My customer decided that I needed to start making the products, and that was a huge change. I went from being a machine shop to a supplier almost overnight. Buying ProShop was, I had nothing before, I had the benefit of having nothing, really. And so the goal was to start off on the right foot, and ProShop was the right solution. It was the best solution. And I had worked in a couple shops before. In my other experience, I had seen a lot of other implementations of ERP systems that didn't look right. And some of the things that Chris said totally resonate with me, where all of the documentation is taken care of automatically. It's all, it's basically procured for me to click. And my customer has said that I'm like a one-man machine arm, because everything that ProShop does for me, just it's like a force multiplier. It's an employee multiplier. So that was the driving factor in buying ProShop. And man, it, honestly, I don't have much more to add beyond that unless you have some specific questions, but-

- Well, I think, yeah, thank you for sharing that. I think you, you know, you're in a unique position, obviously being a one-man shop, now with two of your cool Willemins running all the time, unattended. Amazing stuff. But just, I think the wisdom of putting that sort of structural component in place of all your data, all your information, you know, it's not a decision that a lot of one-man shops decide, to put in an ERP system, right? It's kinda counterintuitive.

- One way I could also put this, is that I'm a good machinist, right? But before buying ProShop, I wasn't that great of a businessman. I wasn't- I knew how to run machines, not how to run a business. And ProShop filled that gap. And actually, I had written down some answers for the other questions, and one is what would you give advice to other shops they were implementing ProShop? With the ProShop I had a lot of guidance. Like my implementation specialist gave me so much guidance. And not just on ProShop, but running a business. And so ProShop really fills a lot of that knowledge gap for me, personally.

- Right. Thank you. Yeah. I was talking to a client just a couple weeks ago, who said he used to, we would sometimes give advice that he thought wasn't the best advice and he didn't do it, and then things would go poorly. And now he's like, "Whatever you guys say, I'm just gonna do it that way. Like, no matter what it is, I'm just all in." So I appreciate you sharing that. So Chris had to drop off to go get his daughter from school. We're gonna kind of circle back. Rich, I'd love to ask, you already shared a little bit, but what impact has ProShop had on the shop?

- Yeah, so, you know, you have measurable impacts and immeasurable impacts, and I would say the measurables are the efficiencies and time tracking and being able to see what jobs are costing. And the immeasurables though, are the ones that, to me that are the ones that are way more beneficial in ProShop. It sounds crazy maybe, but the fact that our employees now have a little more work-life balance because of ProShop, but they're able to better efficiently schedule their machines so they know when things are gonna be where, if they have, you know, whatever reasons, the doctor's appointments, or like Chris have to run off and get the kids, they have a lot more flexibility in, you know, what they're able to do. And just the eventually getting people to buy in, in that culture of why we went this route. To me, it's those immeasurables that were most shocking for me, Paul, after, you know, running it for, you know, a couple years, how I find to be really much more beneficial from a business standpoint. The measurables are, you'll find right away. They show up day one, once you get it implemented. But for me, yeah, Paul, it's those immeasurables.

- Thank you. Yeah. I know when we interviewed you years ago, you said it was always felt like you were treading in water, but you couldn't keep your head above water, and the change allowed you to kind of really keep that head above and not have so much stress, which is, we love to hear that. I know Hernan needs to head off, 'cause you have six members of a large prime there for an audit. That sounds intense. So yeah, let's jump to you next, Hernan, and just let you share. I know you're newer into your implementation than many of the folks on this panel, but you know, what impact have you seen, you know, in the last several months?

- Well, for sure accountability. You know, before we were, you know, on paper, logging in information, you know, and process inspections stuff and things like that, but now being digital, it is so much more transparent. And then also when we do our Gemba Walks, the guys are able to, we, you guys probably do too, we schedule all of our jobs specifically to a specific machine. And so every machinist at their station can see, you know, their current schedule, and you know what they're gonna be machining next. So we're able to discuss with them in a little bit more structured manner of, you know, what's next, what's out to look for, you know, tooling issues. You know, should we really be machining these parts at this machine, or do we move it somewhere else. So that kind of flexibility and accountability has been significant for us. We're in the midst of, you know, implementing IQA as well, so, you know, we're not certain how that's gonna play into everything, but there's so many little things that we're able to do now that, you know, we really didn't recognize before. You know, and it's been a learning process, but it's great to see the involvement as well of, you know, everyone, you know, and everyone, you know, I think, you know, being a little bit proud of themselves, of overcoming some of the initial roadblocks and fears, and everyone beginning to realize, you know, again, the importance of discipline and what benefits we get out of it.

- Yeah. I love that. We think of the process of going paperless and providing everyone almost equal access to the data, almost democratizes it, allows them to contribute, allows the employees that really care a lot to show up in their sort of full ability. And kinda like you already alluded to, some of the folks that are more cynical or just kind of, you know, just the clock punchers, it's very apparent right away, which ones aren't a really great cultural fit for you.

- Exactly.

- Yeah. That's awesome. Thank you for sharing that. David, let's jump back to you about some of the impacts that ProShop's had on your shop, and maybe just a little bit about what advice you'd give to other shops as well.

- Okay. Yeah. So again, I mentioned before, every area was, you know, was improved, but one of the probably personal experience, since I'm a quality manager, and I do, you know, have to be there in front of the auditor, just audits just became a lot easier. You know, I remember my first audit at Campbell. I was, you know, it was my first one ever, actually. I was just all over the place, you know, trying to get documents for the auditor, trying to remember, you know, where to find things. It was just a, you know, it was just a first bad experience for an audit. Then my second audit was, you know, in ProShop. It was a little bit better. I had more experience where to find things. You know, third, fourth audit, it just kept getting faster and faster. You know, it just get- I noticed the auditor, just trying to find, you know, time to fill in, you know, "Okay, let's take a 10 minute break." You know, just every document that he wanted to see is just a couple clicks away. You, know, just how highly customizable ProShop is, you know, to again, to make it work for you, and in an effective way. You know, it's just, again, it's just a big, big help. So again, audits are probably my biggest, you know, benefit that I see for myself, again, 'cause I'm the one who has to be there. The other one, again, I think Hernan said it, you know, chasing paper's just a waste of time, you know. I don't remember when's the last time we had to ask, "Oh, where's this work order?" or "What is the status of this work order." Having to, you know, go out there in the shop and actually, you know, physically looking at where you are, you know, how many parts are left to be machined, or just all of that stuff, you know. That's pretty much, I mean, we don't do that anymore, right? So again-

- Beautiful thing.

- One. Yep. One of the, another, you know, great, great benefit for us. So yeah. And just say the other question? Was-

- Oh, it was just, what other, what advice would you give to shops? And I think you've already kind of, you know, in your answer shared, you know, if they're looking to make audits easier, if they're looking to have more real-time statuses, but-

- Yeah. So just again, another one, just make sure you watch all the webinars for sure. That has helped me, you know, a lot.

- You mean the client ones?

- The ProShop webinars.

- Yeah.

- Yeah. You guys just doing amazing work, you know, putting out webinars that really, you know, just a lot of value, easy to understand. And again, all that has helped me, you know, again, understand the system and how to just keep growing. Again, ProShop is just there waiting for you to, you know, just to grow into it and just make it, you know, as effective as you can make it for your company. So...

- Thank you, David. Tyler, I'd love to jump over to you. Just talk a little bit about impact and advice, besides don't make your own custom system and be reliant on one developer.

- Right. Yeah. I mean, as the impact that we've seen is just the availability of whatever information you want. I mean, there are very few questions that you can ask that ProShop can't answer. And so, I mean, that just makes life, you know, a lot smoother. It makes work, I think more fun, too, for people. I mean, we've got one guy here who's like a ninja on the screen, he's got three monitors and, you know, ProShop open pretty much on like all of them, and he's bouncing back and forth, and- But yeah, I mean, it's just, I think I already mentioned, like inventory control is something we didn't have, now we have that. You know, job costing is not something that we had at all, but now, you know, the guys who do our quotes, they can go back and look at profitability of past jobs and pricing for things like materials and processing. And it's very easy for them to get at that information, whereas it wasn't before. So I would also say I'm looking forward to the impacts that ProShop will have, because we are a small company and I know that this was grown within a small company, and that company grew to be about, I think it was 80 employees, right?

- Yeah. About that.

- About 80 employees. And it's, you know, it's a aerospace and medical device company, right? You guys? Yeah. So pretty much like the same industry that we're in, with the same sort of problems that we're gonna face. And, you know, there's a lot of stuff in ProShop that we haven't actually utilized yet. And I'm actually excited for that because I think it's almost kinda like having somebody guide your path a little bit. If, you know, if we're gonna go the route of like really controlling our tooling better, you know, I know that there's a module for us to take advantage of, and I don't kind of have to invent the system myself. I can just, I can do it. So it's a system that will grow with us, and that's exciting. As far as advice is concerned, Paul, you already mentioned one, you know, like resist the urge to do it in-house, although you were successful at doing that. But I would just say, I think other people already mentioned it, just make sure that there's a strong commitment from management, 'cause switching an ERP is really hard for everybody. I mean, 'cause everybody's gonna be learning how to use and interact with the new system. ERPs are complex, you know, and ProShop's no exception to that. Like, I would say it's pretty, pretty easy to use, but there's a lot to it, and, you know, you need to, management needs to demonstrate full commitment to implementing it. I know that you guys tell all of your clients to have the ProShop champion, that one person who's kind of in charge of just encouraging everyone to use the system or the go-to guy for the answer. I think that's really good too, because it's good to have somebody that sees how all of the pieces come together. And yeah, somebody else already mentioned it, but make sure you take the path of least resistance. So if, you know, if ProShop's telling you that, you know, this is the way that you need to use this system, or this is the way you need to use this feature, use it that way, because we've been bit a couple times by trying to be clever and just not realizing that, you know, we were doing something that we shouldn't have done. So, yeah.

- Thank you. Let's see here. Kody, I'd love to have you share just a little bit about advice for- I mean, you guys were one of the quickest and smoothest implementation, you know, you were like three months and you were done. So what advice would you give to shops implementing a new system.

- Yes, I'll piggyback off of Tyler, and just say it's the buy-in. You need a 100% buy-in from your key leadership people that's gonna be heavily involved in implementation. And I think that was such a big thing for us to implement so fast, and then spread kinda like wildfire through the shop. I didn't force it upon anybody. I didn't say this is what we're doing. I made sure that, you know, the key people that were gonna be involved in implementation and making sure this thing runs right, I made sure they were 100% on board with it. That's why it took us so long to evaluate it and to finally pull the trigger. I knew this was gonna be a big thing within the shop and a big change, and just having that 100% buy-in, that was the major thing.

- Yeah. Yeah, and I think also just from what I observed a bit from the outside, just really relentless execution to just do it quickly and smoothly and thoroughly. I think that's one of your talents, personally, and that extended to the whole team. And obviously your owners had complete buy-in and trust of what you were doing. We have a few questions coming in. I'd love to kind of move over to those. Someone said, "Sorry I had to miss a big chunk of this, so it's already addressed, why is digital transformation such a blind spot for leadership teams? Having a digital foundation assets like these systems should be seen as adding immense value, but rarely are they seen this way." Anyone wanna jump on that one?

- I can answer.

- Okay.

- Because they're not the ones using it.

- Mm. Right.

- I mean, if you're not the one that's actually using it, sometimes you don't immediately see the value.

- Yeah.

- I said this to you earlier. I'm doing every click from estimate to packing stuff, right?

- Right.

- So, with someone like that, it's obvious.

- Right. Yeah, that's a good one. I mean, sometimes we have owners that they say, "I don't even need a login to the system, 'cause I don't deal with any of that stuff." And while that might be the case, that, and you know that they're not doing the jobs of the people doing the work, being curious and understanding really what are the pain points, what are the frustrations, what are the wastes that are happening on a daily basis? Maybe Rich, you could share, since you were not an owner or as much in senior leadership when you made that change, but you drove the, you know, you drove the initiative to change. What was that like?

- Yeah. And what's funny is you're correct. Our owners have never been in ProShop. They're very much involved with decisions, but just not the day to day activities within the business. So getting them to buy into it was them understanding exactly that: our frustrations that we had with our day to days. We'd have daily meetings about why these, you know, however many orders are past due. And why are we not able to chip into these? And we, you know, we knocked three off and add three more, you know, and it was just everything around what we were doing was just failures. We were a successful business. We made money. But the business wasn't failing from the perspectives of giving our customers what they needed. And ultimately that's why we're in business, is supplying products to our customers for what they need. And when you fail your customers, they have the ability to, you know, search other resources for that product. So from the outside of things, you know, we got them to understand where we were failing and why we needed to go this route. They didn't hesitate much. Like I said, a couple of 'em came up to look at the system and understood what I was seeing and how it could benefit us. And it's really about that, getting them to understand the buy-in and how it's gonna benefit the company as a whole. And so, yeah, that's kind of my story, Paul.

- Okay. I appreciate that. Another question here, this actually from an existing client. "We're using ProShop, but still use a single piece of paper as a traveler or drawing to initiate and track a job. Are you guys truly paperless on the shop floor?" And he says, as well, "We sometimes get orders that might be a hundred work orders, and it'd be nice not to print all those drawings off or travelers off." I know my sort of default advice would be, you know, don't print off the drawing or a single piece of paper. You don't actually need something, you should not need something physical to initiate things. Like the dashboards to have it show up for purchasing, for planning, for cutting raw material, should all happen on the dashboards. The first time you have something physical probably is when you need to pair up material with the job for traceability. And in those cases using one of the labels, you know, work order labels, box labels, to attach to that carton, to that bar of material, whatever it might be. That's the first time you need to actually print something physical, so you have that traceability. Any other comments or feedback about that from anyone? Cody?

- Yeah, we use, so we laminated a bunch of sheets of paper, hundreds of them, and it basically just says work order number, and then quantity. We don't put revs, we don't put due dates, and don't put anything that might change. And it basically sits at the saw or sits at receiving area. And once material comes in, he fills that out and puts it with the material, and that follows throughout the shop. If something leaves to go out to our outside process, that piece of paper just goes back to the receiving area for when something comes back and you just use another one. So we just constantly reuse those laminates.

- You just wipe 'em clean at the end? Yeah. I mean, that's what actually what we did at PRO CNC. And I love the part about don't put things that'll change. Don't put due dates, don't put revs, 'cause then you'll have to go chase it down and change it if you have a change. So...

- Yeah, the whole point of being paperless is not having to go find things, chase paper, so...

- David, I saw you unmute for a second. Did you wanna share?

- Yeah. There's three pieces of papers that, excuse me, that we still kind of print out every now and then. The print is gonna be one. We do still allow our machinists to print out the drawing. It's just, there's something that they feel like they need right in front of them, you know, to hold. So we do allow for that. And it's mainly when they're doing the, you know, the first operation, when they're setting up the machine, that, you know, they need to verify some dimensions that they need to carry that drawing over to an inspection equipment. So that's one of the cases where they'll print out the drawing. Some of our drawings are, you know, gonna be multiple pages, three plus pages. So they wanna hold it. So we're still, you know, let that happen. The other one is gonna be the label, which is normal. I mean, everything has to be labeled, so we do print that label. So that goes in there. The third one, and it's the one that we're, that I'm really trying to kind of get 'em not to do it. It's gonna be the, like an IPC template where they record their dimensions as they're measuring. We are trying to have everything, you know, our in-process inspections be fully on the CMM, so that way they don't have to print that template and record their data, because ultimately they're gonna have to go to their workstation and input that data. So we're trying to have it that they, you know, put it on the CMM, save that report from the CMM, and upload it to the operation for the IPC. So again, those two things, the third one is the one that I'm really trying to get rid of it, just because it is just, again, unnecessary to have them to, you know, go to a high gauge and measure their part when we can put it again on the CMM and save that report and upload it to the operation. So, yeah.

- Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. Yeah. The gentleman that asked the question said he just got burned on a rev change mid-job and the paper didn't get caught, so definitely a big upvote for not putting revisions on the things out on the shop floor. I will say, and I know Hernan had to jump off to go to his audit, but in his shop and many of our other shops, I know, Susan, you've done this, is using two monitors at each screen. And Hernan's even going with like a 40-inch TV above the main monitor, so he could really zoom into those drawings, look at page three of this one detail. I know with my, you know, old eyes now, I have to wear reading glasses, you know, if I wanna look at a drawing, and so being able to really zoom into a big image of a detailed, you know, multi-page drawing can sometimes be really nice. And, but I totally get, it's a hard thing to, you know, just to hold something in your hand is a, sometimes a comfort thing that it's hard to get people to- Oh, there you go, CJ. Look at that. The mobile station. Nice. That looks awesome. So we are getting up to the top of the hour here. Any last comments that anyone wants to make before we kind of wrap things up? Yes, Susan.

- I just wanna mention, I don't, you talked about your customer service, okay, and having past software and had horrendous customer service. This is probably one of the nicest things that for me as being smaller and having an issue, I can contact your team and they'll get back to you. And they even let you know that they'll get back to you. I mean, if your customer service is, from your previous software is horrendous, it's not like this at all. It's 360. And I think for that, because we, in the beginning, you don't know everything, and your team, even now, five years later, I still contact, say, "I forgot. How can you do this?" And your team is up and running. Tremendous. I just wanted to say that, that was probably one of the best things about ProShop for me was customer service and helping you to succeed. And that's why I feel, that's how I feel about the software. We're succeeding because of your help and your knowledge. And I wanted to thank you for your best customer service team. Thanks.

- Thank you so much.

- Yeah, I-

- I got something I could- Oh, go ahead.

- I'll be quick. Yeah, I would the thing I would say. I've been using ProShop now for 13 years, and the thing I appreciate the most, along with the customer service like Susan, is your team is never satisfied with ProShop being where it is. Like they are always improving it, adding features, making things easier for us. If I could take a snapshot of where we were 13 years ago to today, the features and everything that has come into play over that 13 years, just that much more time, and waste has been eliminated and things that we, you never realize would make your life easier, because it was just so much, you know, everything was easy 13 years ago, but the fact is you guys just aren't ever satisfied with ProShop being complete, and I think that's a huge benefit, as well with the software.

- Thank you, Rich. Appreciate that. And yeah, Tyler.

- Yeah, kind of along the same lines as to what Rich was saying, we're really happy to see just all of the effort that ProShop's been putting into things like CMMC and other sort of, you know, difficult compliance issues. It's, we feel like this is a system that is gonna grow, you know, with our company or enable our company to grow. So if anyone else is facing, you know, requirements like that, I think that it is gonna be hard to find a system that's gonna beat ProShop. So...

- Thank you very much. I know some of our folks have to jump off, so to be respectful for everyone, we're gonna wrap things up here, but thank you all so much. I look forward to giving you hugs in Chicago and having spent some time with you. Thank you for attending. Thanks for your questions today. Again, if you're gonna be in Chicago, we'd love to have you come by our booth. And if you are around on Thursday, we will have a happy hour nearby. So come by the booth and sign up for that. And thank you all again. I really appreciate everything you've shared today. Hopefully folks took some good wisdom away from that, regardless of where their situation is today. Just any major change or problems they might be facing. So thanks again, everyone. And we'll see you all very soon in Chicago. Have a good rest of your day.

- Bye.

- Bye.

Download Webinar Slides

Schedule A Demo
magnifiercrossarrow-leftarrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram