Stop Expediting Everything
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Stop Expediting Everything Webinar

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Okay, good morning everyone, or almost good afternoon, depending on where you’re calling or joining
us from. I see people streaming in. This is going to be a fun webinar for sure. [inaudible 00:00:24], and
we are super excited to have one of our dear and almost very longtime customers, one of our oldest
customers, Chris Guidotti, joining us. So my name is Paul, we got Brian here with us. And todaySpeaker 2:
Good morning.
… Good morning Brian. This morning we are talking about Stop Expediting Everything. It’s probably not
an unknown thing that in a lot of shops, there’s constantly firefighting mode happening, right? There’s
emergencies that come up, there’s last minute struggles that cause panic and it’s stressful and it’s
expensive. And we’re going to talk about some strategies today to eliminate that in your shop, just using
concepts, some thoughts that you can use in your own tools. And of course, we’re going to talk about
how that’s easier on ProShop as well.
Good morning Keith. Yeah, I was just going to say as well, feel free to throw in the chat where you’re
joining us from. I know we’re… Keith’s down in Orange County. I know we have a mix of client on here
and then people that are not clients yet. So Ripley, New York, right on Western PA.
Speaker 2:
Speaker 2:
Well, while people are streaming in I’ll cover a little bit of the housekeeping here. So yeah, if you just
want to say hi, give a shout out, go ahead and use the chat feature for that through the presentation
today. If you have any questions, please use the Q & A feature within the Zoom window. That’s going to
make it a lot easier for us to track those questions and try to answer them in sequence. Other than that,
we will be providing the recording of this session later on. After we get a chance to review it, et cetera.
And then any other attachments or any of the other things that we might need to include, those will also
be coming your way. Did I miss anything there, Paul?
I think that’s pretty good, yep. All right. And so for those that have joined our webinars before, you’ll
notice this is not my normal background. I am calling in from a tiny little cabin on the shores of Whidbey
Island, Washington just had a small little getaway with my wife. So hopefully the internet holds here. It
seems to be pretty good so far. All right, well we got a pretty full house. Let’s keep moving on here.
Speaker 2:
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All right.
All right. So what does firefighting really mean to here, right? So again, it’s pretty ubiquitous in almost
every shop I’ve certainly run across. It means that you are having to spend money, whether it’s
expediting fees at your outside processors or overnighting, a cutting tool in or shipping the parts to your
client overnight or heaven forbid even like hiring a courier or something to drive some parts. It was just
talking to someone last week who said they had to hire two different couriers for the same job, and it
just completely wiped out all the profit margin that they had. So we’re going to talk a little bit about how
to get out of that loop.
Speaker 2:
All right.
I love this quote. And actually Brian, when you were researching this quote yesterday, tell us what this is
actually in reference to.
Speaker 2:
So this is actually in reference to the firefighting in Pennsylvania. I apologize, I don’t remember the… I’m
terrible with history, butPaul:
Phil Philadelphia. I think.
Speaker 2:
… Phil Philadelphia, thank you. Basically Benjamin Franklin had come out and said, “Hey, look this fire’s
coming. And if we do a little bit to help prevent our houses and buildings from burning, we will come out
much better in the end.” And that’s true for what we’re talking about today of this seemed to be a very,
very appropriate quote, as we talk about expediting and managing all the fires that everyone has in the
shops and in companies that we would be able to pull from his wisdom there.
Yeah. We’ve all heard that quote, but I didn’t know it was actually about firefighting, so it’s actually
pretty hilarious. And so what are some of the outcomes that we’re going to be able to get from this is
we are going to be able to have, I can’t even see the dots right there. We’re going to be more profitable,
right? If you’re not just spending money on all these fees, you’re going to spend less time, working late,
stressing out, take more vacation. This picture is actually from a client of ours that tagged us while he
was down in Mexico with ProShop on his laptop there just chilling out while the shop is running
smoothly. So yeah, these things are all possible and we will cover are some ways to do that today.
Speaker 2:
Right. All right. So we have a short case study from a customer of ours. Pioneer cuts, basically, Paul, I
don’t know if you want to go through the-
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Speaker 2:
… [inaudible 00:05:15] with them, so.
And we might be able to put it in the chat. This is all from a video that they did with us. So when we
were talking about the ROI they had for ProShop, they shared with us that in the first quarter of last
year, they spent $5,200 in expediting fees to various things like I described outside processors, overnight
shipping, and you pull the next bullet up. So then they implemented ProShop. And then after that, they
were still just as busy. In fact, they even shipped more jobs, but they spent considerably less on
expediting fees and that’s what their ProShop license was. So they were definitely money ahead just on
this one thing alone, let alone all the other benefits they saw. And when we have Chris chime in a little
later, he’s going to share us some of the things with his company.
So you can go to the next slide there, Brian. So we’re not going to read this out verbatim, but we can
throw that video in the chat and you can watch that a little later if you’d like, there you go. Thank you,
Sarah. All right, let’s move along. So there’s a few different places where we’re really going to kind of
hone in on where you can do different things at different phases of a job. So we’ll definitely talk about
how you’re going to do this and set yourself up for success in the estimating process when you’re
entering brand new jobs, when you’re planning those jobs out, getting it ready for production, and then
actually during the production process itself. So there’s things you can do at every one of these phases
that can really help to minimize that expediting fee later in the process.
All right. So first of all, we’re going to go in a couple of example, slides here, but it’s crucially important
to try to eliminate tribal knowledge from the sales and estimating team when you have a new job
moving into the shop. And of course this starts at the estimating process. So if you want to move to the
next slide there, Brian, here’s just a couple of examples of things that you can do to help people find
information later. So they’re not having to track you down, not having to be delayed in what they need
to do with their jobs. So, and this is an example of a material quote from a vendor that’s linked right into
the material price section of an estimate.
And it’s super easy to so attach it there that then will flow all the way through the part creation process
onto the work order or purchasing can see it. And they can very quickly and easily go purchase the
material they need without having to hunt you down or send you an email and ask for something. And
every tiny little touch point that removes lead time and removes weighting and waste will ultimately
give you time back at the end that you don’t have to expedite.
Speaker 2:
Yeah. And I think that’s a really important part about addressing expediting and firefighting, so to speak
at the very early stages in your process, essentially what we sometimes miss, especially as we’re in the
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moment as we’re doing all the fighting, is that we got to where we are because of everything that
happened before that. So that does include stuff that happens at the front door. When we take on new
projects or we quote new projects, if we’re not really cognizant about how we’re going to do that, how
we’re going to fit it in, how we’re going to pass information along then eventually all of those tiny little
things build up into a big ball and that big ball of yarn that we have to untangle when we’re further
down in the process.
Speaker 2:
So that’s why when we start at the estimating phase and think about how can I enter information like
this? How can I make sure that when the purchasing agent gets this job, they know exactly what to
purchase. They see the quote, they don’t have to ask me, I don’t have to be interrupted from what I was
doing to provide them the quote from the vendor. And they can just move right along and just trim out
all of that time, that Paul just mentioned.
Yep. So obviously if there’s lots of ways to, whether it’s through shared folders or some other method,
there’s lots of ways to capture that information, put it in an accessible place that other people can see
later on in their process. So here’s another other section. This is a actually a screen grab from ProShop.
Obviously it’s called process development, and this is on an estimate and it’s a place where we can
capture relevant and pertinent information that we really don’t want to lose later in the process. So one
of the ones that we see there’s highlighted is like, “We need a custom ground tool. It takes three weeks
to get it.” So when this estimate gets converted into an actual job, the person that’s doing purchasing or
planning or doing the manufacturing engineering for that job will be able to see that note right away
and get that tool on order with as much lead time as possible, as opposed to waiting until a couple
weeks later when they’re programming the job and they realize, “Oh, no, we don’t have this tool and
you’re brushing it. You’re expediting it. You’re getting it overnight.”
So if you can have some kind of system to document those kind of gotchas, right? So they don’t actually
get you. That’s just another way you can help to get, be more a little bit more proactive in your planning
process and make sure those things don’t slip through the cracks and bite you at the last minute.
Speaker 2:
Right. Right. So part of it is being able to document, and then the other part, which we’ll see a little bit
later on is how does anyone else in the process planner, programmer, purchasing agent and so on? How
do they know that it’s there? So you have to be thinking about building that into the review process or
the prior planning or programming process, et cetera.
Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. This is another important one. So obviously a lot of jobs have to go out for outside
processes, right? Things you’re not doing inside your own facility could be inatized. Like this one could
be heat treating could be grinding, who knows what it might be in this case, we’re capturing the actual
lead time that our vendors have quoted. Now, obviously these days lead times are quite variable, but
capturing a conservative number, something that is likely to cover from when a job leaves your dock to
when it comes back to your facility, through that round trip, through an outside process, in this case in
ProShop, we’re going to be calculating different shipping dates and when jobs need to leave to go out to
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processing. So capturing that early on in the process in some mechanism, so you can then see that
everyone can see the transparency of what that looks like is really important. That’s what we’re doing
Speaker 2:
Yeah. And then you’ll notice that in this case, we actually have multiple options here. So on the right
hand side, we’ve chosen the middle of the road, the seven day lead time. And that’s the lead time that
we quote with that’s the lead time that the job is going to be built with. However, if later on, we do get
into a scenario where we really need to trim out a couple of days. We can just go right to the original
estimate and see, well, there was another option. It was a little bit more expensive, but you know what
that’s going to cost rather than maybe having your standard option in this case, ASCO, maybe rather
than having them run an expedite fee, it might be cheaper to go with Apex because at the price that
they have in the lead time, it might be a better option. So again, you’ve documented all of that. Nobody
has to go and redo that work. Nobody has to bug you for it, but because it’s all built in and you’ll be able
to make the decisions along the way very quickly.
Yep. And in that case, you can also see that there were links to those vendor quotes right there as well.
So those are always available when you need to pull them up and see all the specifics.
Speaker 2:
Right, Right.
Yeah. And then of course, one of the really big ones that I think a lot of companies are guilty of is they
don’t know what their capacity is and they quote lead times that are actually shorter than they can
deliver. So what we’re seeing here is an example of what we call a Phantom job or a placeholder that’s
inserted in between actual jobs. And in this case, on the left hand side there, those jobs that are
highlighted in red in the background are actually telling us that if we did insert this job, the one with the
blue bars, it actually will make our other jobs late, right? That’s why they’re turning red because they’re
actually have been Shift out past the date that they need to go to outside process or wherever are going
to next.
Speaker 2:
[inaudible 00:13:57], yeah. Subsequent process and operation internally.
Of course.
Speaker 2:
Whatever it is. It’s calculated there.
Yeah. So through whatever scheduling tool you’re using, really trying to understand what your capacities
are like and make sure that you are quoting realistic lead times is a crucial part of not getting yourself in
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trouble later. I know some people sometimes have the tendency to want to quote a fast lead time so
they can win that work and then beg forgiveness later. But I would argue that’s not the best long term
strategy for happy customers and getting repeat orders from those same customers. So it’s always good
to be a little conservative in this area, in my opinion.
Speaker 2:
Yeah. And this technique was actually something that we did a lot where we identified, okay, the
customer really needs it. They’re willing to pay an expedite fee and it may not be an expedite just for
what I need to process this job on. It could be an expedite to accommodate the other two projects,
whether it’s pulling in overtime or expediting an external process like enatizing or something like that.
So having the visibility to see if you do have to or if your customer’s willing to pay expedite that it’s not
just their job. We also need to be thinking of the other jobs that it’s displacing here. So just different
things that come into play there.
Yeah. Great point. I was actually, when I was prepping for actually our next webinar, I was talking to one
of our customers. They don’t see them on the meeting today, but they are a quick turn shop. That’s kind
of what they’re known for. And so he’s almost always quoting expediting fees and NRA charges to his
clients, but more and more often now because they’ve cut out so much lead time out of their process
using ProShop, he just keeps that money and he doesn’t actually have to spend it with the vendors. So
he’s still hitting the lead time and dates that he’s promised, but he’s actually just keeping that extra
money. So it’s become a profit center as opposed to a cost center from him. All right. So now we’ve
talked a little bit about estimating. Now we’re going to get into order entry and planning and the rest of
the process.
So, there’s a number benefits of making sure that you are cutting out as much lead time and doing these
planning processes. And one of the things that we’re going to talk about here, and we’re on this soapbox
all the time is getting rid of paper out of your process, right? There are so many benefits. You can
parallel process jobs. Maybe we can go to the next slide there. Brian, you can have things like built in
contract review processes. Well, I’m sure many shops can relate to this when you get a job in a
traditional paper based system, right? Whoever does that ordered tree process, it’s going to enter that
order in, they’re going to print out the job traveler or possibly multiple copies of it, depending on your
And then put that on the desk of the next person that needs to do something, right? Maybe someone
needs, maybe the accounting department needs to verify that they don’t have a bunch of AR or
someone in scheduling needs to check their part of the process or engineering needs to do their thing.
But when a traveler is physically moving from desk to desk and waiting in queue in people’s inboxes,
that is a potential for all waste and mistakes. So that’s one of the things that we’re trying to eliminate
with going with a paperless process.
Speaker 2:
Right, yeah. And a great example of that is scheduling can work on understanding, trying to meet the
dates while the accounting team is working on the terms, right? It can all be done at the same time.
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Nobody has to wait for that folder, like you said, to hit their desk or their inbox, it’s just there and part of
their standard work and part of their working queue.
Yep. Yeah. Do you want to take this one, Brian?
Speaker 2:
Yeah. So earlier I mentioned that being able to identify things in estimating or at any point along the
process is going to be critical to answering those and being able to plan around all of those hums in the
road and get things on track. And a checklist is a great way to do that. So a checklist is essentially just a
way to recognize the things that we do on a regular basis. So as a planner, every job that I plan, I go
through a standard process, whether I have a checklist or not, I know what I’m doing, I’ve done it for
years and years, whatever it is. But if I actually take the time and jot it down for every job that I do and
just mark it off real quick, I know whether or not I’ve done it, I can get in and prioritize like what we’ve
done here.
Speaker 2:
You can see on the left hand side, everything that’s in the red section is priority one. So I know that stuff
needs to get done right away and then priority do two and three. And then maybe the shop floor stuff.
Those can all be done sequentially a little bit later on as schedule allows. But I know here based on my
checklist, and this is something that in ProShop, we just have as a default, you can set it up by different
job types. So prototype jobs have a different list than a repeat job, et cetera. But I know when I get a
brand new project, I have to get everything that’s in the priority one section done as soon as possible,
because that is all the lead time sensitive stuff. I need to verify that I have the right revisions and the
right documents for my customer.
Speaker 2:
I need to verify that my tools get queued for ordering or my material or bill of material items, all of
those things that could potentially have lead time and disrupt, especially in the world that we are now
with our supply chain management, I need to get all of those things done right away. And then once I’m
done with that, okay, we can take a step back. We can allow the schedule to dictate priority two, priority
three. And like I said, shop floor, et cetera, along the way. And of course the visibility here, that’s
another thing. And we’ll talk about visibility in a bit.
Yeah. So one of the things that you may seem pretty obvious, but when you’re able to reduce lead time
at the beginning of your process, it just gives you more time for the manufacturing, right? And everyone
knows that their customers are probably, their engineers are always taking too long to engineer their
parts. So it’s the machine shops and the suppliers, they get crunched at the end, but internally you can
do that same thing, right? You can try to cut out all the upfront lead time, minimize the risk of those last
minute scrambles and actually start making your parts sooner. And I think Chris will chime in on this a
little bit later because see, I think they cut about or Chris are you there with us? Didn’t you cut
something like a week out of your initial sort of upfront lead time.
Speaker 3:
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Yeah. It was anywhere from a couple days to at least a week.
And that just gave you more time for the actual machining process, right?
Speaker 3:
Yeah. And if we did run into a problem with machining, we were able to get tooling without expediting
charges. So you have an extra week on the back end. So if something does happen, you may not need to
pay those expediting fees that traditionally, because a job you’re almost late, you just have to start hang
out for all these ups red charges. But because we started so much earlier, any problems have a little bit
more time to get solved than before.
Yeah, absolutely.
Speaker 2:
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Choosing where to wait, right? Yeah, yeah.
Yeah. So this is what we’re trying to avoid people we’re trying to big piles of papers in your inbox. If you
follow the lean Toyota production system waiting is an enormous waste. And then of course I’m sure
lots of shops can relate to the whole situation where you actually lose a traveler entirely. And you forget
that you have that job in the first place and you don’t realize it until your customer calls you up and they
say, “Hey, where’s my parts,” right? That is a terrible nightmare situation.
Speaker 2:
Yeah. And I love this picture because it’s a perfect example of when in a paper style system, when
somebody later on in the process, maybe it’s purchasing needs to do something, they need to buy
material or they need to buy tooling. They come to your desk, they interrupt you have to sift through
your stack of stuff, find the fold or hand it to them and then they can get on with it. So I mean, okay, it
can only take a few minutes, but every time you do that, every job that’s ever done on that just adds
incredible amounts of time to your overall process. So just the inefficiency are just mind boggling when
you can take a step back and look at them and evaluate what benefits you have if you change your
system around a little bit.
So Chris, I think you wanted to say a couple of comments about this particular thing in your shop.
Speaker 3:
Yeah. I just want to go back to the last slide real quick. Because we had a couple situations where we
were doubling the work. So it would often print two travelers, one for purchasing and one for say
programming, and now you’ve got two pieces of paper that determine the workflow. So I would be
working on something and then somebody would try to help me out and also work on the same thing.
And because it’s paper, it’s not getting updated, nobody knew what we were both working on the same
thing. So even on the other side, when you don’t make parts, you have the potential to make double the
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parts because you have two different things to keep track of now as opposed to the single source like
ProShop has
Speaker 2:
So the inverse of, “Oh no, we never made those. Oh no, we did it twice.” Right?
Speaker 3:
Yeah. Or somebody writes a purchase order, then you find out somebody already wrote a purchase
order because you’re both working on the same thing.
Speaker 2:
Yeah. Yep. Yeah.
Very good. All right. So next we’ve ordered, we’ve done our initial order entry. We’ve tried to cut out as
much lead time as possible there. Now we’re going to get into our detailed manufacturing, engineering
and planning processes, again, trying to eliminate tribal knowledge using templates. So Brian, why don’t
you share a few things on this topic?
Speaker 2:
Yeah. So, we’re not talking too much about templates here. We’re mentioning them, a template is really
one of the tools in the toolbox to replicate data very fast. But another way to think about templing in is
standard work, right? What are the standard things that we’re going to do? So anytime we’re talking
about that, whether it’s set up and information and tooling information or you can have templates or
you can have standard work that you draw from to make this process a lot faster. I imagine the vast
majority of people on this call today probably do that anyway. Just they do that in a system that they’ve
built or structured whether that’s official or not. So again, it’s one of those things that people tend to do
on their own.
Speaker 2:
So here you can see a couple of screen grabs from the ProShop environment. And in this case, this is
something that we can be thinking about in terms of a production job for a million shop. So it’s got all of
the setup notes there, some quick little screen grabs or pictures of the we’re going to use linked over
into your tooling library, your fixturing library, what kinds of run descriptions or sequence descriptions
do we need to have for somebody on the shop floor? And by building this into that planning or maybe
it’s a program or building it into that process again, that means that when somebody gets the job on the
shop floor, they know exactly what they need to do. They know where to put the device, they know how
to set their zeros. They know what to torque, the device to et cetera, or any of the other data that they
Speaker 2:
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And of course everything is cross referenced and linked at least in the ProShop environment. So you can
quickly find the data about it. If you need it where a fixture was stored, not a problem it’s displayed right
there, we move into a tool list. So cutting tools is something that people often just do ad hoc. They often
say, “Hey, I need to order this or let me go to the drawer or the bin or the toolbox and see what I have.”
And that’s what I’ll use for the job. But if you have some tool library, then you can pull from that and
know what do you have? What tools do you generally keep on the shelf, where are they, what jobs are
they used on and then quickly provide people information.
Speaker 2:
Well, this is how you set it up. We’ve got 13 tools in the shop. So looking at that top B769 tool there,
we’ve got 13 in the shop. We know that it’s be in a balanced mil check with a three quarter inch out of
holder. And we can see if we look a little bit down the list on the right, what tools are still on order and
what we’re expecting to come in the future. So this is just a way that people can get their tools really
fast without again, having to bug a programmer. Now we want to be thinking about ways to make this
process efficient. So when Chris talked about duplicate entries or doubling up efforts, one of the things
we try to think about are programmers, right? They’re in let’s just choose master cam kind of the big M
they’re in master cam and they’re picking their tools already.
Speaker 2:
So what are ways that they can pick their tools once in the programming system and then download
that, whatever that is, however that looks like and get that onto the next person. So in ProShop, we
have some tools that we can actually read the G code and load the tools in assuming that our tool
libraries match. There are other ways of doing that. You can export a lot of systems fusion, obviously
master cam, many other systems. You can just export an entire tool list and be able to pass that along to
the machinist. So they don’t have to go in and read the G code to find out what tools they’re going to
use and then go to the bin, et cetera. So whatever process that you can have, that you can implement
just make sure that you’ve got some way of cataloging your tools to know what you truly do have on the
shelf. And it’ll make that entire process much smoother and much faster.
Another point I just interject there is getting very specific with the tool itself, avoid using generalized
terms for your tools, right? That I need a half inch gen mill with a eighth inch ad, right? There’s a 1,000
different eighth inch of tools that match that description, most of which are not going to work in your
application. So one thing I know shop struggle with a lot we did in the early days of our shop is not being
specific, right? Just that general description. And then someone’s out on the shop floor, they’re doing
their setup. They’re trying to get that part dialed in and they just don’t have the right tool. Maybe it’s
too long. Maybe it’s chattering, maybe it’s who knows what. And then you realize at the last minute, we
need to get a different type of half inch general with a thread, right?
And you’re driving to a tool vendoror shipping it overnight. And when you were talking about these
expediting and shipping fees, in the case of when it’s happening during a setup or when a job is on the
machine itself, the $40 or $50 red fee from UPS is the smallest amount of that cost. The biggest cost is
the fact that your spindle is not turning right for an entire 12 or 18 hours or whatever it takes to get that
tool. The next day, you’re just sitting dead in the water, or possibly you scramble and you tear the job
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off and you throw another job on to try to get the keep something moving just incredibly expensive,
incredibly stressful, and a lot of chaos. Which is not very fun.
Speaker 2:
And those are also the kinds of things that if you do any repeat work, that’s another use for that process
development. We saw that in estimating where you can label, “Hey, these are the gotchas that Paul
mentioned.” Well, you can do the same thing in the standard setup and production process, where if
you come across a tool that didn’t work well, obviously you want to get very specific, like Paul said about
which tool you should be using, but also log what the problem was. “Hey, we used a two flute when we
should have used a four.” So in the future six months from now, when that job returns, you don’t make
the same mistake. One you’ve identified the tool. And two, if somebody has issues with for flute tool
next time, they’re not going to go backwards and try a two flute because you have it in that log of, “Hey,
that didn’t work.” We already tried that we were there. It didn’t work. Maybe, now we need to change
the holder or something along the way.
Yep. Yeah.
Speaker 2:
Inspection. There’s another thing that often doesn’t get thought about until the inspector has the part in
his hands, or until the machinist is ready to check the part. So we want to be thinking about the
inspection planning process again, before the part gets to the machine. If you have something slated
and you know what the inspection plan is, you know what tools you’re going to need, all of that can be
preset to where the operator or the inspector can just go right to the list. They can fill out everything
that they need to fill out and recognize when something is intolerance out of tolerance without having
to do all of that figuring while the machine is waiting for the results, right? Again, this is something that
can be done ahead of time and reduced that amount of time from that first part in hand to, yep. “That’s
good. Let’s go.” Or, ‘Hey, we need to make these few adjustments in these changes.”
Speaker 3:
I just want to say we…
Yeah, go ahead, Chris.
Speaker 3:
Like I said, we saw a pretty good increase in our delivery times by doing some of this inspection stuff
ahead of time. So we found, we were over inspecting quite a bit of parts with Eltron sets and checking
holes to the 10th. When in reality of go NoGo could do the same job. So by doing this ahead of time, you
have time to order these custom gauges, which are really not that expensive. But when you do get to
inspection, you can save. In one case, we saved hours per part, just because we had the appropriate
gauges. By the time we finish machining the first part. So this is one of those things that it’s a very small
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detail. It seems like, but it can have a really big impact on the back end when you’re trying to get things
out the door.
Yeah. And I know a lot of shops deal with a lot of waiting and queue time going into the QA department,
right? Where the first part is off the machine. Someone hands it into QA waiting to get a buy off. And
they’re just sitting waiting for sometimes hours or longer. And part of that’s because QA is building that
inspection plan right. As they get those parts. And so, because QA is often such a bottleneck, anything
we can do to remove bottleneck process and make it much quicker are just going to increase the
velocity of all jobs through the shop, which is one of those ways. So you want to get rid of, and then of
course, there’s also the last minute scramble. When you realize that you have this special thread gauge
that you need, you didn’t realize it because you didn’t do the planning up front. And so again, your parts
are sitting waiting while you overnight that special gauge.
Speaker 2:
Right, right. Yeah. So I mentioned visibility a little earlier. So, this is where a lot of this stuff comes into
play. It’s great to have these, but the other side of this is you need to be able to quickly know where
anything is at at any point in time, again, without having to go and find folders and bug people, et
cetera. So things like what we’re looking at here would be a planner queue. This is my queue to see
which jobs that I’m the planner on. What’s the planning status, my programming status. What’s the
purchase scene, you can see on the right hand side, all of my purchasing icons, they’re all color coded.
So at a glance I can be working from this list every day. And at the glance know the exact status of all of
my purchasing know when my scheduled start date is, and I could include on this list if I wanted to,
because we can customize these things I could include.
Speaker 2:
Who’s the programmer. So if I know that a program is not done, but I see the machine time or the
scheduled start date coming up, I can go work with them directly. But just it’s really about in some
fashion, whether you’re a planner, purchasing agent or scheduler, just having some way to have visibility
about what’s going on in the terms that make sense to you. Obviously this list isn’t going to help
somebody over and receiving, right? You want the receiving person to be able to look at the jobs that
are supposed to be coming in today or maybe I say jobs, but the materials that are coming in today or
maybe the things that are actually late, that maybe they want to be calling vendors about and saying,
“Hey, you didn’t deliver yesterday. What’s going on with this.” So having those types of things identified
for each role in the process is going to help everybody quickly spot things that are out of whack and get
them addressed and hopefully fix them before they cause major issues.
Yep. You bet.
Speaker 2:
I’m sorry. Do you?
Yep. No, go for it. You’re going great.
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Speaker 2:
Yep. So, and we talked a little bit about schedules before, so this is the same view of we were looking at
before, but on the schedule, this is something that should be maintained obviously on a regular basis,
which it should be daily. However, it shouldn’t be for most companies, it shouldn’t be a full-time job. It
should be something that somebody can approach. We can see what’s going on. We can address the
changes that we need to address. Whether that’s going back to estimating in sales and saying, “Yeah,
that doesn’t really fit it.” It bumps out all these jobs or going to the planners and saying, “Hey, this job is
coming up tomorrow. It’s not planned. It’s not ready to go. I need you to get onto the program,” et
cetera. Or I’m going to have to pull something else in.
Speaker 2:
But being able to quickly identify those things, make changes on the fly and keep everyone at the
machines, keep them working on the things that they need to work on. And not again, this is choosing
where to wait, right? So if I were to look at this and say, “Well, the next job isn’t ready,” I may pull up a
different job that is ready, even though it’s not due as soon because I’m choosing to wait or I’m choosing
to have the job. That’s not ready, wait in a different spot rather than having my machine wait for that
job to come from planning or come from programming and be ready, et cetera. So again, it’s something
that everybody knows needs to be done. However, spending a little bit of time to review that process,
what you’re doing now and trying to drive that down and be very, very efficient. We’ll free you up to
work on the things that hopefully are going to be the bigger ticket items rather than sitting at a schedule
all day long.
Yeah. And we have a question or more like a comment in the chat. Can we see what the ProShop, what
the, what schedule edits look like instead of ProShop? And if we do have time, we hopefully will get to a
little bit of a live portion and Brian can certainly show you how you make some edits. One of the key
things I wanted to mention here is because we’re looking at finite capacity version of our schedule when
we actually have scheduled hours on the machine. And then of course, each job or operation and how
long that’s going to take. And we overlay that onto our calendar. You can relatively easily see jobs that
are 2, 3, 4, 6 weeks out. If it looks like they’re going to be late, they on the the queue of work that you
have currently going on.
And of course everything changes all the time, which is why the schedule itself is fed by the actual
productivity of the shop in our case, right? So if a job goes sideways and your setup takes a lot longer
than you think that will automatically reflect in when that job’s going to finish and how that affects the
starting and ending times of all the other jobs coming up for weeks on end, as you’re talking about this,
Brian, I’m thinking of all these other webinars, and maybe we can include the links when we sent this
recording out we did a webinar on setup production, right?
So if you can cut your setup times in half by prepping and kidding and doing all the things that are so
important for reducing setup time, that’s just more lead time that you have at the end, that where you
don’t need to maybe expedite your izing process. And then the webinar we did on, oh, geez. I just
escaped me. It’ll come back to me. But yeah, there’s all sorts of webinars that are pertinent to this exact
conversation. There’s go a little deeper in particular one part of the schedule or another.
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Speaker 2:
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. All right. Yeah. And must leave by day. So, this is something that is elusive to a
lot of people, a lot of shops don’t really know when something has to leave. So obviously they know
generally speaking how long it takes to ship something to the customer. They might know how long
something takes at outside processing or how it takes to ship to the outside processor. But the key here
is that we want to put all of that together and know, Hey, this work order has to leave by the 29th to
maintain its schedule. And that could be things like the enatizing process and the shipping. It could be
that after inatzing, there’s more a simpler work that has to be done. So all of those things are going to
compile into some sort of a, what we call it in ProShop.
Speaker 2:
We call it a must leave by date and having that there. And in our case calculated where you can
reference it at any point. And then we actually do drive that back to the schedule in a little bit more
detail on the scheduling side, to be able to see by operation, when does each operations successively
need to finish to support its following operations, but having some idea of essentially your drop dead
dates, that’s what that is. What is my drop dead date? And if I don’t hit it, I know I’m going to be late, or
I’m looking at some sort of [inaudible 00:40:54]. So knowing that again, early as possible packed, being
able to actually perform to the level that you need to perform to.
And if you’re working with an ERP or some system that only really displays due dates, I think people
earlier in the process and upfront just get a false sense of security. They’re like, “Oh, that’s really far out
we’re okay still.” But when you add everything back up, right? Including the queue time through final
inspection and various other things that are going to take time, it’s very easy to not realize that you are
actually already behind schedule when the due date is still weeks and weeks away.
Speaker 2:
Right. Right.
All right. This is a slide that actually or a picture that one of our customers sent us where they’ve put up
big TVs all throughout their shop. In this case, we’re looking at shipping and inspection dashboards. So
people just in those departments can easily see based on lead time and priority that must leave by date.
What needs to be sent out today, right? or finished through the inspection department today. And just
by providing that level of visibility to everyone has just had a huge, positive impact in how much they’re
scrambling. And in fact, this is from the customer that I was meant that does a lot of quick turn work.
So they quote those expediting fees as part of their standard quoting process. But more and more often,
they’re not actually having to spend it because they have such good visibility and can keep jobs moving
through quicker that they just get to keep that as extra profit, which is awesome. So Chris would love to
have you maybe just share a little bit more, I know our next slide is some of those real talking points, but
the results that you’ve seen by focusing on all this stuff has been pretty significant.
Speaker 3:
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Yeah. I mean, it was a shock because we went from, I would say more of an ad hoc system to following
some of the defined processes in ProShops. So by defining how you run the jobs through these the
estimating and order entry and even process development as Brian said earlier, you start to save, you
might save an hour here or two hours there. And eventually what started happening is jobs started
getting set up on the machines before I even knew about it. So some of this stuff was really setting up
for the guys on the shop floor to do their jobs and they stopped waiting for all that front office stuff to
happen. I think Paul mentioned at one point I walked out in the shop and we were three or four jobs
ahead of where I thought we were.
Yeah, it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful thing.
Speaker 3:
And it comes down to all the planning. So previously a guy would walk up to me and ask me what the
next job was, where’s material. Do we have tooling? And it got to the point where he knew where the
material was. He knew what the next job was and he didn’t really need me anymore, right? All the
sequence detailing the setup notes and even going back to the purchase orders, they knew what
material was ordered. They knew where it was. They knew whether or not it was an or not. And if it
wasn’t, they could move onto the next job.
Speaker 3:
Right. So all of those little things started to add up to a significant reduction in the time it, us just to get
jobs on machine.
Speaker 2:
And can I ask from the machinist perspective, because I have a particular interest in that. But from the
machinist perspective, how did they receive that? I mean was it right away they were thrilled? Was it
something that they transitioned into? What did they think about it now? What did you see out on the
shop floor for machinists?
Speaker 3:
Yeah. And I think there’s a big distinction in ProShop. Some of the other systems and the system we
were running felt very siloed. So the information was at the top and we had to push it down. And that
was really frustrating for the guys on the floor. Because they’re almost in the dark about what their next
job is. And these guys are professionals and they want to do with their job. So by making a lot of this
information available to them, they really embraced ProShop rather quickly just because they had more
of a sense of what was going on in the shop without bothering me, right? There’s always this sense that
it could come into my office, you were bothering me because I had so many things to do, but
realistically, do I need to tell somebody what purchase order this material was bought under no that’s
stuff that they could easily do on their own, on the shop floor now.
Speaker 2:
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Right, right.
And about purchasing. Can you just maybe elaborate a little bit on what happened at a purchasing
position that you realized was not necessary and is actually adding additional lead time to your process?
Speaker 3:
Yeah. So we had a position here dedicated justify buy material. And a lot of that came down to how we
were recording the information in the system where the quotes were and then even writing the
purchase orders, manually typing all the information out. And we got to the point that person became
less and less busy because [inaudible 00:46:26].
After implementing ProShop, you mean?
Speaker 3:
After implement? Yeah. Because a lot of the information was there, so you’re not doing double entry.
And we started to realized that we’re really paying someone for something that we didn’t need to pay
somebody to do. So when we started doing purchasing at the planning stage, so the planners then
would write the actual material POS and then we eventually eliminated that position.
And that also, not only did you save the labor of that person, but you actually, I think you mentioned to
me, you actually, on average, you were ordering material earlier than you used to. So it came in with
plenty of time. So you had more flexibility with your machining.
Speaker 3:
Yeah, it was generally coming in earlier and it was coming in correctly. What often happened is if we did
any process improvements and changed fixturing or changed the machine, we were running parts on
the stock had to change, right? A common example is you go from multiple operations and advice to
some five axis or rotary operation. You need extra stock. So before, if we had to make those changes,
you had to track down the paperwork find it in that stack on the desk and hope that person didn’t buy
material yet, right? Update the traveler, find all the other copies of the traveler you had on the floor to
update that change. And then go ahead and buy your material. But now since the planners are doing the
buying, they’re generally the ones that choose what machines these go on. It can make that change
ahead of time.
Awesome. Cool. Let’s jump to the next slide there, Brian. So I think we’ve already talked a little bit about
all of these things. Let’s just see here. Oh yeah. Chris you mentioned that you’re not keeping raw
material inventory really anymore. Can you elaborate a little bit on that?
Speaker 3:
Yeah. So one of the things that, sure many companies do to overcompensate for expediting is to stock
material in house, right? So if you’ve got these jobs coming up, well, I’m just going to buy extra cause
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eventually I’m going to use it. And I think we all know for a variety of reasons, that’s a bad idea because
we were able to get some of this material planning done so early, we would have our vendors start
cutting material. We didn’t have a dedicated person in house cutting stock, but it was almost eight hours
a day.
Speaker 3:
Our saws were running inside the company just to prep material for the machines. And oftentimes it
was the vendors did and have time to cut the bar for us, right? We needed the material the next day.
Well then we’ll just cut it in house as the machine’s running. But because we were able to order the
material sometimes two to three weeks ahead of time, we could afford the time for the vendor to cut
the stock. And then we were able to focus more on the machining of the parts instead of just blanking
bars of material out.
And do you feel that even though you’re going to spend a little bit more on that precut material, it more
than saves the costs and lead time of cutting it in house? Or how do you think about that?
Speaker 3:
So I mean, there’s a couple of hidden costs that cutting stock in house if you have guys cutting stock that
are also running machines, You run the risk of the machines sitting as they’re collecting stock from the
store. And really when we started looking at all those hidden costs, the cost to have the vendors cut the
material was pretty insignificant compared to some of the losses we were seeing. So we actually ended
up increasing profitability just because we weren’t doing the cutting anymore.
Right. And then another point here about having that lead time and being able to communicate better
to your customers and your vendors. I mean, I know in our shop, our vendors really appreciated when
we weren’t pushing them super hard all the time, right? They’re more likely to actually do us a favor on
the more rare occasion where we really do need some help as opposed to every single job or almost
every job being an absolute fire fight every single time. And they’re just sick and tired of us beating them
up. Right? So they think they become a more trusted partner and are willing to help you out when you
really do need that help when something goes [inaudible 00:51:03].
Speaker 3:
Yeah. And we’ve got a couple vendors because we can give them realistic lead times. If there is that one
case that you need to expedite material, they may say, “Listen, you guys are really good customer of
ours. Normally we would charge you for the expedite. But in this case I’ll pay the shipping charges on
this,” Or something like that. So it helps develop that partner relationship with vendors instead of just
that transactional, I’m just buying from you and you’re supplying me kind of relationship.
Yeah. Yeah. Great points. All right. I know we have only about 10 minutes, nine minutes left. Yeah. Brian,
you want to see if you can pull up a live system and we’ll look at a couple things there.
Speaker 2:
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Yeah. Yeah. So I think one of the questions was editing schedules. Was that right?
Speaker 2:
Yeah. Let’s take a quick look at that. I’ll open that up and we’ll be able to see, I just got a couple quick
machines here, but essentially on the Gant charts, some things to remember here are that when a new
work orders created in ProShop, it’s pulling information either from the historical data, from what we
call the part record or the master router. So we know which machine something goes on the setup time,
the minutes per part. And then of course we know the work order quantity. So what happens upon
creation of a new order is the order comes in and it gets placed on the schedule. There’s a few different
rules that we use in ProShop to do that most of the time.
Speaker 2:
It’s just going to go to the end of the schedule. When we see it come in, we can make adjustments and
know, okay, well, this one for an example, this one is red. I know that’s not going to be done in time. It’s
past, it’s calculated. This must leave by date. So it’s telling me operation 50 has to finish by 1220 to
support operation 60. So that’s the next subsequent operation. So I can just do a quick drag and drop
rearrange these things, and that’s going to reshuffle, and this is a finite system. So it’s not going to allow
me to double book anything, but it’s going to show impact that has. And again, when I look at this and I
see that this job here, that this work order with these two operations, the color code on that tells me it’s
not ready.
Speaker 2:
So these actually relate right into those planner checklists, where I can see based on those priorities,
what’s been done, whether or not the job is cleared for the shop floor, et cetera. And I know that based
on these color codes, that job is not ready. So again, I can pull that up and see what impact does it have.
If I push these two jobs out, looks like everything still fits. If I wanted to change resource and say, this
particular job right here, I don’t want it on this machine. I want to move it to another machine, not a
problem. I can just mouse over this and then choose which resource I want to move it to. That’s going to
ask me, are you sure?
And before you click, okay. On that, well, you had a customer ask, how do you add Phantoms? That’s the
exact same way, right? That dropdown list included building a Phantom right. In that same spot. So,
slight diversion. But to answer that question, that’s how you do that.
Speaker 2:
Yeah. I’ll go ahead and put that in and we can move that around. Maybe that’s going to be for this
customer and it’s whatever this part number is. Oh, whoop, sorry that back up. How many and it’s going
to be, say 20 hours, something like that. A few different options.
Speaker 2:
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Yeah. Adding any notes. So, there I can see, okay. That’s where that goes. And then again, if I decide, I
don’t want that there, whether it’s this job or this job, I can move that to a different machine.
And one of the important parts of keeping the schedule maintained is having the actual productivity of
the job that’s currently on the machine, be as reflected as real time as possible. So as a job is running on
that top job in the very top corner there, as that’s running on the machine and people are recording,
how many parts have been completed? That’s automatically updating the schedule, which again, feeds
into all the other starting and ending times of everything else.
Speaker 2:
And I just remembered the other webinar that I had in mind, it was that factory Friday that we did with
True Life, where they are 100 person shop with 35 machines on four different shifts. And they schedule
about one hour a day, so.
Speaker 2:
They just bought 70 new machines by the way.
Oh, did they? Wow. So Peter asks here, please explain what a Phantom is. Oh, a Phantom is just a
placeholder. It’s not a real job. It’s a fake job, but it represents some time maybe of a job you’re
estimating or something else you want to throw in there to see what it looks like. So it’s sort of a, what if
scenario in some ways.
Speaker 2:
Right. Yeah. Just, yeah, like you said, a placeholder is the best way to think about that. And of course
there’s some advanced functions. There’s some features that I don’t actually have turned on in this
system that allow me to see conflicts between subsequent operations. So if I’m doing things in a certain
sequence or priority, there’s some ways to turn on features to see when those things are out of
sequence, bulk editing and against several other advanced functions that we simply don’t have the time
to get into today.
Yeah. In fact, with about four minutes left or three, we should jump back to our slides and just start
wrapping things up here. So yes, same slide as earlier. Hopefully we’ve demonstrated that if you are
more proactive about this planning process about all the things we talked about, it will lead to more
profit. It will lead to spending less time scrambling. It will allow you a more free time to do what you
want to do. And we’ve seen that just over and over and over again with clients that have really
implemented these concepts using ProShop.
Speaker 2:
Yep. Yep.
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Yes. So I guess one of the main key takeaways is be proactive, not reactive, right? Just that a little bit of
the timing of where you wait, where you’re doing something. And when sometimes when we’re talking
to folks early on, they’re like, “I don’t have time to do that early on.” Right? “I’m too busy to do that. I’m
just going to do it later.” That is the absolute most backwards way to think about it.
Speaker 2:
The tyranny of the urgent, right?
Absolutely. Absolutely. So we made a little tracker template. Sarah’s going to share that in the chat.
Thank you, Sarah. We’ll also email a link to this. When we send out the recording. If some companies
have a really good handle on exactly what they spend on all their expediting and overnight fees, a lot of
companies don’t. So if you don’t have a good read of trackers, copy this down and whether you even
print it on paper or use it as a spreadsheet, just jot down the job, what you’re spending on a fee and
total that up. And I think you’ll be surprised at how much money you’re actually spending on these kind
of fees. I mean, we’ve talked when we do all of our videos and testimonial videos. I often ask this
question and it’s amazing how many clients have said kind of like that one from pioneer cuts earlier that
they’re spending less money on ProShop than they used to spend entirely on expediting fees. And it’s
more than paid for it, just in that one thing alone. So yeah.
Speaker 2:
Yeah. You have to measure to improve it, right? So if you’re not measuring it, you really don’t know and
you don’t know what you can do and what it means when you do improve it.
Yep. All right. So for those of you on here that are new to us and ProShop, we’ll just quickly just go
ahead and click through these slides. Brian, my partners, and I started a machine shop called Pro CNC in
1997, we started building Excel worksheets to help organize everything. We quickly just realized we
were going to outgrow those after researching lots of ERPs, we just decided none of them were going to
be good enough for a job shop like us. So we started developing ProShop in 2000.
Grew for many years, very strongly had our very first customer for ProShop who was our biggest
machine shop customer at the time back in 2008, and then eventually decided sell the shop and go full
time into software in 2014 and then started up ProShop in 2016. So, and let’s see, what do we have on
this slide here? Oh yes. So just another one of those customers and we can also include links to various
videos. When we send out this recording, this was a client that had very accurate tracking of what they
spent on the various fees. And they saved 93% of those after implementing ProShop. So pretty huge.
Yep. Pioneer cuts, same thing more than it ProShop cost them. And then east branch, as Chris has
shared with us here, I think the numbers Chris, 32,000, that first year in total and about 20 was
expediting fees. And about 12 was overnight shipping charges. Is that about right?
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Speaker 2:
Yeah, it sounds about right. Yeah.
Yeah. Plus not having that overhead position. Pretty, pretty niceSpeaker 2:
… ROI there. Yeah. So we’ve been answering questions kind of all the way along. There was one that
asked about setting up the dashboards where must be a ProShop client already. We actually are going to
do another webinar about dashboards on January 12th. We’re going to have two clients joining us for
that one, talking about how it’s changed our lives. But so look out for that one. And thank you all very
much for joining us today. Hopefully that was informative. Hopefully you can take some of the ideas and
go implement them tomorrow in your own shop and help you get more proactive in spending less
money on all this expediting, so. Yeah. Thank you Chris, for joining us. Thanks Brian. For running the
Speaker 2:
Yeah. Yeah.
And we’ll see you all on the next one.
Speaker 2:
Great. Awesome. Thanks.
Have a good day.

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