Legendary hockey player Wayne Gretzky famously said, “Skate where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” I picked this quote to describe our 2021 Strategic Plan for Hertzler Systems: a plan that lays out our strategies, actions, and tasks – with the goal of putting both Hertzler and you, our customers,in a position to win. We are working hard to visualize where “the puck” is going and skate toward that spot.
In his January blog post, Hertzler President Byron Shelter published our new Positioning Framework. For the next few blog posts, we will examine key portions of this document and their implications for our future and yours.
The first section of the Positioning Framework describes our ideal customer. Based on our decades of experience serving clients in the Manufacturing sector, we have identified three characteristics of companies who reap the richest benefits from the GainSeeker Platform. The Positioning Framework begins:
“For: Manufacturers with multiple facilities, a strong or emerging culture of continuous improvement, and a willingness to invest in their improvement efforts.”
Over 30 years ago, Hertzler Systems’ first SPC system, QA/S, broke new ground with a whopping six traceability fields. Statistical Process Control data could be analyzed by variability factors like Shift or Production Line. Now fast forward to the present and the connected factory of today. Traceability data is collected and assessed in a multitude of ways. It may come from an operator or from an ERP work order, with a single bar code read. Additionally, companies now want to analyze data from multiple plants and rate capabilities across similar product lines or even generate “macro” plant-by-plant capability values. Our future is tied closely to delighting clients who have multiple locations and see the value of big picture statistics and visualizations that reflect their current capabilities in real time.
Another reason why multi-plant enterprises can gain so much value from GainSeeker is that they can benefit from economies of scale. The first plant initiates a GainSeeker project and fine-tunes the details to ensure a smoothly-running system with measurable ROI. Now the other plants can “drop in” this working system at a much lower cost to staff time or consulting services.
Culture of Continuous Improvement
Who would you rather talk to, someone that is excited about advancing processes or someone interested in doing the minimum? The most disappointing calls we get is the person that just wants to produce a few charts to satisfy a customer’s demands. They have little vision for what is possible with a connected Manufacturing Intelligence Platform. Of course we can meet their simple need, but what a poor use of a powerful system.
The globally connected marketplace has changed the rules of competition. There are wide ranges in productive capabilities from place to place, but in the long run competitive advantage requires a culture of continuous improvement. When just about anyone can go on Alibaba and potentially find a new low-cost widget supplier, maintaining and even improving your reputation for high-quality products is crucial for standing out against other vendors in your market segment.
Willing to Invest
Among our customers who are manufacturers with multiple facilities and do foster a culture of continuous improvement, the ones for whom GainSeeker has paid for itself the most quickly – and many times over – are those who are willing to invest in the tools, staff levels, training, and setup services to put those tools into action quickly and start achieving results as soon as possible.
This week I participated in a conference call with a company that fits this description. They will soon have over 30 sites using GainSeeker. Their quality improvement journey includes multiple stakeholders from their production, engineering and supply chain partners. This multi-pronged effort has executive level support to provide the human and financial capital to make it all happen and see the fruits of their labor and efforts. The conference call enabled both of us to exchange future plans and challenges. Our team left the room energized. This customer is moving forward and committed to partnering with Hertzler Systems long-term. This relationship is the embodiment of all three of the descriptors mentioned in the first section of our Positioning Framework.
Quality People and Great Friends
I end this months post with another quote from Wayne Gretzky,
“If you surround yourself with quality people and great friends, the sky’s the limit.”
We are privileged to work with quality people and make great friends at manufacturing facilities around the globe. Friends who use GainSeeker to collect data, visualize statistics and improve their competitive position to win.