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Every time Mark was trying to get control over his small manufacture, he felt like starring in a distorted version of a popular television program, “Undercover Boss.” The show follows high-level executives as they slip anonymously into the rank-and-file of their organizations. Each week, a different leader sacrifices their office’s comfort for an undercover mission to examine the inner workings of their business.
Technically speaking, there is nothing wrong with mingling with the staff, spending time in the shop, and making sure things are going well. “But there was not much fun in turning up at the unheavenly hour to make sure guys were working there, not just lazing around” – recalls Mark. “It was more like consorting with the enemy,” he adds.
“The moment you turned around or left the shop to tend to something urgent, they were hanging around there, looking busy, putting in lots of hours, but there was no visible progress on the orders. (…) Don’t get me wrong, we did complete them, but it was hard to predict how long it would take each time to finish something, and I couldn’t pinpoint who was responsible for which task”. It was like a bad joke, and Mark felt he had no control over his small-scale manufacturing business. “I see myself as a people person: you can turn the blind eye sometimes, I get that, but I am not a schnook.” So naturally, he was desperate to change something. And by sheer accident, he came across Prodio.
“I remember talking to my friend Mike [an owner of a small tool shop] over a beer and confiding in him that I am at my wit’s end, and it is all a complete disaster. I was even thinking of selling my small business. He listened patiently and then took out his mobile phone. I considered that rude, but he showed me a straightforward dashboard with a production plan after a few swipes. My first impression was that it is apparent and easy to read. That’s how I first saw Prodio”.
Mike explained that he had been using Prodio software for a while, and he was keen to show me everything. “I was a bit reluctant at first – I didn’t plan on investing in software, but he said that I needn’t worry about any specialized equipment, on-premise infrastructure, IT team of technicians, or long hours of training for my workers. Prodio takes 5 minutes to set up and another 10 minutes to schedule your first production order,” – he added. “Just click the trial button, and you will see.”
Indeed Prodio enables me to watch my inventory in real-time and better plan our manufacturing. There is no guesswork. I know exactly what is going on with the orders.
Based on the manufacturing process and historical data, we can accurately prioritize and make adjustments to order completion and delivery times. On top of that, I make real-time changes to see where our resources would be the most productive.
Speaking of productivity: Mark finally felt that he regained control over his small business. “I can track the time each employee spends on their tasks, as well as non-productive time. Thanks to the registration of working time, we avoid lateness and see clearly where bottlenecks appear.”
At first, there has been a lot of fear among employees, and a trace of negativity. “We did say goodbye to some of our staff, but it was for the best—those who stayed learned to appreciate Prodio. Measuring the efficiency and performance has transformed into an increase in profits of our company. The more money we make, the more likely they will get their bonus” – laughs Mark. “What’s interesting is we complete the orders on time with half of the staff! I was shocked to learn that my foreman was doing some side jobs during his working hours! I feel like we have just opened a whole new chapter, and it happened just under a month!”
Sometimes what you do, requires a leap of faith and a “can do” attitude. There was more of a “click of faith,” in Mark’s case, but it paid off quickly.
Why don’t you follow in his footsteps? You can see it for yourself since Prodio offers a 14-day free trial, so you can test how easy it is to implement remote work into your business. If you need more guidance to arrange a demo, our team will be happy to go through the software.