Quality Management in Manufacturing with Paul Van Metre and Michael Collins

Episode 211 | Challenges: Process Technology

Quality management in the manufacturing industry should be high on your list of priorities. Carr Machine & Tool is going through the auditing process with ProShop ERP to prepare for the AS9100 certification they’d like to obtain. In this episode of MakingChips, the guys will talk with Paul Van Metre and Michael Collins about ProShop ERP, AS9100, and everything you need to know to prepare for getting your shop certified. 

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Paul is the president of ProShop USA, and founder of Adion Systems, which develops ProShop, a web-based and paperless ERP, MES, QMS system specifically designed for elite companies in the metalworking industry. They partner with shops that seek to be elite and deliver cutting edge quality.

Michael is an implementation specialist at ProShop USA, who trains clients on how to effectively use and implement ProShop in their shops. In addition, Michael provides QMS consulting in the areas of compliance, documentation, auditing and achieving management system certification such as AS 9100. Michael is also an ASQ certified quality auditor. 


ProShop takes quality management to a whole new level

ProShop describes itself as a Digital Manufacturing Ecosystem (DME) that combines quality management system (QMS), enterprise resource planning (ERP), Computerized Maintenance Management System, and manufacturing execution system (MES) all in one

Not only is ProShop ERP an all-encompassing system you need for your manufacturing business, but they are also completely paperless. The system takes you into the 21st century and helps you manage everything in one system. 

This episode IS a shameless plug for ProShop because we 100% believe everyone needs to integrate it into their business—and we aren’t afraid to say it. 


What you need to do to get AS9100 certified

AS9100 is the international Quality Management System standard for the Aviation, Space and Defense (AS&D) industry (Rev D (2016) is the most recent version). If you want to work with the AS&D you must get your shop certified

So what does the AS9100 certification process look like? According to Michael, you simply start with a gap assessment. He’ll come in and ask questions, look at records and evaluate where your business is currently at as far as conforming to the AS9100 requirements. 

The gap assessment will help you narrow down where you need to focus and implement changes to become compliant with your quality management. According to Michael:

“The whole idea of quality is continuous improvement”. 

It won’t be achieved in a day, but you can take ongoing steps. There is always something to be improved upon. Be sure to listen as Michael goes into detail. 


How does ProShop ERP simplify the auditing process? 

All of the records that Michael needs to audit can be found within ProShop. There is no navigating through different programs or—heaven forbid—paper files. He can follow the audit trail from one thing to the next in one seamless platform. 

ProShop cuts down the time it takes to do an audit to a third

Jim points out that as a business owner, this is a weight off your shoulders. There are so many other areas where your time is better spent and if you’re decreasing the time spent on an audit bt 66% it decreases anxiety. It also allows you to get back to what you need to do much faster.

Doing things paperless will become the new standard. An auditor can’t tell you that you have to use binders. Even if they aren’t familiar with ProShop, you can walk them through where to find any and all of the info they need. 


ProShop raises the bar when it comes to excellence in quality

ProShop integrated quality management into their system to benefit you. Here are just a few of the functionalities and updates they make that raise the bar: 

  • They help you integrate updates into your system as revisions are made to the standard. They are always updating their ‘Flying Start’ package to reflect regulation updates.
  • The integrate a vendor rating system so you can track the quality of the vendors that you work with. It always you to rank vendors on quality, communication, on-time delivery, and more. 
  • ProShop offers different options to help make sure your system is secure and follows ITAR regulations (on-site server or AWS GovCloud). 

We rely on ProShop ERP to automate our systems and help us go above and beyond expectations with the quality we deliver. 

Listen to the whole episode for valuable information on quality management, ProShop ERP, ASQ9100 certification and much more. 


Here’s The Good Stuff!

  • What’s new at Carr Machine & Tool and Zenger’s & Black
  • Manufacturing News: Automated Metrology by Quality Magazine
  • Michael Collins and Paul Van Metre join Jason and Jim
  • How Michael got started in the manufacturing industry
  • What you need to do to get AS 9100 certified
  • Having ProShop ERP cuts audits down to ⅓ of the time
  • People Recognize that ProShop ERP is an efficient QMS system
  • A conversation about the ProShop vendor rating system
  • Is ProShop ERP a secure system?


Tools & Takeaways


This Week’s Superstar Guests


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Jim Carr: Welcome to MakingChips. We believe that manufacturing is challenging, but if you are connected to a community of leaders, you can elevate your skills, solve your problems, and grow your business. I'm your host, Jim Carr, and I'm joined in the Carr Machine & Tool studio today by my cohost, Jason JZ Zenger. How you doing? Welcome.

Jason Zenger: I'm doing great.

Jim Carr: Welcome to Carr Machine & Tool, my friend.

Jason Zenger: Yeah, so just from a quality standpoint in the way that you talk, how come you always put the emphasis on is, and not challenging? Because it's just, is seems like a superfluous word in the whole thing.

Jim Carr: I don't even know that I'm doing that.

Jason Zenger: Yeah, you do.

Jim Carr: Oh, okay. Sorry.

Jason Zenger: That's okay. No, I'm just...

Jim Carr: Next time we record I'll think about that.

Jason Zenger: Yeah, just enunciate the correct words when you speak, please.

Jim Carr: Challenging.

Jason Zenger: Okay.

Jim Carr: Well, let me tell you, manufacturing is challenging for sure, right?

Jason Zenger: It is.

Jim Carr: Yes. We know it's been a crazy year. By the way, happy holidays, merry Christmas, season's [crosstalk 00:01:06], all these things.

Jason Zenger: Yeah, merry Christmas, Happy Christmas, that's what I always try to say to people.

Jim Carr: A week from today is Christmas, right?

Jason Zenger: Yes.

Jim Carr: Christmas Eve.

Jason Zenger: I know.

Jim Carr: Yeah.

Jason Zenger: I'm excited.

Jim Carr: Merry Christmas.

Jason Zenger: Yeah.

Jim Carr: You and all your kids. Yes, four kids.

Jason Zenger: Yeah, it's going to be fun. My wife is taking her mom, my daughter, and my mom to tea on Christmas Day at the Drake.

Jim Carr: Oh, at the Drake, I didn't-

Jason Zenger: Yeah.

Jim Carr: The Peninsula has it.

Jason Zenger: Oh, maybe it's The Peninsula. I don't know, one of those hotels, yeah.

Jim Carr: Fun that's supposed to be a big, that doesn't seem like something that I would enjoy. It's an English thing right?

Jason Zenger: So they do an old school, English tea and crumpets or something, and they play Christmas music and stuff.

Jim Carr: On a harp?

Jason Zenger: She's a little... Yeah.

Jim Carr: Not my gig.

Jason Zenger: Yeah. It's supposed to be nice, girls thing, you know?

Jim Carr: Yeah, not my thing. but that's okay, good.

Jason Zenger: And then I'm going to play video games with the boys.

Jim Carr: That sounds fun. Video games are good. So Jason, you know Carr Machine & Tool is going to be audited for AS9100 in a few weeks.

Jason Zenger: Yep, he told me that.

Jim Carr: Well maybe more than just a few weeks. And you know, we're already ISO 9001 we have been for... Gosh, I think it's been 14 years, but AS9100 is just a little bit more... I always like to say it's ISO on steroids to make it sound easier to digest.

Jason Zenger: Yeah, you're all about the credentials and the Instagram selfies Jim. I don't know what that says about you.

Jim Carr: Well, you know the thing is if you're not AS9100 you're going to have a hard time getting new customers from the aerospace aviation.

Jason Zenger: This is true. I know that's-

Jim Carr: They won't even look at you, quite frankly.

Jason Zenger: I know that's a target of yours.

Jim Carr: Yeah, so when we bought ProShop ERP to manage our company, we also integrated their Flying Start package into the QMS because it's got all that content in there, and quite frankly we used to have all these binders for our ISO 9100 data.

Jason Zenger: Yeah, I mean most shops that I stop at, I see those binders.

Jim Carr: They're gone.

Jason Zenger: Not necessarily on AS9100 binders, but like I see binders everywhere because it's a necessary, or at least back in the day it was a necessary requirement of getting that certification, and now you can do it without the binders.

Jim Carr: You can, we're ditching the binders.

Jason Zenger: And you could clear the cobwebs.

Jim Carr: Clear the cobwebs. I don't want to see them anymore.

Jason Zenger: Replace the binders and the cobwebs with gigabytes.

Jim Carr: Yeah, exactly. It's all about being paperless, and that's the way to go. That's the focus that Carr Machine is on, as far as our vision, is to have a nearly, I don't think I can ever go completely paperless because I'm pretty old school, but nearly paperless company. So I'm excited, I'm looking forward to it. So anyway, ProShop is in today because they're going to do a gap assessment, and just kind of hold my hand through this process to just look at everything, make sure that we've crossed our T's and dotted our I's.

Jim Carr: So, but before we get to that, why don't you tell me in the Metal Working Nation what's going on at ZB? Zenger Black.

Jason Zenger: Yeah, so actually as soon as we are done recording here, I'm actually going to see a dear friend of MakingChips and now a customer of Zenger's in Oklahoma, Mike Payne, from Hill Manufacturing, and he actually happens to be a ProShop client as well. And we have a vending machine down there that we shipped, and we're going down there to set it up, and to fill it up and to train their team, and to start working on making their jobs more productive through more advanced tooling recommendations.

Jim Carr: That's awesome. That's really cool. Tell him I said I've never met him but I... Oh, yes I have met him.

Jason Zenger: You did you, met him at IS...

Jim Carr: I met him at IS in 2018, yeah.

Jason Zenger: Mike's a great, great guy. And I'm also planning on recording an interview with Mike, which I'll bring back to you, that you and I can discuss at a later time. Because Mike actually has some experience that's different from most manufacturing leaders. So he kind of comes from a different background, and I think that'll be helpful.

Jim Carr: What industry is he from?

Jason Zenger: Well Jim, you got to tune into the episode to find out.

Jim Carr: That's good, okay. I will, absolutely. I think I know, but it's a little early today, so... Well thank you for sharing that. That's cool. Safe travels When are you coming home?

Jason Zenger: I'm coming home Wednesday night, and my team's coming home Thursday night.

Jim Carr: Okay, gotcha. Are they all flying out together?

Jason Zenger: We're flying there together, and then the two of them are flying back by themselves, and I'm flying back a day early.

Jim Carr: Gotcha.

Jason Zenger: How about you?

Jim Carr: We always talk about what's new would Carr we're wrapping up the year it's been an incredible year, it's been exhausting quite frankly. I still laugh that... Ryan and I laugh sometimes to say I don't think we could have ever taken on this new work and managed it without ProShop this year because we've just had some big numbers, and it's been a lifesaver.

Jason Zenger: Well you know it's funny because Mike has said those exact same words to me before.

Jim Carr: Oh, is that right?

Jason Zenger: Yeah.

Jim Carr: Yeah, I mean it manages our whole company and it's been awesome. So I maybe didn't get quite as many gray hairs this year because of ProShop. So definitely added a few for sure.

Jason Zenger: But before we get there what's going on at the Boring Bar?

Jim Carr: Yeah, the Boring Bar, so cool. So you know the Boring Bar is our weekly newsletter that we offer to all of our subscribers, gives them insight and content that they wouldn't normally get if they weren't subscribed.

Jason Zenger: Well, so you say that, but the fact is in the past the Boring Bar has been where they would get notification of new episodes, and also to some of the written articles that we've done and stuff like that. But now... Which is actually different, all the stuff that you used to be able to get from the Boring Bar, you could actually get on our website, or be or if you subscribe to our podcast.

Jason Zenger: But what we're doing differently now, and to be quite honest, to incentify people to subscribe to the Boring Bar, is each Boring Bar article in the future is going to have an original article that's not going to be available anywhere else except on the newsletter.

Jim Carr: I knew that.

Jason Zenger: So it's going to be a little bit different. So just a little bit of insight from the MakingChips team that you can only get if you're a Boring Bar subscriber.

Jim Carr: The other cool thing is when our new facility is done being built out in the burbs of Chicago, we're going to actually have a bar, and then we're going to have a branded the Boring Bar. And for our grand opening, Nick, our partner and I are going to bartend.

Jason Zenger: Nice.

Jim Carr: Isn't that cool?

Jason Zenger: Yeah.

Jim Carr: Because you know I was a professional bartender.

Jason Zenger: And I'm going to sit at the bar and make you guys make drinks.

Jim Carr: I can do it buddy, I can do it, yeah.

Jason Zenger: I'm not a bartender, so I'm not going to participate.

Jim Carr: I know, it was fun. [crosstalk 00:07:01].

Jason Zenger: I'll take people's order.

Jim Carr: That was a long time ago.

Jason Zenger: I'll be the waiter, I'll take orders and give them to you guys.

Jim Carr: Okay, perfect. So I got some great manufacturing news today. You know what the word metrology means? M-E-T-R-O-L-O-G-Y.

Jason Zenger: I don't know what that acronym that you just gave me.

Jim Carr: Did you see it, in my notes?

Jason Zenger: Oh, you were just spelling metrology.

Jim Carr: I was because I didn't think you know how to spell it.

Jason Zenger: I probably could figure it out, but what we're talking about today is automated metrology.

Jim Carr: Yes, exactly.

Jason Zenger: Which I think is very exciting. I think that's definitely... I mean automation of everything is where manufacturing is going. I was actually having a conversation with my wife's uncle, who is a plant manager, and his friend actually works at Tesla, and he was describing some of the automation that they have at Tesla, and he said it's just mind boggling.

Jim Carr: Oh, I'm sure.

Jason Zenger: He's just...

Jim Carr: The Gigafactory?

Jason Zenger: Yeah.

Jim Carr: Out in Sparks, Nevada?

Jason Zenger: Yeah, the one that makes the batteries. He said it's mind blowing the automation that goes on over there. And yeah, I mean metrology automation is definitely the wave of the future, you have to be able to do that.

Jim Carr: Well, it's crazy.

Jason Zenger: Automation of everything, that should be the theme is automation of everything.

Jim Carr: Well, we have to be, we absolutely have to be. So it's crazy-

Jason Zenger: Do you know what you could also automate Jim?

Jim Carr: What's that?

Jason Zenger: You can also automate downloading your MakingChips episode by subscribing.

Jim Carr: Yes. How do you do that?

Jason Zenger: Well, you just subscribe on your favorite podcast player. So automation of everything is even automation of MakingChips.

Jim Carr: Or you can text C-H-I-P-S to 38470.

Jason Zenger: To get a link?

Jim Carr: Yes.

Jason Zenger: Okay. I don't know if you're getting it on the automation theme there. You're just on the texting thing.

Jim Carr: That's an automated thing, right?

Jason Zenger: Sure, Jim.

Jim Carr: But anyway, when I saw this article in Quality Magazine, I'm like, "Man, I remember back decades ago how we used to make first article inspection reports, how we used to have to measure everything, and now it's all vision inspection, and CMM inspection and...

Jason Zenger: Get out your micrometer.

Jim Carr: Yeah, exactly. And it is really moving in the opposite direction, and I think that if we are not automating our metrology, we're going to be left behind because everybody else is going to be doing things faster and more efficient.

Jason Zenger: It's too time-consuming.

Jim Carr: Exactly.

Jason Zenger: And you need to make better use of your people's time.

Jim Carr: 100%, so check that out, it's in Quality Magazine. It's called, Automated Metrology: Manufacturing Trend of the Future. I really learned a lot from it and it's awesome.

Jason Zenger: Yeah, so just like you asked me about the definition of metrology.

Jim Carr: Are you going to ask me the definition of something else?

Jason Zenger: No, and I was going to say just like the theology is the study of God, the metrology, that's the ology stuff, is a scientific study of measurement.

Jim Carr: Absolutely.

Jason Zenger: So it's the study of things, I guess you would say.

Jim Carr: It is. So let's talk about the show. What do we got?

Jason Zenger: Yeah, can I introduce our guest?

Jim Carr: I want you to absolutely.

Jason Zenger: Okay, so we have on the show today, Michael Collins. Michael is an implementation specialist at ProShop USA, who trains clients in how to effectively use and implement ProShop in their shops. In addition, Michael also provides QMS consulting in the areas of compliance, documentation, auditing and achieving management system certification such as AS9100. And I'm being told that this is a big deal, but Michael is also an ASQ certified quality auditor. Welcome to the show, Michael.

Michael Collins: Good morning, thanks for having me.

Jason Zenger: And we also have-

Jim Carr: I did not know about that. That's interesting that certification that you have.

Michael Collins: Yeah, ASQ is an industry leader in terms of certification and knowledge. It's the American Society for Quality, so you can get certifications for inspector, black belt, auditor, and you attain certifications by meeting education and work experience, and taking a test basically.

Jim Carr: Great, thanks. Well, welcome to the show.

Michael Collins: Thanks.

Jim Carr: I look forward to our conversation. Who else do we have here?

Jason Zenger: Yeah, we also-

Jim Carr: We know this guy.

Jason Zenger: We also have on the show today a well known voice to MakingChips, a well known low baritone voice. Mr. Paul Van Metre. Paul is the president of ProShop USA, and founder at Adion Systems, which develops ProShop, a web based and paperless ERP, MES, QMS system specifically designed for elite companies in the metalworking industry. And they partner with shops who seek to push the edge. So this is not a system for shops that are just coming in and doing the same old, same old. This system is for shops that are really on the cutting edge, literally pun intended.

Jim Carr: Yes. Welcome Paul.

Jason Zenger: Welcome Paul.

Paul Van Metre: Thank you guys, it's great to be here again.

Jim Carr: Yeah, I like how you redid your bio a little bit for elite shops because I like to think...

Jason Zenger: Do you consider yourself elite?

Jim Carr: I do. I do think I'm more... I don't think I know we're elite man. But no, I like that you wrote that into your bio Paul, so kudos to you for doing that. So Paul, we've had you on the show more than a couple of times in the past, and we've never really talked about this. What was the impetus in integrating the QMS content into ProShop? I mean, when you were developing ProShop ERP, what made you think that this is going to be a great addendum to the content that these elite machine shops need?

Paul Van Metre: We actually didn't originally intend to have this Flying Start package. So when we built ProShop at our shop, we knew we wanted to get ISO, and then ultimately AS certified. So we built all the modules to achieve that goal, modules for procedures, and work instructions, and standards, and auditing, and NCRs, and all that stuff. And then of course we built our quality system in those modules at our shop. And when we sold our shop, and went into the software business, we still had all that content sitting there. And some of our first customers started asking us, "Well, we don't really have a very good quality system." Or, "We don't have one. Do you guys have something that you can help us with?"

Paul Van Metre: And we realized, "Yeah, we have an entire company's template basically built into a ProShop already." So we took that content that was designed for our own shop and we called it the Flying Start package, and we started selling it as an option for companies that wanted help either redesigning their QMS, or designing it from scratch if they weren't certified in the first place.

Jim Carr: And it really just saves them a tremendous amount of time and effort to get that going themself.

Paul Van Metre: Yeah, as any shop knows that's gone through this, it can take literally hundreds and hundreds of hours to develop all the contents.

Jim Carr: Yeah. Why bother doing it if you guys already have it finished.

Paul Van Metre: Yeah.

Jim Carr: Well and it's all templated too. So everyone's QMS is different as long as it is aligned with what the certification says.

Jason Zenger: Yeah, I mean there's, we can buy, they call them standards because I templates.

Jim Carr: So Michael, maybe you can elaborate a little bit on that. So tell us a little bit about how you got started in this industry, and what you've learned along the way on your journey with ProShop and being in this role?

Michael Collins: Well, I've been in what I call aerospace and medical device contract manufacturing, I started my ninth year this November. Specifically, I got into quality because I was bored with where I was at in the company I was at. And I approached the quality manager and just said, "What is this quality thing about?" And he kind of threw me AS9100 and said "Well read this and if you can figure-"

Jim Carr: He gave you like all the binders?

Michael Collins: No, he gave me the standard, and it's like, "Here, go read this and if it makes sense then we'll come back and talk." So I read it.

Jim Carr: And wasn't that a boring read?

Michael Collins: No, it wasn't.

Jim Carr: Okay, interesting.

Michael Collins: Yeah, that's why I'm in quality.

Jason Zenger: Okay, I get it. You love that first read.

Michael Collins: Well I had a back... So I studied political science in school, so like law, legal, stuff like that always interests me, and AS9100 is just kind of an embodiment of further regulations, all of that type of genre. So it reads like that and it made sense to me. And so from there I just found a position in quality and just kind of managed to work my way up. I guess getting more responsibility, and I've been consulting with ProShop for almost a year now. I do that and I also do the training and implementation like you receive, you started ProShop. So I have those two responsibilities.

Jim Carr: Awesome.

Jason Zenger: So when we're done with this interview, Jim is actually going to get started on his audit.

Jim Carr: It's a gap assessment.

Jason Zenger: Right. What can he expect to go through today in working with you guys on this gap assessment?

Michael Collins: He can expect a full system audit of his system. That's basically what a gap assessment is. So a lot of customers ask me, "What do I need to do to get AS9100 certified, or even 9001, and they come from different places. They might have a system, they might not have a system, they might have a certification, they might not. But the process or phases that a company would go through to get ready for those audits, and pass those audits is the same. And the first step of that process is just to understand where you're at. And that's what this gap assessment is.

Michael Collins: It's much like a system audit in the sense that I'll be asking questions, looking for records, talking to people, and evaluating conformity to the requirements for AS9100, unlike a system audit where there's nonfulfillment of a requirement, which is the definition of a non-conformity, you would take corrective action. "Why did this happen?" Root cause-

Jim Carr: Minor, major...

Michael Collins: Yeah, we don't do that, we're simply just going to say here's a gap. Okay, now we know we're at...

Jim Carr: Right, this is what... You need to focus on this particular area.

Jason Zenger: So that way when he gets certified, he's just flies through it.

Jim Carr: [crosstalk 00:16:15]. So when I get audited.

Jason Zenger: For when you get audited for certification.

Michael Collins: So the gap assessment is going to provide you information that tells you where you conform and where you don't conform, and then it's up to you to say, "Okay, I know where my gaps are, now how are we going to plug those gaps? What do we need to do?" And that's between that and then your stage two audits, that's the work that any organization will need to do to get ready for the stage one and two audits.

Jason Zenger: So what's the difference between the fact that ProShop has this QMS integrated into the ERP system, versus someone that doesn't have that? What's he going to go through differently?

Michael Collins: Well, because I am much more familiar with ProShop than most registrar auditors or anyone that hasn't used ProShop. I know exactly where all the records are, and I know to go where to look to see.

Jim Carr: I don't even know quite frankly, [crosstalk 00:16:58] you're going to have to show me today. I'm a little on edge, but that's okay. I know I'm not going to get any demerits. I'm just...

Michael Collins: No, this is not a test. I look at it this way, every organization has at some point in their evolution in terms of their management system... So you'll get there. Whole idea of quality is continuous improvement, and you'll get there eventually, that's the idea behind continually improving, always doing better. Well you are where you are, and to get better you got to first know where you're at.

Jim Carr: Absolutely.

Michael Collins: But with ProShop, I can audit so much faster than a paper system or having to go to different computer programs because all of the records are in ProShop, and they're traceable but they're also connected via hyperlink. So it's very easy to follow an audit trail from one thing to a next I don't have to go shopping around a lot of different places.

Jason Zenger: So otherwise you'd be looking through paperwork?

Michael Collins: Oh yeah, I'd be looking through paperwork.

Jason Zenger: That sounds like it'd be considerably longer.

Michael Collins: Well I'd be... "Let me see your scheduling software. Let me see your purchasing software." Any of those other programs, or paper that would have records or procedures that I would have to come through that and since it's all in ProShop, I can just click buttons and scroll through and that's why auditing is so much faster.

Jason Zenger: Have you guys ever documented the just the time savings on the audit of doing it through ProShop versus, the traditional manner?

Paul Van Metre: We certainly have, I mean when we did audits at our shop, it was pretty typical that an audit would take about a third of the time that they thought it would take.

Jim Carr: But they're still going to charge you for the full time, right?

Paul Van Metre: Yes, of course they do.

Jim Carr: They're still going to charge for the minimum quantity.

Paul Van Metre: Well, yeah then they-

Jason Zenger: Maybe you could push the industry to have like a ProShop audit, and then a regular audit since it's so time saving. But I would say even from the shop owners perspective, that's got to take a lot of anxiety away. I mean if you go to somebody and say your audits going to be 33% of the time that it would normally take, that's got to take a weight off of you because time is money, everybody's busy. And also when you're going through that, that audit, there's a lot of anxiety. Let's be honest, it's like if you were having an audit by the IRS, you want those IRS guys out of there as quickly as possible, and the same thing with one of these audits. You want it done as quickly as possible, get your certification, and move on.

Paul Van Metre: Yeah, certainly once the customer has gone through the gap, and they have confidence that they have all their stuff in line, they know that audit is going to go well, and we have a really great track record with our customers of flawless audits, almost no findings, or zero findings, or something very minor, and it goes fast.

Jim Carr: That was one of my questions and I'm glad you answered that, but I have another question. So because a lot of these auditors are not familiar with ProShop, what happens when that auditor comes in on the very first day and says show me your records, and I-

Jason Zenger: You put them in front of a computer.

Jim Carr: Seriously. So how do I mitigate that, or am I going to have to... Because I remember being audited on my ISO last year, and the auditors sat right here all day long, and I put 10 binders in front of him, and he just sat and went through and looked at all of our records that way. So how are they going to navigate through ProShop if they're not familiar with the system?

Paul Van Metre: Usually the QMS representative at the company will do the tour.

Jim Carr: Is going to have to do that?

Paul Van Metre: Yeah, they'll walk them through. So the auditor will... well Mike probably tell you better than I would, but using the standard to go through all the sections and make sure you meet the requirements, and we actually have a standards module where you can sort of guide through hyperlinks just into your content. And that's one of the things that the Flying Start package has is basically all these links into specific content that we've built that show you very easily how you meet the requirements of the standard.

Jim Carr: Got it. Have you [inaudible 00:20:47] heard from your customers where the auditors have come in and say, "No, we can't do this or-"

Jason Zenger: "I need paper?"

Jim Carr: No, seriously have you heard any feedback from any of your customers where an auditor just put up his nose and said, "I'm sorry I can't audit you this way."

Michael Collins: Well, no. I mean we have gotten messages from customers after their audit where there might have been findings, or the audit just wasn't managed effectively and then that's where we're able to provide them information to show the auditor like here is how you would use ProShop in that regard. So I think some of it comes down to just communication during the audit. If an auditor came in and said, "You can't do this that way." My first response is, well, show me in the standard where it says you can't do this.

Jim Carr: Exactly. Because again, it's our QMS, it's not anybody else's, and we elect to do it in a paperless system, and environment. It's not up to the auditor who disseminate whether it's right or wrong.

Michael Collins: No, it's not. I mean the greatest source of variation is amongst auditors in terms of the auditing and process. I've been involved... I've been audited at least 50 times. I've had to explain a system, and that's really what's I think, given me a greater perspective about how to conform to the requirements is I've been exposed to just different points of view and some things that clearly don't meet the requirements, but people wanted them to do that.

Jason Zenger: Jim I know you got that job on Xometry.com, where'd you get the material from?

Jim Carr: Well, funny you should ask. I did get that job, part of their vendor partner network, and Xometry just started to sell material on their supplies network. It's awesome, I get the job from them, I don't even have to think about the size, or the alloy, or the material. They tell me exactly what size I'm going to need, have the price, and bam, it's done. It's in my inbox and I'm out. So go to Xometry.com and check out their supplies network to buy 6061 aluminum.

Jim Carr: What's going to happen maybe in five years from now when they... You know we recently converted from ISO 9001:2008 to 2015 so they changed that standard a little bit. How is ProShop going to adapt to those changes in the future?

Paul Van Metre: We'll update to their new requirements of the standard. We've already done it twice.

Jim Carr: Oh, you have?

Paul Van Metre: Yeah. When we were first audited at our company, it was 2006, so we were at whatever version, I guess rev B, and then it rolled the rev C, and then it rolled to rev D, and we've always just updated all the content.

Jim Carr: Okay, so that's something that's going to happen automatically, or we have to notify you? Or what?

Paul Van Metre: So to be clear as far as you're concerned, we will update our Flying Start package, so any new customers will get the rev E [crosstalk 00:23:51].

Jim Carr: Of course, right? Because we're D now, right?

Paul Van Metre: Yep, but you're going for D as far as a customer is concerned. When they get the ProShop playing Flying Start package, they typically customize some amount of it. I'm not sure how much you have done, but you might have a slightly different way of doing something that than what we had put into our template. So we can't really take our rev E content, and just overwrite your system because you've already customized it a little bit.

Jim Carr: Oh, I understand. I got it. Yes, I get it.

Paul Van Metre: So we will probably publish some kind of little guide on what the newest changes are, and how we... I mean and there may even be new features we have to build into a ProShop, right? If there's any requirement that requires this or that, we may have to develop some new software for that. So your system certainly would be updated with that, but the actual content itself, it would be sort of a collaboration, and we'd help our customers take that next step into the new rev.

Jim Carr: Cool.

Jason Zenger: So Paul, what percentage of your customers go for that Flying Start, and want to have that integration in their system?

Jim Carr: Good question.

Paul Van Metre: Geez, I'm not actually sure precisely, but I would have to guess at least 70%.

Jim Carr: Oh really 70? Seven zero.

Paul Van Metre: And most of our customers, at least more than half already are certified to some standard when they sign up with us.

Jim Carr: Really?

Paul Van Metre: But what's I think motivating them to get the content once they see it, is that they realize that their current QMS content is designed around their old processes, which are often paper based, and not as efficient as the way we do it. So they realize that they would have to almost completely rewrite their own QMS content to be the way ProShop works.

Paul Van Metre: Right, so imagine in your old system, you may have had reference to the fact that when you got a new customer PO, you would print it out, and you would make your paper packet, and then that would go around to different people for approval, for rev, or for scheduling, or for risk assessment.

Jason Zenger: Check it, check it, check it...

Jim Carr: Everyone initial it, double check, check the [crosstalk 00:25:41].

Jason Zenger: Just saying all those things sounds awful to me.

Paul Van Metre: And so now-

Jim Carr: But you have to do that...

Paul Van Metre: Yeah, you do. [crosstalk 00:25:47].

Jason Zenger: Paperwork, and signing, and everything.

Jim Carr: I mean, if you don't have the right rev when a customer sends you a purchase order, and the rev doesn't match the print, you better make damn sure that you get the right rev because if you make the wrong part, you're dead in the bucket.

Jason Zenger: I get it, and we try to be as paperless as possible too, but like just the notion of that versus having a paperless system just sounds awful.

Paul Van Metre: So they realized that there's far less work for them in starting with our content and customizing a little bit. Then starting with their own content and completely rewriting it to work with ProShop.

Jim Carr: Interesting.

Jason Zenger: And editing it into ProShop too.

Paul Van Metre: Yeah, and just physically adding it into all the modules.

Michael Collins: I mean the sheer, there's at least 300 hours worth of work in the Flying Start package.

Jim Carr: Oh, I believe it's for sure, without a doubt, no question.

Michael Collins: And it's not just the content, but everything is configured together between the... Documents point each other and the training records are all there as well. So it's kind of like you can still add your own or you could buy this one that's already configured.

Jim Carr: Got it.

Jason Zenger: Just in the Metal Working Nation knows, the reason we have Paul on the show, we like him and he's a friend, but he's also a partner MakingChips, but I mean we believe that this is the direction that shops need to go into if they're going to be successful, and we want to see our audience really on the cutting edge [crosstalk 00:27:03] and being successful and we believe so much in ProShop that we are delivering this kind of salesy message, but for people to really contact ProShop, and to get on board with a paperless system. But I mean because we believe in it.

Jim Carr: No, I'm glad you said that because that really genuinely is true. Not only is Paul and Michael they're good people, and we believe them and they're partners of MakingChips. But genuinely we were just talking about automating metrology is an automation of your measuring, but this is an automation of your whole company, and if you don't do that anytime soon, you're going to get left behind because all those other machine shops throughout this whole entire country are going to be implementing all of this automation...

Jason Zenger: And you're going to be printing out paper and having people sign on it and just-

Jim Carr: It's just like walking through quicksand, it's just going to take... it's arduous, it's time consuming, it's not efficient, it's awful. So no, it's good. So there's this one module that we absolutely love, and we talk about it a lot with my team is the vendor rating system. So-

Jason Zenger: Are you going to put me on the spot?

Jim Carr: No, well... Yes. First of all, you don't know how easy you have it by running an industrial tooling company. You don't have to go through all these high end certifications and audits, right? I mean you have all-

Jason Zenger: It's a different line of business.

Jim Carr: It is, but you have other issues that I'm sure I don't know about, or maybe I do and we just don't talk about it that often. But this is a big deal for us quite frankly. But what we do is when we get in stuff that we've submitted to a vendor, every time we get in something from a vendor, we have an automated way to track and we rate the vendor on every single shipment on five different categories. So we rate you on, on-time delivery, we rate you on how the packaging was. We rate you on the communication with the... And every single... So all of my shipping and receiving people that are trained in shipping and receiving, they're rating you or anybody else that we're buying from and receiving that product at Carr, we're rating you every single time. So we have a consistent rating schedule.

Jason Zenger: So how am I doing, and how can I do better?

Jim Carr: Well, we'll talk about that offline. But no, you're doing well. You're doing fine. I don't know of anything glaring. I mean obviously if there was an issue...

Jason Zenger: I'm waiting for you to start sending regular like quality assessments.

Jim Carr: No, I'm not going to do that.

Jason Zenger: I always want to improve.

Jim Carr: Because it's not a problem. I know well...

Paul Van Metre: I was going to say, let's just pull up his rating right now.

Jim Carr: We'll do that in just a minute, but that is a great feature that is built in.

Jason Zenger: I know you would talk to me if there was any issues.

Jim Carr: Of course I would. Of course I would.

Paul Van Metre: Yeah, vendor performance is certainly one of the main KPIs, key performance indicators, that an auditor would want to see. And there's actually two objective ratings on time delivery is not something that you... that's based on the due date [crosstalk 00:29:54] order, and then did it actually arrive on or before that date? And then quality, were there any rejections? But then there are those categories which are more subjective. Was the packaging good? Were they friendly and nice about trying to meet our dates? All those kinds of things. And that's the subjective part that you were talking about.

Jim Carr: And we utilize that all the time, and it's funny because when we have our weekly production meetings, we might say, "Well we received this material in from a customer, and man it was all scratched up." Or whatever, and we give them a poor rating. So Paul, please share that story you told us—maybe years ago—about one of your customers that was being audited, and the power went out at their company. Tell us that story. I think it's just awesome and it really resonated with me, and I'm sure it's going to resonate with the Metal Working Nation.

Paul Van Metre: Yeah, so they were actually in the exact same situation as you. They had their ISO certification, they got ProShop, and then they went for AS9100. And when the auditor showed up there was a fairly widespread power outage in their neighborhood. So obviously with a computerized system they really couldn't do much. So they actually just left their office, they left their shop, went to a hotel that had power, pulled up ProShop there, they just rented a hotel room, pulled up ProShop there, and did the audit offline.

Jim Carr: That's awesome.

Paul Van Metre: And they pass with flying colors. I'm sure... I mean the auditor has to do a little bit of a walkthrough as well, but they did the whole audit from the hotel room basically.

Jason Zenger: Wow, that's great.

Jim Carr: Isn't that cool?

Paul Van Metre: Yeah.

Jason Zenger: Yeah, that is.

Jim Carr: I mean, it just goes to show you that you never know what you're going to be up against. Just the power of having everything on the cloud.

Jason Zenger: Well, I'm a big believer that we have our whole ERP system on the cloud, as do you, and I know recently my team brought on me, they're like, "What are we going to do if we get hacked? Get our server held for ransom?" And I'd be like, let them have it, because we have nothing on our local server that's important. Everything that we have is all backed up to the cloud, our ERP systems in the cloud, all of our business functions are in the cloud, and it really doesn't matter if we ever got hacked on our systems, I would just get rid of that. I wouldn't pay $50,000 which I know there's some companies that have done that sort of thing. I would just get rid of the server and move on.

Jim Carr: I have a question, and it may not necessarily be about the QMS, but it's about security with ProShop because as Carr is elevating up, and we're starting to work with some high profile customers, I know they're going to come back to us at some point and say, is your ERP system secure? Can you elaborate a little bit on that?

Paul Van Metre: Yeah sure. So we have a few different options for clients that have to meet maybe those ITAR regulations.

Jim Carr: Exactly.

Paul Van Metre: Because we as you know we have some ITAR functionality built right into ProShop about user access and things. But we recently signed up with... Well we use AWS for our cloud hosting, but we recently signed up with the AWS GovCloud system, which is designed for software and applications that that need to be controlled like that, and the military itself, and the government uses that AWS GovCloud system.

Paul Van Metre: So, that is certainly an option if you, if you wanted to move your system over to that, we can certainly do that. We also do have customers that do a fully on-premise install of ProShop. So they do have an onsite server, we load ProShop on it, and then they basically have a little local cloud, and so they can be completely disconnected.

Jim Carr: Paul what is a little local cloud?

Jason Zenger: Well I guess it would be more of a closed system.

Michael Collins: It's a Seattle reference, although they're not little. They're like everywhere.

Jim Carr: I've never heard of that before, a little local cloud, okay.

Paul Van Metre: Right, so let's say you did have a server here.

Jim Carr: Okay, we do.

Paul Van Metre: And we installed the ProShop application on it.

Jim Carr: On the server, okay.

Paul Van Metre: And then you cut the cable that goes to the internet. [crosstalk 00:33:30] ProShop would still run but only on computers inside your network.

Jim Carr: Got it, good analogy.

Paul Van Metre: And we do have customers that... we call it behind an air gap. There is no physical electrical connection between their network and the internet.

Jason Zenger: And for some people out there that's more comfortable for them, [crosstalk 00:33:45] and so you have an option.

Paul Van Metre: And when we need to update ProShop, we just connect for a brief period of time through a very secure network, update their software, and then disconnect again.

Jim Carr: Very interesting.

Jason Zenger: Well, that's all very interesting, and Michael and Paul, thank you for coming on to MakingChips, and really enlightening us on how the future shop should be operating on their ERP, and their QMS system.

Paul Van Metre: Yeah, you're welcome. Thanks for having us. And there's just one point I wanted to sort of leave with that I think is super important. The point of a company's QMS should be to make the company better, and auditing and compliance should almost be an afterthought, right?

Paul Van Metre: When you design your systems, and design not only the actual procedures themselves, but the way that you're going to manage that, and this is one of the importance of having it be all paperless, is that the barriers to making revisions and actually using it to improve your company processes are so much easier. And it's a lower bar than... I mean, go back to imagine all your binders, if you wanted to make a change to that. You know, you're pulling open a word document, you're making edits, you're printing it out, you're getting other people to look at it. You're...

Jim Carr: Signing off on it.

Paul Van Metre: You're signing off, you're the shredding of the old versions, making sure they're not out there.

Jim Carr: And then pulling it into an obsolete file.

Paul Van Metre: Right, so if you can then now instead of that, just click a button to create a draft rev, edit it right inside ProShop, click another button to approve it, or get it reviewed by other people, and then click it to release it. And then everyone gets notified that a new rev has changed. The important part about that is you can actually now use your QMS as an effective tool for continuous improvement. And that's the whole point of ISO and AS, and I think a lot of companies-

Jim Carr: I'm glad you said that because it really isn't all about this urgency to get audited, and why make it scary? The whole objective really is to make your business run better, and with continual improvement.

Paul Van Metre: Exactly right.

Jim Carr: So yeah, I hear you 100%, I'm glad you added that in.

Michael Collins: I was just going to add that what Paul stated is actually a requirement in AS and I believe it's in 9001 too. And the specific language is really to, rather than have a QMS, to incorporate the QMS requirements into your business processes is the specific language. So in other words, don't bolt on a QMS, just do what you're going to do, map out what your business processes are, and then along those points in the process, incorporate the QMS requirements. So at some point you Jim, have to review an RFQ and create an estimate and submit a quote. Most contract manufacturers, virtually all of them have to do that. Unless they just skip over and just go straight to, "Yeah, we can do it. Give us your purchase order."

Jim Carr: Right, right...

Michael Collins: But along those lines, there are certain requirements for 9001, for 9100, for all these other standards. So rather than bolting on a QMS, just incorporate whatever you need to do from a quality perspective into what you currently do.

Jim Carr: Great.

Jason Zenger: Well this has definitely been enlightening and once again, thank you guys for coming on the show, and I need to go, Jim. I need to jump on a flight to Oklahoma. So we're going to have to cut this episode short.

Jim Carr: But I commend you that you were early today.

Jason Zenger: Yeah, thank you.

Jim Carr: Yeah, that was awesome.

Jason Zenger: I was up at 4:30 in the morning.

Jim Carr: I was happy to see that you were early. But yeah, it's been great. Thank you again guys. It's been a pleasure. What do you think is Zenger is going to go for AS9100?

Jason Zenger: It could [crosstalk 00:37:01].

Jim Carr: Would that help you?

Jason Zenger: You know, there's some... we've had some of our clients out there that have asked about those types of certifications, but it's really not common, and it's something that I've thought about, and something that I may explore in the future.

Jim Carr: But you're all about process and improving your business.

Jason Zenger: Right, so it's just a matter of getting certified. So we need to think about it, for sure.

Jim Carr: I don't think would be necessary, but knowing you, and knowing how you run your business with really process oriented, I think that would really maybe help.

Jason Zenger: Yeah.

Jim Carr: Yeah.

Jason Zenger: Well Jim-

Jim Carr: Because at the end of the day...

Jason Zenger: If you're not MakingChips paperlessly...

Jim Carr: You're not making paper money, bam.

Speaker 5: Thanks for listening to the MakingChips podcast. Jim and Jason knew that the Metal Working Nation, the community of world-class makers, needed to commit to a new way of leading to stay ahead of the competition. So MakingChips was created to fill that void, to give you advice from other manufacturing leaders who can push you to take action, your manufacturing challenges have a solution, and many of them are at MakingChips.com.

Jason Zenger: Jim always screws up all the episodes from the very beginning [crosstalk 00:00:38:17].

Jim Carr: I like to off of the cuff. I don't like all these questions.

Jason Zenger: I know you're the one that [crosstalk 00:38:20] came up with them.

Jim Carr: I know that's true.

Jason Zenger: All right, so go.


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