If you’ve recently decided to explore software options for your machine shop, that could be a wise decision. The difference between a successful shop and a shop that’s just barely making it is that the successful shop has a process that maximizes efficiency and eliminates waste. Software is often the engine that drives that process.

When you use shop software to its fullest capabilities, you gain the transparency and control you need to optimize every function in your shop. From estimating and ordering to scheduling and even quality control, nearly every function in your shop can be managed seamlessly with shop software.Manufacturing-Software-Data-Collection

Too often, when comparing software packages, shops focus on the features. That’s understandable. Most software platforms have many new and exciting capabilities. It’s fun to explore those features and think about how you might implement them in your shop.

Your analysis should go deeper than bells and whistles, though. When you buy a new machine shop software platform, you’re not just buying the technology. You’re also partnering with the software company. You’ll rely on them for service and support, as well as future software updates and enhancements.

There are a number of important questions to ask potential software providers. However, there is one question that should be near the top of your list. In fact, it’s so important that you may want to think of it as mandatory in your due diligence process. The question is:

What kind of support do you offer during the implementation process?

It would be nice if you could buy new software, install it on your devices, turn it on, and get to work. That’s rarely ever the case. Very often, there is an implementation process that must be completed before the software is ready to use.

That process could include a variety of different steps. You may need to integrate the software with other platforms, such as Quickbooks. You may have data that needs to be transferred from your old system and input into your new one. You will likely need to train your employees on how to use the software to its fullest capabilities. And you could very well deal with the customary transitional and adjustment period that comes with any new piece of technology.

There’s no reason why you should have to go through this process alone. Implementation is too important. Get it wrong and it could lead to serious production delays and even a hit to your bottom line. You could delay your use of the software. Even worse, if implementation is extremely difficult, your team may lose faith in the project and avoid the software once it is up and running.

You don’t want that. Ideally, you want implementation to be seamless and smooth. You want to have a schedule and a timeline, and you want to hit those objectives with few obstacles. In order to do that, you will likely need support from the software provider. It’s important for you to know what levels of support the provider offers before you make a decision on purchasing the software.

At Shoptech, we offer a full level of implementation support so you can get up and running with E2 as quickly as possible. After you purchase E2, you’re assigned an implementation specialist, who is available remotely to help you get the software installed and to assist you with any obstacles that may arise.

For more complex challenges, we offer onsite implementation support. One of our implementation specialists travels to your facility and works hands-on with your team to address any challenges or difficulties.

We recently spoke with DP West, a Washington-based plastic machining shop. They purchased E2 and were excited to use it in conjunction with Quickbooks to manage all of their shop functions, including quoting, scheduling, inventory management, and more.

Unfortunately, there were a few unexpected obstacles that delayed the E2 and Quickbooks integration, preventing any further implementation from happening. One of our implementation specialists flew to Washington and spent several days with DP West not only resolving the integration issue, but also helping them get the entire platform up and running.

The goal isn’t just to purchase software. It’s to use the software to improve your shop’s efficiency and profitability. Your software partner should share that goal, and should have resources available to make the implementation process as smooth and fast as possible.

Interested in learning more about Shoptech, E2, and our implementation support? Contact us today to learn how we partner with you to help you get the most out of your software. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.