M1 Keeps Company Strong and Growing
Ask Mark Shervey what he likes about M1 software from ECi Software Solutions and the answer you get is deceptively simple. “It works,” he says with a big smile.
It’s the same answer he’s been giving since 2001, when Pequot Tool & Manufacturing, the company he now heads up as president, made the switch to M1.
“The program we were using before M1 was a nightmare,” he recalls. “We would lose data almost weekly and often had to run diagnostic programs to fix corrupted data. One time our system was down for two whole days because we couldn’t get anyone at our software supplier back then to fix it.”
Those days, he makes clear, are just a dim memory. “Since we moved to M1 in 2001, we’ve never been down except for planned updates or server maintenance and we’ve never lost data once. And when you need something, they take care of you.”
Investment in the business fueled growth
If the past 13 years at Pequot Tool & Manufacturing offer any indication, M1 has done a pretty good job of taking care of Shervey and his team. When he came on board in 2000, sales at Pequot stood at around $4.5 million. Today, they’re running at $18 million and growing, with a customer base that extends literally from coast to coast.
A large part of that growth is due to Shervey and the owner’s willingness to invest in the business. The company today operates out of some 83,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space that houses state of the art machining and fabrication equipment. And this year, they’re beginning an ambitious expansion effort that will add another 12,000 sq. ft. to the operation.
Typically, Shervey explains, the company will spend around $1 million a year on new manufacturing equipment and upgrades, an investment he views as critical to keeping the company strong and growing.
Equally important, he makes clear, is the company’s commitment to M1 as its business management platform.
“With the kind of operation that we run, seamless, real-time communication throughout the organization is absolutely critical and M1 gives us all that and more,” he says.
M1 is used to manage almost every aspect of the operation
With the exception of some specialized CAD software for programing machines and another program for inspecting parts to eliminate paper on the shop floor, Shervey and his team use M1 to manage just about every aspect of Pequot Tool’s operations—from the initial quote and order through job tracking and scheduling activity on the shop floor to the final invoice.
“Integrating everything into one system makes managing the business so much easier,” Shervey says. “We’re able to get just about any data we want and put it in the hands of the people who need it when they need it.”
Pequot Tool made a commitment to go paperless several years ago and now, thanks to M1, the company is about 90% there, Shervey reports. “We’ve got terminals at every work center and if there’s an issue with a particular part or process, our people can flag it in the system so that it automatically shows up the next time it’s used,” he explains. “Everything is scanned and archived electronically and while we still have a few filing cabinets around the plant, about the only thing our people keep in them any more is their lunch!”
M1 has supported the company’s growth
Remarkably, the entire IT department at Pequot Tool consists of one full-time and one part-time employee, supported by an outside consulting company that spends about 30 hours a month on the job, Shervey reports.
That alone provides convincing evidence of M1’s ability to support a growing manufacturing operation with the minimum of fuss and excitement.
“M1 has been a valuable partner for us for nearly 15 years,” says Shervey. “The software consistently exceeds our expectations and the results speak for themselves. I can’t imagine where we’d be without it and I certainly can’t imagine any reason why we would change.”