just plan it participating in FABTECH 2023 – Top 3 findings

    Elmar Karlowitsch
    September 29, 2023

    From September 11th to 14th we took part in “FABTECH 2023” and presented our automatic finite scheduling solution for high-mix low-volume manufacturers – “just plan it” – at our booth at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. It was a great experience, and I summed it up in these three findings.

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    "We" - Dave Luckner, our manager responsible for all North American operations, and my humble self, Elmar Karlowitsch, the COO of NETRONIC Software - operated the stand together throughout the entire time.

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    One thing in advance: considering that this was our very first time taking part in such an event, we were very positively surprised by the large turnout and the many very good conversations that we had over the course of the day. Aside from this great circumstance, I gained three core findings over the four days of the trade fair that I would like to share with you.

    1. Small and medium-sized manufacturers urgently need an automatic finite scheduling solution
      It sounds trivial, but it has been thoroughly confirmed: 100% of our booth visitors had an ERP system. Most of them included a production or even scheduling module. But none of them were in any way useful for high-mix low-volume scheduling. Therefore, 0% of visitors use their ERP for scheduling, but in about 95% of cases they tried to get by with spreadsheets. And again, 100% of all visitors who "abused" spreadsheets reported that it stopped working at a certain point in time and that they couldn't scale because of it. Rather, they reported that they had been flying blind with their company for a long time now (as a non-English native, it was very interesting for me to learn the different expressions for this - obviously painful – condition of desperately using spreadsheets: “reading tea leaves”, “stab in the dark”, “pi**ing in the wind” 😉).
      With just plan it we offer exactly what high-mix low-volume manufacturers need for successful scheduling. It was a pleasure to show attendees how easily automatic finite scheduling can solve their problems.

    2. Meeting people in person is important
      As finding 1. implies, it was fun to present just plan it to interested people. As we normally do the just plan it business remote, direct contact with people was particularly constructive and inspiring: It was really a pleasure to receive people's feedback directly and unfiltered in word, expression, and body language. 
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      Especially since we received only positive feedback throughout, our visit to the FABTECH gave us a great motivational boost. We were also very grateful that existing customers also visited us. Great, productive discussions took place here too. And our customers appreciated the fact that a COO from Germany took the time to personally attend the trade fair abroad.

    3. We have a great manager for North American operations

      So far I pointed out that Fabtech was fun and that meeting people in person is important. Combining these insights I have to conclude, that working with Production Priorities in general and Dave Luckner in particular was not only very well-established, productive, and successful but great fun. Dave is distinguished not only by his many years of experience in the area of ​​manufacturing and scheduling. He is also an absolute specialist in the launching and use of our just plan it software. In the (few) quieter moments, we always used the time to discuss possible approaches to further improving jpi. Last but not least: thank you Dave for introducing me to Chicago's food specialties after each long working day 😉!
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    Taken all together, one can only come to the conclusion that participating in Fabtech was a great success and that from now on we will regularly take part in such events in order to keep in direct touch with (potential) users and to make the brand even more visible worldwide.

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