How My Love for Tinkering Led Me to Create Exenta Shopfloor

by Roberto Mangual | March 20, 2018

From Roberto: “I’m always fascinated by entrepreneurs and how they built their businesses. I think the route Justin Hershoran, of Exenta Shopfloor, took is an especially interesting one, so I invited him to tell his story in a special guest blog. I sincerely hope you enjoy.”

Some kids loved fire engines, others loved airplanes, and still others loved cars. I, however, loved to tinker with electronics and computers. That love turned into a career I am still incredibly passionate about today.

When I went to school in the late 80’s computers were unreliable. They required a lot of tinkering, which I happily did. But by the early 90’s, I had advanced my interest in computers into a digital arts major at the University of Florida.

After a few years working for others, the entrepreneurial bug bit me and I started my own IT company. Our focus was on security and IT services backed by a strong, clean design. As security and IT needs changed, so did we. Services became more and more important. Our help desk, for example, became a major differentiator for us. Unlike other companies (where helpdesks only know their own product), our helpdesk was competent with most platforms and software systems throughout the industry – and I’m proud to say that this service still continues today.

Our clients have come to rely on our in-depth knowledge of IT and security no matter whose system is being used.

Tablets can be mounted almost anywhere. Our customers have had some interesting and creative approaches. Here is one where they bolted a tablet to the head of a sewing machine!

Of course, every business needs to adapt – and we did so again in 2014 by developing our signature Shopfloor software.

We created it in response to seeing a major need in the marketplace for technology that could improve efficiency in all areas on the shop floor – and on a modern platform.  Everything in the marketplace then was based on 30 year old technology, meaning the tech was pretty much obsolete at that point. As a result, there were serious control, efficiency, and cost problems. Businesses, regardless of size, lacked real insight about: where their workers were working, where WIP was located, what quality parameters should be in place, how pay was determined, and so much more.

Modernize an operator’s workstation (sewing machine in this case) and automate the tracking and pay in a simple to use tool.

Workers on the shop floor had to perform those tasks manually, which resulted in wasting ridiculous amounts of time and resources. For example, operators constantly stopped work to add up what they had done and how much they had earned, as often as 10x a day.

We found that with our Shopfloor technology a typical plant could save up to 20 minutes per operator for just that one action.

In another instance, operators clocked in at a centrally located time clock and then took extra time to get to their machine and start actual work. With Shopfloor, that process is now done at the operator’s machine, eliminating even more inefficient actions. A typical company gains 8-20 minutes more time per operator per day – the benefits and the ROI became more and more obvious.

And these numbers don’t even start to touch on the productivity gains (upwards of 20-37%), reduced absenteeism, increased quality, and reducing or eliminating the need for overtime. 

Each one of these things provide the ROI that most companies want on their own.

Yet, it is still amazing to me is that so few manufacturers worldwide use any sort of shop floor technology. Companies that do, and those who more recently added the IoT (Internet of Things) to their manufacturing floor represent the forward thinking, elite manufacturers that are increasing productivity and staying ahead of their competitors by a wide margin.

Today, our world-class technology, supported by a strong services skill set, are second to none.

We are ready to become the #1 player in technology on the shop floor; ready to serve clients of all sizes world-wide. To accelerate our growth and development, we decided to join the Exenta team because they offered us the best combination of resources, managerial expertise, and passion for what we wanted to do. Plus, we manage to fit seamlessly into their other product offerings within the ERP base.

Show your production floor what’s happening and maintain goals using TV’s in real time!

I’m proud to say that we continue to meet our industry’s changing needs. In fact, EXENTA Shopfloor with Advanced Payroll (our incentive pay module) has become a core product offering. As more businesses worldwide understand the unparalleled benefits of shop floor technology, it is no longer a question of whether shop floor is right, but rather who is the right partner? Identifying partners who have the best balance between programs and services, and who will do whatever it takes to make their clients a success has become the #1 order of the day.

It’s important to remember, however, that no one person can build an organization like Exenta Shopfloor alone. It takes a great and dedicated team. In my next blog, I’ll discuss how I joined forces with 3 great managers, without whom Exenta Shopfloor would not be where it is today.