Today, most manufacturing companies face similar challenges. Those tend to intertwine themselves with implementing and adhering to best business practices. There are many reasons for this, including:
If manufacturers aren’t successful at implementing basic best practices, like accurate inventory control or making a promise and keeping a promise, a new machine or factory addition can seem like the smarter investments than the latest IoT or Big Data technology.
The Lake Companies knows that to achieve best practices, specific daily business processes must happen and be done as simply as possible, even without human effort. “That’s how we develop our ERP software products. We strive to completely transform internal business processes and revolutionize the user experience with our software,” says Greg Lake, President of The Lake Companies. “Building the support for best practices in our software allows our customers to achieve far more than they anticipated, while paving the way for growth into advanced IoT and Industry 4.0 technologies. Our Simple, Elegant, and Powerful solutions are built specifically for and seamlessly integrate with Infor’s SyteLine®(CloudSuite®) ERP.”
The Steadfast Leader
Under the aegis of Greg, the company has witnessed extreme success. All thanks to Greg’s most significant strength to understand the end user, no matter what they do in the organization, and how to simplify incredibly complex issues. He is the creative force in the products; while designing and developing them, supporting them, and providing the services to implement them are the result of his incredible team. Over the years, The Lake Companies’ team has come up with exceptional solutions to solve customer challenges in the most innovative ways. They’ve built applications that solve problems that most manufacturers haven’t figured out are even problems, yet and do it in a way that delivers compounding benefits for organizations.
Greg’s journey didn’t start in software development, college, or technical school. His first employer was a manufacturer, where he spent his initial years supporting and on the shop floor. He started as a machine operator in a manufacturing facility, then as a forklift operator managing inventory and serving other machine operators. After an initial stint with a global manufacturer and supplier of electric motors, he switched to a shipyard, learning how to weld and do highly complex layouts and patternmaking. He was later selected to go into programming when patternmaking went digital. The next move was to the planning department at the same facility.
His experiences in manufacturing led to Greg starting The Lake Companies. For nearly 40 years, Greg and his team have worked globally with manufacturers of all sizes to help them extend the ability of their existing resources. Their hands-on knowledge of manufacturing and focus on streamlining the work experience across entire organizations are tremendous assets that is shared across the organization.
Greg describes The Lake Companies purpose as, “to forever change how the manufacturing world leverages technology to drive business results.” That purpose has led to an impressive software application lineup known today as Shop-Trak®, Doc-Trak®, & Fact-Trak®, and a service called APSME® (Advanced Planning System Made Easier). Additionally, Greg’s upcoming book, “Your Opportunity River™,” uncovers many of his strategies by using a river metaphor to guide manufacturers on how to scale their businesses profitably.
The Lake Companies has created simple, elegant, and robust software solutions which seamlessly connect with Infor’s SyteLine®(CloudSuite®) ERP. The Lake Companies’ Shop-Trak®, Doc-Trak®, & Fact-Trak® applications have impressive standalone capabilities that multiply the benefits when used together, providing the tools manufacturers need to manage their operations in new and innovative ways.
“We are bringing simplicity back to manufacturers,” says Greg, whose latest offering is The Lake Companies’ FLEX enhancements, which they have added to their entire product line. FLEX provides the ability to allow people from the top floor to the shop floor to have precisely the information they need to do their job without searching for it. In fact, they don’t even have to click to find it in many cases, and their eyes see it faster than they could ever click.
The Lake Companies solutions help customers harvest significant value from existing internal resources. By achieving this, they reduce, or at minimum, flat line costs while at the same time growing revenue. “If you can lower internal costs, it lowers the revenue breakeven point – at the same time that it generates a higher revenue ceiling,” explains Greg. “Doing this widens the profitability range of the company and delivers more to the bottom line in the process. We have developed internal strategies and technology to maximize those strategies. Both create the benefit for our customers to scalable growth in their organizations.”
For instance, Paper Machinery Corporation (PMC), located in Wisconsin, uses SyteLine, Shop-Trak, and Doc-Trak to create organizational efficiencies. When they started the process, they built 62 machines in one year and could not have produced another machine if they wanted to. The years after were even more remarkable they were able to produce 74 machines, and then 80 machines the year after. More impressively, they did it with fewer people (allowing some to take early retirement without replacing them), with no extra machinery, no more facilities, no inventory increases, and no additional outsourcing or acquisitions. So, PMC lowered its costs and produced more products, a recipe for excellent profits.
Towards the Future
Greg delivered his vision for 2022 to the company on the first working day of January, as he does every year. Needless to say, the team has met almost all the elements of his vision this year. Beyond the vision, leveraging their entrepreneurial culture, The Lake Companies’ development team created a new technology. To show the power of the technology, they successfully created a prototype innovation and delivered it to their customers in an amazingly short period of time. That success will spawn countless future enhancement innovations. “We feel our past has taken us to unexplored areas with no competition, where we are finding endless opportunities to help our customers take their businesses to new heights. At the same time, we are proud to be an Infor SyteLine®(CloudSuite®) Channel Partner. Infor has always had a strong partner channel and challenges them to extend SyteLine with their own IP to address unique markets in manufacturing,” elucidates Greg. “We’re fortunate to have created IP that addresses the breadth and size of all SyteLine’s manufacturing markets. At the same time, we are committed to supporting Infor in making SyteLine the best SMB ERP system in the marketplace and will continue to leverage our products to do so.”
To see what else they have instore for the future, visit lakeco.com.