Translating a Passion for Manufacturing into Success
It is mid-morning and the machine shop floor is alive with activity. Paul Arthur is in his element. As he stands next to the machines and listens to the owner talk, Arthur is keenly aware of the excitement in the owner’s voice and takes careful note of the work going on around him. Arthur is not the next shop floor hire. He is an ERP consultant, excited to put his passion for manufacturing, as well as his extensive operations background, to work for his new client.
Early in his career, Paul was hired by a UK-based manufacturer, Delapena Honing Equipment. On paper he signed on as the Internal Sales and Product Development Manager, but in reality he was much more. Tasked with improving customer service, increasing sales, and refining work processes, Paul jumped in.
“I remember when I started, I was taken around the facility and shown their machine build with six different machine cells,” Arthur recalls.
“There was one cell that the manager completely skated (glossed) over. Later, I found out this was where his biggest headache was coming from. As soon as I started working, I knew this was what I needed to resolve first.”
From that initial meeting, he remained intrigued and engaged, passionate about manufacturing. Working hard to solve the company’s problems, he led a successful Material Requirement Planning (MRP) implementation. He was promoted to Operations Manager where he once again rose to the challenge. His efforts improved profitability by streamlining a new account management system and internal workflow processes. These efforts resulted in reduced labor costs, increased customer satisfaction and higher employee productivity.
Arthur enjoyed seeing these types of results. He also realized he thrived in a fast-paced environment where no day was the same as the last.
In looking for his next move, both career-wise and geographically, Paul ended up in the United States and found Datix where he made the natural transition to the world of ERP consulting.
His talent and skills transferred easily to his interactions with manufacturing clients. And he loved stepping back into that world.
“I love plant tours,” Arthur says. “Getting to go around and see the facilities and see the machines and how they run. It is really cool when my clients start talking about how they manufacture something. I am always learning something new.”
He thrives in the fast-paced customer-centric environment of ERP consulting.
“I have been in a customer service role in one way or another and I naturally like change. I enjoy working with different companies. Even if they manufacture the same thing their implementation won’t be the same.”
Arthur is certain that his experience in manufacturing operations and customer service makes him a more effective consultant. And because he has faced the types of challenges his clients are facing, he understands that enterprise software projects can make or break a firm.
“Our customers are putting their business in our hands,” Arthur says. “The number one thing the ERP consultant can do is build on the relationship that started back in the sales process.”
At the end of the day Arthur is most content when he is helping the manufacturer reach its goals.
“The thing that makes my day is when we work with a customer to put in a system or application we can see the results. It saves them X number of admin hours or X dollars and puts them on a better path to succeed,” he says. “That is the biggest rush.”
As he turns and walks away from the machines, Paul is once again ready to put his passion to work for a manufacturing client.