09 May Dominating Your Market with Operations That Solve Market Problems
Dominating your market with operations does not sound stress-free. But once you get a hang of it, you can get good at this task as well. To help you understand how to get good at this, we had our talk today.
In this week’s The Faces of Business Episode, our guest speaker was Chuck Coxhead. Chuck is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Procensis. inc. His company helps businesses reach their maximum potential by providing solutions to make warehouse operations work better.
The conversation started with Chuck introducing himself. He said that when it comes to manufacturing organizations, he holds sufficient experience. Moreover, Chuck started out as a product engineering manager and after a few years, his father told him that he has a knack for sales.
This is when he went into sales. After this, he went into a manufacturing company where he was the manager so he was looking after everything. Moving on, Chuck shared the details about Koaxis and his work there.
He said that the founder of Koaxis is his friend. At Koaxis, they make RF cables and that is their business. Moving on, Chuck talked a bit about dominating your market with operations. Explaining this, he said that once you get good in your leads and marketing, this is when you can dominate your market.
After this, Chuck talked about customer loyalty. He said that you have to have your business in a way that shows customer loyalty. According to Chuck only then you can dominate your market with operations.
Further, into the conversation, Chuck talked a bit more about dominating your market with operations. He said that, when you are solving a market problem, you have to look at the problem like a Ph.D. thesis. This means that you have to create a question for your problem and then solve it.
After this, Chuck shared the kind of business he works in to back his theory about dominating your market with operations.
By the end of the conversation, Chuck shared his secret about sales. He showed how as a salesman he did not try and make sales but he believed in the connections that he made. He also said that on the other side of the sales are also people and it is good to talk to them like that.
The conversation ended with Damon thanking Chuck for his time.
Chuck Coxhead is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Procensis. inc. His work at his current company is to help businesses reach their maximum potential. Apart from this, his record of accomplishments spans over many diverse areas of work.
Before this Chuck was the Director of Operations at EFE Laboratories for a short span of time. Apart from this, Chuck also holds the experience of working at Koaxis for almost 9 years. At this company, he has worked in a number of positions. At first, he was the VP of Sales and Marketing after this he became the General Manager at the same company.
Moreover, Chuck holds a number of other experiences in sales and marketing from various companies. As for his education, Chuck holds a degree of BS in Industrial Engineering from Leigh University.
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Dominating Your Market with Operations That Solve Market Problems
The Exit Your Way Business Round Table Live Stream
people, company, business, customers, understand, create, days, talking, sales, operations, product, manufacturing, shop floor, chuck, solve, lead, problem, helping, scan, industry
Damon Pistulka, Chuck Coxhead
Damon Pistulka 00:01
All right, everyone, Welcome once again, the faces of business. I’m your host, Damon Pistulka. And I am excited today coxhead with me today, and we’re going to be talking about something that I am very passionate about. And that is how you can build a great business by really understanding your target market and delivering something that other simply can’t with the operations behind you. So Chuck, welcome. Glad to have you here.
Chuck Coxhead 00:36
Thanks, Damon, I’m so glad to be here, you are a busy guy. And I just love the opportunity to get some of your time to be able to chat like this.
Damon Pistulka 00:43
It’s so fun. You know, when we when we got to talk a while back, you explained to me something about a company we’ll talk about a little bit and and to then the college or you went to school? I mean, both both engineers, it’s it’s a good, you know, this could be this could get pretty nerdy pretty fast. But but we’ll, we’ll keep it, we’ll keep it. I guess normal crowd friendly, if we can. Yeah. So tell us a little bit about your background. First of all, Chuck, I kind of like to give give people a flavor from, you know, what, what you’ve done a little bit of, and then we’ll start working through some of the some of the things we discussed.
Chuck Coxhead 01:23
Sure thing. So I’m, I went to Lehigh University. I’m an industrial engineer, by education. And I very quickly as a lot of industrial engineers, do you very quickly find yourself in manufacturing? Yeah, and I worked for in the industrial rotating equipment company, I was working on in chemical, you know, working on products for chemical factories, that sort of thing. I had a secret clearance for, you know, navy vessels to be able to put rotating equipment on it and make progress from there. And I have been a 30 year plus manufacturing professional, but I’ve had a with someone recently helped me to understand a nonlinear career.
Damon Pistulka 02:07
Chuck Coxhead 02:08
I’ve done so many different things in manufacturing organizations, you know, so from I started out, you know, product engineering manager, and I rolled out Computer Aided drawing and manufacturing software for them early on, you know, and then I went into, you know, when I went, it was on the shop floor doing CNC programming a big huge, you know, horizontal mill. And then from, you know, from there, after getting my fill on that industrial engineering, I actually went to a different company and started in sales. Dad said, Chuck, you got a personality for it.
He didn’t know anything about sales, but you got a personality for it. I said, Alright, then I gave it a shot, did that move down to Chicago got promoted. But it wasn’t really for me. And I wanted high tech. I wanted high tech. So I found the biggest opportunity in the world at that time, we all know the big companies in the stock market in 1997 and 98.
It was Lucent Technologies, and I was on helping build and develop the lasers, not myself, but on the development team, to basically power the internet backbone, and that correlate into more manufacturing that was, you know, the manufacturing and development team that, you know, went into high frequency RF signals where I have been in sales and marketing.
And then I was running a manufacturing company, where I was responsible for everything, finance people, you know, yeah, you know, sales, marketing, inventory, shipping, the whole nine yards. And now I’m here I did a couple other things along the way, and sales and marketing work for a company in Ireland. Here. I am working for prosensus. Now I have the time my life. So it’s very nonlinear.
Damon Pistulka 03:48
Yeah, yeah. Well, I think the background, I mean, what what it does, I think when you see people that have nonlinear backgrounds, not only from positions within manufacturing, but also industry sectors and types of company sizes of companies is you have a much broader view of the world, or the ecosystem that you work in. And I think that’s a real benefit to wherever you go. And the fact that you’ve seen how the great big companies doing it, you’ve seen how the smaller companies do it. You’ve seen how they do it in different industries. And you can put the best of all into where you’re at now.
Chuck Coxhead 04:24
Yeah. Well, and even the cross functional responsibility when you know, so much of my time I’ve spent selling to design engineers. Yes, I’ve lived the design engineering role. Okay, I’ve had design engineering people working for me, so I can sort of live what they’ve lived. I’ve lived in an operations role. So when I’m working with those folks, I understand what some of their challenges may be.
Yeah, I mean, I’ve been a user of a lot of different technology, like say right down on the shop floor. Heck, I used to drive a forklift, you know, warehouse related business now. Well, I spent, you know, Christmas breaks driving forklifts and loading trucks. I probably wasn’t allowed. I didn’t have a cert back then. You know? Yeah,
Damon Pistulka 05:06
Chuck Coxhead 05:07
We put in a lot of late nights loading a lot of trucks.
Damon Pistulka 05:10
Yeah. Yeah. That’s no doubt that started out. Yeah. Yeah. Good stuff. Good stuff. So along the way, you know that when we were talking, first of all Lehigh University, it’s a beautiful little university, I just love it, I was so funny that I was still the one university on the East Coast that you went to. And I saw that it was kind of it was, it was an interesting fact, it’s a beautiful place up there. I just love it. Just love it. So that’s cool. But when we were talking, you talked about a company that you had worked at, it was co axis.
And you were in there. And really, this is something that I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to do. But while you were there, you really understood that there was a market need. And you basically went back and rebuilt the organization to solve that market need. And can you kind of explain. And some people that have not experienced this before, won’t understand what I’m really saying right now. So can you kind of explain to someone that that hasn’t been through this before? How you got to that process and just decided that, hey, let’s redo our operations to do this.
Chuck Coxhead 06:23
So the cool part, you know, with every one of these things, it’s not a one man thing. The owner of the company is was a still my friend today. I talked to him this week, even though I’ve been gone for a year. Nice. You know, it’s, you have to have an incredible sponsor that believes you know, and have similar values. I’ve been blessed to have that many times in my career. And, you know, he was done, he has built this beautiful, successful business we made, they make RF cables. With an RF cable, it’s, it’s made for high frequency signals, you use them on the back of your cable box, if you still have one.
Okay, connecting from the cable company to but that’s actually what he used to do. It used to work as cable TV market, which a lot of them business migrated offshore. Yeah. So this fellow was realized that he needed to change his business. So he began to hire some people that gave him some talent in a different aspect of that business. And crazy guy thought he wanted me and that team too. So I came there. And, you know, his role really well. His goal really was to, you know, bring folks on, take it in a little new direction, but he was gonna take a part time role. And that’s a really important part of the story.
Yes. Because when we were done with it, he didn’t want to be part time anymore. We made it really exciting again, you know, and that, yeah, let’s sticks out of the back in this back your cable box. It’s not all that exciting. This is boring. But we made the business exciting again, for him. And going we’re on Believe me, he was there every day. But what we recognized is that you what was lacking in the business in that industry is availability, these cables they break. And they break it the worst times the very worst times. Yeah. And so now somebody’s stuck, or they forget one, they might be using 600 of them.
And they forget the one that’s 13 inches long. And they got a delivery to make and they’re stuck in the lead times in the business, or 812 weeks or more. Wow. Now you got a guy who wasn’t in this aspect of this business, this this, you know, different part of this of a similar market? How do you get noticed? It’s really hard, you have to have some sort of comparative advantage where you’re doing something innovative and better than everyone else. So we recognize plain and simple that that is about speed.
Speed is more important in this case than price. It’s it’s in some cases, it’s more important than performance. And this is a very performance based business. That’s kind of blasphemy to say that last one to say that but in some cases, it really was. But we said if we can come up with a way to get these faster than anybody in the world. Okay, we can really make something here.
Well, you can get these things from distribution. They can ship the same day. And you can get them in 12 inches. And you can get them you know, in six inches and you can get them in 18 inches. But what if you need 11? You can’t get them anywhere. Yeah, it takes eight or 12 weeks or whatever it took. Yeah. Well, what if we could do that and we can make these things custom order and we could ship them and I POS I postulated I wanted to ship in two days.
Damon Pistulka 09:53
Chuck Coxhead 09:54
made. You give me an order. I’m going to ship in two days and they have not missed a ship. Man, we started that in 2014 and not missed already 48 shipment. Now, yeah. And that kind of set the world on fire this guy was this company was nobody in this aspect of this RF cable space. Nobody knew who they were.
Damon Pistulka 10:15
Chuck Coxhead 10:16
Well, we coupled it with something else too. So we made this awesome tool like he, you know, I’m like, basically, I created a Custom Configurator so that they can do whatever they wanted. It’s something that honestly, it was extremely innovative, because I could have patented it, but I didn’t want to expose the code. And people have tried to copy it and can’t, yeah, came up with a way of doing that. And they can literally build this thing and we call it build it, see it by you literally build it, and it would appear, whatever you wanted it to look like and you couldn’t make a mistake. Like you couldn’t build the wrong thing.
It was all built into it. And I can add components to it very, very quickly. So it’s very versatile. It could grow with the company as they did more and more and more. Yeah. And then people will just buy these things from e commerce. Well, first, they didn’t trust us. Who were these guys there? Nobody, I don’t know these guys. And then we started, somebody took a chance somebody delivered. And we did it. And then there was also a kind of a fun part. All the directors in the company happen to have a hairdo like mine. Yeah. And when you put five guys in the magazine, and all of them are bald, or in a trade show, guess what people notice?
The tension and we had some fun was we’re not afraid to laugh. Yeah. And we started doing this with a custom e commerce as of nowadays, ecommerce is like your ticket to the game. Yeah, you don’t have e commerce. You know, you’re really in trouble. But just because you have it, it’s a field of dreams. Yeah, they won’t necessarily come you gotta have a reason. And that’s really where the real fun part of the story comes in. And that’s why I really credit my friend, Hank Bowen, because he had a philosophy of, you know, how do we run this business?
And what was really easy to recognize is that, you know, when you’re, I want to achieve two days, but when the components used to build this thing, aren’t available in two days. There’s only one thing you can do. Yes, an awful lot of them. Yeah. And every CFO that might be listening to this, this time, just got a shiver down their spine, because their inventory turns are going to suck. Yeah, okay. But the proof is in the pudding. Because once you start growing the revenue, because you’re doing something nobody else can do even when they’re trying to copy you. The revenue comes the turns are less important.
And so it’s that piece, when your component lead time is longer substantially longer than your end product lead time, you have to make up the difference with inventory, which means an awful lot of planning. A tremendous amount of planning lets you have a bunch of boat anchors in boxes. Yeah. So. And lo and behold, it worked. They became the talk and the envy of the industry. Now they’re still not a $75 billion company, they’re still because they want to be. Yeah, who are these guys? Five years ago, they were nobody. Now all of a sudden, everybody knows the bald guys.
And they want to buy from co axis and they’re getting customers. We’re getting to hand over fist. Yes. And nobody I know literally will competitor goes, we still can’t figure out how you do it. Huh. And I’m still not giving it all away. Yeah, that’s not fair to my friend. Yeah, do that. But there’s still you recraft the entire business model to meet the need of the industry.
And then recognize need of the customer. The recognized need of this customer is there breaking stuff losing stuff, and they forget stuff, and they need them tomorrow. And they need them custom made. So you have to really understand what the heck they want to do and what their real challenges are. And, and then just not be afraid to craft a solution. That’s kind of crazy. And some kind of crazy sometimes. Look at Amazon. They’re crazy like a fox man.
Damon Pistulka 14:01
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, what what you did, though, the cool part about this is, is when you saw the need in the industry, and were other people would have looked at the component and said, Listen, that lead times too long. We’re not going to be able to do it. Okay, that could have stopped there. And then he would go, Well, how are we going to? Are they going to send us an order and they’re going to have to democrat to make sure the order is right. Well, it’s not efficient enough because there’s always going to be problems if somebody places an order that where they can make a mistake.
So you eliminate it you I’m sure you had to sit there and look at it and go okay, how the hell are we going to do this in two days and you just looked at Okay, this is what it’s at now, and I have to get rid of this problem. This problem this problem, so kinda not you don’t have to share the intimate details, but kind of explain that because what what was the normal lead time for a custom product before that? The normal
Chuck Coxhead 14:57
lead time could be 12 weeks.
Damon Pistulka 15:00
Yeah, see, so you went from 12 weeks to two days,
Chuck Coxhead 15:03
two days. Yeah. Now now for us, don’t get me wrong, we, because of this operating model that we had our lead time was shorter. So we could do things in, you know, four weeks, two weeks. But as the product line grew, it required literally, it’s literally billions of combinations of things you can build. Yeah, and require a lot more parts. And so you have to be able to respond as the product line grows, which is really the challenge. And it’s not just about inventory.
You know, if you think about it, what happens when someone gets an order, this is gonna sound very familiar to people that are listening to this, I get the order, sales reviews, sales checks, it goes, it’s handed off down the line, sometimes engineering verifies it, and then you know, and then engineering signs off, and they hand it over to somebody who might enter the order. And then somebody might create a bill of material, or maybe those things are reversed, and then it goes out to the shop floor. And then you have someone who’s scheduling all this stuff
Chuck Coxhead 16:06
That just creates long lead time. And all the barriers out of the way. And what happens is, I got news for you this order when the order came in, shipper knew about it. Production Manager knew about it. And we created a number of manufacturing methods, procedures and tools that I will not discuss. Yeah, that allowed them to respond long before any of that other stuff had to happen.
Yeah, after we eliminate non value added operations to it’s exactly just about having parts. Yeah, you introduce because people they don’t trust. Yes. And so if you trust your people, you train your people, and you have empower them to do the work, and then get out of their way. Guess what happens? Yes, really good stuff, and you grow the business at a beautiful, beautiful organic rate?
Damon Pistulka 17:00
Well, yeah, I mean, in this, this is why it connects with me so much I was I’ve had the opportunity to do this a couple times as well in different industries. And, and taking something that we had was eight weeks lead time, and we turned it into 10 business days, not nearly as extreme as what you did with your product. But the the similar processes, right, we couldn’t we couldn’t let that. And we couldn’t let it go to engineering and have the engineers take three days to approve it, the designs had to be done ahead of time.
And when you said all the components that went into the product had to be either standard components, or they had to be something that we had, right there, you know, he had to be able to pull out. And, and when you look at all this stuff, like you had to do, like you’re saying, you don’t have time for your product to go into a scheduling queue, because you’ve got 47 million jobs ahead of it, and you’ve got all this whip, I mean, you have to be building just in time, at least with your section that’s making those products, otherwise, you can’t do it in two days, because you got two days from wherever the actual operation gets done.
And where you start. And you just use the whole thing, the whole business has to be redesigned. So speed, and it’s just like, I just drop it right into the next slot, or I or I’ve got a dedicated process to do it, and it and it’s all the way through, you can’t you can’t buy stuff because you have no time you can’t get it there in two days, it has to be there. And and when you look back upstream at the supply chain, you know it all the stuff that you’re talking about there is massive,
Chuck Coxhead 18:41
it’s very massive, and you have to know your components, you have to know your business and be you know, truly a gifted expert. And the good news is you can bestow the gift upon yourself just be interested in learning. You have to I mean, we we understood and understand machined parts at a very detailed level. And I guess that’s why the sales guy comes in and is able to help you know bring you have the understanding of the roles and the supply chain. I was a CNC machinist. Yeah, I was an industrial engineer.
You know, I understand eliminating non value added operations. I understand how to create the process workflows. It’s not just about Hey, the sales guy said we need this. It’s about having a full vision and plan now it doesn’t take one guy. It wasn’t one guy, we Oh, no team of people. Okay, I’m just the bald guy who was the face of the company. I’m the one who had the biggest mouse. Yeah, you know, and you know it but you have to embrace that and really be willing to take some risk and and get out of your comfort zone.
Damon Pistulka 19:48
Yeah. I mean, it’s such a great example of where you can really dominate your market with operations that just target and solve that market need that other people look at and go That’s just a problem in our industry. Just problem in our interest, that is a problem in our industry. And then when you look at it and you go, it doesn’t have to just be a problem in the industry. I mean, just, I mean, just pick any of the any of these things, you just pick any of the companies that have have sprung out of nowhere. And it might not be a good example.
But something like the Uber or the Airbnb, or some of these guys like, Well, you know, it’s just, you know, hotel rooms, or hotel rooms where people that know we can Airbnb, and you can have just about whatever experience you want. There’s no reason it has to be in a hotel. And you know, I’m just looking at things differently. But the thing that’s interesting about this is that when you do something like this with a business, price becomes less important.
Damon Pistulka 20:50
It’s important. Always not, it’s not as important, because you’ve solved the problem that they’re like sitting there going, I this is really gonna make things a lot easier. Mm hmm.
Chuck Coxhead 21:03
Yeah. And, and what it creates is, you know, there’s so much focus on, you know, continuous improvement, lean thinking, and customer satisfaction. Yep. They’re all great. I mean, industrial engineers, we really before they wrote the book in Japan, you know, but, and all, that’s great. But they create a sort of, in some ways, they create a sort of rigidity, and you have to be willing to let go and do some things that makes them shutter. And what you end up with is you Well, you end up with customer satisfaction, but you end up with something even greater, I far prefer to look at customer loyalty.
Customer satisfaction is a subset of loyalty. Yeah, he truly is. I want to know that I’ve put the business in a place where the customers literally say, Well, okay, this guy go out to three bids. Well, certainly we’re going to go to Texas. Okay. That’s just happening. You guys. The other two. Yeah. Okay. And or better yet? No, they just, just never let us down. Okay. You know, and by the way, mistakes happen. Someone’s bought me and fell. I used to work for dick leaps and mistakes happen, keep them small, fix them fast. And just fess up, man. Yeah. So just keep them small. fix them fast.
Damon Pistulka 22:21
Yeah. Yeah, that’s a good one mistakes to keep. And what you’re saying, though, is that customer loyalty and Android says this a lot. He does a strategic marketing. He says you’re creating voracious advocates for your brand. Because when you’re doing something that’s memorable for them, it sticks it sticks. And it’s like, it. It’s like, it’s like brand loyalty to vehicles.
You know, there’s some people that will not switch around, just because that route could be this crazy, could be just a feeling could be whatever, but that, that loyalty like that, that you’re never going to go you know, I’m a GM person, or I’m a Ford person, or whatever it is, or Mercedes doesn’t really matter. But the people that are that loyalty that you see in those people like that is what you’re creating in a company where people would think, How the hell are you doing that?
Chuck Coxhead 23:16
Yep. Yeah. And when you do create that loyalty, you do something really cool. You hire salespeople, your customers become your sales people that advocate and you know what, you have to pay them nothing. They pay you for the privilege of advocating on your behalf. Because everybody wants other people to succeed and enjoy with their enjoy. It’s just, I do it. You do it.
Damon Pistulka 23:41
Yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s so cool, man. So what were some of the key things that you learned what you know, because it’s not I mean, this is as you said, it takes a lot of people it takes a lot of sleepless nights a lot of pain in the ass work to get something like this going, but if someone was sitting here today, listen to this and said, Oh, that’s great. But you know, you know the, you know, what do you think some of the things you learned
Chuck Coxhead 24:12
every week? Everyone is Missouri they’re all the show me state Well, I hope I didn’t mess that up Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The Garden State? Yeah, I think it’s the show me state it is. Okay. You got it. You explaining this stuff conceptually on a podcast is hard. Oh, yeah. Well, people learn different ways. They learn visually, they learn, you know, some are auditory learners. They just hear stuff and they get it. They’re very they’re show offs honestly. And kinesthetic where they got to experience it. So you come up with a concept. You’ve got to make it visual. You’ve got to, you know, and you have to have passion and really think things through so that it can become real for them.
And most Importantly, then you have to win them over. And one of the greatest ways you can win them over is to brainstorm. And I have this saying I like to use, I like to, I like to give everyone permission to erase the whiteboard. You’ve all been in those meetings, everybody’s there drawing up on the right whiteboard. And we’re going to do things this way. And we’re taking notes or do all that stuff.
Everybody has to have permission to say, wait a minute. May I have permission to erase the whiteboard? And what that says, Let’s drop all of our preconceived notions about everything that we think we are constrained by. And let’s start over. Does that mean we’re gonna start over? No, we’re only looking at a whiteboard. Okay. We haven’t pulled the trigger on anything yet.
Damon Pistulka 25:45
Chuck Coxhead 25:47
And when you get into that attitude, first, I mean, I did it once. I think it’s best done over around table, preferably with beer, because somebody will say something silly. After about the second beer. Yeah. And it only takes one person to go, Hey, you know what, you got something there. Maybe if we just tweak it this much, we can come up with something great. And I love that process. Now, I’m an opinionated guy. Okay, as many people who do such things and you know, have direct roles and things like that tend to be very opinionated.
And, but I love that process. And I love to bring the other people’s ideas and try and make them fruition, sometimes you just let them do the idea. Because they came up with it. And I have been surprised that I have learned that sometimes when I thought, heck with it, I’m just gonna let them do it. and was like, wow, they’re awesome. And we love the idea and it’s happened.
So you have to show it and you have to bring other people in, you have to find a way to be able to bring them into the process. That’s where that business process guy benefits from the skills of a salesman. Hmm, okay, needs assessment, collaboration, you know, addressing multiple people in the team and that sort of thing. And again, it doesn’t need to be one person. Yeah, bring the salesman in, let him ask all the crazy questions. Right. He’s used to doing that he likes it.
Damon Pistulka 27:15
Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. That’s cool, though. Because I think you hit you hit the one thing is, there are two things actually, in that I wrote down a couple but permission to a race. I like that. Because you you really have to be ready to start over. You do and and and to rethink it from the ground up. And when you do that, though, and you do like you said, people sitting around a round table having a couple beers. And someone comes up with that one. catalyst idea. And I’m not even using the right word. But that idea that just sparks it and said, if we do this, everything else falls in.
And in Theory of Constraints, they call it a lever point or something like that, I can’t remember. But you find that one thing and you know, like, the market problem, obviously, is a lever point. And then when you come into the business, and you start doing that, there’s no lever pointer to that you hit those. And then you start asking people, okay, we have this, this idea that that really got everyone else going, then you start asking the question. Okay, that’s great. And someone will say, but, and and if you stop there, everything stops for you to say, Okay, great. that’s a that’s a problem. How do we solve that?
And then you just go, how do we solve that? And how do we solve that? And pretty soon as those things come away? No, it’s just it just the crazy thing about it is what you can do like you, you’ve talked about your eight weeks or 12 weeks, whatever, on your lead time down to two days.
When you start looking at it, it’s not we can’t do it, because but we need to do what do we need to solve to do it, and just start checking them off, checking them off, checking them off, it’s like the lead time and those those self imposed limitations just fall away. And you see, like you said, some of these people that you would never, you may never think they they just start to just gravitate toward this in the collaboration and stuff is crazy cool when it happens.
Chuck Coxhead 29:32
Well, I’m sorry, I’m bringing you back to Lehigh University, whether you like it or not. So it’s, but I’m not really it’s like a man or a PhD thesis, right? Yeah. You, you pose a question? Okay. And then you create that argument. Okay. So in this case, the thesis was, in my mind, how are we going to do this the way the customers want to, we’re gonna do it in two days. Better than anybody else. Okay.
Now that’s not very defined, I probably wouldn’t get past kindergarten with that kind of thesis. that’s ultimately what we were trying to do. And we were never able to prove it wrong. Because we’re just not afraid to continue to march toward that goal as a team, you know, and if someone went outside the lines, that was cool, it was our job as a team to bring them back in. And believe me, when I said we wanted to do this, there were some people. There were some bald guys. were like, What?
You’re crazy. You’re crazy.
Chuck Coxhead 30:34
And they became believers. Yeah, we may not have right, this is one success story, right? But so what if you don’t fully succeed, and you get 80% of the way there,
Damon Pistulka 30:44
that’s just that touchdown. That’s just that. It is, is and that kind of thinking. And when you when you get into an organization like that, and you start doing this, and once you complete something like that, then that team feels like they can take on the world because they’ve done something that they never thought they were able to do. And you know, what happens after that sometimes eclipses what you thought was crazy before, just because they have that confidence. They work together through those tough decisions and, and things to really make something good. The next evolution of whatever they do can even be more powerful.
Chuck Coxhead 31:27
Absolutely. Absolutely. And if you’re not growing, if you’re not evolving, innovating, man, you’re dying,
Damon Pistulka 31:32
Chuck Coxhead 31:34
I didn’t invent that, but I surely believe it.
Damon Pistulka 31:36
Yeah, because it because it’s true. And when you see the teams do this, and you and you work through it. It’s amazing. It’s amazing. And the thing that I always see when I talk to talk to people, as you know, is saying, Oh, I’m a CNC machining place, whatever, blah, blah, blah, you know, we just do it like everybody down the street. Okay, that’s fine. What what you did, what you talked about, in your example, example I did was not a lot about the product, you made the same product?
No, it was it was not a lot about the actual process of putting it together, not so much. Sometimes you have to change the design or something. But it’s, it’s how you did business around that, that solve that market problem. So you can be a contract manufacturer, and do things that solve a market problem. It can be as simple as I’m a contract manufacturer, and I, I keep track of my customers inventory, so they never have to place an order. I, they don’t, they want five on the shelf at all times.
And we check it every day electronically, and it tells them they’ve got four, so I put another one on there the next day. That’s you know, that’s it. That’s the kind of stuff. That’s that kind of stuff. So let’s talk a little bit about what you’re doing now. Because I think what you’re doing now is awfully cool, too. And it kind of relates to this, because you’re helping people doing the same kind of thing in their own organizations, but helping them with their, their inventory and warehousing solutions.
Chuck Coxhead 33:14
Yeah. So we basically we provide mobile, wearable computing solutions and barcode scanners to warehouses. Yeah, I
mean, I, you know,
Chuck Coxhead 33:27
I sell cell phones. Yeah, but I don’t sell cell phones. This is not the iPhone, you get that at the Apple Store. This is not the Samsung phone that you get it to Costco or the Best Buy. This is a ruggedized device. It’s very purpose built. You know, this is this passes military standard ruggedization an impact tests. Because it’s being used in a warehouse. And if I’m getting off a forklift, and I dropped that thing onto a concrete floor,
you know, that’s no good.
Chuck Coxhead 33:58
But that’s not really what we do. You know, we run a video where we demonstrate these things. And at the end of the video, it says, you know, we’re scanning and we actually improve the process. And that’s where the similarity to the stories that we’ve been talking about to what I do really comes in now. I’m not a smartphone guy. I don’t sell this, I sell time. I sell time saved, I sell accuracy improvements, I sell safety. I sell user experience for their workers, and I help them to alleviate issues with their labor. You know, there’s a labor shortage now, for a lot of reasons.
And I’ve been into a customer where the manager the warehouse said I’ve got some my best people they actually work in damn two jobs. One at the warehouse up the street and one for me, God bless them. They’re working really, really hard. And guess what? They’re comparing life in this job. And this job, can I make more money Money, is it more enjoyable? So this dumb cell phone, and there’s nothing dumb about it. I love this. Yeah. If it’s the very best experience for that worker and one job, okay, they’re gonna have an easier time retaining and getting the best employees.
And if they go over to an antiquated system with paper, okay, we’re not even going to be interested. Not only that, because the quantity and the velocity of products in the supply chain has increased so dramatically. They’ve had, you know, compensation systems have graduated to incentive compensation, and the best workers can get make 50% more money. Wow, well, they’re looking at the tools that are gonna allow them to make more money. Yeah. So we’re not selling smartphones, we’re selling problems to their throughput and labor and getting the best people in a sense. So it’s really about understanding again, it’s what is the customer’s challenges?
What are they going through? Okay, now, what do these things do with these barcode scanners, this has got a barcode scanner. And, you know, it’s gonna scan for a very long distance happens to be made by a company called Honeywell tiny little company with the best scan engine in the world, you know, but they do these things. And it enables them to communicate real time with their warehouse management system, where their e RP, okay, and it’s wearable.
You know, formerly you have these big hand handle, a lot of people have actually seen them, believe it or not, a lot of people would recognize them, and then do that knee, punch in the buttons and they scan it, put it down, and then they pick something up, and they move it and then they go, Oh, wait a minute, it’s back here and they go back four feet, because they set it down over here. And then they pick it up and they push the buttons and they scan it put it down. When when you go to wearable man. And I’m just putting it on the palm to put on the back of your hand.
Use a scanner, it’s mounted to the back of your wrist. These stay free all day long. Your focus is there. Okay. And when I’m not distracted, I’m less likely to get hurt. I’m less likely to miss a mistake to make a mistake, I’m less likely to scan the wrong bin, like the ones behind me here. Oops, okay, I’m less likely to count. But again, I’m just talking about the hardware. Yes. Like the last one, I was making RF cables. And we designed a software system that allow the customers to be self sufficient. In this case, we will make the user experience as amazing as possible. All those things I talked about, well, what if you only have to push the button once instead of four times?
Well, we take that software interface and we remove those buttons. And we basically cut that particular piece of time by 75%. Yeah, multiplied by 25,000 transactions a day in a busy place. Yeah, well, that adds up to hours. But you have to understand the process, you have to go be able to go into a warehouse. Understand one, what are the systems that they’re using? How do they work? What’s typical?
Do they typically see what’s the equipment that they typically use? And what’s their biggest struggle? Their biggest struggle is they can’t get the workers they can’t get the throughput? They have, they make very little in terms of margin every penny matters. And so you have to have a deep understanding of what that market and what those individual users and by the way, when you can get these into the hand with the proper interface. Okay, into the warehouse worker sans they go Yeah, this is what I got to have. Okay, why? Because they’re already used to the cell phone.
Damon Pistulka 38:47
Chuck Coxhead 38:48
you know, I can pull up my iPhone, right, and they’re used to the iPhone is the same thing. My mom uses one of these things. So she’s not gonna care if she has to use one of the workplace, she gets familiar, and they love this stuff. But you have to have a very deep understanding who would talk about labor in the context of a frickin you know, cell phone computer. But that is a real problem. And you have to understand, and that’s one of the biggest problems we’re solving right now. Is labor. And that is Yeah, nearly a direct quote from one of our customers.
Damon Pistulka 39:18
Yeah, it is amazing though. Like he said, your your when you look at operations, and you look at the market challenges there there are and I like your example, you know, all the examples, right, really, but you’re just doing what you did not just but you’re doing what you did before in a different setting, with a different type set of tools, applying the same principles and the the thing that’s so cool about that is, is that a you’re doing it I think it’s awesome what you’re doing with prosensus and I think that people that are listening to this need to understand that you’re their industry is not so bland that they can’t do this. I don’t care if you’re a lawyer.
I don’t care. If you’re a doctor, I don’t care if you’re running a manufacturing company, there are things that you can do with the way that you run your business and how you do the things you do that can drastically set you apart from, like you said, efficiency standpoint here that we’re talking about and warehouse operations, by understanding all the little steps that go into doing what you do. And doing them all better, or picking this section and doing them drastically better.
Chuck Coxhead 40:27
Right, I was talking to the guy today, it’s our finance leasing partner, who was sitting in my desk, and he was trying to, you know, an hour he doesn’t have widgets to move. Okay, it’s purely a very mean we are, we are a service organization. And, and we handle product, right. So we are the last company was just product, this guy is straight up service. That’s all he does. He helps folks to finance this equipment that we do. And he wants to make his presentations better.
You know, so, I symbol, yeah, if you want to be different, and you want to be noticed, well, then yeah, sure, you can totally do that. Okay, you can make yourself you know, so much better. Just by doing a little work, you know, and you can Wow, people even in your business, you know, and then all you can do all kinds of neat stuff. Now, this isn’t the time for me to show that stuff off. But that’s the way this conversation went. It doesn’t matter what your business is, you’ve got to find a way to innovate, so that you can notice you can be memorable, and you can deliver in a way that really satisfies the customers.
Damon Pistulka 41:35
Yes, yes. And that’s that’s 100% it just they the ways it when you look at a business from the customer point of view, and how it would be much better only if they did if they could do this as well. And or deliver it that way. Or do you know, it’s it is a game changer? It’s just a game changer. I don’t know what else to say about that.
Chuck Coxhead 42:00
A little name drop again, Andrew Deutsch, who, you know, helped kick me along with this little thing I just did on the screen.
Damon Pistulka 42:07
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, no doubt his video his video stuff is is nuts. I’m still trying to get it closer, but I’m still trying to get it. But it’s great stuff.
Well, Chuck, it’s been awesome talking to you day, man. It is I I am so excited when I get to talk to somebody that really is understanding gone through the process of dominating their market by solving an industry need, by changing their business operations to focus on that really, as you said, creating advocates for their brand raving fans and and really solving some market problems. So if people want to get ahold of you, though, I always like to make sure that if somebody wants to talk to you about about this, or something else, what’s the best way to get ahold of you?
Chuck Coxhead 42:55
The best way to get ahold of me, you want to get straight to me on LinkedIn, I’ve got a wider, nice profile. Chuck said, I am very open to connections. And I actually like to talk to people. See how I can help them. I’m not out to sell you anything. Honestly, that’s just not me. You can also learn about prosensus prosensus. calm. And, you know, but honestly, behind that, we’re all just people. And it’s right back to talking to people. And that’s the best way to learn.
Damon Pistulka 43:21
Yeah, one to one. Yeah. Great. Great. Well, Chuck, I just saw I’m so appreciative of you stopping by. And I mean, I think you’re examples of CO axes. And then here now for a census and just understanding that customer’s needs, and then just streamlining your business to meet those needs is such a key ingredient that we can all practice.
Thank you so much.
Damon Pistulka 43:44
You bet. Have a great day. Everyone else. Thanks again for joining us. We will be back again next Tuesday with more guests talking about I don’t know but I’m sure it’ll be something interesting because as I usually do, I’ve completely forgotten what next week holds. And that’s what happens when your your calendar zombie. So thanks, everyone for joining us today. Thanks, Chuck. We’ll be back again. Take care