When Bobby Boyd started Mecha Inc. after 5 years working in a machine shop, he knew that the cards were stacked against him. It was 2008, nobody was lending money, and he didn’t have a machining background. But Bobby had 5 years of hands-on experience growing a job shop. He had a vision for what he wanted to build. Today, Bobby has a successful and growing shop specializing in metal products for the embedded computer industry.
For Mecha Inc., their competitive advantage had to come from customer service and efficiency in their processes. “Most of my team are not trained machinists. There are a lot of shops that can make more complex parts, have more experience, and have a wider variety of equipment,” says Bobby.
In 2017, Bobby realized that there was a bottleneck in quality. They were spending too much time on ballooning part drawings and typing up first articles for their customers. “Over the years the complexity of parts has really ramped up. Early on ballooning part drawings by hand wasn’t a big issue, part drawings had 25-30 dimensions. Now we have customers that have 500+ dimensions for first articles,” says Scott Holthausen, the Quality Engineer at Mecha Inc.
From the beginning, Bobby has invested in technology that drives efficiency and enables Mecha Inc. to provide a superior customer experience. They have developed custom software that tracks inspection data and gives their customers the ability to download materials certifications, inspection data, and track the progress of their order.
Mecha Inc. now uses InspectionXpert to balloon their part drawings and create inspection reports before production. Operators measure parts on the shop floor as they are produced, and enter measurements into Mecha’s custom software with computers at each station. “We don’t have to spend all that time creating reports anymore. We can spend most of our time measuring instead,” says Scott.
Bobby’s efforts to streamline their processes and increase transparency to their customer has paid off. “Traditionally, these documents are in a file cabinet, or on internal servers, so they can be hard to keep track of, and difficult for customers to access. We can just direct our customers to login and see all their documents online. Our customers love the transparency and traceability,” says Bobby.