Clients of VIP Tooling, a precision tool manufacturer, have come to expect the most exact measurements for the specialized products they order.
While remaining highly responsive to clients, VIP’s procedures for recording measurements and analyzing data at the plant remained time-consuming and labor-intensive. That’s where Rose-Hulman Ventures entered the picture.
VIP needed a way to replace an Excel-based record management system with something much better suited for the Shelbyville-based business. Engineers were recording measurements on paper for later entry into the company’s Excel database. This system was not only time consuming but also subject to human error during the process of reading and copying hand-written data.
An “insightful, creative, and experienced” team from Ventures made a visit to VIP Tooling in the spring and, within a few months, had designed a new mobile web application that can be used to record and analyze vital measurements associated with each VIP job, says Donntae Jackson, a process engineer with the company. The app also allows VIP to communicate with clients faster, meaning potential adjustments in tool specifications can be made much sooner.
VIP estimates the app saves the company up to $15,000 annually and even more in soft costs associated with analyzing and evaluating manufacturing jobs.
“We gave the Ventures team creative license and they did a good job seeing some potential for improvement in our process,” Jackson says. “The Rose-Hulman app allows us to immediately record and verify all dimensions.”
The company was introduced to Ventures through an economic development and educational partnership between Shelbyville, Shelby County, and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology known as IMPaCT (Innovative Model: Positioning Communities for Transformation) Shelby County. As part of that program, Shelby County provides financial assistance to companies working with Ventures. IMPaCT Shelby County also provides Shelby County high school students with Rose-Hulman student mentors and encourages Rose-Hulman student internships at Shelby County businesses.