(Article originally posted on CBJ Website)
Manufacturers already understand lean concepts, but they’ve been focused on the shop floor.
Andrew Rieser, president of Mountain Point, wants to help manufacturers focus on their end-users to improve profitability.
Rieser has a background in government contracting but made a move to help a manufacturer in Cleveland digitize their antiquated business processes. The experience sparked the idea that as manufacturing experiences a renaissance, more and more would need help rethinking their processes. Rieser and two partners started Mountain Point four years ago helping manufacturers add technology and change their strategies.
“Most manufacturers struggle to unlock data from their back-office system,” Rieser says. “Using Salesforce, because it’s the platform of choice, we are helping these manufacturers differentiate their offerings beyond the product. They are getting out of the mindset of being widget-making companies to how they can better engage with their channels and customers.”
An example of the success that can follow is a Massachusetts textile maker that has broken sales records each month this year after implementing a new cloud ERP system. “Most of these manufacturers don’t have key performance indicators because they don’t have visibility to that data,” Rieser says. “Now they have everything on one platform. It has taken their lead times from four weeks to two weeks and significantly reduced shop floor work-in-process. Now they can exploit the value they provide from customization because they can build custom products in an efficient manner.”
Rieser says demand is in the midmarket with businesses at $20 million in revenue or higher. The companies most ready to take the plunge are those that are established and willing to invest in transformations or be disrupted.
Rieser and his business partners are from West Virginia. As they’ve grown the tech company, they saw an opportunity to bring the in-demand skills implementing and operating the Salesforce platform to people in their home state who face fewer and fewer economic opportunities.
CentralApp is a West Virginia-based company started by Rieser and partners to offer job-seekers throughout southern West Virginia the chance to learn high-tech skills and get paid while doing it.
“Just because the economy is not thriving doesn’t mean there aren’t talented resources confined here because it’s home,” Rieser says. “The mission behind CentralApp is to create an apprenticeship program to put people in high-paying jobs and work remotely. It’s a way to transform culture and mindset of Appalachia.”
Q&A with Andrew Rieser, President
How’d you get here?
I always wanted to be a doctor, but then I got my first computer and I loved technology. I always thought I’d do something with big data in the medical field. My first job I was literally going to Air Force bases and meeting with colonels and generals about how to streamline waste and got an appreciation of antiquated business processes and how to improve that. It was the foundation of getting me on this entrepreneurial path.
I think we are on the up curve. By no means did we come out of the gate going gangbusters. We’ve had numerous opportunities to be generalist Salesforce implementers. But there’s so much opportunity in the manufacturing vertical. We could have grown faster, but we decided to invest this upfront time to educate the industry and be thought leaders for manufacturers.
Of what are you most proud?
Our team internally and the customers we represent. Both sides of that are very fulfilling and satisfying. We’ve had folks come to the organization and transform their careers. And with customers, they see the results in data.