“They’re one of our best suppliers. It doesn’t surprise me at all that they’re using GainSeeker.”

I love to hear a GainSeeker customer tell me that.

Phil Kapalczynski, business unit manager for Senior Flexonics - GA Precision, Wisconsin, demonstrates GainSeeker's SPC real-time data collection software that's used at this workstation to track tool life. GainSeeker sends real-time alert emails when a tool fails, meets, or exceeds expectations.

Phil Kapalczynski, business unit manager for Senior Flexonics – GA Precision, Wisconsin, demonstrates GainSeeker SPC real-time data collection software.

Tom Amherdt, Vice President and General Manager for GA Precision, a division of Senior Flexonics, shared that comment with me during a recent visit to their manufacturing facility near Milwaukee. Tom was talking about his supplier, Walker Forge.

GA has been a long-time user of GainSeeker Suite. I stopped in to talk to him about his experience with GainSeeker and Hertzler Systems. He shared with me how his colleague’s (Phil Kapalczynski) innovative use of GainSeeker to track machine tool wear had given the division a huge boost in managing tooling costs and increasing machine utilization and uptime.

Near the end of our conversation, I mentioned that I had spent that morning visiting another customer, Walker Forge. I didn’t know they already had a business relationship, so my comment was offhand. I told Tom that I had been very impressed with Walker during my visit, so I suppose I was name-dropping, but it hadn’t occurred to me that they would know each other.

It is hard not to be impressed in a forging plant. The size of the equipment, the sounds, smells, and intense heat all contribute to a sense of awe. But I was on a mission to learn how Walker Forge is using GainSeeker, and that impressed me too. They collect data everywhere, and my host, Teresa Zander, shared how GainSeeker is the frontline tool for keeping production workers reassured that they’re doing their jobs. “GainSeeker is the means to know we’re delivering good quality product to our customers,” she said.


Rick Reckenwald and Teresa Zander of Walker Forge pose during a recent visit to their plant.

I’m realistic enough to know that there is a lot more to Walker Forge’s supplier success with GA Precision than just using GainSeeker Suite effectively. They know their business, they know their strengths, and they play to those. But it is gratifying to know that GainSeeker has an important role in the success of this supply chain.

When I got home after my visit, I called Rick Recktenwald, the President and General Manager at Walker Forge, to pass along the compliment from his customer, GA Precision. He told me, “I didn’t know GA was using GainSeeker, but it doesn’t surprise me at all that two firms that strive for excellence would be using the same tool.”

What about your supply chain? Do you know what your suppliers and customers are using for real time data? Do you have a supplier who could use better real time access to actionable data and knowledge? Please leave a comment, or  write to me at ejmiller [at] hertzler [dot] com. I’d love to hear from you.