Today begins a new blog series offering a peek into the daily lives of IQMS’ directors. From human resources to testing and training to development, meet the key department leaders who are molding our company’s future and continually advancing the EnterpriseIQ ERP and MES software.
Meet Glenn Nowak, IQMS’ Vice President, who just recently celebrated an impressive 15 years with the company.
Tell me about your department, Glenn, and your day-to-day activities.
I oversee the sales department, which is comprised of inside, outside and presales people, who work as a team within a territory in the country to generate new sales and sales to existing customers. The presales people are the heavy lifters of the sales department. They are the people who can do a two or three day demonstration on their own where it goes into the nuts and bolts of the software.
We also work with the other departments, like professional services and training, to include them on sales when necessary. The majority of the battle is the sale of the software, but there is also a component of demonstrating to a company that they can implement it well. Because new prospects often wonder, “How are we going to do this in our company?”
Are there any parts of your job that you particularly enjoy?
I’ve done every job there is here at IQMS with the exception of development, from support to training to implementations to sales. My favorite part of my job is to win deals. We’re here to sell software and we are here to compete really well in the ERP environment. And we’re also here to help manufacturing companies. So in some cases, if we encounter a company that would really benefit from our system, we will actually work very hard to make sure that they get the right system and keep them from making a bad decision by going with a company for financial reasons that we will know won’t fit them or allow them to grow - It is kind of nice.
I like to think that we have a really good software system and you can see the companies that are using it are doing really well - they are doing a lot of acquisitions and a lot of growing. The mantra that the money is made on the shop floor is something we all buy into at IQMS. We firmly believe we are helping manufacturing in America by helping companies be more competitive because we have a good system and we tie into the shop floor and all that. Sounds like sales pitch, but there aren’t too many companies that do the things we do.
Tell me about some of the recent projects IQMS has developed that you are excited about.
Our new SolidWorks add-in is pretty interesting. We think we have a cool way of doing the SolidWorks integration that is a little different than what other people are doing, but I think it is going to work out nicely for our customers in the long run. I am also still excited about our Android and mobility development. The more we get on mobile devices and less expensive hardware devices, the more people can use the system at a better price point.
And our automation development is pretty cool. When we work with customers that want to tie in their work centers via PLC – well the sky’s the limit on that. The developers don’t want me to say that, but they always seem to be able to figure out a way to do it.
Glenn, you’ve been with IQMS for 15 years. Any memorable experiences that stick out in your mind?
I can think of three big milestones that put IQMS on the map. The first one was winning a deal with Tessy Plastics Corporation. Tessy was the flagship customer of our biggest competitor at that time and we were able to take them off that system and make them a reference customer for us. As a milestone, it put us ahead of our competitor and allowed us to move forward quickly. A nice story there is that when Tessy hired a new IT director five or six years ago, he said, “We have to get rid of this little ole IQMS. We’ve got to go with SAP.” He came from an SAP shop and he didn’t know enough about us, but now, today, he says that he would never want to convert off of IQMS.
Another big event was when Phillips Plastics came out here in their private jet and signed the paperwork at our office. It was really a big event for us and they’ve been a great customer and a great reference from the beginning. The final milestone was IQMS’ move away from a hyper plastics focus about five years ago. We are not specific to the plastics industry anymore; we can handle a lot of other industries and manufacturing processes, as well as plastics, and we meet their requirements and do a heck of a job for them.
Being promoted to Vice President was nice, too.
On a larger scale, what do you think the future holds for ERP and the manufacturing industry as a whole?
As far as manufacturing in general, it boils down to consumer confidence. If people are buying things, meaning people think confidentially that they will have a paycheck, then that drives manufacturing. We are seeing a lot more trend toward reshoring, so a lot of the products that were produced overseas are being brought back to the country. To watch people bringing manufacturing back to the country and having my company being committed to helping manufacturing - it’s a positive for me.
I also see the ERP market shaping up in a positive way. Our automation group really sets us apart from the other ERP companies because anyone that is work center based and wants to hook up their work centers to ERP to get their information directly from them in real time will find we are one of the only companies, if not the only company, that’s meshing that ERP and MES solution so intimately off of a single database. People have talked about doing that for years, even some of the big ERP companies, and they just haven’t gotten there.
So I’m pretty bullish. When the sales people are excited, because they are the ones seeing the activity, then I am excited.