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Plex Spoken Here: Are These Words in Your Plextionary?

August 23, 2017

Plex Spoken Here: Are These Words in Your Plextionary?

Have you ever had someone tell you that when you talk about your work, it’s like you’re speaking a different language? Here at Control+M Solutions, we get that all the time. And we have to admit it’s true: one doesn’t just use Plex or implement Plex—one speaks Plex.

And so as we help manufacturers go live on Plex and get the most out of the system, we proudly speak a language that sounds foreign to everyone except our fellow Plex fanatics. Here’s a glimpse into our little world. 

Unusual Terms and Concepts Every Plex Manufacturing Cloud Customer Should Know

First things first: if you’re not familiar with Control+M Solutions, you may be wondering how we came up with our unusual company name. Ever noticed how when you’re using Plex and you want to find something in the system, you hit Ctrl+M on your keyboard? Those quick keystrokes help you find your way around Plex—and so do we.

As we’re working with manufacturers on this wonderful cloud manufacturing platform, there are some special words we use. See which ones you can relate to most!

Eliminating Pencil Whipping

What are operations personnel on the plant floor supposed to be doing every hour? That’s right: checking their parts and marking off a paper checksheet. They should also be pulling one part to measure the variances.

But do they actually do it? Well, uh, yeah…sometimes. I’ve seen plenty of plant floor workers cut corners by pulling four parts every four hours and measuring them, then checking off the checksheet for each of the past four hours. This faux-checking is what we call “pencil whipping.”

We can laugh all we want, but pencil whipping costs manufacturers in the long run because it lets bad parts get through production. The best solution, of course, is to implement Plex’s automated quality management features. But for those plant floors still using paper checksheets, at least clamp down on pencil whipping!

Throwing Out the Tennis Shoe Network

Here’s another one I see a lot of in manufacturing operations management that haven’t yet implemented Plex. When there’s a change in the schedule, shipping documentation, or quality, someone on the plant floor will usually write a note on a hot list or board. Problem is, workers on the floor don’t always look up at the list or board to notice the changes. And so people literally have to go running onto the shop floor to tell everyone. We call this the “tennis shoe network.”

Plex automates this whole process, of course. Fully integrated scheduling along with automatic notifications can change the whole way you run your manufacturing operations.

Listening to Mom

While you were growing up, your mom was always rooting for your success—but she had eyes in the back of her head. She enforced discipline. And if you ever tried to lie to her, she could see right through it and get to the truth.

Sound like anyone else you know? Yeah, that’s right: Plex Quality. With Plex Quality, you get the perfect balance of unconditional support and tough discipline. So, sometimes we call it “Mom.” (And we do so with love.)

Learning New Tricks

I once heard a radio interview where Keith Richards said something like, “I carry my guitar everywhere I go because I can always learn something new.” I found that inspiring. Keith Richards has been playing forever. If he can still learn new things about the guitar, then surely, I can still learn new things about Plex even after working with the system for over 10 years!

You really can teach an old dog new tricks. We once worked with a company in California that had a tax problem that nobody could seem to automate.  So rather than looking in the Plex tax module, we used a construct in the Plex pricing module to come up with a creative solution that not only solved their tax problem but helped them control revenue booking in other ways. We call these satisfying discoveries “new tricks”—and we’re always eager to learn more of them.

Enabling a Healthier Business

Think of your company as a body. Your data is your blood. Your ERP system is the heart that pumps that data around.

What happens when your data is getting stuck here and there rather than getting to the people and processes that need it? It’s like a clogged artery. And when the problem gets bad enough—and your heart isn’t strong enough to pump data through all these arteries anymore—you may just need a transplant.

In other words, it’s time to pull out your old ERP and replace it with a healthy new cloud-based Plex system.

Now, when you’re preparing for heart surgery in real life, your doctor will probably tell you to make lifestyle changes: eat healthy, get more exercise, quit smoking. It’s the same thing when you’re replacing the heart of your business. You’ll need to revamp your processes so that by the time you put in Plex, you’re ready to make a full recovery and be healthier than ever.

That’s what we help our clients to do. We don’t take “heart surgery” lightly; we work with customers to ease their fears, improve their processes—and guide them to new levels of success on Plex.

Plexifying Your Language

This one isn’t a single term, but rather, a catch-all. We’re so in love with Plex that we look for any and every opportunity to include “Plex” in a word that already contains an “X” sound.

For example, when we are working on a new customer, they always have dozens of questions and many staff members who are completely new to the Plex but have great business knowledge.  We work with these super users to give them deep Plex experience, and then we dub them Plexperts—and we sometimes even wear hats that display this clever moniker.

Another example: we don’t set “expectations” with clients on how their new system will perform. We set “Plexpectations.”

If you’ve got a question or aren’t sure how to do something in Plex, you’re PerPlexed.

Are we excited about our next engagement? No…we’re Plexcited! And if it goes really well, we’ll be Plextatic.

You get the idea. It’s a fun way to show our clients that we live and breathe this stuff.

We would love a chance to Plexibit our Plexpertise to you by providing Plexactly the level of Plexcellent service you Plexpect. Contact us today to find out more. 

About the Author

Patti Nowak