Scott Knoche, Verisurf Reseller Sales Manager
QTE Manufacturing Solutions, based in the metropolitan St. Louis
area, has provided CAD/CAM products, training, support, and design contract services
to Midwest manufacturers since 1985.
Besides being the Mastercam reseller for several states in the region,
the company has been providing sales, training and consulting services for
Verisurf software for more than a dozen years and has been the product’s number
1 or near top reseller for many of those years.
When asked what led QTE to bring Verisurf onboard as one of their
product lines, Sales Manager Jeff Kleinheider said, “I was offering my own
reverse engineering (RE) software product which was not selling very well at that
time. This was before high-volume,
non-contact scanners were widely available.
Then I found Verisurf already had a solution for probing RE, and not
only that, it was integrated with Mastercam, our main product line. So, signing up was a no-brainer.” He could see that the inspection, reverse
engineering and tool building solutions from Verisurf would offer customers a
complementary solution to their CAM product, thanks to the natural workflow it
has with Mastercam.
experience and therefore comfort level with Verisurf matured, QTE realized that
their Mastercam/CNC customers have needs that put them on the same food chain
as their QC inspection counterparts, and it takes the cohesive success of both
segments of the enterprise to feed profits at the end of the day. “While many plant managers see their CNC
departments as profit centers, they often see their Quality Control
departments as cost centers” said Kleinheider. “But when they realize that their parts don’t
make it from the CNC department to the shipping dock without going through
inspection, and common bottlenecks there are gumming up the works preventing
them from getting paid, then they are interested in a solution.” Verisurf can often be that answer to such
that if they are going to make Verisurf part of their product mix, better to
make it fully visible on QTE’s customer-facing presence… including their
website, business cards, eMarketing newsletters, at trade shows, etc., and even
the marquis out front of their headquarters offices. They realized that if they wanted their
current customers and new prospects to take notice, it would be more likely if
they featured the product front-and-center, rather than less visible under a
sub-tier placement on their website and other marketing platforms. To further draw attention, QTE regularly holds
seminars focusing on Verisurf and their training and consultation surrounding
it. In the seminars they emphasize 3D
model-based inspection and GD&T, something about which many companies are
anxious to learn more. Further opening many kinds of networking opportunities, QTE holds
events with OEM partners of 3D metrology equipment such as Faro, Hexagon and
API. Like the Mastercam CNC having partnerships
with machine tool OEMs, it builds relationships that produce countless
referrals and a synergy of teamwork that makes the time invested worthwhile.
more about the history and relationship between QTE and Verisurf Software, the
“3D Measurement Solutions” company, we asked Jeff Kleinheider some more
questions: Jeff, to what types of
manufacturers do you focus on as prospects for Verisurf? “A big hitter is aerospace, especially when
they are required to use the CAD model for inspection.” When recognizing you have such an
opportunity, with what personnel would you begin to explore the needs for those
requirements? “Typically, through the
programming department. Find out if they
have pains processing new jobs, for example.
It’s typical to struggle when getting into model-based inspection and
especially if their parts have profile tolerance, datum alignment, or 3D
GD&T (geometric dimensioning and tolerance) callouts. FAI (first article inspection) is an absolute
requirement for the aerospace industry. Those
new to FAI will find it easier with Verisurf and QTE’s expertise in consulting,
training, and supporting the software as well as the hardware involved. Either through the resale of 3D metrology
hardware that Verisurf offers or via partnering with the OEMs, QTE provides
the complete solution. Anytime they are
hit with new or complex requirements, they work closely with Verisurf Software
personnel ready to help them with any challenge.
to find a backlog of parts in the inspection department,” Jeff said. “While the CNC department does not see quality-inspection as their area of responsibility, and the inspection department has been charged with using the tools they already have, the plant manager knows he
cannot provide production output until the parts ship, and company management
realizes they will not be paid until the parts are gone. We have often proven to customers that they
can eliminate the backup with Verisurf and portable 3D measurement systems such
as portable CMMs (coordinate measuring machines),” he added. Jeff says this typically shows them a
solution that is much faster than a programmable CMM. But nowadays when tolerances are super-tight,
QTE can also consult and provide Verisurf solutions for their stationery,
programmable CMMs. Customers can, therefore, program both their CNC machines and CMMs using one software, the
Mastercam-Verisurf integrated platform.
QTE’s Wichita sales and technical expert, Eric Eicher, has taken to
Verisurf’s programming capabilities (Automate and AutoInspect) from his time
running the software at one of QTE’s customers.
Since coming onboard at QTE, he has had great success consulting
customers on programming in Verisurf even for manual devices. The programs created in Verisurf Automate can be run as quick and productive user-prompted inspection routines. This provides both productivity and improved process
control, something that is sure to please any company’s customers.
also mentions the added in-process checks that Verisurf systems give customers
on the production floor. This is often a
new capability that helps them troubleshoot and refine their manufacturing
processes and to remove doubts and arguments about where there is a breakdown
or inconsistency. Is the problem the
part, the design (drawings or CAD model), tooling, or something else in the
process? When it comes to the
dimensional aspects of the part, the culprit can be more readily identified and
corrected. Jeff said another
conversation starter is when they see a portable CMM (PCMM) arm such as a Faro
or Romer arm in the customer’s plant.
Chances are if they bought another software such as the OEM’s own
platform, QTE can show them a better, faster solution with Verisurf. When it comes to the product’s target market,
they have seen lots of success well beyond aerospace into mold shops, automotive,
consumer products, even at a major dog food company to name a few.
Jeff was asked
what might be their first step when they uncover possible Verisurf interest at
a customer. He replied, “I might take
them to a computer and to the website or YouTube to watch one of the videos to
start the conversation. The videos give
them something they can take to their boss to move things up to the next level.
And when the prospect says ‘Is it really
that easy?’ they invite them to the next QTE-Verisurf seminar or arrange a demo
where they will inspect one of their parts and prove it to them.” When they balk at spending money on an
inspection system, Jeff asks them, “How much does it cost to ship a pallet of
bad parts?” And “What does it cost you
to lose a customer to whom you shipped a pallet of bad parts?”
Next, we asked
how the all-important annual maintenance retention was for their Verisurf
licenses. Jeff replied, “Just shy of our
Mastercam retention.” Which is always in
the top 3 of worldwide Mastercam resellers.
How are you that successful with Verisurf maintenance? “Regular communication, seminars,
newsletters, etc. Also, our CRM reminds
us 4 months before maintenance is due to contact the customer if we have not already
communicated through the normal course of business. We do Verisurf-specific ‘What’s New’ events
to remove the fear of new releases and upgrades.” Is doing Verisurf training a big part of the
sale and ongoing business? “All of our
software sales have a plan of success and selling software without training is
a bad idea. It’s very important.” Jeff, how does Verisurf fit with Mastercam
and other products that you sell?
“Verisurf fits very well. Again,
Mastercam is driving profit centers which are key. Providing Verisurf to help with a backlog can
help customers keep the dollars rolling enough to consider the investment. Since it helps to optimize machine
utilization, it is an easier sell. We
have a customer that has around 11,000 parts programmed for inspection in
Verisurf, so for them it is easy to see how it is more of a profit center.”
When Jeff was
asked, “Would you recommend that resellers from other regions include Verisurf
as part of their principal product lines?”
“Absolutely, yes,” he replied.
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