It’s no secret that manufacturing is changing. The things that are being made are changing, and the ways they are made are changing. Digital technologies are impacting every process and opening new paths to new markets that didn’t even exist a few years ago. GageList is always looking to engage with market leaders as we redefine the calibration management marketplace. When we exhibit at industry shows, it’s exciting to see these advances firsthand, and exciting to be leading change in the gage management sector.

The AmCon Advanced Design & Manufacturing Expo is a marketplace for contract manufacturing providers to pitch major OEMs like Lockheed Martin, 3M, Honeywell, Dell, Goodyear, and others. The OEMs and most of the contract suppliers have formal quality programs certified to ISO 9001 and other standards, and their gage calibration systems are critical components of their compliance programs. The AmCon show in Houston in October of 2019 provided a great platform to talk about how calibration management technology is adapting to Quality 4.0. Here are some of the more interesting subjects people brought up when they stopped by our booth:

What does “changing everything” mean?

Until GageList came along, companies that rely on measuring equipment as part of their quality programs had only a few choices. They could shell out massive dollars for expensive, outmoded desktop software that’s so complicated they have to spend tons of money to be trained on it, or they could cobble together some home-made system using Excel spreadsheets or even paper records. A few legacy products became entrenched in large organizations and were able to hold corporate gage management hostage. Meanwhile, smaller manufacturers and machine shops were told: “call us when you get big enough for us to care.” GageList was built on a few simple ideas:

  • You own your calibration data and we have no right to restrict your access to it.
  • Calibration data management should be as simple and transparent as possible.
  • You should have the flexibility to manage your quality program as you see fit.
  • World-class gage management software should be affordable for anyone who needs it.
  • Software should help you grow, not punish you for it.

We built GageList to free manufacturers, labs and machine shops from the drudgery of hand-made DIY products and the tyranny of expensive enterprise platforms that limit flexibility and collaboration. We started with pricing. Our SaaS offer starts at free, and even at its highest level, is a fraction of what the competition charges. We made it easy to learn and use because charging users for training just because your product is too complicated seems unfair. We let our customers add as many users as they need to. We made it work on any device, anywhere and then built the world’s only full-featured mobile calibration app to give it even more remote functionality.

So, yeah. We’re changing everything about gage management, and the global quality market is liking what we’re doing.

How much does GageList charge per user?

It’s not fair to characterize seat licenses as extortion since they are basically how many legacy platforms have charged since the 1980s, but they do impose serious limitations on flexibility. Basically, when you’re tied to an essential software product with a license-based pricing structure, you have to pay for permission to improve your work processes, assign duties to multiple employees or collaborate effectively. We identified that pricing scheme as ineffective from the very beginning. So we allow unlimited users on every account at no extra charge, which frees our customers to grow as they see fit, to build flexible teams around critical work processes, and to make work processes portable. Our prices are a fraction of what others charge. The way we make money is by powering your success, not exploiting control of your gage data.

How easy is it to learn GageList?

Software that requires extensive (and expensive) training went out of style around the time your nine-year-old asked for a cell phone for her birthday. “Third age” software products are so intuitive they don’t require training. In fact, GageList is so simple, we’ve on-boarded thousands of users since we launched, and not one has required formal training to use it. Our knowledge base and video tutorial library – available to the public at no charge – are all most people ever need to fully understand how to launch, populate and use GageList to manage their gage inventories. Any time a user has questions, they can simply call our support team or submit a ticket through our ticketing system.

What does GageList Mobile do?

A companion to GageList, GageList Mobile is the world’s only full-featured mobile gage calibration management app for iOS and Android. It does virtually everything the browser-based platform does, plus a few things it can’t, and allows your mobile users to all work on your GageList account in real-time, from anywhere. GageList Mobile is perfect for recording remote gage data. As an example, an oil and gas producer can deploy calibration techs to offshore rigs to perform calibrations, and when they return to land, the app will automatically sync their data with their main account. In addition, the app uses your phone’s camera to scan barcoded tool labels and instantly pull up the GageList record so it can be edited or even reviewed by an auditor. No other gage management product can do as much.

We met tons of people at AmCon who are doing cool things and learned a great deal about how digital technology is supporting manufacturers of all sizes. We’re looking forward to AmCon’s next show, as well as other shows where market leaders meet to drive the future of manufacturing. Meantime, we continue to quietly drive change in the gage management market, one customer at a time.