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South Dakota Ag News Headlines
New Sales and Marketing Software Designed for Manufacturers
South Dakota Ag Connection - 10/06/2017

It's not often you hear 'manufacturing' and 'cloud software' in the same sentence, but one South Dakota company is hoping to change that.

DataSync Corporation, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, recently launched its new sales and marketing software specifically designed to help manufacturers make more informed decisions about advancing their companies.

"My first business venture as an entrepreneur was when I graduated from Dakota State University when I started my own IT consulting company--I was the 'fix-it' guy. So my passion for helping people and utilizing software to help grow businesses is a good marriage between two of my passions," said Mike Vetter, DataSync's CEO. "After a series of successes, and even some failures over the years, eventually DataSync was established, and has grown over the years. This year we made a strategic decision to focus exclusively on serving manufacturers and distributors."

Vetter says DataSync's new software is called Flywheel, named after the key engine component that keeps motors running -- at outcome the software helps manufacturers achieve. Flywheel allows small to mid-sized manufacturers to sense where the market is heading by collecting information on everything from marketing and sales activities to service and customer sentiment, all from mobile devise like smartphones and tablets.

"Manufacturers literally power our nation's economy," Vetter said. "So it stands to reason real-time, accurate intelligence is necessary to make better, more informed product and investment decisions. Unfortunately, where smaller manufacturers sometimes can fall short is with their in-house information. They don't have access to affordable tools to gain insight from the data within their own business. Large corporations have entire divisions dedicated to managing these systems and creating reports. While that's a major benefit for these larger companies, it's simply unrealistic for smaller manufacturers to compete--until now. Not only is Flywheel affordable, it's mobile and could-based, meaning it's easily accessible, too."

More accessibility and accountability is something Vetter says he's beginning to see a lot more of as manufacturing companies continue to adopt more lean manufacturing practices.

"Modern manufacturing has really turned a corner in the last decade. In fact, advanced manufacturing is becoming a thing of the past, too," Vetter said. "Lean manufacturing processes means more automation, more customization and a real focus and commitment to the customer. We're starting to see welders cross-trained with engineers and vice-versa."

Vetter adds that manufacturing means more than just 'widget-assembly.' For example, many employers seek welders who also have technical skills, controllers with machinist capabilities. The 'hybrid-careers' list goes on and on. In fact, some employers even advertise a sign-on bonus to prospective employees who are willing to be trained on the job. And yet, the demand for workforce remains critical.

"I think the best thing we can do as professionals, leaders, parents and educators, is continue to tell the story--the manufacturing story," Vetter said. "We live in a day and age where our generations continue to blend. Let's invite [baby] boomers to share with students what manufacturing used be, and counter that with millennials who share what manufacturing is now. It's hard four younger folks to understand today's opportunities in manufacturing without that context."

Vetter adds that manufacturing tours are valuable--not just for students, but for their parents, too.

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