Manufacturing Company Upgrades Operating System and Improves Productivity

Shinola is a design and manufacturing company that needed the most efficient solution to streamline its processes and reduce manufacturing costs to gain a competitive advantage. In April 2012, three Shinola employees began using tablets running the Windows 8 Pro operating system. The company plans to use the tablets for shipping and receiving, inventory control, point-of-sales discussions, and monitoring plant security cameras. Shinola benefits from an intuitive interface, robust functionality, and near-seamless mobility.

Business Needs
Shinola is a design and manufacturing company with operations in Detroit, Michigan. When it launched, the production plant had only walls. Now the business is filled with machinery and operational facilities, and it also has offices in Dallas, Texas. “Shinola is an American-based brand that produces watches, leather goods, commuter bicycles, journals, and shoe polish,” says Tara Cyphers, Marketing Lead at Shinola. “Our mission is to bring back manufacturing to the United States in a profitable manner, starting with watches. The watch industry hasn’t been active in this country for decades. Now with our watch manufacturing facility in Detroit, we are very optimistic as to what is to come.”

Most of the 30 Shinola employees work on product assembly, so only a handful of workers need computers. The company supports three desktop computers and one portable computer running the Windows 7 operating system. In addition, it has 10 thin-client terminals that connect to Windows Server 2008 R2. Shinola employees prepare and manage production orders by using Microsoft Access 2010 database software. The company tracks inventory with Microsoft Excel 2010 spreadsheet software. The plant’s security system uses card readers that are programmed through Windows.

The company needed an advanced technology solution that would address its main business challenges—mobility, gaining a competitive edge, and point-of-sale presentations. In particular, Shinola needed a portable device that it could use to demonstrate its product line to potential buyers. “We imagine a computer on which we can flip through the inventory easily,” says Andy Olsen, Planning Manager at Shinola. “It has to be a tangible experience that would allow us to show buyers a selection of products to choose from. We want to be able to connect to our business, our people, and our customers at any time and from any location.”

In April 2012, Shinola worked with eMazzanti Technologies, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, to begin using two tablets running a prerelease version of the Windows 8 Pro operating system. Olivier De Boel, Plant Manager at Shinola, has a tablet at the Detroit plant, while Olsen and the company’s IT professional use the other tablet at the Dallas office. Windows 8 Pro features a Start screen with customizable tiles that update in real time. “The Start screen is really clean,” says De Boel. “You can start any window, any application, or any executable.” 

Windows 8 Pro … has the power and familiarity of a Windows desktop and support for enterprise-level capabilities, which gives us a competitive advantage as a startup.
  Andy Olsen
Planning Manager, Shinola

As workers move between locations, Windows 8 Pro automatically and seamlessly connects to an available wireless network through Domain Join, a feature that helps connect devices to business networks. “With Windows 8 Pro, I can connect to the plant cameras and view the business activity from anywhere,” says De Boel. “I use that functionality from home all the time.”The company’s IT provider, eMazzanti Technologies, is establishing a foundation for point-of-sale transactions that uses the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system to manage an infrastructure based on Windows 8 Pro. “Security tools such as BitLocker are built into Windows 8 Pro,” says Jennifer Mazzanti, President of eMazzanti Technologies. “That’s just the beginning of improvements. The way the software is packaged, it’s very easy to install and support.”

The manufacturing company tablets running Windows 8 Pro have built-in cameras, which De Boel uses to send photographs of product components to suppliers of watch components. He can also use Windows 8 Pro to connect an external drive to the tablet USB port to play videos or present a slide show. “We plan to use the tablet to train assembly line employees,” says De Boel. “Workers can attend trainings from their work benches, and we don’t have to put all these memory-intensive files on the tablet itself.”

Shinola has realized mobility efficiencies with his tablet. For example, the company has contractors continuously evolving its production facilities, and De Boel came across an electrician one afternoon who needed card key access. Because he was using a tablet running Windows 8 Pro, De Boel was able to run security software. Says De Boel, “I keyed his card code right from my tablet. I didn’t have to go to the other side of the building—which would have taken me 10 minutes. I did it in one minute.”

As a small manufacturing company, Shinola is poised to take advantage of the advanced technology available with a tablet running Windows 8 Pro. “Windows 8 integrates seamlessly into our infrastructure,” says Olsen. “It has the power and familiarity of a Windows desktop and support for enterprise-level capabilities, which gives us a competitive advantage as a startup.”Improved Mobility
Shinola plans to enhance training and sales engagements by using Windows 8 Pro on tablets. The ease of mobility with the tablet makes it possible for employees to attend to business from wherever they’re located. De Boel reports that he uses his tablet for work about 60 percent of the time. “Mobility is a great feature because we can access whatever we need from anywhere,” says De Boel. “We can use the full functionality of our Microsoft productivity tools anytime. Also, I can access any available Wi-Fi hot spot.”

Enhanced Productivity
Because of the speed of Windows 8, the ease of operation, and the mobility available with a tablet, Shinola benefits from increased efficiencies. “Windows 8 Pro is just faster than the previous operating systems,” says De Boel. “If you add up the minutes that we save by doing anything we need to do wherever we are, and avoiding traveling back and forth to our workstations, it adds up to a 30 percent increase in productivity.”

Increased Usability
The Windows 8 Pro interface is so intuitive that employees did not require any training; they started using the tablet and figured it out. They can access their favorite or most frequently used applications seamlessly. “Windows 8 is new and it’s cool and it’s fun,” says Olsen. ”The touch and feel of it is wonderful. It has more capabilities than I’ve ever seen on a tablet.”


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin


Success Stories

Fmb Steel Winter Garden Atrium

FMB Steel Cuts Costs 50%, Ends Recurring Problems by Transferring Support to eMazzanti

“Switching to eMazzanti has reduced our IT costs by half. I can budget it and not worry about the bill at the end of the month. I count on them as a true partner running the IT department while I focus on running my business.” Alec Yount, Director of Business Operations, FMB, Inc. (FMB Steel) FMB Steel Business Needs NYC Area Metal Fabricator FMB, Inc. (FMB) fabricates miscellaneous metals, including steel. Established on the principles of excellence, the New Jersey company takes on any project that’s not structural steel, including those that require complex innovative engineering, fabrication, and erection. With completed

Manufacturing Automation

Manufacturing Automation Provider Gains Productivity and Time to Focus on Core Business

“Technology is evolving quickly and we’re in a very high-tech industry ourselves. You want to partner with people that understand that technology.” Mark Howe, VP Sales and Marketing, The Knotts Company, Manufacturing Automation Provider Background The Knotts Company (Knotts) represents manufacturers of industrial automation and robotics products to empower manufacturing customers with automation solutions. The company collaborates with customer experts to identify and define issues, problems and opportunities to create higher level solutions for increasing performance, productivity and profitability. Armed with in-depth customer knowledge, Knotts skillfully applies its core competencies of pneumatics, machine guarding and framing, electric actuators, conveyors, automation, motion

Legal Technology

Flowers and O’Brien Excels with Legal Technology and Strategy from eMazzanti

“We have a mutual trust. We know their company and clients and they know our people and business. Therefore, eMazzanti is ideally qualified to offer new equipment, updates, and technology designed to make our life easier, more efficient and more profitable.” Mark O’Brien, Partner, Flowers and O’Brien, LLC Business Needs Boutique Law Firm Flowers & O’Brien, LLC (FNO), a NYC area boutique law firm, specializes in the representation of privately held companies, typically with real estate interests. Partners, Kerry Flowers and Mark O’Brien, seek to provide clients with sound legal advice in a timely and cost-effective manner. “We also strive to

Castle Hotel & Spa

Website Branding and Collaboration Powers Castle Hotel & Spa Revenue Growth

“If you are looking for a company that will make sure you show your best value, share a great story and assure your guests they’ll have a memorable experience, you have to work with Liqui-Site. I wouldn’t choose anyone else.” Kimberly Yancey, House Manager, Castle Hotel and Spa   Castle Hotel & Spa Business Needs Create Lasting Memories  Combining refinement and luxury with old-world elegance, the award-winning Castle Hotel and Spa (Castle) sits on ten wooded acres. “We strive to create lasting memories through the generations, and to treat our guests as royalty,” related Kimberly Yancey, House Manager. The on-site Equus

A+ Personnel

eMazzanti Delivers Peace of Mind for A+ Personnel

eMazzanti’s highly professional monitoring and support gives me one less thing to worry about knowing that my people can always work, and my information is safe. Jill Rowland, President and Owner, A+ Personnel Business Needs Established in 1987, A+ Personnel (A+) provides temporary and direct hire staffing services to corporations located in New Jersey and New York. As a woman-owned, independent agency, the company thrives by providing consistently excellent customer service and steady management. Dependable IT Over 10 years ago, A+ engaged eMazzanti Technologies to support and monitor its network and PCs and to provide cyber security. “I needed an IT

Priority Bicycles

Priority Bicycles Pedals Fleet Success with eMazzanti-Built Website

“eMazzanti has given us the ability to talk about a very important part of our business in a way that pushes our growth and communicates the things that we’re excited about.” Connor Swegle, CMO, Priority Bicycles Business Needs A Small NYC Company with Big Dreams Priority Bicycles (Priority) launched as a direct-to-consumer bicycle brand for the masses. As dedicated entrepreneurs, the company’s leadership is committed to making the best bicycles in the world at an affordable price. Their simple strategy of high-quality parts, an efficient supply chain, low overhead and an online business model has gained national attention. “Our goal was