This Industrial Finishing Company Saves Time, Reduces Waste and Avoids Costly Shutdowns with Sortly
Freedom Finishing, located in Michigan, provides high-quality industrial powder coating and electrocoating. The company, which opened up shop 30 years ago, works with customers all over the United States in a variety of industries, including those in the automotive, military, furniture, and medical sectors. The company employs over 60 people and prides itself on ultra-fast order fulfillment, attention to detail, and earth-friendly policies.
Freedom Finishing offers a 24-hour turnaround time to some of its biggest clients. That means that running out of anything can completely derail the company’s business model.
The Michigan-Based Company Was Tracking Essential Inventory With Pen and Paper—And It Wasn’t Working
Freedom Finishing’s senior e-coat tech and head of maintenance, Alex Wolford, works tirelessly to keep track of every little thing that happens inside of the company’s 60,000-square-foot shop. He keeps tabs on chemicals and spare parts and makes sure anything that breaks gets fixed ASAP.
In the past, Freedom Finishing relied on old-fashioned pen and paper to keep track of every last detail. One of the problems the company encounters when their inventory failed them? Forced shutdowns.
“Say we ran out of two barrels of electrocoat,” said Alex. “It’s the paint that gets put in the electrocoating machine, it’s very important and there’s a 10-day lead time to get more. Well, if we run out we have to shut the plant down because we can’t paint without it. We lose thousands and thousands of dollars.”
Other inventory-related problems included:
Irresponsible overuse of resources like paper—Freedom Finishing tries to be as green as possible
Overdependence on certain employees who “know everything” but can’t work 24/7 and might not work at the company forever
Spending hours sifting through inventories looking for a sheet of paper that’s actually lost
“There’s a couple of companies we work with to get parts for projects that only come up every couple of years. If there’s a problem, you’re trying to remember where you got it from. I mean, you can write it down on a piece of paper, but finding that piece of paper in three years’ time is very difficult,” confirmed Alex
Alex was eager to find an inventory system that would avoid problems like these, save him time and save the company money.
After Switching to Sortly, Freedom Finishing Found a Whole New Set of Efficiencies and Customized Perks
“I tried two or three other apps and they just weren’t setup for easy use,” said Alex. “There was no good workflow where you just click and know where things are. On the other hand, I fly through Sortly. All I do is type something in and it pulls up every different place we have it, where we got it from, where it is, and so on and so forth.”
His favorite Sortly features include:
Customized, time-sensitive alerts and reorder reminders when certain inventories fall too low
Ability to find any information instantly—even when he or his partner is out of office
Option to add customized text to each item where information regarding protocols, safety hazards, and more can be stored and easily accessed
Automatically syncing inventories that can be used by different employees at the same time
No-waste, completely paperless system
Customizable features and aesthetics, including adding logos and selecting company colors
Sortly is helping keep Freedom Finishing’s employees safe, too. Alex smartly began storing safety information about chemicals and products within the app.
Said Alex: “One of the reasons we got Sortly was because if someone spills something on themselves, all I have to know is what they spilled, go to Sortly, click on that item and it gives me the safety data sheet. I click on that and it tells me everything I need to know within 60 seconds to get it off somebody or clean it up.”
Now, Freedom Finishing Can Focus on Serving Their Customers
Alex reports that he used to spend half of his workday locating items for employees and managing Freedom Finishing’s inventory. He can answer questions in a moment’s notice, and there’s no lingering fear that he’s forgotten to order one product or check quantities on another. Everything is under control.
“With Sortly,” said Alex. “Everything is in one place. It makes my life so much easier.”
Sortly is a simple inventory and asset tracking system that lets you visually manage all of your company’s most critical inventory. Our intuitive app enables your team to track just about everything from anywhere and gives your business instant access to inventory details like item location, stock level, price and condition, and any other details.