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Transforming how custom conveyor belt systems are built.

"They have some of the best programmers in the world working on our project."

Industry
Manufacturing
Services
UX / UI Design
Digital Transformation
Custom Software Development
Technology
ReactJS
.NET
PHP

Challenge

A complex, manual workflow holds back a national manufacturer of conveyor belt systems. 

Solution

Onsite strategic planning and rapid iteration transform legacy processes and clunky data management into an intuitive custom application. 

Impact

Design times reduced from weeks to hours sets up Span Tech for rapid growth.

The Challenge

With aging software, dozens of spreadsheets, and long training periods, Span Tech realized their legacy workflow for designing conveyor belts was hampering their ability to grow.

Conveyor belts are essential components of nearly all forms of manufacturing, but no two are alike. For Span Tech, this means that deep collaboration with customers is necessary to understand each unique manufacturing environment and material “flow”. 

Span Tech managed these high levels of variability and customization with a legacy spreadsheet-based application. As they grew, the constant crashing, difficult maintenance needs, and long training periods began to impact their competitiveness. 

Their whole process for designing and estimating conveyor belts needed a rethink.

The website had also undergone a complete redesign.

The Solution

ADK flew to Kentucky to learn every aspect of Span Tech’s business first-hand. Together, their onsite collaboration paved the way for a multiphase transformation of Span Tech’s process for designing conveyor belts. 

Span Tech’s proprietary formulas and conveyor design processes are the company’s key competitive advantage. Understanding the details behind how those processes work was the critical first step to solving Span Tech’s big challenge. 

For ADK, this meant one thing: ridiculously close collaboration. 

At the outset, the ADK team was onsite at Span Tech learning about the company’s people, processes, and technologies. The 60 days spent onsite were critical to understanding both the nitty gritty nuances of Span Tech’s complex processes and their high-level business goals. 

Throughout this period of collaboration, Span Tech team members joined forces with ADK’s strategy lead, project manager, engineers, and experience designers to share knowledge. Through a series of working sessions and functional activities, ADK learned the finer details of Span Tech’s production workflows. 

At the end of onsite collaboration, ADK had what they needed to translate Span Tech’s business goals into a real software solution.

The Impact

After two months working side by side at Span Tech HQ, ADK and Span Tech spoke the same language and imagined the same possibilities. By the end of their first year working together, they reached their goal: launching an intuitive, cloud-based conveyor belt design and estimation application.

Building Span Tech’s conveyor belt design and estimation application (lovingly called “The Estimator”) brought in experts from every side of ADK’s business:

  1. ADK’s strategists got to know every aspect of Span Tech’s highly complex business.  
  2. ADK’s project managers translated the business processes that were learned onsite into a project plan for engineers. 
  3. ADK’s engineers skillfully incorporated all legacy data sets, formulas, dependencies, and workflows into a single, powerful platform. 
  4. ADK’s designers turned all that data and all those workflows into a beautiful, intuitive application that’s easy to learn and even easier to use. 

Once launched, the application’s impact was immediate. Since launching v1, Span Tech has trained more salespeople and done more business than ever before. A design and estimation process that would have taken weeks with legacy systems now takes hours, supercharging Span Tech’s growth. 

Digital Transformation

In 2018, Phase I of ADK’s work with Span Tech transformed how they do business. In 2021, ADK and Span Tech will be embarking on Phase V.

In the first 60 days of onsite collaboration, ADK and Span Tech set the tone for their relationship: Listen, learn, collaborate, and trust. 

For three years, this culture of mutual understanding has driven Span Tech’s digital transformation. From local Kentucky manufacturer to a global player in the conveyor belt business, Span Tech has leveraged custom software to transform how they do business. 

The roots of success are the same: Span Tech is the same family-owned company that it was 40 years ago. They’re still using the same proprietary formulas and methodologies that they always have. 

The difference is this: purpose-built custom software is helping Span Tech bring their products to more people than ever before.