Programmable Equipment Company
Class of 2014
- Year 2014 - Year 1
- From Amherst, New York
- Website www.workautomate.com
Programmable Equipment Company has developed a software platform used within the high value, low volume industrial market segment to increase throughput and quality while drastically decreasing the need for worker training. Our software orchestrates manual industrial processes by simultaneously feeding instruction steps to the worker, controlling equipment, and storing data.
There has been very little innovation for millions of industrial workers who perform manual production tasks. A good portion of their time involves looking up, reading, and interpreting written work instructions, then performing the specified tasks on the product using manual tools, and finally hand recording associated data. Production yield and quality is low, and the training costs are high. Our inspiration is to drastically improve the worker’s experience by streamlining these manufacturing processes. Our Work Automate Software automatically feeds rich media cues to the worker at appropriate times within the process including text-to-speech and photographs. The worker then performs the manual tasks as instructed. Because the process is now orchestrated by a computer, we can integrate sequential computerized equipment control within the process. This means the worker completes an applicable task and the computer knows exactly when to control automated equipment. Essentially, we are fusing the activities of man and machine using our software. With our software, we can modernize an entire sector of industry, improving the work lives of workers, while increasing yield and quality, and slashing costs associated with training.
1.) Humility – you need to turn OFF your ego and truly listen to the customer to learn what their problems really are. You will almost never hit it out of the park without learning this first. 2.) Resilience – you will be rejected many times. You need to learn who to actually listen to, and who is a stakeholder in the status quo. Those invested in the status quo will have a lot to lose if you succeed, so they may try to make it hard for you. Do not take rejection personally, either adjust if it’s someone you should listen to, otherwise carry on. 3.) Extremely Strong Work Ethic – during the first 2 years you can expect to work 6 or 7 days a week sometimes 80 hours week. Entrepreneurship is not fun, but you will instead be fed by satisfaction in the possibility of changing the world.
The pieces seem to be coming together in Buffalo and WNY. This area has a truly amazing legacy of industrial innovation. It seems that the level of innovation slowed in recent decades and people’s attitudes soured. But smart investment in the engines of innovation such as the Medical Corridor and the Buffalo Billion are placing the money in sectors of growth, which sure beats using these funds to fill potholes.
The most exciting thing about being an entrepreneur is delivering a finished product that goes a magnitude above their expectations. It’s like delivering to them a car when they were expecting a faster horse and buggy. That’s when you know you are onto something. So delivering well beyond their expectations is exciting.