Steelhead Technologies is a job shop operations platform designed to add visibility to plant operations, streamline processes and boost profits with ease. Job shop owners and operators want to run their shops more efficiently. They want full control of their expenses and throughput but without technology and data, they are running their shop with the lights off. 

Steelhead turns a spotlight on processes from quoting to work orders all the way through to quality and shipping, capturing the data, job cost and detail in between each step. Operators can locate parts on the shop floor in seconds and rest easy with low inventory notifications. Job Shop customers are ultimately delighted by frequent notifications of work order status and price transparency, knowing the details of their cost margins per order. 

Interview with Jeff Halonen, CEO of Steelhead Technologies.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Jeff Halonen: Steelhead Technologies is a new startup and is in growth-mode. With such a highly sought-after solution, our main priority is providing the best customer service on the market by creating memorable experiences and engineering the best (and fastest) software deployments available. Other areas of focus include making our solution as strong as possible with new developments and enhancements and of course focusing on our sales and marketing strategy to ensure we are telling the Steelhead story as best as possible to elevate job shop manufacturers across the globe.

  • Customer Service and Deployment Engineering to provide white glove, world-class support and continue to perfect our solution.
  • Product Development and Enhancements to continue building the best solution on the market for process manufacturers.
  • Sales and Marketing to continue reaching process manufacturers hungry for a better way to manage their plant operations. 

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

J.H: Steelhead is constantly building new features and functionality to serve existing and future customers. Some of the latest features include:

Multi-Plant Management: Easily access and view operations in multiple plants associated with one business.

Scheduling and Capacity Planning: Quickly understand available capacity for production, and reroute work as needed from a simple, live interface. Create and distribute a schedule in seconds with click and drag scheduling.

Automated Job Costing and Reporting: Automatically track job cost, rework, production efficiency, and any other metrics with automated and custom reports.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

J.H: Steelhead delivers job shop manufactures a single customizable platform from which they can run their entire production floor, as well as much of the front office. Send quotes, shippers, and invoices, but also train operators, manage work flow, schedule, collect data and much, much more.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

J.H: The job shop market is very mature. This industry includes value add services such as Powder Coating, Plating, Casting, Heat Treating, and contract machining which have been around for many years but have always lagged on having the latest technology to manage operations as the spotlight usually goes to end-of-line assembly manufacturers that finish the refrigerator, dishwasher or other appliance within our homes. Although the industry has been around for ages, the technology deployed to serve it has been underdeveloped for years. Out-of-box ERP (enterprise resource planning) solutions and MES (manufacturing execution systems) fill a very basic hole with much of the “automation” purposes still relying on paper and spreadsheets. Steelhead digitizes the entire process with direct integration into accounting systems so nobody has to flip through a paper trail of work orders or sort through spreadsheets to identify process improvement opportunities.

Jeff Halonen, CEO of Steelhead Technologies

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

J.H: Job shop manufactures are adopting technology not only to compete with peers, but also with their customers. What we have found is that shops who consider outsourcing these services may elect not to for one main reason: Lead times (the ‘latency’ or time interval between the start and completion of a certain task). Managing appropriate lead times for processing and order fulfillment will be critical for Job Shops and the job shop industry as a whole to thrive in the decades to come and visibility with technology plays a large role in that success.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

J.H: Steelhead features Workboards, which are custom UI’s made specifically for each and every operator in a plant. This innovative approach allows operators to see only the most important information that pertains to them, just at the time that they need it. While this function enables a more effective plant floor, it also unlocks previously unknown data, creating actionable insights for the entire enterprise.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?

J.H: Job shops will continue to demand more automation to deal with supply chain delays and ongoing labor challenges such as hiring skilled workers, training the workers, and reviewing rework needs/issues. Job shops will need more and more tools to handle complex management in order to unlock the fast lead times that the market demands. Speed (and quality) is the name of the game and Steelhead delivers.