Practical Founders Podcast

#87: Created Software for Their Own Business That is Changing Their Industry – Paul Van Metre

Paul Van Metre was the co-founder of a successful machine shop that manufactured custom parts for the aerospace and medical device industries. Over 15 years, they created and improved software to run their entire business, which created huge efficiencies and helped them manage their growth. They sold that business in 2014 to focus on selling their complete software platform, called ProShop, to other forward-thinking machine shops. 

ProShop is now one of North America’s leading ERP (enterprise resource planning) software platforms for machine shops. The software manages every aspect of a machine shop business, from orders, finances, inventory, and shop floor operations. 

The company grew quickly with no outside funding as happy customers spread the word in their industry. Their software company focuses on processes, customer service, and company culture. In 2023, ProShop received a $32 million growth equity investment from Mainsail Partners, which allowed the founders to take money off the table and fund new growth. 

Quote from Paul Van Metre, cofounder of ProShop

“Most of our competitors are selling the moon and don’t deliver, so we do the opposite. We try to be as transparent and cautious as possible. We do not want to sign up companies that are not a good fit for us. 

“We kick prospects out of our sales funnel all the time because they’re either not the right fit on paper or they’re going to be a real headache and we don’t want to put that onto our client support and implementation team. We’re pretty selective even today. 

“Sometimes it seems a little harder up front, but ultimately, our business is in a much stronger position when all of our clients are well aligned and good clients. Our NPS scores are over 70, which is unheard of in ERP software. We leaned into that and it’s worked for us.”



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Greg Head recorded this on episode on March 29, 2024 for the Practical Founders Podcast see all of the episodes.

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