Francisco also ramped up Plex’s research and
development, making significant software improvements.
It helped Plex expand and improve its marketing
operations, last year completely revamping the brand and
exterior image of the company. This year, Plex will add to
its North American sales force, with an emphasis outside
the Midwest, Blessing says.
“We are still not where I want to be in terms of
market awareness,” he adds.
But the capital infusion appears to be paying off. Plex
added 59 new customers in 2013, raising the total to nearly
400, with 1,100 factories now running Plex software.
And opportunity remains abundant: Many
manufacturers have not made significant investments
since Y2K, Oksanen says.
DISRUPTING THE MARKET
“No one has disrupted the market yet with the cloud
model,” says Blessing, noting the cloud is less prevalent
in manufacturing ERP than in other industries. “We have
a great product and referenceable customers—the two
most important factors for going into a legacy market and
The chief issue holding back manufacturers is
concern over security, according to Cindy Jutras,
president of Mint Jutras, an independent research-based
consulting firm specializing in analyzing the business
impact of enterprise applications.
Security should always be a foremost consideration,
Jutras tells manufacturers, but she adds that with a
provider such as Plex, there is already a built-in safety
net. The benefits of moving to the cloud are great, she
says; manufacturers she has surveyed find cloud-based
operations attractive primarily due to lower costs.
Another Plex client, craft beer brewer Green Flash
Brewing Co., began using Plex in October 2013 to help with
expansion. Green Flash is counting on significant savings.
“WE SAW THE
ARE THE ONLY SCALE
PLAYER THAT DOES
MANUFACTURING IN THE
a Francisco principal
and Plex Systems board member