Meet a Mastercam Reseller in the U.S. Midwest: Q&A with QTE Manufacturing Solutions
QTE Manufacturing Solutions has been a leading Mastercam reseller since 1991. Headquartered just outside of St. Louis, Missouri, QTE provides outstanding technical support to customers in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Clients span every industry, including commercial aerospace, defense, automotive, medical, and also job shops and production facilities.
QTE’s staff is dedicated to finding solutions for all of them. In the following Q&A, President Jason Quinn explains some of the keys to this company’s success.
Q. What Mastercam services do you offer customers?
A. We do training, support, technical events, and new release roll-outs. We have six different training classes, and we offer them in four cities: St. Louis, Missouri; Kansas City, Kansas; Wichita, Kansas; and Nashville, Tennessee. We have been averaging about six or seven students per class.
We also make sure we always have someone available to answer support phone calls for when people call in with questions. Our goal is always to get them an answer within a reasonable amount of time. We have a pretty extensive tracking system to make sure we don’t let tickets fall through the cracks.
We also have a pretty regimented schedule to make sure we stay in personal contact with our customers on a continuous basis. We’ve also been trying to do a couple more events regarding different specific machining techniques like PrimeTurning™ and Accelerated Finishing, which helps showcase the various areas where Mastercam can excel.
Q. What’s the latest or most exciting customer application you have?
A. We’re constantly solving new problems, helping customers out of a bind. But the biggest customer need we are striving to solve is generating talented CNC programmers. For this we have developed our Mastercam All Inclusive Training (MAIT) program.
For a flat fee, anyone from the company can attend any of our training classes that we offer in any of the four locations. This has helped us combat customer fears of training someone who could leave the company and helps them implement proper cross-training within their companies. We have had a lot of success with this over the past few years, and it has helped us win new business over other CAM solutions.
Q. What’s your favorite feature in Mastercam?
A. Right now, all the buzz is about the Deburr toolpaths and other techniques in Accelerated Finishing. Those are all the rage, and we’re hearing good things.
Q. What are you looking forward to?
A. We’re looking forward to continual advancements and improving technology. We’re excited about the advancements coming in the Lathe product. The ability to have machine simulation in Lathe is going to be very helpful to our customers. You can really see what you’re doing and what you need to do to make a good part.
Q. What are some challenges/opportunities you find that are unique to your region?
A. One of the biggest challenges is the spread out geography of the manufacturing industry in our six states. We don’t have a single region that clearly outperforms another. We do have some larger manufacturing areas; however, most of the territory consists of smaller concentrations of machine shops that support local industry needs. This makes it a challenge for us to have consistent representation of local expertise, but it doesn’t discourage us from trying.
This challenge is also an opportunity for us in that we can quickly differentiate ourselves from competitors in the area; and, the fact the spread-out geographic nature includes multiple industries helps insulate us from industry specific ups and downs. This enables us to provide a consistent customer experience across our entire territory in the Midwest.
Q. What are some unique issues that you can solve as a local support hub for Mastercam?
A. The key word in your question is local. That’s what separates us from any other CAM software package out there, especially now that everything’s being consolidated. We have a face to our people, we’re invested in the local communities and helping our local guys succeed.
We can go out and see the customer, get on the machine firsthand with them, and talk through key issues where they happen, on the shop floor. This is a tactile industry, so having machinists that are used to holding tools and parts in their hands partnering with someone who can stand in their shop and show them specifically how they can run their machine is a powerful thing.
That’s something that will make a customer want to buy from us rather than putting some software in an online cart and trying to get support from a web forum. In this industry, our model is the one that is successful.
Q. Do you sell any other products besides Mastercam?
A. We offer additional products such as Verisurf for inspection and metrology and multiple CIMCO products for shop management such as file transmission, PDM, machine monitoring, etc. In addition, we offer customized training and process review services to help customers quickly advanced to their specific goals. Lastly, we provide design contract services, specifically in the aerospace tooling, jig, and fixture market.