Mike LeRoy, President of Paper-Less, LLC., has over 30 years of experience in the manufacturing technology industry. His expertise includes manufacturing execution systems (MES) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Mike has been in software development and software management as well as sales and sales management.
Mike’s primary responsibility at Paper-Less is to provide for the ongoing viability and growth of the company to ensure longevity for employees, customers and shareholders. He is responsible to assemble the right team of leaders, who will also have the ability to maintain their teams for proper execution of the plans made for the success of the company. Taking the time to identify the ideal team members and keeping them motivated to innovatively expand products and methods to remain competitive and gain market share, is another important responsibility of Mike.
A Journey Past and Journey Ahead
Mike worked at medium sized companies for roughly 15 years when he decided he wanted to work for a smaller firm where his contributions would have more of a direct impact.
Mike chose Paper-Less because it was focused on fostering long-term relationships with customers, partners and employees. As Mike was their customer for five years before joining, he was well aware about their excellent reputation for doing the right thing, every step of the way in various types of business dealings.
Since joining Paper-Less, Mike’s mission has always been to contribute to the needs of the company to the best of his abilities in the roles he has been asked to fill. He feels fortunate to have received opportunities on the technical side in management roles, sales and sales management responsibilities and now more senior roles in management; all of which have provided the experience he applies each day in his business.
Paper-Less: Manufacturing Excellence through Software
Paper-Less is a technology leader and pioneer in Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) software and services, providing solutions and real-time insight for better management of complex manufacturing environments. For over 20 years, Paper-Less has consistently helped discrete manufacturing companies gain a competitive edge in an ever-evolving global market.
Paper-Less solutions enable a continuous improved environment, enhanced communication between the office and the production floor, real-time insight for eliminating waste, improving performance and optimizing operational efficiencies and most importantly cost and time-savings.
Mike claims that his company is unique because they are a software development company that truly understands manufacturing, so their solution is not geared toward being a high end data collection solution for ERP but instead is a manufacturing centric business solution to support and enhance the plant floor execution.
Focusing on Customers rather than on Competition
Most of the people will advice to always keep an eye on the competition. On the contrary, Mike doesn’t put as much focus on the competition. He thinks that focusing on the competition pushes people down into features and functions of products and not on the bigger picture of providing business solutions for customers. Products are simply tools, and while there must be good tools in order to help customers succeed, it is not the product itself that will enable a company’s collective success. Mike knows that people will continue to encourage him to scope out the competition, but he is firm to focus on his customers, partners and the thought leaders within the industry.
Mike feels fortunate to learn from both his employees and customers. Employees have taught him the virtues of respect and compassion. He learned to respect all the different skills and different aptitudes employees offer and to leverage the capabilities of each unique contributor and building effective teams to get things done. They taught him compassion – learning the difficulties that many people have in their lives and how that can impact his business, concluding that it is best for everyone to share in getting through those hard times together.
Customers have taught him the value of true partnerships. Mike shares that he had a few customers who exemplified a true understanding of what business partnerships are all about and how they have helped Mike enhance his own understanding of the value of working together to provide effective solutions to business problems.
Strategies Ensuring Company’s Success
Listening to customers, partners and thought leaders to better understand the problems and issues they are currently facing, is what ensures the success of Paper-Less, according to Mike. He does not intend to become satisfied with his, or the company’s, past success to the point where it may compromise future success. Mike also shares that finding creative and innovative approaches to solve problems and supporting every person who intends to do the same, remains a quality which will further take the company to the next level of success.
Lessons for Young Business Leaders in Mike’s words
Work hard and be fair. Don’t expect something before it is deserved. And just to expand a bit, decide whether you want a job or a career. The difference being that I regard a career as a long term journey oriented towards progression, holding personal, professional and presumably monetary growth in store for you. If it is growth that you want, then answer to what degree. If it is a career orientation you possess, then be mindful of the things that are standing in the way of your achievement and work quickly to move beyond them one way or another. Life is short and those barriers can waste valuable time.