iBase-t Appoints Steve Modrall Chief Revenue Officer to Continue Accelerated Growth

Company expands commitment to growth in new customer sales and expansion of established customers

LAKE FOREST, Calif. – May 26, 2022 iBase-t, the company that simplifies how complex products are built and maintained, today announced that Steve Modrall has been promoted to Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). Modrall’s appointment marks the next step for iBase-t as it looks to further accelerate its growth in delivering value as a service to customers. Modrall brings experience in building global sales organizations and developing successful go-to-market strategies for both private and publicly held SaaS companies. Modrall will be responsible for expanding the company’s SaaS subscription-based repeatable revenue model supporting growth through annual recurring revenue.

“iBase-t is continuing to grow upwards and outwards; we are reaching new markets and customers by better understanding how manufacturers are buying software solutions, what features deliver value, and how we can better empower them with faster time to benefit from our best-in-class technology,” said Modrall. “I am thrilled to be able to participate in iBase-t’s growth and by the opportunity to fulfill our ambitious goals.”

“Steve has exhibited exceptional leadership in collaborating across iBase-t stakeholders to execute our transition to a B2B SaaS company,” said Naveen Poonian, CEO of iBase-t. “Steve has excelled in developing a growth strategy and in creating a cross-functional, open, and collaborative culture to drive customer success. I’m excited to see the increase in maturity of operations, streamlining and automation of processes, and delivery of excellent experiences to our customers.”

Modrall, who previously served as the company’s EVP of Global Sales, has led the drive for software license revenue growth helping to achieve exceptional company growth. He has also been instrumental in setting the sales strategy and execution of iBase-t’s SaaS and mid-market programs

About iBase-t
iBase-t is a software company that simplifies how complex products are built and maintained. Founded in Southern California in 1986, iBase-t solutions ensure digital continuity across manufacturing, quality, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) operations on a global scale. The iSeries, powered by Solumina, is a cloud-native platform that establishes a digital ecosystem to drive innovation and improve operational performance. With offices in the U.S., UK, France, and India, iBase-t customers include Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney, and Textron. Learn more at iBase-t.com.

Smart SMEs Are Proactive Value Chain Partners

Today’s post-pandemic economic constraints are challenging all businesses, but small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are especially impacted.  Without the economies of scale, SMEs may seem limited in the ways they can respond to the demands put on them by their customers. Rather than being reactive when challenged by their customers to deliver more value, smart businesses are looking to technology to become proactive in driving value. And by stretching their technology architecture beyond competitors, these businesses are gaining an edge over less technology-capable competitors. By digitally transforming their operations these SMEs are driving value in several competitive ways.

Faster Response to OEM Demands

With high visibility into their operations, thanks to accurate insights provided by their digital systems about current production capabilities, these businesses can provide faster and more reliable responses to OEM inquiries regarding price, quality, and delivery when OEMs request parts releases within existing agreements or on new orders.  Better information permits tech-enabled suppliers to automate responses to inquiries and become more tightly integrated into the value chain. This makes them a preferred supplier over suppliers that take too much time to commit and deliver.

Collaborating on Parts and Processes

With the right technology, an SME can offer the OEM not only physical products but also become an integrated part of the OEM’s overall product design and production processes.  Electronically sharing design information can enable the supplier to offer up suggestions as to better ways to produce a part, such as using additive manufacturing instead of casting or machining for small quantities.  When an OEM is willing to share the larger picture of how the materials are consumed, smart suppliers often can show how to reduce assembly steps.  One example is where two parts are sourced from separate suppliers and then fastened together to form an assembly. With bi-directional transparency, the smart supplier can often show how they can provide an assembled unit at a lower cost. Then the OEM can buy the two parts and assemble them on their own.

Going Paperless to Drive Efficiency 

By being proactive from a technology standpoint, an SME supplier can deliver value beyond just cost savings in the part itself.  One example; by electronically sharing detailed quality information, particularly on serialized parts, you can demonstrate to the OEM how you can save them time and money on incoming goods inspection. Likewise, you can show the value by compiling the documentation package that may be required for regulatory or customer genealogy requirements.  Going paperless also lessens the costs associated with lost paperwork.  No more holds on production because of missing documentation.

How to Be Technology Proactive

Many SMEs want to modernize their technology footprint, but given today’s tight economy feel the timing is off.  Fortunately, when it comes to operational technology platforms, like MES software, a richly featured solution can be achieved with a pay-as-you-go approach. Deploying software as a service (SaaS) rather than having to lay out capital to implement a big project to modernize may make strategic sense. An MES, delivered via a subscription service (particularly through a vendor that has designed their product around a modular, microservices architecture), allows people to deploy functionality at a pace they can manage. As long as the subscription pricing is value-based, you can deploy what you need when you need it. Don’t wait for your customers to push you to modernize your OT infrastructure, be tech-proactive and distinguish yourself from the competition.

Innovation Insight for the Connected Factory Worker

iBase-t Appoints Daniel Flick as Vice President, Global Partner Ecosystems

Commitment to growth through global partner ecosystems brings industry expert Flick to transform iBase-t’s partnering through cloud, SaaS, integration and interoperability

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif. – May 20, 2022 iBase-t, the company that simplifies how complex products are built and maintained, today announced it has strengthened its leadership by appointing Daniel Flick as Vice President, Global Partner Ecosystems. In this newly created position, Flick will lead the iBase-t Alliance activity with Resellers, Consulting & System Integrators, Technology and Academic Partners. Flick comes to iBase-t following 15+ years at Siemens, where he managed global partners and the Americas Alliance Program.

“We’re thrilled to have Daniel join our team and help us build, develop and grow our Global Partner Ecosystem to best-in-class status,” said Naveen Poonian, CEO, iBase-t. “Daniel’s incredible background and passion for partnering perfectly aligns with our goals and we are confident he is what we need to drive execution and create disruptive opportunities for iBase-t, our customers and partners.”

“I’m proud to bring my experience in building and executing go-to-market partnership programs across discrete and process industries to iBase-t,” said Flick. “My philosophy is that we sell together then deliver with excellence together. We intend to solve the most complex problems of our joint customers with and through partners. I look forward to helping drive future success and growth of iBase-t.”

As a seasoned market maker, Flick’s experience spans Industrial Software, Manufacturing Systems, Consulting & System Integration with direct & indirect large-account sales and worldwide channels. He has sold highly technical solutions, built sales forces and managed global alliances and programs for companies including Siemens, GE, Teradyne, Schlumberger, and Atos.

About iBase-t
iBase-t is a software company that simplifies how complex products are built and maintained. Founded in Southern California in 1986, iBase-t solutions ensure digital continuity across manufacturing, quality, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) operations on a global scale. The iSeries, powered by Solumina, is a cloud-native platform that establishes a digital ecosystem to drive innovation and improve operational performance. With offices in the U.S., UK, France, and India, iBase-t customers include Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney, and Textron. Learn more at iBase-t.com.

Why Mid-Market Manufacturers Are Getting Serious About Paperless

The benefits of connecting your physical equipment with virtual systems to support your people and their processes have been clear for some time. One of the first steps towards connecting the siloed activities that plague many operations is to move towards paperless manufacturing. This allows for greater productivity, more accurate information, higher profits, and a host of other benefits. Furthermore, research shows that companies that have adopted digital operations consistently outperform their competition.

While true, these benefits have existed mostly for the large manufacturers competing on a global scale. That’s not because the mid-market and smaller firms haven’t known about it. A survey by the Manufacturing Leadership Council found that 99% of mid-market manufacturing executives have at least some understanding of the benefits of Industry 4.0. 

But for most mid-market firms, the time just hasn’t been right. The technology has been expensive, and the need to change is not as pressing as this week’s production goals. In the last few years, however, the scale has tipped in the other direction. Mid-market manufacturers are beginning to move seriously toward paperless manufacturing. 

Why now?

Analysts and manufacturers cite several reasons for the recent shift. Two of the most commonly mentioned are the pandemic and increasing competition.

There’s no doubt the pandemic has made everyone rethink what they’re doing, forcing change on many companies. A report from Deloitte, available online, says: “Across an array of industries, America’s middle market and private companies have tailored their operations amid the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis has accelerated the digitization of nearly every corner of the economy.”

Tougher competition is also a factor. In a survey of mid-market manufacturers, 86% reported that competition has increased markedly in the last five years. This is forcing many firms to improve and modernize in order to survive.

Meanwhile, the barriers to going paperless have been steadily getting lower, and this may be the most important factor of all. The Manufacturing Leadership Council reports that two of the top reasons that mid-market firms have resisted going paperless are the “intimidation factor” and “justifying the cost.” Now a new generation of software and cloud managed services has largely removed these barriers, and it’s changing the game for mid-market firms. And if you are in need of secure ITAR and DoD requirements, the same applications are available on secure “gov cloud” providers, namely AWS and Azure.

Easier entry: Eliminating the intimidation factor

Until recently, going paperless meant large investments in hardware and software, plus the staff to manage the technology, with no assurance that it would pay off as planned. The smaller the manufacturer, the greater the risk seemed.

With the emergence of the public cloud for serious business applications, the equation has changed completely. You no longer need to buy or lease servers and software systems, nor do you need to worry about updates, upgrades, and maintenance. All the technical side of the computer systems—the servers, the software like MES and ERP, and all the rest of it—resides in the cloud.

The cloud network is maintained by a public provider such as Amazon Web Services, and the software applications come in the form of Software as a Service (SaaS) from whatever vendors you select. Most major manufacturing SaaS vendors offer varying degrees of interoperability, leaving you free to choose best-of-breed solutions while still getting the integration that you need between systems.

Cloud-based applications have other benefits too, such as accessibility from anywhere and protection against lost operations through weather events or other catastrophes. The bottom line is that instead of making large, intimidating capital expenditures on technology, you just subscribe to the applications you need. It’s a much easier step to take, and it has huge funding implications.

Targeted solutions: Justifying the cost at every step

Adopting technology one step at a time has always been a good way to control costs and monitor progress. The difference with cloud-based systems is that you can pick and choose applications and deployments to a very fine degree. 

For instance, you can try paperless systems for one production line or shift, working out the kinks before extending it further. Or you can run a shadow system alongside the current paper system, only going live when fully ready. These options aren’t practical for mid-market firms that must first invest in hardware, software, and support staff. But with the cloud and SaaS MES, the cost is low, and the results are measurable, making every step justifiable.

By targeting your most pressing issues and those with the clearest economic return, you can show a net profit almost from the start.


I don’t mean to suggest that going paperless is an easy or simple transition. To be successful, manufacturers need a strategy for taking advantage of paperless systems so they can improve workflows, increase collaboration, and reap all the other benefits of digital technology.

There are other items to address, too. Cybersecurity is rated as a top concern by experts and manufacturers alike. While the cloud itself is a highly secure environment, companies still need to ensure their own security. You’ll need formal systems in place to control access to devices and applications, and how users are authenticated. 

Another concern is staffing. While cloud applications lessen the burden on your own IT, they don’t eliminate it. For security, help desk, and other reasons, paperless manufacturing requires a strong internal IT team. However, with the right partner, your IT team will be supported by experts.


While there are still challenges, the greatest barriers to going paperless have been removed. Digital transformation is no longer a high-risk move, and the cost justification has never been clearer. 

As the Harvard Business Review writes, “Middle-market companies with a digital vision that is clear, comprehensive, and guides strategic decisions grow 75% faster on average than less digitally sophisticated peers.”

The bottom line for manufacturers who are still using paper: Plan a digital strategy, find vendors who align with your vision, and get started.

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Survey Finds Manufacturers Lag in Modernization Despite Surge of Pandemic-Driven Investments

Lack of Digital Maturity in U.S., U.K. Manufacturing Remains Serious Roadblock to Productivity

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif. – May 11, 2022 iBase-t, the company that simplifies how complex products are built and maintained, today announced results of an original survey of more than 400 manufacturing executives in the U.S and U.K., which found that manufacturers are lagging in digital transformation efforts in spite of earlier pandemic-driven investments in new technologies.  

Respondents confirmed that although Industry 4.0 advancements were critical to sustaining operations during shutdowns, most manufacturers today in the U.S. and U.K. still grapple with a lack of system and process maturity that prevents them from leveraging operational data for business intelligence and smarter decision-making. 

Case in point, nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents invested in new technologies during the pandemic, and 98% saw increased productivity. However, fewer than half of respondents (44%) said that this modernization was providing them with additional actionable data, and 19% are not harnessing any data insights at all. 

“As the volume of manufacturing data continues to explode, it’s critical that manufacturers modernize their systems and technologies to make use of critical data for business intelligence and more informed decision making,” said Naveen Poonian, CEO of iBase-t. “The ability to not just embrace Industry 4.0 at stage one, but to then convert critical data into actionable improvements is pivotal to a true digital transformation.” 

The survey found that although a majority of manufacturers embrace cloud transformation enthusiastically, few have made the full transition. A full 88% of respondents indicated they are increasing their investment in cloud technologies over the next 12 months, but only 21% are currently completely transitioned to the cloud. 

Two-thirds (66%) of respondents believe this accelerated move to the cloud will unlock benefits that help drive operational efficiency. Only 8% have “no plans” to use cloud infrastructure as part of manufacturing operations. 

Other Key findings:

  • According to the survey, 95% of total respondents still use paper-based processes, and more than a quarter (27%) use paper for more than half of all activities.
  • Nearly all survey respondents (98%) indicate that they continue to use manual spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel, even while taking steps toward digital transformation. In fact, half (50%) of respondents say they use these tools for “the majority” of processes.
  • Almost half (47%) in the U.S. strongly agreed that many US discrete manufacturers could cease to exist in the next 10 years unless action is taken.



iBase-t’s independent research was conducted in March 2022 across the UK and US. In total, 403 manufacturers (from the aerospace & defence, medical device, industrial equipment, electronics and shipbuilding sectors) provided feedback – 201 from the UK and 202 from the US.

About iBase-t
iBase-t is a software company that simplifies how complex products are built and maintained. Founded in Southern California in 1986, iBase-t solutions ensure digital continuity across manufacturing, quality, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) operations on a global scale. The iSeries, powered by Solumina, is a cloud-native platform that establishes a digital ecosystem to drive innovation and improve operational performance. With offices in the U.S., UK, France, and India, iBase-t customers include Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney, and Textron. Learn more at iBase-t.com.

Agile Workers Enable Manufacturing Business Process Improvement

Small and mid-sized manufacturers have prided themselves on their organizational agility compared to tier-one companies.  Their smaller size has, in the past, permitted them to respond quickly to demands placed on them by their larger customers.  However, much of that agility was accidental in that it was just an artifact of their smallness.  In this decade, all businesses have had to focus on organizational agility to adapt to the challenges imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, the current volatile geopolitical environment, and inflation.  So, while these manufacturers have had agility, their workforce often has not been technologically enabled to the same degree larger manufacturers have.  That is changing as the shift to cloud-based operational solutions and quality management systems (QMS) has paved the way for tier two and three manufacturers to have a workforce comprised of “agile workers”.

The Agile Worker – The Third Phase of Digital Transformation

In our previous posts on the Digital Worker and the Connected Worker, we showed how moving away from paper-based systems made for better and more accurate data collection — leading to higher visibility into operations.  This also promoted greater collaboration and helped to break down organizational silos.  Yet, the greatest benefits come when manufacturers leverage the gains from digitalization and use them to drive continuous improvement.  Many manufacturers were driven to invest in digitalization by COVID so they could support remote workers during lockdowns.  As restrictions were lifted, many manufacturers found that some of the advantages of remote working such as broader access to experts and the opportunity for expanded support hours were worth retaining.  

Empowering workers with timely and accurate information results in improved profitability as employees almost always will strive to improve their performance.  When someone continuously has all the necessary information to make decisions, they can react faster increasing organization flexibility and agility.  When people can see the impact of their decisions in real-time, they can more easily implement and maintain changes without disruptions. With a process planning and execution system combined with supplier quality management (SQM), workers can:

  • Increase visibility to supplier production to improve first-pass yields
  • Ease the management of engineering change orders and supply chain disruption
  • Improve business performance and customer satisfaction

Cloud Manufacturing Enables the Agile Worker

One of the greatest benefits of the Cloud has been to provide access to high-functionality tools such as a powerful enterprise-level Manufacturing Execution System to small and mid-sized manufacturers.  Today, a manufacturer, regardless of size, has access to technology that allows them to:

  1. Digitalize their workforce and eliminate paper
  2. Connect workers together to foster collaboration
  3. Engage agile workers in a culture of continuous improvement

A Digital Operations Suite has a common data platform with a microservices architecture so manufacturers can streamline the production and sustainment of highly engineered products.  With this technology, there is no excuse not to invest in securing a profitable future.

Innovation Insight for the Connected Factory Worker

Going Paperless Drives SME Manufacturing Competitiveness

Tier two and three manufacturers are the backbones of any manufacturing supply chain. Without a viable ecosystem of part and component suppliers, the tier-one OEMs are incapable of producing their systems and products. But there is also incredible pressure on this supplier community to control costs, improve quality and meet ever-tighter delivery schedules. We know that the coronavirus pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war-driven shortages, and overall inflation has challenged the viability of small or medium-sized enterprises (SME). And remaining a partner to your customers and maintaining profitability is also proving to be a challenge. While many businesses are moving to digitize their businesses, a PWC study from 2020 showed that less than 50% of European manufacturers are digitizing with similar numbers representing North America. Going paperless is one of the quickest steps a small or mid-sized manufacturer can take to reduce costs, improve quality, and drive higher productivity.

Paper is Expensive

Overall industry data reveals that organizations, on average, spend 3% of their operational budgets on the cost of just processing paper. Between the procurement costs, the storage costs for both blank and completed forms, and disposal costs, just the direct costs of paper alone eat into your profitability. Add in the labor costs of people having to take the time to fill out the forms and it is easy to see how that 3% figure may be low.

Paper is Error-prone

Manual data entry error rates vary widely depending on industry and workplace culture but manufacturers that have gone paperless report that the error rate on data entry drops by as much as 90%.  Imagine the benefits of cutting your current error rate to 1/10 of whatever it currently is.  The time and costs associated with correcting those errors drops. But more importantly, the impact of either not being able to ship products that are good but tagged as bad because of bad data or shipping bad products to customers is significantly reduced. 

Paper is Slow

The time it takes to fill out paper forms as well as locate them on the plant floor leads to delays in production that keep products in work-in-progress status far longer than they need to be.  Companies that have transitioned to paperless systems report an average drop in WIP (work in progress) of 32% (MESA report on MES #1) 

Paper Gets Lost

When the paperwork associated with manufacturing gets lost it can impact production in several ways. If paper-based work orders or work instructions are missing, production must wait for either duplicate sets to be printed or the originals to be located. This slows production even further. If the paper traveler that accompanies a product throughout the process becomes detached and lost that product immediately goes into a hold status until the proper paperwork is located or duplicated further being a key reason so many companies report significant WIP reductions as noted above. If quality paperwork is lost products cannot be shipped or must be downgraded, lowering their margin depending on the industry. Again, the reason so many companies that have made the shift report as much as a 100% reduction in WIP from going paperless.

MES is Fast Track to Going Paperless

While there are document management systems that can aid in the paperless migration, the advantages of adopting an MES as your approach to going paperless are that an MES is tailored to manufacturing operations. It is easier to build in the checks and balances that reduce data entry errors as the MES has embedded product and process business logic. The benefits of going paperless via an MES have been documented for over 25 years. And a recent PWC European study found that 90 percent of the respondents believe that digitization offers their companies more opportunities than risks. In addition, three out of four respondents set up digital factories to react to customer preferences more quickly. Your small to mid-sized manufacturing business cannot afford to wait any longer if you want to remain competitive in today’s challenging economy.

IDC Technology Spotlight

Take Your Digital Transformation to the Next Step by Connecting Workers

As manufacturers adopt the principles of Industry 4.0 — integrating systems to share digital data across the operation — their first step is usually eliminating paper.  In this important step, the “digital worker” is born. This puts manufacturers on the right path to digital transformation, but an even larger opportunity is available.  

While creating the digital worker reduces errors, supports remote monitoring, and promotes continuous improvement, it is only once manufacturers break down silos and promote collaboration that synergistic benefits from digitalization begin to accrue. Whether you look to business leaders like Apple founder Steve Jobs who observed “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people” or sports legend Vince Lombardi who said “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work” the common theme is that by collaborating you can accomplish more than working in silos.

What is the “Connected Worker”?

The “connected worker” builds upon the “digital worker” by providing visibility across roles and within the same role across multiple time periods.  An example of the first case is to allow quality and maintenance roles to access the information that operators see regarding machine performance so they can better predict reliability or product quality issues. The visibility can be both reactive, as in looking at the past performance, or proactive where the supporting function can prepare to better support operations by knowing what is in the queue. An example of the latter is allowing all operators of a particular manufacturing process such as a machining center, to have access to the set-up and performance data across all shifts, or similar machine centers so they can gauge which machine set-ups seem to produce optimal results.  

The Benefits of Connecting Workers

The easiest way to get buy-in for a new way of doing things is to show people “what’s in it for me”.  When you connect everyone in the organization you can make collaboration the standard way of doing business and workers will generally find their jobs are enriched as can continually improve their performance and see their growth.  Across the organization, teams can begin to strategize on how to optimize performance. By including maintenance and quality, as in the previous example, operations can gain insight into the real impact increasing production speed may have.  Too often trying to speed up a production process fails to deliver higher throughput as either quality may suffer or machines may malfunction more often, or both, resulting in lower, not higher performance.  

Implementing a process planning and execution system, otherwise referred to as a Manufacturing Execution System, is one of the fastest ways to realize the benefits of the connected worker.  As an example, you can simplify engineering change management with this synchronized business and production system. The connected worker now has visibility to and integration with design and production data – engineering CAD/PLM systems. 

Most importantly, when you foster collaboration, you can optimize performance across the entire plant. You improve workforce productivity and reduce waste and unplanned downtime.

By allowing those upstream and downstream of an operation to see the impact of their actions on the overall performance of the operation, workers can better focus on achieving overall plant optimization in real-time.  Instead of trying to analyze what happened to inhibit performance, the entire team can work towards common goals to ensure optimum performance.  Likewise, your workers can now see the establish digital continuity across your operations and view your product As-Designed, As-Built, As-Maintained.

Make sure your digital architecture is focused on not just removing the paper in the plant, but on sharing that digitalized data across the entire organization. The iBase-t Digital Operations Suite of products (Manufacturing Execution, Supplier Quality Management, and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) can be deployed individually or together to digitally transform your manufacturing, quality, and sustainment operations. Whether your goal is to improve one facility or transform an entire enterprise, the iBase-t Digital Suite can get you there. 

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