Just a minute with Bob Hagerman

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Company address: 6121 Green Bay Road, Suite 100, Kenosha, WI 53142 Telephone: (262) 657-5500
Telephone: (262) 657-5500
Web site: www.processandtechnology.com
Industry: PTS provides software systems for just about anyone who cannot find the perfect "off-the-shelf" solution for their needs. We integrate advanced bar code systems, RFID tag solutions, and Touch Memory technology. Our clients cover nearly every market segment, including manufacturers, central warehouses, order fulfillment organizations, the healthcare industry, public utilities, technology firms and the government. PTS even provided a custom inventory system for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Number of employees: Seven.
Company’s annual revenues: "Adequate but not nearly enough!"
Education: "With some college and extensive nuclear training in the Navy, I became a nuclear training manager and instructor for Westinghouse following my military service in the 1980s. With some additional University of Wisconsin education, I became the director of operations for a nuclear engineering firm from 1990 until 1996, when PTS was formed."
Family: "Evone, my wife of 31 years, about died when I showed up one morning setting up a new business in our basement with two other former coworkers. Later that year, I hired my son, Dan, away from the competition. Dan is now the vice president of software development for PTS. He typically dreams up the best methods and solutions for our latest software systems. Sarah was hired away from Voyager.com in 2002 after managing acquisitions for several years. She now is our accountant and Web designer."
What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
"A key focus was to strengthen our existing partnerships to enhance our market presence. This was important since PTS has no real internal marketing/sales of our own. Our close partners market our services as a part of their own organizations. This has helped to keep our overhead costs low while increasing our customer exposure."
What’s new at your company?
"Over the last three years, PTS has spent thousands of man-hours standardizing a suite of our Inventory Management Software (WIN-IMS) systems so that we can offer more cost-effective solutions to our new customers. This suite includes WIN-IMS for manufacturers, WIN-WMS for warehouses and order fulfillment companies, WIN-STS for job shops and utilities, WINventory for tool crib management, WIN-ATS for asset tracking, and more! "
Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
"PTS is a stable organization with no real turnover, offering the best support for our customers. As we hope our sales will grow with our new product lines, we will add technical staff as needed to support our customers."
What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
"This is the question I try not to lose sleep over each night! When you have some of the finest people and products around but lack deep pockets, we must constantly assess our market position. Our efforts will focus on keeping everyone busy on customer projects (our bread-and-butter) while giving the WIN-IMS product line time to take off and become successful."
What’s the hottest trend in your industry?
"Can we all say Wal-Mart RFID? Sure we can! Barcoding is the foundation of the data collection industry, but RFID technology is growing like a weed. The challenge is that the technology is still emerging and standards are lacking. PTS implemented an RFID tracking system for the Joliet Prison System with much success, but tracking products through distribution and retail is a different story. There are big expectations in the Department of Defense and Wal-Mart circles, but the goals exceed the capabilities. So the challenge is in understanding what truly can be done successfully without being promised more than is possible."
Do you have a business mantra?
"Do it right the first time and always be honest about your capabilities. Software is a combination of art and science, and not everyone can be an artist. It takes both to be successful. We have performed dozens of software system reviews for worldwide clients and have seen some of the poorest and best systems out there."
From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
"The little guy, who started with an idea and was able to reach his dreams. This includes a lot of friends and customers along the way. Most of all, my father taught me to respect others and provide encouragement and support of all who make an honest effort."
What was the best advice you ever received?
"Be myself and don’t sweat the small stuff – as hard as that is sometimes! I am happy with what I see in the mirror each day and look forward to the future with hope and enthusiasm."

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
"When I was starting to teach a reactor theory class one day many years ago, I turned around and noticed everyone with their hands over their ears. When I asked what was going on, the class leader answered, ‘We just wanted to know what it was like to hear you in a normal tone of voice!’ To say the least, my excitement is reflected in how loud I am! Tone it down, Bob!
What do you like to do in your free time?
"I enjoy woodworking and electronics in my spare time. It seems my family always has needs when it comes to their homes."

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