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How Kendrick Tool Engineering Modernized and Improved Shop Performance

Nick bought KTE and found its manual workflow outdated. He implemented StartProto, a manufacturing cloud system, automating tasks and improving workflow. This enhanced efficiency, increased job capacity, and grew the business, transforming KTE into a thriving, profitable machine shop.

Enterprise Plan
Machine Shop, OEM
Mableton, Georgia
Kendrick Tool & Engineering
The Challenge

Nick's shop faced challenges with expansion and efficiency due to a lack of modern systems and an over-reliance on individual expertise. This led to a disorganized workspace and difficulties in streamlining processes.

The Solution

The adoption of StartProto revolutionized the shop's operations by streamlining processes, enabling direct access to essential resources, and fostering autonomy among employees, ultimately facilitating growth and expansion.

The Results


Kendrick Tool and Engineering, a machine shop in Atlanta, Georgia, faced significant challenges after a change in ownership. The shop was cluttered, lacked digital documentation, and had unclear ownership of orders. The new owner, Nick Salter, needed to address these issues while maintaining good customer relationships.


Making quality parts since 1964, Kendrick Tool and Engineering (KTE) was originally a tool and die shop, since the acquisition of the company, they have transitioned into a modern machine shop taking advantage of CNC, CAD, and CAM technologies. They now do design manufacturing, and assembly for companies nationwide. Spanning from one-off parts to frequent production runs they have a mix of different types of work to manage throughout the shop.

Nick Salters bought KTE in 2021 and found its manual workflow and paper-driven management to be outdated and inefficient. The shop's entire workflow, from scheduling to customer relations was being maintained by outdated systems and relied heavily on people “just knowing how”. 

StartProto called Nick and told him about their application, a dedicated cloud management system for managing machine shop workflow and scheduling. With the help of StartProto, Nick was promised he would be able to transform KTE into a highly efficient and organized operation. 

Ultimately Nick found that the success of the shop would be dependent on correcting three major problems:

Organization and Documenting Processes in the Shop

Upon acquisition, the shop was cluttered and disorganized, leading to inefficiencies and safety hazards. Employees had difficulty locating tools and materials, and there was no standardized process for tracking orders and inventory. Because of the lack of organization, the shop was heavily reliant on individual knowledge, leading to inefficiencies and no hope for scaling operations. StartProto assisted Nick in getting things organized and documented by providing a comprehensive inventory management system and training for staff on standardized procedures that were documented in StartProto. This helped to streamline operations, reduce safety hazards, and improve productivity. With a more organized workspace, employees could easily locate tools and materials, and the shop could track orders and inventory more effectively. As a result, StartProto enabled Nick to focus on scaling operations and growing the business, rather than being bogged down by disorganization and inefficiencies. 

Disseminate Work Ownership and Automatically Communicate Priorities 

The shop heavily relied on paper-based systems for order management and communication, resulting in delays, errors, and a lack of transparency for everyone in the organization. Any one job could be anywhere on the shop floor and it was up to anyone to find it at their leisure. This kind of management handicaps any company to a certain degree. StartProto revolutionizes manufacturers like KTE by providing an Operator Interface. This interface is user-specific, meaning if I am logged in all the work that needs to be completed by me, or the machines I run, will appear automatically in my work list. This helped Nick drastically reduce the amount of time spent manually tracking work orders and improved overall workflow efficiency. With the implementation of StartProto, KTE experienced a significant decrease in production errors and an increase in on-time deliveries. The Operator Interface ensured that each employee had a clear understanding of their tasks and priorities, leading to better coordination and communication among the team. This technological advancement transformed the shop floor dynamics, making the production process smoother and more reliable.

Creating an Outlet for Feedback and Continuous Improvement

There was no ability to quickly address issues and make improvements, this left a slow process in the shop with no opportunity to be identified and fixed. StartProto integrates adding comments with attachments and user tagging into every sales order, quote, invoice, shipment, and more, this allows for seamless communication and real-time collaboration between team members. With StartProto, any discrepancies or problems can be flagged and addressed immediately, ensuring that projects stay on track and meet their deadlines.


Overall, Nick credits StartProto manufacturing software with helping him transform KTE into a thriving and profitable business. With the system's advanced features and user-friendly interface, he was able to streamline operations, increase efficiency, and ultimately achieve his goal of building a successful and growing machine shop.

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