Goshen News, Goshen, IN

September 30, 2012

GROWING IN GOSHEN: Custom Intelligence marketing program for production

By AMANDA GRAY
THE GOSHEN NEWS

GOSHEN — Editor’s note: This is another article in a series looking at local businesses that are expanding their operations.



Custom Intelligence is a small but successful local company with big aspirations.

New Chief Executive Officer Chad Barden said he hopes to see the customer list for their manufacturing application, BizApp, grow not only in number, but also in location around the nation in the next year and beyond.

“This product is a lot more powerful than I thought it could be,” Barden said Wednesday. “It takes away a lot of barriers.”

The product — BizApp — is a Material Requirements Planning (MRP) application. MRPs are used in the manufacturing industry to organize production.

BizApp, according to Barden, manages all of the ins and outs of manufacturing, from describing what a part looks like to managing orders and shipments, as well as every step in between.

Companies can use the program to streamline their manufacturing process so they get the right parts for a product into production, create the correct product and ship it the right customer, all in less time than it currently takes, Barden said. It reduces both manufacturing time and the margin for error within the process.

“It’s true lean manufacturing,” he said.

Company founder and software designer Christian Wenger said he developed the software around 10 years ago for his brother, Jonathan Wenger, CEO with local Genesis Products, while in New York. Custom Intelligence moved to the Goshen area around three years ago, and moved into its current spot in the downtown Famous Building around one year ago, Wenger said.

“Goshen is good about fostering small businesses,” Wenger said.

Custom Intelligence was a first-hand participant and recipient of this development with help from local advisory outlet Elevate Ventures, according to Wenger.

“We were looking for someone to run the business side of the company, and we found that,” he said in reference to Barden. “We were also given sales leads.”

Barden became CEO of Custom Intelligence Sept. 19, and he “hit the ground running,” he said.

“My time has been nothing short of amazing,” Barden said of his first week at the company. “I had some high hopes when I came in, and those didn’t include adding another customer on my fourth day here. I was optimistic, but I didn’t realize how powerful it is.”

Barden has a large amount of experience as an entrepreneur, including selling one company to Intel.

“Bringing my international, big company experience to the table will hopefully be instrumental to building this company to its full potential,” Barden said.

The company has five official customers for the software, and the sixth will be finalized soon, according to Wenger. All of their customers are regional, Barden said, but the company wants to expand beyond that.

“We want this company to take steps to become a national company in 2013,” Barden said. “If it’s attractive to some of the biggest companies in Elkhart, it could work for national companies, too.”

Barden said that not all of the companies using the software are large, though, and that the program is affordable and “scalable” for all sizes of companies, from large manufacturing firms to small Amish woodworking businesses.

“It’s a very robust system,” he said.