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Last Update: Sunday June 16, 2019

Key Idea: Use Technology To Track Processes

When Roy started Texas Nameplate he could not have imagined the efficiencies that technology has brought to the company.

Key Question:


Buy as much technology as you can afford and your  team can harness.

Q: When is it time to buy more computer power?

A:  As soon as you can.  We have to admit that only strong, long-lived companies are part of our library here at Small Business School.  This means our research focuses on companies doing things right more than companies doing things wrong.  No one has even told us they were wrong to buy technology.  Some have said they bought the wrong software and then had to correct their course.

The biggest rule to follow for buying technology and this includes your use of  the Internet to achieve digital work flow is, have what your customers have. You have to work with the people who pay you money in the way that they work. 
In the case of Texas Nameplate, its customers are big like Lockheed.  Dale has to be able to provide reports as if he were running Lockheed.

On the other hand, if you sell to ladies' clothing boutiques, you probably stil have to phone and  fax to communicate as most of them don't even have a computer in their shops.

Here at our company, we have the exact same software and almost the same hardware as does our editor.  We are his number one customer and it is key for all of us to work seemlessly.  When it is time to upgrade, we consult him and then we buy based upon his recommendation.

Think about it

Where are the problems in your work flow?  Are there ineffeciencies due to poor technology interface?  Do you speak the same digital language as your customers speak?  Are you tracking any processes by hand?  Does your accountant find your tax returns easy and quick to complete?  Do your employees have a way to track their productivity?  

Clip from: Texas Nameplate


Dallas, Texas: Dale Crownover took Texas Nameplate from being just another print shop to become the first small business to be given the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. You will find their nameplates are on virtually everything. They print those specialized labels that out last the item to which it is attached. And because of quality controls, this group is the international supplier to the world's largest companies.

When he went to Washington to receive the Baldrige, the other two winners, Boeing and Solar Turbines, and all DC bureaucrats listened in awe; this man talked about the essence of quality, family and this nation's charter to achieve and to always do better.

We can all learn from Dale and his people. Yet, they did not stop working at it;  and six years later, they received the award again!
You will quickly see that this is an extraordinary work force. When we first taped this episode of the show, nobody including Dale had a college degree and some employees had just received their high school diploma. Notwithstanding, here you learn how they make world-class products and reap plenty of profits.

Oh yes, today, Dale and others have earned a college degree.

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Texas Nameplate

Dale Crownover, Owner

1900 E. Ervay
Dallas, TX 75215

Visit our web site:

Office: 2144288341

Business Classification:

Year Founded:

Use Technology To Track Processes

(Voiceover) Texas Nameplate is not a slick-looking, high-tech place. It is manufacturing with all the rough edges--some heavy equipment, dirty hands and messy processes. But underneath all this, we find a futuristic computer. A server, an AS/400, tracks every aspect of the process. From sales to orders, to preproduction, to scheduling, to metal cutting and accounting, employees tap in.

DALE: It's basically our brain down there. It is tied into all of our processes. Throughout each of our departments, we have a terminal for customer satisfaction and customer service; our people can get a complete history at any time.

Woman #1: That's the ticket number, 53895. I make sure that's the right ticket number. And then it's going to silkscreen department.

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