BTOES Insights Official
September 30, 2019

2019 AWARD FINALIST SPOTLIGHT: Conrad Industries Inc. - Finalist in the Operational Excellence to deliver Digital Transformation Category


Read this article about Conrad Industries Inc., one of our finalists, in the category Best Achievement in Operational Excellence to deliver Digital Transformation, selected by the independent judging panel, for the 2019 Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Industry Awards program. Click here to read articles on other finalists.


conrad industries





The Story

A-B Emblem is a custom manufacturer and distribution company that produces emblems, patches, and insignia for companies around the world. The company is the North American division of Conrad Industries, an embroidery company founded in 1892 in Germany. AB Emblem boasts thousands of clients, including NASA, R.E.I., Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, and more. Conrad Industries consists of multiple divisions located in the U.S., China, and Mexico.

 Copy of Provide an Excellent Customer Experience with the perfect Mobile Customer Journey. (24)


Tradition, excellence in craft, and innovation have been the foundational elements of the company since the beginning. When technology first started to take off, Conrad was at the forefront introducing IBM computers and custom software to their processes. However, as technology continued to race forward, like many small to medium sized companies, it became difficult to keep up with the rapid changes. The system began to develop overhead and while newer technology was introduced, the processes still mimicked a manual, paper-based system, covered with a digital cloak.




The Digital Transformation

In July of 2017, Heather Johnson, the Compliance officer for the company discovered a No Code/ Low Code software platform called Kintone. She partnered with Ruth Plemmons, A-B’s purchasing manager and the two began to tackle a specific shipping issue mitigation process. After less than a month of work, Ruth and Heather took a three-day process down to three minutes using Kintone. This one process eventually turned into a full-blown Supply Chain Management System that also housed all the internal Purchasing processes.


In the first quarter of 2018 – Kintone began to gain momentum throughout the rest of the company. Heather was given the responsibility of trying to redesign the company’s manual quote system within Kintone. The quote system drove almost all the other supporting processes. Correcting the main part of the system would enable Conrad to begin making significant improvements to the rest of their internal processes; the main goal being to better serve the company’s thousands of customers. Heather worked with the Kintone team, Ruth, Sandy Parrot, the National Accounts Manager, and John Lindsey, the National Sales Manager on the larger project. Their efforts were met with wild success and enthusiasm. The Project was completed within 3 months and implementation began in the 4th month. 


As the system grows – it remains streamlined, simplistic, effective, and fast; gradually incorporating more and more processes to help reduce overhead for the employees, minimize mistakes, streamline supplier interaction, and improve customer service. The digital transformation has also begun to carry over into the company’s other divisions.


The Upper Management team had already investigated potential ERP solutions from other companies and were quoted almost a quarter of a million dollars to produce the system that Conrad would need. To date – Conrad has spent less than 15% of that original quote and has developed a huge part of their system that’s customized to fit their needs.


The Future

The aggressive and persistent development tactics of the entire team are producing results and making a gradual impact. Conrad still has a long way to go, as putting a 126-year-old company through a digital transformation process is not easy or neat. However, as the team relies on the foundational strengths of the company: tradition, family, excellence in their craft, innovation, and taking risks – the Conrad Company will be able to move forward into the 6th generation and beyond.



About the Awards

The Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Awards have been established to showcase globally the most outstanding organizational achievements through the application of Operational Excellence programs. Click here to view the Press Release.

The winners for all categories and for The Platinum Awards will be announced at The Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Summit & Industry Awards on Wednesday March 20th, 2019, from 6.30pm, in the Venetian Ballroom at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort®. 

The Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Awards are open to all organizations, both private and public sector, across the globe, which have implemented Operational Excellence programs to deliver outstanding business results.

The 2019 Awards will be held in conjunction with the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit on March 20, 2019 in the Venetian Ballroom at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando™



The issues in this article are just one of topic areas that are going to be discussed at the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit & Industry (BTOES19). March 18-22, 2019, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort®

BTOES is the industry’s biggest and best, senior-level, cross-industry gathering of Business Transformation & Operational Excellence industry leaders and senior executives.

It also hosts the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Awardswhich showcase globally the most outstanding organizational achievements through the application of Operational Excellence programs.

The summits hosts a number of private forums for C-Level & Global corporate-level leaders as well as business unit heads.

With over 150 speakers, over 100 sessions, 12 Keynotes, 9 Track Themes, 5 parallel tracks, 60+ track sessions, 50 roundtable discussions, 20 Interactive Workshops, 6 Thought Leader Panels, 5 Leaders Boardrooms, 5 co-located events, the Industry Awards Program, Site Visits, 20+ hours of social networking including 2 gala cocktail parties, dinners, numerous group activities, this is the ultimate event to benchmark, network and drive Operational Excellence to the next level.


Quick Links



BTOES19 Awards


There is a strong focus on Cultural Transformation, Customer Delight, Sustaining an Operational Excellence program, Need for end-to-end Business Transformation, Keeping up with new technologies/impact of digitalization and Leadership Buy-in & Understanding. We dedicated two tracks to advanced technologies, such as AI, Machine Learning, RPA, Predictive Analytics, Blockchain, Cloud infrastructure etc.

The agenda is designed to encourage active meaningful conversations though all day enhanced networking and interaction opportunities, including

  • All-day Refreshment & Themed Breaks

  • 1¼ Hour Hot Breakfast Networking Sessions

  • 1½ Hour Hot Plated Networking Lunches with Topic & Industry Sector focussed tables

  • 1½ Hour Roundtable Sessions by Topic & Industry Sector.

  • Keynote & Themes Panel Sessions

  • Hosted Welcome Receptions from 5.30pm

  • Expanded more lavish Awards Program

  • Newly launched Night Summit for attendees to meet after dinner

For more information or to discuss the summit in more detail please schedule a call below,

Click here to schedule a call. 

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