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Cleveland Steel Tool Company

Interview of Mark Dawson, President, Cleveland Steel Tool Company

474 East 105th Street Cleveland, OH 44108
(216) 681-7400

For over 100 years, Cleveland Steel Tool has been the leader in Tooling for Ironworkers, C Frames, and Punch Presses. One of the key differentiators for their business is the ability to deliver their product faster than anyone else.


Cleveland Steel was in a pickle. They had replaced their antiquated ERP system with a “high tech” promising ERP system that was now proving its inability to handle their needs. Mark said “It turns out that they were making our system up as they went. For four months, they still couldn’t print our checks. It got to the point where we just couldn’t trust them.” At eight months into the implementation, Mark decided he needed to find a better vendor, and selected RB-ERP from WorkWise. Because the data would not be available after 30 days, the system had to and did go live within that 30 days.

“Mac (Mac McHenry, Account Manager from WorkWise) is a folk hero around here”, said Mark. Mark added “He knew what had to be done, and stayed with us every hour that we needed. Some days that was 12+ hours. Unlike our other vendor, he was straightforward and never gave us empty promises.”

Breadth of product/mixed mode

Cleveland Steel Tool is an unusual manufacturer in that they produce product by several different production models (mixed mode). For some of their products, they make them to stock and ship immediately (MTS). For custom orders, they take orders and ship within 24 hours (MTO). Mark needed to schedule his shop in hours, not weeks. Considering that there are several operations and a trip to the heat treating operation, everything must operate smoothly to keep their delivery promises. Mark uses the WorkWise mixed mode functionality and the product configurator to meet his needs. “We are also a distributor and reseller for several products”, said Mark. “The breadth of the WorkWise product is great”, Mark added.

Other Special Mentions

Complex Pricing Strategy- Cleveland Steel Tool also uses a complicated pricing strategy to handle the needs of the business. The WorkWise product was able to handle these complicated requirements.


Quoting Mark, “We originally purchased a system with a few tech “bells and whistles”, but quickly learned that knowledge and implementation skills are as important as anything. Make sure that you understand who will implement the system and how long they will be on-site. WorkWise provided us with a broad product, but, more importantly, had the talent to make it happen in our business. We look forward to working with WorkWise in the continuous improvement of our business in the future.”

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