The Redzone Story

We’ve earned the right to call ourselves the #1 Connected Workforce Solution for Manufacturing on the planet.

Mark, Jon & Richard

Our team has 1,000’s of man-years of manufacturing experience. We are poised to define and lead the connected workforce space as manufacturers face increasing pressures from customers, labor shortages, and supply chain challenges. And, with over 1300 plants using our technology, we have the unique position of knowing what will work for your frontline teams.

A bold vision to transform manufacturing performance while bringing dignity back to the frontline worker.

Redzone was founded by Mark Sutcliffe in 2013. Early in Mark’s career he routinely observed the hidden talents in frontline teams being overlooked as valuable human assets and was frustrated by ill-suited technologies (ERP, MES, CMMS) that were mechanistic in design, forced in from the top down and clumsily introduced on the plant floor. Mark knew there was a better way. With a lifetime spent studying team performance and human behavior, Mark became fascinated by the science of Complex Adaptive Systems and saw how core elements of this science could be productized in an industrial setting, using social-mobile digital technology and 90-day bursts of change.

Mark asked Richard Tester and Jon Clement to join as founding members, to help bring this vision to life. The trio brought the unique frontline collaboration technology to their first customers in 2013 with miraculous results from their manufacturing red zone.

A Manufacturing “Red zone”?

The red zone refers to the last 20 yards before the end zone on an NFL football field. Statistically it’s the area of the field where most touchdowns are scored. Offenses and defenses change strategy in real time; players adapt together in the moment; and games are ultimately won or lost from the red zone. This is the space in which the differential advantage of a team’s self-organizing, adaptive behavior wins the game.

Just as on a football field, there is a red zone in manufacturing – on the plant floor while the line is running.

  • Your players are your frontline teams who own your differential advantage.
  • You win the production day when they call the manufacturing plays in real-time, avoiding downtime or quality losses when the unexpected strikes.

Managers and planners assume these unexpected production losses are a norm — unavoidable, since you can’t plan for the unexpected, right? Dead wrong! Unexpected events are the one thing you can be sure of; with Redzone, you can be equally sure every day that your frontline teams can avoid most of them…for good!

In fact, with the right plays codified into the Redzone Connected Workforce Solution, your frontline team can adapt in the moment, call new plays, avoid hazards and get output back in the green to win the day when the unexpected strikes – self-organizing without management intervention.

The Redzone Story

“It’s a different world around here.”

Early Redzone users quickly broke production records, with some producing 20-30% more units and scoring double-digit gross margin gains. We called these Productivity Miracles. But something else unexpected happened…their frontline teams were happier! It was common to hear “it’s a different world around here.”

  • The shyest of operators suddenly came forward, excited to share new ideas for how to do things better;
  • The production supervisor, who once ruled with an iron fist, was instead coaching;
  • Maintenance and production, usually in conflict, were now talking and working on the same problems as a team.

As plant teams celebrated these achievements in town hall meetings they became a signature moment of every customer’s 90-day Redzone leap.

Soon, these plants were their town’s destination employers: retention problems disappeared and a pipeline of human talent emerged from their own frontlines. It was these personal stories of transformation that spread through the industry from leader to leader. With barely a dollar spent on marketing, manufacturers started adopting this new digital technology at an unprecedented rate.


Mark Sutcliffe had the vision to bring mobile-first social technology to the plant floor


Redzone is introduced to the world and the first customers join the community


Redzone Productivity Awards are launched


Redzone Compliance module is introduced to digitize quality processes on the shop floor; EMEA office opens in Birmingham, England


100 employees; 200 customers


New customers double as we “crack the code” on productivity in manufacturing plants; over 70% of customers realize an increase in productivity of 22% or more in 90 days


Redzone Reliability module is introduced adding maintenance teams to the equation; 500 plant milestone reached


Summit Partners makes a significant minority investment


Redzone Learning module is introduced and is quickly embraced by customers looking for worker shortage solutions


Redzone is the #1 Connected Workforce Solution on the planet for manufacturers and works with industry analysts to further define this emerging space; 1000 plant milestone reached


QAD Inc., a Thoma Bravo portfolio company delivering next-generation manufacturing and supply chain solutions in the cloud, acquires Redzone – accelerating our mission of transforming manufacturing by empowering the frontline.

A better way becomes the Redzone way

We don’t know quite when our people started to call themselves Redzoners, or who started it, but we know what makes a Redzoner. It’s an obsession with these results. It’s the extraordinary discipline to stick to the formula in the software for these Productivity Miracles and the new adaptive teamwork technology, which make your frontline workers truly miracle workers. Driving change at scale, week in week out, and bringing dignity and smiling faces back to the workplace — this energizes not only our Redzone industry coaches, but the entire company, from product engineering to sales and marketing. It’s why we love what we do; it’s what makes Redzoners…Redzoners!

From method to miracle (and then a mission)

In 2018, after five years of relentless focus, with adjustments to the recipe and deliberate practice, we hit a new milestone. Customers with 20% or more productivity improvement went from some in 2014 to most in 2019 with 7 out of 10 new customers celebrating this Productivity Miracle; a record that continues year in, year out to this day. The user base grew rapidly as plants shared their productivity miracle stories with one another. Like-minded leaders emerged and the Redzone Community was born; with regional events, benchmarking sessions and coach clinics creating the space to learn and share with each other.

The biggest event of the community year, the annual Redzone Community Awards, hosted alongside PMMI’s Pack Expo, became the hottest ticket in town! As the community grew it felt less like a method and more like a mission for us Redzoners. It became our purpose to change how work is done; better for the frontline, and better for the bottom line.

Like a best kept secret we have grown exponentially, despite spending almost nothing on marketing. After many exciting years, profitable and debt free since day one, Redzone is now the biggest, fastest growing manufacturing technology company in frontline teamwork and productivity. Over 425,000 workers in 1300+ plants now use Redzone to achieve optimal teamwork every day.

We are changing the operating norms in manufacturing:

  • 1 in 3 of the top 100 North American food and beverage manufacturers are already customers
  • 200+ new plants join Redzone each year
  • A miraculous 7 out of 10 plants increase productivity by 22%+ through adaptive teamwork

Our community in your community

With offices in Miami FL, Denver CO, and our International Center of Excellence in Birmingham UK, we choreograph a globally distributed workforce that can reach you wherever you may be. This allows us to pass on the systemic benefits to your people through the proper application of technology and process, but with a personal touch. Relationships matter, context matters, and our federated organization ensures we keep it personal.

Give your frontline team the advantage in your manufacturing red zone and experience your own productivity miracle!

An Experienced Team

With two centuries of combined experience applying technology on the front lines, no leadership team is as equipped as ours to apply next generation digital technologies on the frontline!

Become a Redzoner

We are looking for bright, intelligent, dynamic individuals who want to join us on our digital transformation mission. We love big personalities, with big ideas, who want to make a difference in the world.

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