Shop Management Articles

Shop management encompasses everything from strategic planning to the nuts and bolts of statistical process control. Whether you're an executive, manager, or supervisor, you'll find articles about overcoming challenges and struggles just like yours.

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Job shop estimating: A business process examined in 12 steps - TheFabricator.com

Job shop estimating: A business process examined in 12 steps

January 10, 2013

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Columnist Gerald Davis begins a series of columns that address one of the most important activities related to shop profitability: job estimating. In this first installment, he describes how an estimator needs to understand what processes are needed to quote accurately, as well as to determine which jobs align with the shop's mission and capabilities.

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Time to outsource inventory management?] - TheFabricator.com

Time to outsource inventory management?

January 10, 2013

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When a fabricator doesn't have money tied up in raw material just sitting around, that cash can be invested elsewhere to help the business. Unfortunately, many shops don't recognize that. That's where leaning on service centers can help.

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Taxes, skilled workers, and certainty

January 10, 2013

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Will a new employee perform well? What will the new tax environment be? These challenges and more create levels of uncertainty that drive business decisions.

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Fabricating with purpose - TheFabricator.com

Fabricating with purpose

January 10, 2013

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Cambridge Engineering made the transition from batch manufacturing that threw labor at production problems to one-piece flow and continuous improvement. A good corporate culture played a critical role.

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Righter Motors

The evolution of nickel alloys and welding materials

January 7, 2013

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Since he first heard his uncles discuss the nickel-plated bumpers and hubcaps on their 1937 Plymouths, welding expert Carl Smith has witnessed the use of nickel and its alloys evolve. Long used in the energy sector, the materials have seen an increase in popularity because of EPA regulations.

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3-D CAD: Part marking matters - TheFabricator.com

3-D CAD: Part marking matters

December 3, 2012

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Columnist Gerald Davis walks a CAD operator through the steps to set up an efficient way to apply part marking to any design.

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A matter of trust - TheFabricator.com

A matter of trust

December 3, 2012

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Trust is something that’s earned not only through hard work, but also by treating employees not as “direct labor hours,” but as, well, people.

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EuroBLECH 2012 recap: Fighting for more efficiency - TheFabricator.com

EuroBLECH 2012 recap: Fighting for more efficiency

December 3, 2012

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A terrible economy has forced European metal fabricators to focus on shortening turnaround time on jobs. If they attended EuroBLECH 2012 in Hannover, Germany, in late October, those fabricators probably discovered some tools that could help them accomplish their goals.

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2013 Forecast: Rosy for some, sterling mediocrity for others - TheFabricator.com

2013 Forecast: Rosy for some, sterling mediocrity for others

December 3, 2012

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Consumer spending is up. Even housing is up. Yes, pundits preach global uncertainty, even gloom and doom. But as owners of small or medium-sized businesses, metal fabricators have orders to fill, and next year many expect the volume of orders to continue or even increase a bit.

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3-D CAD: Productivity, reliability, and responsiveness - TheFabricator.com

3-D CAD: Productivity, reliability, and responsiveness

November 9, 2012

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Columnist Gerald Davis discusses when formality should enter a CAD operator's workflow and offers up an example of how a simple CAD task might go.

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Taxes and the deficit: The perils of oversimplification - TheFabricator.com

Taxes and the deficit: The perils of oversimplification

November 9, 2012

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Chris Kuehl, economic analyst for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association and managing director of Armada Corporate Intelligence, Lawrence, Kan., offers a reasonable look at taxes and what they mean to business planners.

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How a fabricator can stand out to customers - TheFabricator.com

How a fabricator can stand out to customers

November 9, 2012

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The best metal fabricating partner in a supply chain is the one that not only provides on-time delivery of quality products, but also provides complete and open communication. Today the only means to do that is by opening up information technology systems to those important customers.

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Beyond mere convenience - TheFabricator.com

Beyond mere convenience

November 9, 2012

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As this Q&A with Plante Moran's Jeff Mengel reveals, an innovative approach to a customer relationship can lead to a very successful supply chain partnership.

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Growth opportunities worth trumpeting in manufacturing - TheFabricator.com

Growth opportunities worth trumpeting in manufacturing

November 9, 2012

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The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association 2012 Salary/Wage & Benefit Survey is out, and it proves a lucrative career awaits those fabricators willing to put in the work to hone their skills.

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Stationary parts don't make money - TheFabricator.com

Stationary parts don't make money

November 9, 2012

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Seeing bins of parts lying around in your shop? Maybe it’s time to get away from the large-batch method and try one-piece flow. Rather than make a large quantity of Component 1, then Component 2, then Component 3, while a welder downstream waits for Component 3, you could set up a system of one-piece flow that sends a kit of three components. The key to implement this strategy is the bender software.

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