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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Visual reality - TheFabricator.com

Visual reality

June 13, 2012

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To pursue visual art or science, that is the question. Polar-opposite interests? Yes. But who says the two can’t intersect somehow. After all, elements of science are alive in metal forming and fabricating, but to make it visually pleasing, an artist’s touch is necessary. Metal art, it would...

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Being big, acting small - TheFabricator.com

Being big, acting small

June 13, 2012

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Minnesota fabricator rebrands itself, standardizes operations, and remains nimble, even after years of aggressive growth. Managers expect the firm to grow another 18 percent this year. That’s not small potatoes for one of the country’s largest contract metal fabricators.

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Fabricate, install, maintain - TheFabricator.com

Fabricate, install, maintain

June 8, 2012

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The Roberts Co. isn’t a heavy industrial metal fabricator. It’s not a erector, general contractor, maintenance services provider, or engineering firm. It’s all of the above.

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3-D CAD: Bill of materials construction in project documentation--PartII - TheFabricator.com

3-D CAD: Bill of materials construction in project documentation--PartII

May 3, 2012

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Columnist Gerald Davis has populated the bills of material with data and now focuses on the model that will accompany the BOM to the manufacturing floor.

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How CRM can help— and not hinder—the sales rep - TheFabricator.com

How CRM can help— and not hinder—the sales rep

May 3, 2012

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Customer relationship management, or CRM, software has a bad reputation. Many consider CRM to be simply a burden on salespeople. Nex Solutions’ CRM doesn’t fit the software implementation stereotype. The platform isn’t all-encompassing; for example, it doesn’t link sales reports to quoting systems, accounting, scheduling, or other modules that might go into an enterprise resource planning (ERP) or manufacturing execution system (MES). Instead, it simply helps salespeople be more responsive and build relationships with existing and potential customers.

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Made to order, for emergency - TheFabricator.com

Made to order, for emergency

May 1, 2012

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No one would argue that at least some elements of lean manufacturing apply to most operations, but Horton Emergency Vehicles is a made-to-order vehicle manufacturer. Certainly, Horton’s highly custom approach didn’t fit a assembly-line model--right? As it turned out, the people at Horton didn't follow the conventional wisdom--and that decision paid off.

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Steady flow, steady profits - TheFabricator.com

Steady flow, steady profits

May 1, 2012

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ETM Manufacturing invests in continuous improvement training. Since initiating these efforts in 2007, the company has less than doubled its headcount, but tripled annual sales.

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The new shop on the block - TheFabricator.com

The new shop on the block

May 1, 2012

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Rob Howell, a 38-year-old fabricating veteran in Phoenix, Ariz., opened his fab shop more than a year ago and has experienced a lifetime's worth of lessons in the months since. The biggest lesson: Just because you own a business doesn't mean you know how to run a business.

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How soft skills make a shop successful - TheFabricator.com

How soft skills make a shop successful

May 1, 2012

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When hiring, Jay Manufacturing Oshkosh managers don't look for technical skills first. Instead, they concentrate on elements that are difficult to teach--that is, the soft skills.

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Turning the brights on the automotive industry - TheFabricator.com

Turning the brights on the automotive industry

April 27, 2012

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2012 has the markings of a transitional year for the automotive industry. If the sales and efficiency gains achieved by the industry, which began in 2009, can be sustained, there is ample reason to believe that salad days lie ahead of automakers, suppliers, and dealers alike.

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How to obtain stamping equipment financing - TheFabricator.com

How to obtain stamping equipment financing

April 27, 2012

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Capital expenditures are necessary for any successful manufacturing business. Stamping is no exception. Here are four easy ways for you to be well-prepared to apply for a loan to finance an unexpected (or planned) new equipment purchase.

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3-D CAD: Bill-of-materials construction inproject documentation--Part I - TheFabricator.com

3-D CAD: Bill-of-materials construction inproject documentation--Part I

April 16, 2012

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Columnist Gerald Davis takes a look at the appropriate way to construct a bill of materials as he continues his cutting table project.

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The problem with estimating using paper and pencil - TheFabricator.com

The problem with estimating using paper and pencil

April 16, 2012

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Metal fabricating companies that rely on a seasoned worker who knows all of the production processes like the back of his hand and transfers that experience into the job estimating function are common. Fabricating operations that run that department smoothly and efficiently with no fears of inaccurate or inconsistent quotes while still relying on that one person's experience are pretty uncommon. The fact is that a majority of shops are taking huge risks by estimating jobs based on tribal knowledge and paper and pencil. Software can help change that.

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Delivering orders on time, every time - TheFabricator.com

Delivering orders on time, every time

April 16, 2012

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Considering the demands from OEMs, stellar on-time delivery now is just as important as quality, and manufacturing cells may help a fabricator attain that stellar on-time delivery.

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A (re)moving story: Eliminating condensation - TheFabricator.com

A (re)moving story: Eliminating condensation

April 3, 2012

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Air movement is a cost-effective way to reduce condensation, create a more uniform temperature from floor to ceiling, and increase employee comfort and productivity. Large-diameter, low-speed fans, up to 24 feet in diameter, provide efficient air movement while using less energy than smaller fans running at faster speeds.

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