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.
October 13, 2016 | By Dan Davis
As manufacturers look for the manufacturing engineers and machine operators to replace retiring baby boomers, they are finding that traditional recruitment efforts are lacking. Many find that it’s easier to groom their own workers rather than hoping that they turn up on the doorstep.
October 13, 2016 | By Tim Heston
This year’s “Financial Ratios & Operational Benchmarking Survey” from the FMA shows an industry that’s facing tight competition, but also one that is pushing on, investing, and making efficient use of resources.
October 13, 2016 | By Jeff Sipes
Poor communication can lead to serious waste and missed opportunities. That’s why the communications process really should be seen as an extension of continuous improvement.
October 10, 2016 | By Will Healy III
Metal fabricators hoping to survive a global economy and shrinking workforce can look at the trends and “what-ifs” in the next industrial age of connected machines.
October 10, 2016
Perfectly accurate inventory records will help you improve turns, which frees up cash; improve customer service, because you know what you have when a customer calls; increase shop productivity, because material will be available when needed; and increase profitability, because you won’t be writing off inventory that isn’t there.
October 10, 2016 | By Chad Vincent
When communication is visual, we see together, know together, and therefore act together.
October 10, 2016 | By Bruce McDuffee
A fabricator’s marketing function shouldn’t be about tradeshow booths, brochures, and websites. It’s not there simply to serve the sales function. Instead, marketing reinforces a fabricator’s value proposition and, ultimately, helps drive the direction of the business.
October 5, 2016 | By Shane Strowski
There’s always room for improvement in any operation. Following these seven steps can help you identify areas that need improving and put your shop on the path to optimal efficiency, increased productivity, and less waste.
September 15, 2016 | By Gerald Davis
Columnist Gerald Davis provides file organization and renaming guidance, so that the CAD operator doesn’t make a needless mistake that can boost frustration and reduce modeling efficiency.
September 14, 2016 | By Tim Heston
It can take a long time for a prospect to become a major customer, and of course there are no guarantees. This makes building a diverse customer base easier said than done. Through rebranding and restructuring, one custom fabricator in Minnesota aims to change this.
September 14, 2016 | By Jeff Sipes
5S is critical for any lean journey. And by getting it right—that is, treating it as an important and measurable process that affects the business—fabricators can use 5S to make their office or shop floor a better place to work.
August 30, 2016 | By Tim Heston
Haydon Corp. was an early adopter of business software, and it continues to use its enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform comprehensively. The software, along with standard business practices baked into the company’s DNA, has helped the roll former maintain an extremely short order fulfillment cycle.
August 30, 2016 | By Tim Heston
For years Jones Metal, a Mankato, Minn.-based custom fabricator, has published not an occasional employee newsletter, but a weekly digital paper, available at touchscreen kiosks throughout the front office and shop floor. The publication keeps everyone up-to-date on important metrics, spreads improvement ideas and, perhaps most important, builds community.
August 16, 2016 | By Gerald Davis
Columnist Gerald Davis reveals that delivering a straightforward CAD model might make sense for a project that will require alterations down the road.
Every noteworthy quality improvement methodology calls for observation, analysis, planning, measuring, and reviewing work processes to get better results than achieved previously. For any of this to be successful, manufacturers need to document work instructions, corrections, and goals.