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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10 steps to winning a government contract - Step 8

April 11, 2006

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Now that you've written your proposal, it's time to submit it to the government. Before you send it off, make sure, one last time, that everything necessary in your bid proposal is there.

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Management matters

April 11, 2006

Creating a sound workplace is good not only for your business and your employees, but for society. When it comes to labor costs, the U.S. cannot compete with China and India. Our only chance of remaining competitive is to work more effectively and efficiently and to develop new innovations continually.

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auto show picture

Auto show lessons

April 11, 2006

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The North American International Auto Show held in Detroit is a stage for automakers to display their latest and greatest; it also serves as a harbinger of what's coming at suppliers over the next few years.

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Stamper, prototyper, assembler, or fabricator

April 11, 2006

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Newspapers and business magazines are filled with stories about offshoring, layoffs, and plant closings. Quasar Industries, a prototyping and low-volume production shop near Detroit, has bucked this trend and recently increased its manufacturing capability when it purchased a new building. A diverse fabricator, the company provides tooling development and also does stamping, laser cutting and welding, robotic welding, tube fabrication, and machining. The company's client base includes the automotive, appliance, and aerospace industries, among others. But all the equipment it has and processes it performs don't make it successful. Its success is a result of its employees' expertise and its corporate culture.

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Metalfab: All that glitters is metal

April 11, 2006

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Lights. Camera. Fabricate?! You get home from work after fabricating all day, kick back with a cool one, and turn on the tube just to see more metal fabrication, on-screen, as entertainment. If it's not "American Chopper" or "Monster Garage," it's "Biker Build-Off," "Monster House" or "American Hot Rod." What's the fascination with fabrication? Do shows like these put a new spin on the image of metal forming and fabricating? Have they inspired younger generations to consider metal fabricating as a profession? Why have TV producers zoned in on these types of shows?

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How to get a handle on your inventory

April 11, 2006

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Well-managed companies have taken aggressive steps to reduce "at-rest" inventory by revamping their supply chains to support smaller, more frequent shipments. Industry sources have reported that some of the best performing stamping companies are turning inventory 28 times annually.

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Metalform Nashville focuses on Southern manufacturing

March 7, 2006

As part of its new exhibit strategy , The Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) is offering scaled-down regional shows, which will be held in even-numbered years. A larger show will return to the Chicago area in odd-numbered years.

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Working toward Six Sigma success

March 7, 2006

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Successful implementation of Six Sigma requires support from management, good planning, and undertaking of projects to move Six Sigma forward.

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The China-dominated manufacturing environment

March 7, 2006

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All manufacturers have to realize that what is going on in China will affect them in some way, no matter how small their business is. Protectionist policies from the U.S. government aren't on the horizon to help. Business owners and managers are negligent if they do not make an effort to understand the economic changes caused by China's movement to a market economy in some detail and then use that understanding to evaluate and likely modify their companies' business plans.

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Editorial Advisory Board Roundtable

March 7, 2006

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The FABRICATOR invited the members of its Editorial Advisory Board together to discuss the state of skilled labor in North America and what the future looks like for tomorrow's fabricating and forming employees and employers.

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Are you preparing for the worker skills gap?

March 7, 2006

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The skilled labor shortage many manufacturers already are experiencing is being joined by a skills gap as the aging work force retires and fewer young people pursue technical training. Manufacturers need to act now to cultivate and grow the future work force and bridge the gap.

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The big squeeze

February 7, 2006

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Three companies dominating the market is a distant memory as Japanese and European automakers' market shares steadily increase. The Big Three has evolved into the New 6 that includes Toyota, Honda, Nissan, GM, Ford, and DaimlerChrysler. Suppliers tied to the Big Three will have to make a negative adjustment to remain profitable.

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Are you still settling for good enough?

February 7, 2006

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A study of executives at several tube and pipe fab shops revealed that the executives and managers are ensnared by four potential traps: talking instead of doing, failing to see the big picture, avoiding listening, and failing to communicate.

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10 steps to winning a government contract - Step 6

February 7, 2006

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When you price out your bid, you get to be the expert - but that also means a lot of responsibility. Learn what you need to know to price out your bid to the federal government.

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Making your way as a job shop today

February 7, 2006

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No matter how you start up your own job shop, it takes a delicate balance to become - and remain - successful. Profitability certainly helps, but so do flexibility and diversification.

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