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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Productivity—The human factor

May 9, 2006

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Productivity, an economic bellwether, is predicted to slip from its recent highs in the coming months, largely because of job growth. Companies burned by the recent downturn need to continue to focus on achieving maximum productivity. This article addresses the labor component of productivity and how best to motivate employees to work at high levels.

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10 steps to winning a government contract - Step 9

May 9, 2006

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Once you have your contract and have delivered product on time and within specifications, it's time to find out how to get paid in a timely fashion.

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Race to be green

May 9, 2006

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Automakers are racing to introduce green technologies. Toyota is the leader in hybrid sales and plans to introduce two new models even though it will continue to lose money in the short and medium term. Instead of trying to outsell Toyota, GM has introduced flexible-fuel vehicles that run on E-85, an ethanol and gasoline mix.

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Managing success

May 9, 2006

The increasing disparity between upper management pay and blue-collar wages is creating a downward spiral that only can negatively affect our economy.

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Achieving quality global manufacturing networks

May 9, 2006

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This article is adapted from a report analyzing the results of a manufacturers' survey. It discusses the common quality challenges all manufacturers and explains what best-in-class manufacturers are doing with quality control to set themselves apart from the competition.

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Handling engineering changes in automotive parts

May 9, 2006

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Control of engineering changes for automotive components and assemblies requires cooperation and communication among groups within a company, as well as with outside suppliers. Changes must be initiated, communicated, implemented, and verified enterprisewide.

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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 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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