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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Beyond Social Security

July 12, 2005

Lost in the debate over Social Security is that no one can live on it alone. Unfortunately, many employees lack the financial savvy to manage their money and plan for retirement. Business can and should address this issue with its employees. To provide for tomorrow's retirees we need to educate workers on how to manage their money today.

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10 steps to winning a government contract - Step 4

June 1, 2005

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Before we address getting the bid package, read the following. If you believe that you can find one bid – that one special bid – and put all your eggs in that basket, consider this: "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I've...

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Metal manufacturing's greatest concerns

May 10, 2005

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Figure 1March 2005 "Fabricating Update" Survey ResultsIn a recent "Fabricating Update" newsletter, we asked subscribers to choose their operations' leading concerns from factors often cited as contributing to manufacturing's woes. Steel prices—the No. 1 response—outranked the next...

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Making the best possible decisions

May 10, 2005

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Decision-making is an important activity for business owners and leaders. It also can be a source of frustration for both the decision-makers and those affected by the decisions.Although as a leader or manager you always might not show your worry or concern when making decisions, many of you spend...

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Companies with solid training programs will survive the future

April 11, 2005

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Every week I receive a phone call that goes something like this: "I need someone in here to train my guys now. We're behind in filling our customers' orders; our defects are way up; we can't keep the equipment up and running; and the guy who knew how to fix all of this retired six months ago."I try...

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The Big Three's 2005 cost challenges

April 11, 2005

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A decline in the Big Three's market share, combined with rising health care and retiree costs, is contributing to extreme cost pressures for the Big Three and their suppliers.The Sales Situation2004 was a tough year in Detroit. The overall U.S. market for light-vehicle sales increased more than 1.4...

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Are your weld procedure specifications relevant?

March 8, 2005

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In fabrication shops that require code or standard compliance, welding sometimes isn't completed within the guidelines of the qualified weld procedure. Weld inspectors often must review finished products that don't make the intended customer happy. Inspectors typically try to answer the following...

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Design for welding: Letter to an engineer

March 8, 2005

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Drawing Guide Notes courtesy of www.roymech.co.uk, a U.K.-based Web site. Editors Note: The image is presented solely for the purpose of illustrating typicaldrawing notes.My Dear Design Engineer,I sometimes am baffled by the way some of your colleagues deal with projects that require welding...

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Not Your Parents' Workplace

March 8, 2005

Editor's Note: This column was prepared by the staff of Winning Workplaces, a not-for-profit organization that helps small and midsized businesses create better work environments.

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10 steps to winning a government contract - Step 3

March 1, 2005

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In Step 2 we discussed finding bid opportunities. Before we dive in, it's important to note that recent statistics show that in 2003 the federal government wrote 10.9 million contracts; 23 percent went to small businesses, meaning small businesses actually got $3 billion more work than they thought they would.

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Keeping employees well and health care costs down

February 8, 2005

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Health care costs have skyrocketed. While the medical community, insurance companies, and politicians address the issue, each group jockeying for the position that best serves their interests, employers are having to make serious decisions about whether they can continue to provide employee...

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FMA goes to China

February 8, 2005

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Two weeks after the first FMA China Tour group returned to the U.S., news broke that IBM had entered into talks to sell its PC business to China's largest PC manufacturer, Lenovo. That news came as no surprise to tour participants.

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Platform consolidation gradually erodes supplier business

February 8, 2005

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The Big Three are in the midst of a decades long process— platform consolidation. While it will make them more cost-competitive with the Japanese automakers, it also will take away business from tooling and stamping suppliers.

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Fuel cell useful links

February 7, 2005

Here are some sources for manufacturing projects related to alternative energies:1. Hydrogen Fuel CellFuelCell Energy Co. - www.fce.com/site/products/manufacturing.htmlUnited Technologies - www.utcpower.comElectroChem, Inc. - www.fuelcell.comGas Technology Institute - www.gastechnology.orgATI...

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10 steps to winning a government contract - Step 2

February 1, 2005

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So you're ready to go after the biggest customer in the world: the U.S. federal government. It's time to go to that "buyer" and "sell" your company and what it can do. But before you sell to anyone, first you need to realize whom you're dealing with. The federal government is not a single entity, but a collection of usually small buying activities that work separately to purchase or procure the items they are told to get.

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