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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The Perfect Economic Storm and The 100-Year Flood in Manufacturing—Part 2

July 24, 2003

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Editor's note: This article discusses the final three of six factors contributing to the current state of manufacturing — technology investment, the elimination of industrial arts programs, and the lack of industry leadership — with a focus on California manufacturing. Part I, which appeared...

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Tuning a piano—making the most of your best resources

July 24, 2003

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Editor's Note: Is your company in survival mode? There are questions you should be asking and steps you can take to improve your company's position—instead of shooting the pianist.Ever listen to someone playing a piano that's out of tune? Remember the sound? Completely sour. Even hitting a...

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The Perfect Economic Storm and The 100-Year Flood in Manufacturing—Part 1

July 10, 2003

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Editor's note: This article discusses three of six contributing factors to the current state of manufacturing—global competition, high business costs, and supply chain management and consolidation—with a focus on California manufacturing. Part II discusses technology investment, the...

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What price workers' compensation insurance?

July 10, 2003

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It's a Catch-22 for many manufacturers. Not having workers' compensation insurance can put them out of business. Paying for workers' compensation insurance can put them out of business. How is a company to survive?

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Managers are not necessarily leaders

June 26, 2003

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Often we are told that leadership is the key to the success of any business or organization. What is leadership? Is it the same as management? And what separates would-be or so-so leaders from world-class leaders?

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The end of the (welding) world as we know it?

June 26, 2003

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The end of manufacturing is near for the state of Connecticut, some fear.

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The future of vocational education

June 12, 2003

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The death knell is sounding for vocational programs throughout the U.S. Readers who responded "Yes, vocational programs have been cut" to thefabricator.com's recent question regarding the status of vocational programs where they live outnumbered those responding "No, vocational programs are intact" three to one.

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Inline process auditing

June 12, 2003

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Imagine this: The line is running smoothly, delivery is tight but on schedule, it is 10 minutes to shift change, and suddenly Art the quality control inspector runs by the office window shouting, "We've got bad parts coming out!" You shut the line down, your production supervisor comes running, Art is grabbing as many parts as he can to start checking, and the operator is thinking, "I should run now and let the second shift deal with it."

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Looking to the future

June 12, 2003

A growing manufacturing base in the Southeast spurred Thompson Steel in the mid-1990s to research what type of equipment to purchase for its new facility in Fountain Inn, S.C. The steel supplier had been shipping coils of slit steel from its plants in Baltimore; Franklin Park, Ill.; and Rome, Ga., almost daily to several customers in the area.

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Lean manufacturing

Using technology to implement lean manufacturing

June 12, 2003

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Lean manufacturing is more than a buzzword. It is key to improving a company's floor performance, customer responsiveness, and, ultimately, its bottom line. Yet few manufacturers truly understand what it takes to implement the concept.

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10 questions to ask about equipment leasing

May 29, 2003

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Equipment leasing—an arrangement in which a business pays for the use of equipment but does not own it—is growing in popularity for many reasons. Benefits of leasing include flexibility, convenience, and protection from having to be responsible for equipment obsolescence.

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Sick at Work?

May 15, 2003

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All employees have days at work when they don't feel well. Usually these days are intermittent and can be attributed to a cold or other illness or job-related stress.

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Overcoming organizational paralysis

May 15, 2003

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Paralysis – what a horrible thought. What if you found yourself in a situation in which you had partial or complete loss of motion and sensation in your body?

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Mediating commercial conflict

May 15, 2003

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This article explores some of the aspects of a commercial mediation I performed some years ago. The identities of the participants and the facts of the case have been changed to preserve the participants' privacy and the confidentiality inherent in mediation cases. This case was selected because of the intense emotional feelings that surrounded what should have been a straightforward and rather simple business arrangement. So often it seems that the feelings, emotions, and egos of the participants in a conflict can mean more than the dollars or tangible value involved.

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Siege planning or strategic planning

April 24, 2003

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"Globalization isn't news," said Lawrence J. Kendzior, a partner at Gleeson Sklar Sawyers & Cumpata LLP (GSSC), a privately held accounting firm that focuses on what it calls "middle-market manufacturers." "The news is that it's suddenly impacting companies that have never before been affected."

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