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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Improving the bottom line in automotive applications

April 24, 2003

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The automotive industry is under extreme pressure to improve the productivity and quality of its operations. Tier 1 suppliers especially are being squeezed by a combination of very competitive upfront bidding for contracts and yearly price reductions. One area ripe for savings in most automotive companies is the total cost associated with welding quality.

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Slash maintenance inventory costs

April 10, 2003

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The quickest boost for most organizations' bottom line is finding opportunities for decreasing costs without sacrificing quality. An area frequently overlooked is the inventory of parts kept for maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO).

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Superior Service—Why you need it

April 10, 2003

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Service can make or break a business. Of the top nine reasons consumers give for buying a specific product, eight pertain to the abilities of the customer service system, for example, responsiveness, technical skill, and professional attitude.1

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Drawing on the strength of people

April 10, 2003

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During the recent economic downturn, sheet metal stampers, die shops, and some job shops experienced layoffs and some closed their doors. However, a few stampers have remained profitable despite uncertain economic times.

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A different battlefield, the same strategy

March 27, 2003

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The war in Iraq is giving the world a firsthand look at modern warfare and its latest weapons. Embedded reporters and military experts give us blow-by-blow details and explain strategies, logistics, aircraft, weapons, and other tools of war. While war coverage and weapons have evolved since previous wars, the basic strategies remain the same, and these same strategies have found acceptance in business.

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The Age of Cautious Optimism

March 13, 2003

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When it comes to the economy, cautious optimism is as good as it gets.

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Dealing with worker injuries

March 13, 2003

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This perception that keeping an employee working increases the probability that the employee will return to full duty quickly leads to some really creative efforts that focus on keeping the employee at work and keeping the numbers low.

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Psychology for the tool room

March 13, 2003

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As a consultant for the sheet metal stamping industry, I have had the opportunity to visit numerous stamping plants, die shops, and engineering facilities. One comment I often hear during these adventures is how arrogant or "know-it-all" some of the toolmakers or engineers are.

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Preventing the loss of life and property

February 27, 2003

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The cost of industrial fires can be enormous in terms of fatalities, serious injuries, property loss, revenue loss, and the costs of replacing equipment and repairing or rebuilding facilities.

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Job Satisfaction—Part 3

February 27, 2003

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You've done some deep soul-searching and have a good understanding of why you're unhappy with your job. Now it's time to take charge of your future, to improve your work life and the quality of your life in general.

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Job Satisfaction—Part 2

February 13, 2003

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Something's very wrong. You approach each workday with dread. The ringing of the alarm clock is joined by your groans as you realize that you're heading out for another day on the job. You live for quitting time on Friday and begin the transition to depression mode on Sunday afternoon.

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Controlling the costs of conflict

January 16, 2003

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Success in business depends on several issues, a key one being cost control. Yet many business people are oblivious to the negative impact that the costs of conflict can have on their bottom line. Many even think that they need not be concerned about conflict costs because, for instance, they don't have to deal with unionized labor.

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KNOWLEDGE: The key to welding productivity?

January 16, 2003

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In the year 2000 manufacturing, construction, and mining industries had $34.1 billion worth of welding-related expenses. At the same time more than a half million people in the U.S. had welding-related jobs -- and that's not counting self-employed and nonproduction welders.

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The X, Y, Z's of Management

January 16, 2003

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Owners, what do employees want? Employees, what do owners want? I know what I wanted when I was a shop and field hand, and I know what I expected when I was a boss. Now more than ever we need to strengthen the employee-management relationship.

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Job Satisfaction—Part 1

January 16, 2003

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Unless you are among the privileged few-who appear to be becoming fewer by the minute as investment accounts are shrinking in value, savings are being wiped out, and credit card debt is mounting -- you'll spend many hours working for a living. How do you feel about your job and why?

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