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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Reverse engineering

November 8, 2005 | By Elia Levi

Typically, the idea for a fabricated product evolves into a manufacturing project from a complete set of engineering documents that define the product's scope, function, and limits and express its requirements. However, occasionally the necessary supporting documentation is unavailable and must be reconstructed.For example, you might want to study an old sunken Roman or Viking vessel to gather information on ancient materials and technology and to understand a past civilization.

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Reality TV: Frame-making in the U.S.

November 8, 2005 | By Dan Davis

Sumitomo Metal Mining USA (SMMU) Inc. has supplied cathode ray tube frams to some of the largest, high-end television manufacturers in the world from its Oceanside, Calif., facility. Despite the trend in moving manufacturing overseas to take advantage of cheaper labor pools, SMMU believes it is poised to remain competitive while maintaining its U.S. base of operations.

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Removing the obstacles to success

October 11, 2005 | By George Spilka

Owners of mid-sized businesses (those that sell for $2 million to $250 million) should know that the environment for selling such a business has grown increasingly harsh over the past 25 years or so. Many of the competitive forces at work in the global arena that have made manufacturing overseas attractive have made overseas manufacturing companies attractive investments, to the detriment of U.S. business owners. However, knowledge and planning can help an owner of a mid-sized manufacturing firm get a premium price for his business.

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10 steps to winning a government contract - Step 5

October 11, 2005 | By John DiGiacomo, Jim Kleckner

When you want to bid on a government contract, getting the technical data you need, including specifications and drawings, is critical.

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Product liability

October 11, 2005 | By Dave Ludwin

By recognizing the myths and understanding the realities of protecting your business, you can make simple strategic refinements to help give you true peace of mind when it comes to product liability.

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Making the sale

October 11, 2005 | By Phil Pratt

Many customers are brand-loyal. How you sell to these individuals, some of whom may have preconceived notions of what they want, will determine your sales success.

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Selling to GM – A tough customer gets tougher

October 11, 2005 | By Bernard Swiecki

The automaker's relentless focus on cost cutting has made few friends in the supplier community. GM recently made several announcements that may signal an even greater focus on price.

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Waste replaced

October 11, 2005 | By Stephanie Vaughan

If your welding shop hasn't implemented lean manufacturing initiatives, it's only a matter of time, the experts say. Learn and brush up on your understanding of lean manufacturing to see what tools might help boost your productivity and efficiency.

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Successful tradeshow tips for attendees and exhibitors

October 11, 2005 | By Pat Lee

Getting the most from a tradeshow takes more effort than just being there. Following a few common tips, both attendees and exhibitors can maximize the tradeshow experience.

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Want a firsthand look at manufacturing in China?

September 13, 2005 | By Eric Lundin

China has been in the news extensively during the past couple of years, and developments in 2005 have intensified the focus on the world's most populous country. Chinese companies Hair and China National Offshore Oil Co. put in bids on U.S. companies (Maytag and Unocal); meanwhile, the People's Bank of China unhooked the yuan from the dollar in favor of linking the yuan to a basket of foreign currencies. This is the perfect time to embark on a tour to get a better understanding of the country's manfacturing capabilities, so FMA, TPA, and Thermatool Corp. teamued up to organize the tube- and pipe-oriented tour of the country.

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Getting your mojo back

August 9, 2005 | By Bob Rausch, Ph.D.

Organizations can be only as energized and focused as their leaders. This article discusses how leaders can replenish their own waning energy levels and refocus.

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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 | By John DiGiacomo, Jim Kleckner

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 | By Vicki Bell

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 | By Bob Rausch, Ph.D.

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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