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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2014 forecast: The big question mark - TheFabricator.com

2014 forecast: The big question mark

December 1, 2013

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2014 could be a banner year for the metal fabricaton business, or it could be a dud. Uncertainty reigns, and at the end of 2013, most of it focused on Washington.

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Job shop estimating: Control and feedback methods - TheFabricator.com

Job shop estimating: Control and feedback methods

November 26, 2013

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Columnist Gerald Davis explains how the process of estimating is supported by buddy checks, databases, and report cards.

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Four ways to measure team performance - TheFabricator.com

Four ways to measure team performance

November 25, 2013

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Most organizations assess their teams by looking at lagging indicators. But would it not be beneficial to diagnose a team’s potential and performance in real time? These four strategies can provide immediate feedback.

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The hidden costs in manufacturing

November 25, 2013

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Taken individually or in combination, hidden costs greatly affect a company’s financial and competitive performance.

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How one job shop retains skilled talent - TheFabricator.com

How one job shop retains skilled talent

November 25, 2013

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Southern Metalcraft Inc.’s average employee tenure is 20 years. Speaking on a shop tour during The FABRICATOR’s 2013 Technology Summit, the company founder described why employees rarely leave.

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The potential of collaborative manufacturing - TheFabricator.com

The potential of collaborative manufacturing

November 6, 2013

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As globalization took hold in recent decades, Tony Chirchirillo was keenly aware of how many viewed manufacturing. He decided to change that perception in an unconventional way—by forming a network of noncompeting, complementary companies.

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A metal fabricator’s quiet transition - TheFabricator.com

A metal fabricator’s quiet transition

November 6, 2013

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The management buyout of the Schott metal fabrication division was, for many employees, a quiet affair. But transitioning to become an independent enterprise did call for major changes behind the scenes.

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Going cellular: A year later - TheFabricator.com

How cellular manufacturing can work in contract manufacturing

November 5, 2013

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For the past year one contract fabricator in Georgia has operated under the cellular manufacturing concept. Even in the shop’s high-product-mix environment, the concept is working—even thriving.

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Apple picking for the 21st century - TheFabricator.com

Apple picking for the 21st century

November 5, 2013

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Phil Brown Welding of Conklin, Mich., designed and fabricated the Apple Harvester, a machine that makes picking apples easier, faster, and allows for picking at night, not just during daylight hours.

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Welder

How to start, establish, and grow a welding or manufacturing business

October 22, 2013

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Many welders and other highly skilled workers likely have thought about going into business for themselves, but lacked the business knowledge required to launch a successful venture. A new book endeavors to provide that knowledge.

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Job shop estimating: Getting ready for public disclosure - TheFabricator.com

Job shop estimating: Getting ready for public disclosure

October 9, 2013

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Columnist Gerald Davis explains how the presentation of the estimate to the customer will require some preparation.

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Adding rocks to the knapsack: A roadblock to continuous improvement

October 9, 2013

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There’s nothing wrong with tackling the low-hanging fruit, unless it kills the big improvement initiatives that can really make you better.

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How top performing metal fabricators get it done - TheFabricator.com

How top performing metal fabricators get it done

October 9, 2013

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FMA’s recently released Financial Ratios & Operational Benchmarking Survey digs deep into the numbers. The results give a realistic view of the industry and reveal how successful its top performers can be.

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No-nonsense lean at Micron Metalworks - TheFabricator.com

No-nonsense lean at Micron Metalworks

October 9, 2013

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This Minnesota fabricator took a pragmatic approach to lean manufacturing, one that takes the challenges of the job shop into account. Employees focused on communication, organization, and simplicity. The result was an operational and, most important, cultural transformation.

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Health care reform: Navigating pay or play - TheFabricator.com

Health care reform: Navigating pay or play

October 9, 2013

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For business owners, one of the most dramatic changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act will be what has come to be known as the “pay or play” provision, under which many employers will need to provide employee health care coverage or pay a tax.

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