Job shop industry trends

IMTS Roundup: A 6-Day Glimpse Into the Future of Manufacturing


The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) was held September 10th through 15th in Chicago, and a team of Shoptech employees was fortunate enough to attend. For 31 years, IMTS has been one of the industry’s largest annual gatherings of manufacturers, suppliers, and technology providers. Every year, the show presents a wonderful opportunity for Shoptech to… Reads more »

Could an Employee Wellness Plan Benefit Your Shop?

Runner feet and shoes

What if there was a way to reduce turnover, boost productivity, and cut your healthcare costs? Sounds like it’s too good to be true, right? It’s not. There’s one tool that has been shown in a wide range of studies to achieve all three of those goals. It’s a company wellness plan. Traditionally, company wellness… Reads more »

Employees Want Flexible Schedules: 3 Ways to Introduce It to Your Shop

clocking system

Last month, we wrote about millennials and how they will soon dominate the workforce in nearly every industry, including manufacturing. As discussed in that article, if you don’t have a plan to appeal to and manage to the millennial mindset, you could have a tough time replacing retiring workers, filling demand, and growing your business…. Reads more »

Why bad job costing is killing your business


You see an email come through from a new customer. They have a job they need filled, and it’s a big one. They want to know what your best price is, as they’re in the process of collecting quotes from a few different shops. You need to give them your most competitive price because you… Reads more »

5 Mistakes your machine shop makes everyday

Mistakes your machine shop makes

Do you feel like your machine shop is in a rut? There’s plenty of work and you and your team are always busy, but still, you never seem to get ahead. It feels like there’s always a cash crunch looming or there’s always a crisis that you have to deal with. Sometimes you may even… Reads more »

5 Reasons Why Your Shop Misses Deadlines

Reasons Why Your Shop Misses Deadlines

You sit down at your computer and see a familiar sight. It’s another email from another frustrated customer. They want to know when their job will be complete. When will it ship? What’s taking so long? How much longer? Do these questions sound familiar? Are you getting complaints from customers about your long turnaround time… Reads more »

7 Habits of Highly Effective Job Shop Management

In 1989, Stephen R. Covey published his landmark management book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It was an instant success and has gone on to sell more than 15 million copies in 38 languages around the world. If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s an easy read and is packed with useful… Reads more »

4 Signs that the time is right to expand your shop

Expansion. It’s a word that’s a double-edged sword for many shop owners. On one hand, expansion is a sign of growth. That’s a good thing. Expansion can allow you take on more business, offer new products, and generally scale your business. On the other hand, expansion takes capital. It can be expensive, especially if the… Reads more »

The 5 Biggest Reasons Why Your Shop is Losing Money

Ernest Hemingway once wrote about losing money that it, “happens at first very gradually, and then all at once.” If you run a shop that’s losing money, you probably know what he meant. Small losses slowly accumulate, turning into big losses. Eventually, there’s nothing left to lose. Far too many shop owners get stuck in… Reads more »

Increase your shop’s value by investing in your employees

There are lots of ways to increase your company’s value. You can grow sales. You can pay down debt. You can implement job shop software to make your shop more efficient. You can even upgrade your machinery and facility. However, one of the best ways to grow your bottom line and increase the value of… Reads more »

3 Secrets to growing your job shop

Every business wants to grow, but sometimes it feels like only a select few have figured out the formula for how to do it. The truth is there isn’t one single formula for achieving growth. Rather, there are a lot of different things you need to focus on. Putting out high quality products helps because… Reads more »

5 Tips for building customer relationships that last

What’s the most valuable asset in your shop? Your equipment? Your employees? The building itself? Those are all pretty valuable, but chances are good that there’s one other asset your shop couldn’t do without. It’s your customers. Specifically, it’s your relationship with those customers, especially the ones who send the most business to your shop…. Reads more »

3 Management tips to make your job shop more efficient

There’s one surefire way to make your job shop more profitable this year – by becoming more efficient. Eliminating waste and getting more production out of your team is a guaranteed formula for increased profitability. Greater efficiency is easier said than done, though. That’s especially true when you’re juggling a wide range of customer demands… Reads more »

The road to ISO certification: The audit – Part 4/5

This is what you’ve been preparing for. It’s finally time to put all your hard work to the test and earn that valuable certification designation. Many people get nervous or anxious about the idea of an audit. However, it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience, especially if you’ve put in the preparation. In the… Reads more »

The road to ISO certification: Pre-assessment – Part 3/5

If you’ve reached this step in the process, then you are well on your way to certification. In the previous two parts of this series, we talked about initial on-site training and creating all of the necessary documentation. Once you complete those steps, you’ll almost be ready for your certification audit. Before you move forward… Reads more »

The road to ISO certification: Documentation – Part 2/5

Welcome back to our five-part series on ISO certification. In Part One, we talked about on-site training and how important it is to starting the certification process on the right foot. In future parts of this series, we’ll talk about internal audits, your certification audit, and how to keep your certification. If you can’t wait… Reads more »

The road to ISO certification: On-site Training – Part 1/5

So you’ve decided to get your ISO certification? Congratulations! Being ISO certified can open the door to a whole new world of jobs and customers that your job shop would never otherwise have access to. More importantly, though, it will help you improve your processes and service. You’ll operate more efficiently and provide better quality… Reads more »

6 big reasons why software for small job shops makes sense

Of all the reasons I hear from job shop owners on why they’re not using a manufacturing software package, the most common one is that they think it will cost too much. Especially for the small job shop – which, by the way, represents the vast majority of the job shop market and the bulk… Reads more »

The art and science of manufacturing scheduling software

Of the many challenges facing today’s job shop owner, scheduling has to be among the toughest. Obviously, production and manufacturing scheduling software helps take much of the guesswork out of running your shop efficiently, but scheduling is still part art, and part science. Variables such as customers changing orders, vendors letting you down, data not… Reads more »

Job shop marketing in 5 easy steps

A machine shop customer of ours recently asked us for some tips on marketing a job shop. He said he didn’t have a Super Bowl ad budget, nor a whole lot of resources to manage it. I told him not to worry: it doesn’t take tons of money to put in place some effective job shop… Reads more »

Job shop software plays a big role in optimistic outlook

According to several industry sources, the small- and mid-size manufacturing sector in the U.S. is beginning to show some solid signs of growth. And as manufacturers invest in new equipment, and the trend continues to return overseas production to the U.S., all indications are strong for job shop software to continue to play a bigger… Reads more »