How to Maximize Your Small Shop’s Resources to Get Big Results with Job Tracking Software
Do you often find yourself competing for business against bigger shops who have greater resources? Perhaps you’re a small shop with dreams of becoming a large one. Or maybe you are happy with your current size, but would like to be able to compete against larger rivals. You can maximize your current resources with job tracking software.
In the highly competitive manufacturing world, it can often be difficult for small shops to win new business and retain the customers they already have. After all, larger shops may have more equipment, greater capacity, and more flexibility with their pricing and turnaround times.
However, there is good news. Technology and software in the manufacturing world have advanced greatly in recent years. One of the primary benefits of those technological advancements is that they allow you to do more with fewer resources. As a small shop, you can leverage technology to compete with bigger shops on a level playing field.
See how Shoptech’s E2 Software helped Rapid Design, a small shop in the oil and gas industry.
Below are three ways in which you can maximize the results you get from the resources you already have. If you haven’t invested in updated shop software or technology, you could be missing out on these types of opportunities to boost your efficiency. Now may be the right time to explore job tracking software and other innovative types of technology.
Optimize your use of equipment and labor.
Are you using your labor, equipment, and other resources as efficiently as you could? For many small shops, that is a difficult question to answer. Many small shops don’t have the technology or software necessary to precisely track and manage how they use their most important resources. Without access to data, it is difficult to make informed decisions about how to optimize your use of labor and machinery.
Job tracking software can help you accomplish this task. For example, your team members on the shop floor could use the software to register when they start and stop tasks on specific jobs. You could then analyze that data to see how much time is spent on certain jobs and at certain workstations.
You may discover that you could get greater efficiency by bundling certain tasks together, rerouting jobs in a different order, or reassigning team members to maximize their skills and knowledge. Data can give you a clear view into your shop floor so you can see how your resources are being allocated. However, to acquire that data, you must have the right technology in place.
Eliminate low-margin and no-margin jobs.
What is your margin on the jobs that move through your shop floor? If you are like many shops, the profit margin probably varies from job to job. You may have some jobs that are very profitable, while others might have very thin margins.
You might even have jobs that have no margin at all. It’s not uncommon for shops to take on jobs that they believed to be profitable, but actually hurt profitability. Again, without data in transparency into your process, it can be difficult to know how profitable your jobs or or if they are profitable at all.
Shop software can help you track all of the costs that go into every job that you complete. You can then use that information to accurately estimate your costs and generate estimates that protects your profit margins.
The best way to maximize the use of your resources is to use those resources on jobs that have the largest margins. Job tracking software can help you identify your low-margin or no-margin jobs. Once identified, you can either adjust the pricing or stop doing those jobs altogether.
Offer exceptional service to attract and retain customers.
You may not have the size, capacity, or resources that larger shops have. However, there is one area in which you might be able to beat them. That area is customer service. Very often, customers are willing to forgo some of the benefits that may come with a larger shop if they know they will get exceptional service and support from a smaller shop.
Job tracking software can help you provide this high level of service. For example, you can use the scheduling component of shop software to track your jobs as they move through your production process. Your service team can then provide regular updates to your customers about the status of their work and its estimated completion time. Your customers will never be in the dark about their orders, so they may not feel the need to explore other vendors.
Also, you may be able to use software to accommodate last-minute requests and rush jobs from your most important customers. For example, Shoptech’s E2 software has a scheduling whiteboard component. You can plug in different variables, such as a last minute rush job, to see how it would impact your process. Then you can reallocate resources and work to fit the job into your schedule.
You gain the ability to take on critical work, while also providing your customer with accurate scheduling estimates. Your customer gains confidence in your ability to deliver.
Ready to maximize your small shops resources? Let’s talk about it. Our small shop consultants welcome the opportunity to chat with you. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.