Tagged: blog

5 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…

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3 Easy Ways to Get Your Shop Floor Under Control

What do you see when you go out to the shop floor? Tools everywhere? Materials and parts laying around? Team members milling around, having casual conversations? Work piling up? You’re not alone. One of the things that makes running a shop so difficult is that you have to straddle the line between the office and…

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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…

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3 Reasons why job shops fail

If you’ve been in this business long enough, then you know the story all too well. A shop opens up in a shiny new facility with brand new equipment. The owner and other shop executives are knowledgeable about the industry. It seems like the shop has everything it needs to be successful. For some reason,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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….

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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…

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The road to ISO certification: Post-certification – Part 5/5

Getting certified isn’t the end of the certification journey. In many ways, it’s just the beginning of a new process. Once you’re certified, you have to meet certain criteria to keep your certification. Auditors want to know that you not only have a quality process in place, but that you actually implement that process. In…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Shorten learning curve with virtual training for job shop software

There’s no doubt that job shop software can improve your shop’s efficiency, productivity, and overall profitability. However, just having the right software isn’t enough. You also need to make sure your team members are using it properly. Even the best software won’t produce results if your workers aren’t implementing it to its fullest capabilities. Most…

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Speed up your job shop software implementation

Do you dread the idea of implementing new job shop software? Have you purchased software that’s subsequently gone unused because you don’t know how to manage the transition? You’re not alone. For many job shops, the challenge isn’t in finding the right software; it’s in implementing the new software. Most job shop owners see the…

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How to write off your job shop software investment

It’s that time of year again. No, I’m not talking about the holiday season. Rather, it’s the time of year when business owners all over the country are making end-of-year decisions to anticipate and plan for next year. Part of that “taking stock” of your business includes what kind of investments for the future you…

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How to motivate your job shop employees

What does your job shop have in common with Pike Place Fish Market, the Seattle landmark where they throw fish to customers? Hold the fishy smell jokes, please. According to Shoptech’s business development manager, Gerri Schuh, we all can take a cue from that famous fish market and learn some big lessons on how to…

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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…

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Job shop technology marches on with E2

Call me sentimental, but as we approach the International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014, I couldn’t help but reflect on E2’s first time exhibiting at this giant of a trade show serving the manufacturing technology industry. My how times have changed in 18 years. Not just with advancements in job shop technology, but our goals at…

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E2 sharing and learning at IMTS 2014

Ever since we started writing Job Shoptalk, we’ve been working hard to share information about contract manufacturing and the make-to-order manufacturing industry. We can all learn from each other, and this forum is a great way for us to address some of the issues and topics that percolate with our market. We may not have…

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3 tips for scheduling job shops efficiently

Scheduling the shop floor is by far the most challenging task for job shops and make-to-order manufacturers. There are many factors that come into play when trying to determine the best possible schedule on any given day. Here are just a few of the challenges for job shops trying to schedule their shop floor and…

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Why you need job shop scheduling software for your shop

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. – Stephen Covey   As a job shop owner, you know it’s not always easy to arrange jobs for smooth transition and flow from one batch to the next. Scheduling machines and manpower can be hard enough, much less scheduling for…

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