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The forums on www.mmsonline.com allow those in the metalworking community (i.e. you) to lurk, leave opinions and launch new threads within any of 16 industry- and technology-focused areas. There is one thread in our Shop Management forum, in particular, that I feel effectively demonstrates the purpose of providing these forums: the forums enable the metalworking community to rally around one of its own and present that person with helpful direction.
The title of the thread is What do we have to do to compete? The gentleman who posted the thread was soliciting ideas to help get his struggling shop out of its current “slump.” Many people chimed in and offered advice. Five of the replies stood out in my mind because they mirror themes found in many of the articles we’ve recently written. Those five replies included these suggestions:
- Look around for the work that no one wants to do and become good at doing it.
- You can only wring so much out of the actual machining operation. The cost savings really kick in when you (quickly) change from one job to another.
- You need to understand what you are good at now and what you want to be good at. Then, knock on some doors. Have a good marketing package together that clearly illustrates your capabilities.
- Stay up to date with technology, and keep your employees trained.
- Specialize in something.
After reading through that thread, I searched our article archive and collected stories highlighting shops that have improved by implementing one of these five strategies. I figured it would be helpful to cull those articles in one place online because the person who posed that original forum question certainly isn’t the only one facing such challenges in today’s competitive market.
In addition, consider adding your two cents to the aforementioned or other forum threads, and pose any questions you may have. Visit www.mmsonline.com, click on “Forums” and remain an active member of our metalworking community.