Better Use Of Tools At Hand

Here’s a suggestion for a New Year’s resolution at work. Find at least one feature or capability, on some tool, machine or piece of equipment, that you have previously overlooked or neglected.

Columns From: 1/3/2002 Modern Machine Shop, ,

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Mark Albert

Mark has been writing his Mark: My Word column every month since January, 1981.

Here’s a suggestion for a New Year’s resolution at work.
Find at least one feature or capability, on some tool, machine or piece of equipment, that you have previously overlooked or neglected. Learn how that feature works or what it does and try to find a way to use that feature to save time, energy or money. Share what you discover with others. Encourage the people you work with to participate and share their own discoveries.

This is a great habit to form. Once a week or once a month, find another feature or capability that you’re unfamiliar with, learn about it and start using it. One way to find what you might be missing is to browse though the owner’s manual or user instructions.

I can almost guarantee that any computer software you are using has dozens of such neglected or under used features. There’s that icon on the tool bar you’ve never tried. Click on it and see what it brings up. What about that unexplored tab on the pop-up menus you use all the time? Click on it and see what you get. Try right-clicking on it, too. Useful options often appear. Most programs have HELP screens that offer explanations and guidance.

You can start practicing this advice right this very moment. If you’re reading this page in print, the rest of the magazine probably has a column or section that you may not read regularly. Check one of them out. Maybe you’re not near the business office at work. Maybe you’ve never done CNC programming. Try reading Blackman On Taxes or CNC Tech Talk for example, for insights into those aspects of company operations.

If you’re reading this on the Web at www.mmsonline.com, I’d like to suggest that you go back to our home page and click on one of the menu items you’ve never gone to before. The one I’ve been exploring lately is Utilities & Calculators under MMS Online Tools. I just recently discovered the Metric Conversion tool, which is very handy for getting metric and inch equivalents in seconds.

While you’re at it, please make a note to visit the Subscribe/Renew page (www.mmsonline.com/subscribe). It takes you to the easiest and fastest way to be sure you continue receiving Modern Machine Shop each month or, if you qualify, to start a new subscription.

Making better use of the tools we already have is the incentive behind this suggested New Year’s resolution. It’s certainly a fitting theme with which to start the year.

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