E-Mails We Love To Receive

A reader recently sent me an e-mail in which he came right to the point with what he hoped I would do. “I really would like to see what we are doing here in our shop in an article in MMS,” he said.

Columns From: 8/2/2007 Modern Machine Shop, ,

A reader recently sent me an e-mail in which he came right to the point with what he hoped I would do. “I really would like to see what we are doing here in our shop in an article in MMS,” he said.

I will probably oblige him. The rest of the e-mail described a solution at work in this shop—specifically, a set of systems and practices for making the shop’s small number of skilled employees more productive—that would indeed make an interesting subject for an article in this magazine.

We love to get e-mails like this. Though we look for leads on articles all the time, the very act of looking has a way of limiting what we find. We have expectations about the kinds of subjects we think we want to cover, and this shapes our pursuit. We don’t know what we don’t know. But a lead that comes in out-of-the-blue breaks through this problem, and breaks through other difficulties, too. In these e-mails, we often find both an enthusiastic source and an interesting story that we would never have thought to look for on our own.

What constitutes a “good lead” for us? That is, what could you say in an e-mail that would inspire us to want to learn more and perhaps write about your shop?

We want to publish articles about machining facilities that are overcoming challenges. Most of those challenges are technical. The challenge might be large or it might be small. Perhaps it relates to improving lead time or quality, or maybe it just involves reducing the cycle time on one problematic part. The answer you have found might involve a new machine, new accessory, a change in programming or tooling, or a set of new strategies for using the existing resources more effectively. We want to tell stories of process improvements like these.

What’s in it for you? Shops contact us for different reasons. There is a commercial motive—the magazine and its Web site are seen by many who seek machining services. In other cases, someone managing part of a larger plant might see the value in team pride that could result from an otherwise unknown victory on the shop floor being presented to readers across the country.

If you’re interested, please get in touch. Just shoot me a note—use your own words to describe what challenge your shop has recently faced. It’s your magazine too, and we’d welcome the news that you wish to participate with it more fully.

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