Top Shops: Live in Indianapolis

Join us September 2017 for our inaugural Top Shops conference, where industry leaders will present strategies and concepts aimed at growing your machining business.

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This year, we’re taking the next logical step in moving our Top Shops benchmarking program forward by hosting our inaugural Top Shops Conference, September 5-7, at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis, Indiana.

During initial discussions about the presentations, panels and keynotes we’d offer at the event, we knew exactly what we didn’t want: pie-in-the-sky commentary addressing topics that you might or might not eventually be able to implement into your operation. Instead, we wanted to present practical yet advanced technologies, concepts and strategies that you could implement soon after returning to your shop to help grow your business. In fact, you’ll see that many of the presenters are your peers—owners and managers of leading machine shops—who will share ways they’ve found to be more effective and efficient.

We’re presenting the conference with association partners AMT — The Association For Manufacturing Technology and the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA).

The conference is built on the four pillars of the Top Shops program—machining technology, shopfloor practices, business strategies and human resources—and the presentations as well as panel discussions will cover a range of topics in those categories. Process-related topics include five-axis machining, additive manufacturing, lean manufacturing in a job shop environment, data-driven manufacturing, shop management software, and shop automation (robots and beyond). “Front office” topics include machine shop marketing, workforce development, applying the NIMS apprenticeship program model, reaping the potential benefits of R&D tax credits, integrating risk assessment to meet the new ISO 9001:2018 standard and applying franchising concepts to streamline shop efficiencies.

The event will also present findings from this year’s benchmarking survey as well as trends identified over the last seven years that we’ve offered the survey. The four Top Shops Honors Program winners for 2017 (Land Sea Air Manufacturing, MRS Machining, Richards Industries and X-L Machine) will also be highlighted in an awards ceremony.

Registration includes access to all conference sessions; admission to the exhibition room, featuring various equipment and software providers; the opportunity to visit contract shop Major Tool and Machine’s nearby campus, offering 600,000 square feet of climate-controlled manufacturing space; complimentary meals and refreshments throughout the event; and ample time to network and share ideas with other machining professionals. We’re also going to unveil our plans to offer custom company reports to those who participate in our annual benchmarking survey moving forward.

Visit topshopsevent.com to learn more and register. I hope to see you there.

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Video: How Are We Doing? How Could We Do Better?

The presidents of three Top Shop manufacturing companies explain why benchmarking their businesses is important. It is a valuable tool that "shows how well or how bad you are doing." It pinpoints what to work on in order to emulate other top shops. It helps identify metrics for evaluating operations compared to your peers.