Benchmarking Your Machining Business Starts With a Survey

Our Top Shops benchmarking program offers job shops and captive operations of all sizes a chance to see how they rate against similar machining businesses. But we need professionals like you to fuel it by completing our survey at MMSTopShops.com.


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This year, Modern Machine Shop launches “Top Shops,” a comprehensive benchmarking program for machining businesses of all types and sizes. Top Shops will identify optimal shopfloor practices as well as operational and business metrics that define world-class competitiveness in discrete parts manufacturing. Our goal is to help companies like yours, whether a small job shop, a die/mold shop or a large, captive operation, become better overall businesses in the global marketplace.

The benchmarking study will enable you to compare shopfloor strategies and business approaches to similar companies so you can make sound decisions to emulate those identified as world-class operations. Not only will it serve as a baseline “report card” of sorts, but the hard data will eliminate the need to rely on gut feelings as a method of identifying and prioritizing improvement efforts.

The success of this benchmarking initiative depends on your support. We ask you to participate by visiting our secure survey website at MMSTopShops.com and completing the questionnaire. The survey was created in conjunction with the MPI Group, parent company of the Manufacturing and Management Performance Institutes. It is designed to solicit sufficient information to support the study without being excessively time-consuming for participants.

We estimate that the detailed survey will take one hour to complete. It prompts for specific business, process and equipment information (some of which may require a bit of calculating to accurately determine) in addition to a few open-ended questions about your approaches. The MMSTopShops.com survey site will be available by the time you receive this issue and will remain live until February 15. You also have the option of printing the survey, filling it out by hand and mailing it to us.

Participants who complete the survey will receive a summary data report of the results. All data collected from individual companies will remain confidential—only grouped industry findings will be published. We’ll share the final benchmarking data in our August 2011 issue.

Top Shop Honors Program

The second element of the Top Shops initiative is an Honors Program that highlights a handful of the most successful participating machining businesses, identified by responses to survey questions and detailed follow-up interviews by Modern Machine Shop editors. Those shops will be listed in our August benchmarking issue. In each of the issues that follow, we’ll profile one Top Shop, focusing on a key aspect of the shop’s approach that enables it to be a trusted supplier of machined parts to its customers.

Of course, participants are given the opportunity to opt out of the Honors Program if they choose (simply don’t provide your contact info at the end of the survey). However, if you do want to be considered, we ask that you provide as much detail as possible in the survey to give your shop its best shot at being selected as a Top Shop.

Top Shops will be an ongoing, annual benchmarking program. We hope you’ll be a part of it from the get-go, so visit MMSTopShops.com and participate in the survey. If you have any questions, feel free to send an e-mail to me at dkorn@mmsonline.com.