What Makes a Top Shop?

The annual Top Shops Conference will feature expert advice on running and maintaining a successful shop.


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Speakers and sessions have been announced for Modern Machine Shop’s Top Shops Conference, which runs September 9-11 in Cincinnati. The program features general sessions, panel discussions and breakout presentations that provide an in-depth look at tools, technologies and strategies for running and growing a manufacturing business.

The program includes current and previous Top Shops Award nominees. The awards are given every year to shops that excel in one of the four core categories: machining technology, business strategies, shopfloor practices and human resources. The 2019 winners will be announced during the grand reception at this year’s event. The winners will bo on hand for a Q&A with the audience during the 2019 Top Shops winners panel discussion.

Now in its third year, the event still focuses on being “for shops, by shops.” Panelists and speakers are hand-picked by the Modern Machine Shop staff to represent the best in the industry. These experts will discuss topics such as five-axis machining, automation, lean implementation, machine monitoring, workforce development, tax credits, marketing and much more.

“Regardless of end market or location, job shops have a lot in common and the path to their success has many of the same hurdles,” says the event’s marketing manager Justin Combs. “Top Shops allows them to share and learn what technologies and best practices are working and connects them with a community that can help them succeed.”

Top Shops custom report

Register today for the Top Shops Conference 2019.

The event will also present findings from this year’s benchmarking survey as well as trends identified over the history of the survey data.

Attendees will all receive a complete Top Shops Survey report that gives benchmarking data for job shops across the country.



  • Why Do Top Shops Use Tool Presetters?

    Looking at the data from Gardner Intelligence’s Top Shops survey, we can see patterns that show why high-performing shops tend to use tool presetters.

  • Machining with the Environment in Mind

    It’s safe to assume that most shops recognize the importance of being environmentally responsible. However, benchmarking data suggests that the effort shops put into both recycling and reducing energy consumption varies.

  • Top Shops: Do You Have What It Takes?

    Modern Machine Shop's Top Shops Program is more than just an honor—it’s a pathway to excellence. The annual benchmarking program is an opportunity to guide your shop’s improvement efforts and gage where you rank among industry-leading machining businesses. This interactive story helps you decide: How does your business stack up?