Since the early 2000s, North American manufacturing has taken a massive hit as more manufacturing moved offshore. To tackle this situation and survive, and even thrive in today’s economic environment, shop owners need to change their way of thinking. It is no longer enough for owners to be good toolmakers, but they must become savvy businesspeople as well.
Looking at an income statement at the end of the month to measure the success of the business is not enough. Shops need to look at the specifics of the work that earned them money, and the work that did not. Shops need to maintain good customer relation by being proactive and contact their customers frequently to understand what is happening in their business.
It is not uncommon for most small and mid-sized shop owners to believe that quality is what sets them apart and helps them stay competitive; it is an expectation that the shop has a formal quality management system in place that is integrated with their shop floor management solution.
Highly skilled and qualified shop employees have become hard to find and even harder to retain. The gap between the skills required for a toolmaker today and the available pool of skilled workers continues to broaden. Shop owners need to become involved in their community to find future employees, and to invest and develop the employees they do have from within the company.
An integrated shop floor management system allows for the management of every business transaction. Running a successful small or mid-sized business will never be easy, but shops can succeed when they embrace the right combination of management with a vision.