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Rethink Production Machining

‘Those who cannot change their mind cannot change anything’

Today, many shops believe the only way to increase throughput is to invest in more capital equipment, and the resources to run it all, which further increases overhead.  

Not so fast; shops that consider all possibilities before running out to buy more equipment will often realize greater benefits in the long run, including sustained profitability and increases in overall productivity.  This possibility is amplified when there is a question as to the growth state of the industry, as there is currently. Jumping in too quickly with investment spending could backfire, leaving you with too much capacity that you now have to support.  

When assessing whether or not to add equipment and human resources everything should be on the table for consideration, after all, what good is growth if it is not profitable?  Too often shops fall into a rut I like to call “we’ve always done it that way.” While I am also a fan of “don’t mess with success,” I believe every process should be challenged, from time-to-time, if for no other reason than to maintain a commitment to constant improvement and efficiency gains – both of which leads to happy customers and a better bottom line.

Process.  Proficiency.  Partners.

When rethinking production machining, consider these three ‘Ps of Productivity’ and try to be completely objective with your assessment, the end result and positive effect it can have on your business may surprise you.

Process Mapping
This is nothing new, but it is easy to become complacent.  If you are not regularly looking at every touch-point and process associated with moving jobs through your shop chances are you are losing time and money, somewhere.   

Proficiency
Know what you do best, and more importantly, know which processes represent the highest value for your shop.  For example the high value of finish machining vs. the relatively low value associated with material preparation.

Partners
Key vendor partners that are committed to your success and share your common values, especially when it comes to quality and on-time delivery, can be critical to improving your overall productivity and throughput.  Removing the distraction, time suck, and bottlenecks associated with low-value processes will allow you to spend more time on high-value work that will provide the greatest return.  

Something to think about.

Thanks for reading – 

Ben

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