Out Front with Bob Henry
Becoming Nimble, Flexible and Responsive in Your Journey to Growth
For high-precision contract machining organizations, the localized competitive business strategies of previous decades are no longer aggressive enough to succeed in a high-pressure global economy. It’s not a simple matter of keeping up with what the shop around the corner is doing. Competitive organizations must think broader by focusing on leading global trends and technologies in order to drive out costs, boost throughput, increase efficiency and improve quality.
Building a competitive contract machining organization requires a machine supplier that supports your shop beyond just the sale and delivery of new equipment that meets your workzone requirements. Your suppliers must be able to provide you with a deeper perspective of a technology’s true value by addressing productivity, quality, tool life, automation, reliability and, most importantly, the bottom-line impact to your business. By focusing less on the specifications of a machine, and more on the impact that it can have on your business, Makino provides you with the support and consultation necessary to focus on what really matters to your customers—per-piece part cost.
To drive costs down and thrive in the global market, precision contract machine shops have to be nimble, flexible and responsive. Most commodity stand-alone machining centers are limited in their production capabilities, and identifying qualified operators who can develop creative solutions for working around these limitations is not an easy task. As such, overcoming these challenges requires new technologies and methodologies—from the adoption of high-performance horizontal machining centers and flexible automation systems to improved fixture and tool management systems and streamlined programming practices.
This issue of Competitive Production highlights the journeys of numerous contract machine shops from across the United States as they’ve deployed advanced machining technologies to drive costs out of their operations and better serve their customers. From high-performance vertical machining centers to highly flexible pallet-handling systems, these companies have rationalized and realized the true bottom-line impact of improved throughput, setup reduction, dynamic production scheduling, tool management, minimized work in process and reduced in-direct labor requirements. These companies exemplify the determination and clarity of vision necessary to overcome the toughest challenges facing North American contract machine shops today.
The next time you find yourself looking down the street, remember that your true competition isn’t just around the corner, but far beyond the horizon.
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