Select a topic to read more expert advice:
Apr 20, 2018 11:26:55 AM
Jan 26, 2018 1:00:00 PM
Removing material from a workpiece to make a part or product is a cornerstone of manufacturing, and has been for centuries. Today, in addition to these traditional subtractive processes, manufacturers are looking for opportunities to use additive techniques as well.
Jan 25, 2018 2:10:24 PM
Okuma’s OSP-P300 CNC control is filled with user-friendly tools to make any machining process easier and more efficient. For example, the Easy Operation run screen displays all operator functions on one screen, and the shared database eliminates redundant data entry.
Jan 12, 2018 1:18:00 PM
Scam artists have been exploiting the power of the Internet from its very beginning. Lately, you see fewer of the signature bogus emails written in broken or misspelled English promising big rewards if you just send money now. This doesn’t mean these phishing schemes have gone away, they’ve simply become more sophisticated.
Jan 5, 2018 12:30:00 PM
Now that so much of our personal information has been hacked by cyber criminals, being concerned about password security may seem like closing the proverbial barn door after the horses ran off.
Dec 29, 2017 1:28:00 PM
Hiring new employees for your manufacturing business can be frustrating. As one shop owner put it: “First you have to find someone who has the right technical skills. Then they have to pass the background check and drug tests. If you hit the trifecta, you hire them on the spot. The problem is, you won’t know if they’re really good until they’re on the job.”
Dec 1, 2017 12:15:00 PM
A number of privately owned manufacturing businesses in the U.S. have more than one family member on the payroll. That’s not surprising when you consider that many people who start or buy a business do so for the good of their family.
Nov 17, 2017 8:56:04 AM
On Thursday, September 28, 2017 House Speaker Paul Ryan visited one of our customers to highlight how the upcoming proposed tax reform plan can benefit manufacturers. During his speech, Speaker Ryan pointed to a robotically loaded cell designed and built by Gosiger Automation as well as a BTB transfer machine. These are the types of investments that will benefit from the new tax code and help to reinvigorate American manufacturers.
Oct 20, 2017 10:39:00 AM
Every so often you may find it necessary to fire an unproductive or troublesome employee. It’s never a pleasant situation but you recognize that, if done properly, it’s ultimately in the best interests of everyone involved.
Sep 15, 2017 10:41:00 AM
While cybercrime in many forms continues to escalate, the fastest growing threat is ransomware, in which your data is held prisoner until you pay off the cybercriminals. According to the Web site Fight Ransomware, these attacks increased 300% from 2015 to 2016, with over 4000 attacks now occurring each day.
Aug 11, 2017 9:18:00 AM
It’s safe to say that most manufacturers recognize that their greatest asset is their people. They may have the latest and greatest technology, but it is the skills, experience and dedication of those who work for them that make the company what it is.
Aug 4, 2017 10:57:00 AM
Occasional employee absences or tardiness, although inconvenient, are part of the human condition. However, an employee who habitually arrives late, calls out or simply doesn’t show up is being unfair to everyone who has to take up the slack. Not to mention impacting production schedules, customer deliveries and productivity.
Jul 21, 2017 10:54:00 AM
Whether you own a CNC shop or are responsible for bringing in business for your employer, you’ll be more successful if you move beyond basic sales tactics to developing and implementing marketing strategies.
Jul 7, 2017 9:02:00 AM
Few of us like to think about the end of things, especially a business we’ve just started or have been nurturing for some time. Plus, with all of the other day-to-day workplace challenges, who has time to plan that far ahead?
Jun 30, 2017 2:28:05 PM
Most of us like to think that the buying decisions we make are based strictly on facts and figures. We look at specifications, evaluate the differences between options and make a perfectly logical choice. The truth is, every buying decision is also influenced by our emotions.
Jun 16, 2017 1:50:40 PM
Social media is not a panacea for building your business, but it is an important part of an integrated marketing program. Along with personal selling, a strong Internet presence, advertising and public relations, social media can help you increase orders from existing customers and introduce your shop to new ones. Here are 5 other reasons to use social media:
May 12, 2017 11:42:00 AM
Confident that the U.S. economy is on firm footing, the Federal Reserve Board has begun gradually increasing interest rates and plans to do so at least two-to-three more times this year with additional increases in 2018. Along with the average consumer, businesses will soon begin to feel the effects in some obvious and not-so-obvious ways. This is especially true for small business (defined as those with 500 or fewer employees) who own or employ about half of the American workforce.
Apr 28, 2017 10:29:00 AM
There’s no question that finding good employees for your CNC shop is challenging – as is holding onto them. Employees leave companies for a variety of reasons including uncertainty about their financial futures, particularly their ability to someday retire comfortably. One way to relieve this concern is to establish a 401 (k) plan. The IRS has specific guidelines for such plans, but in general here’s how they work:
Mar 31, 2017 5:37:59 PM
Many who run small to mid-size businesses tend to think of cybercrime as only a big business problem. While it’s true that large corporations, governments, banks and retailers are likely targets for Internet based crimes, smaller businesses – including CNC shops – are not immune. According to the 2016 Internet Security Report from Symantec, 43% of cyberattacks last year targeted small businesses.
Mar 10, 2017 11:59:00 AM
Let’s say you’re a CNC shop owner looking for new ways to compliment your existing business. Or, perhaps, you have an itch to add a new business to your portfolio. In either case you can start from scratch, or acquire an existing enterprise.
Feb 10, 2017 10:21:00 AM
Succession Planning Question 10: What will you do after you sell your business?
Jan 20, 2017 11:08:00 AM
Succession Planning Question 9: Are you investing in innovation and R&D?
Jan 6, 2017 8:57:00 AM
Succession Planning Question 8: What is your company’s culture?
Dec 23, 2016 11:00:00 AM
Succession Planning Question 7: How dependent is your business on you?
Dec 9, 2016 10:38:00 AM
Succession Planning Question 6: What about insurance and buy-sell agreements?
Dec 2, 2016 9:47:00 AM
Sometimes even an employee with good job skills and experience can create problems with fellow employees that drain enthusiasm and impact productivity. That’s why it’s important to consider a job candidate’s personality and track record before making a hiring decision.
Nov 11, 2016 9:57:00 AM
Succession Planning Question 5: How sound are your financial statements?
Oct 14, 2016 11:23:48 AM
Succession Planning Question 4: How can you retain key employees.
Sep 16, 2016 12:00:00 PM
Succession Planning Question 3: How much is your business worth?
Sep 9, 2016 3:47:07 PM
In the past few years, businesses waited all year long to find out if Congress would increase the standard 179 deduction limited from $25,000 to a larger amount. This made it difficult to plan significant year-end purchases—often leaving buyers scrambling to negotiate deals and take delivery in the midst of the holiday break.
Aug 26, 2016 10:30:00 AM
CNC shop owners tend to be independent types. After all, that's why they run their own businesses. For some, this independent streak also means they seldom take advice from others. However, few of us are skillful in every aspect of owning and operating a business. That's why it makes sense to consider developing a board of advisors made up of people with various talents that compliment your own.
Aug 12, 2016 11:30:00 AM
Succession Planning Question 2: Do you plan to sell the business? If so, to whom?
Jul 15, 2016 9:00:00 AM
Succession Planning Question 1: What is your personal vision and timing?
Jul 8, 2016 11:00:00 AM
Most manufacturing business owners are much more interested in starting and running their shop than planning for the day they step away from it.
Jun 17, 2016 9:30:00 AM
Sometimes we make things more complicated than they need to be. When it comes to bringing in new customers and keeping the ones you have, the simple truths you learned as a child are still the basis for effective marketing. In fact, they’re the foundation for true success in all aspects of business. So take just a moment to remember what Mom, Dad and your teachers told you:
Jun 10, 2016 11:00:00 AM
When you run a CNC machine shop there’s always a lot on your plate. You deal with employee issues, job deadlines, working with suppliers and, of course, keeping the pipeline filled with work.
May 13, 2016 11:30:00 AM
Business people who run manufacturing companies make many decisions every day. Unfortunately, we don’t always make the best decisions. There are a number of reasons for this, and we’ve listed the top ones here along with some tips to help you improve your decision-making batting average.
Apr 22, 2016 12:30:00 PM
The thieves who use computers instead of weapons to draw money out of business bank accounts are increasingly targeting small to mid-size businesses. Once, if you weren’t a billion-dollar company, you were less likely to be hacked by cyber criminals. That’s no longer the case. Consider these recent statistics:
Apr 15, 2016 12:00:00 PM
As managers we’d like everyone in our workplace to get along and for things to run smoothly. However, whenever you have a group of people working together there are bound to be occasional conflicts. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Healthy conflict can often lead to better ways of making parts or other improvements.
Mar 4, 2016 11:30:00 AM
In a perfect world a manufacturing company owner or supervisor would simply give employees orders, walk away and enjoy the results. After all, people should be self-sufficient, take pride in their work and always do their best. In the real world, of course, we all have our ups and downs, we make mistakes and we don’t always get along with everyone. In other words: We’re human beings.
Feb 5, 2016 10:00:00 AM
As has become its pattern, the United States Congress waited until the 11th hour of 2015 to approve the Section 179 deduction of business equipment for 2016. The good news is that this means you can write off up to $500,000 of manufacturing equipment put into service by December 31, 2016. Had this legislation failed to pass and be signed into law by the President, the 179 deduction limit would have been capped at $25,000.
Jan 27, 2016 12:23:01 PM
It’s challenging enough to run a successful CNC machine shop these days without worrying about people trying to steal from you. Unfortunately, it’s a reality we all must face. Certainly, there have always been thieves and con artists, however today’s technologies and the rapid pace of business provide new opportunities for them to get hold of your hard earned dollars. Following are 5 of the most common scams aimed at businesses of all sizes and what you can do to keep the scammers’ fingers out of your pocket.
Jan 27, 2016 12:22:21 PM
There are lots of big names in the news that wish they weren’t. They’re newsworthy because their databases have been hacked, putting employees and customers at risk. Not only have many major retailers been hit, but also institutions we thought were the most secure, including the Department of Defense, Homeland Security and other government agencies, have recently suffered major data systems breeches.
Jan 27, 2016 12:20:52 PM
While we all want our employees to be safe in the workplace, the fact is there were close to 3 million reports of nonfatal injuries reported to OSHA last year. Over 900,000 cases involved days away from work. FEMA reports that in 2011 there were 85,400 non-residential fires in the U.S. that caused 80 deaths and 1,100 injuries. The dollar loss from these fires amounted to $2,435,700,000.
Jan 27, 2016 12:20:09 PM
Typically owners of businesses like CNC machine shops put off thinking about the future of their company once they’re ready to retire, move on to a new challenge, or something unexpected happens. Let’s face it: few of us like to think about these things. We own our business because we like what we’re doing, we enjoy being our own boss, and we don’t want our success to depend on anyone else. We’d much rather focus on resolving today’s challenges, planning for growth and investing in new technology.
Jan 27, 2016 12:19:05 PM
Marketing is typically not on the top of most CNC machine shop owners’ minds. After all, each day is filled with myriad challenges, and the primary goal is to produce more and better parts and products. Unfortunately customers don’t stay around forever, no matter how well we treat them. Companies are bought and sold, go out of business, bring previously outsourced work inside, or simply no longer require the kind of work you provide. That’s why we must constantly add new customers. But where do we find them? And how can we do so cost-effectively? Fact is there are a number of ways you can seek new customers by substituting sweat equity for dollars. Here are 4 of them:
Jan 27, 2016 12:18:12 PM
Video productions are one of the most powerful forms of communications and a proven sales tool. As a consumer you already know the power of video. And you’re not alone. In a 2011 survey, e-commerce consultants, The e-tailing Group, interviewed 1,039 participants about their video habits. Among their findings:
Jan 27, 2016 12:17:16 PM
According to a recent survey by Monster.com, nearly half of the employees who responded say they are unhappy in their current jobs and 81% plan to look for a new job this year. That’s a frightening statistic for employers who are likely unaware that they have disgruntled employees.
Jan 27, 2016 12:16:15 PM
In today’s competitive manufacturing world, productivity is the key to success, so we invest in people and equipment that can make us more efficient. For managers of any kind, from owner or production manager to supervisor or shift leader, getting the most out of our own workday is often a challenge. There are always interruptions, unexpected problems and fires to put out. So how can we juggle all of our responsibilities and still be productive?
Jan 27, 2016 12:15:14 PM
Jan 27, 2016 12:14:21 PM
When a new employee comes on board you commit significant time and money to developing what you hope will be a team member who will make meaningful contributions to your business. Obviously you’ll do your best to check on a candidate’s background and work history, but many times it’s difficult or impossible to get a straight answer from previous employers, or a balanced appraisal from hand-picked references. That’s why the interview questions you ask and the prospective employee’s answers are so important.
Jan 15, 2016 9:30:00 AM
Keeping any business open is challenging, and CNC machine shops of all sizes are no exception. According to the Small Business Administration 50% of businesses fail within the first five years, and two-thirds fail within 10 years.
Nov 27, 2015 10:00:00 AM
Running a CNC shop, or any business for that matter, is usually more than a 40-hour-a-week job. In fact there never seem to be enough hours in the day. So how do you make time for family and for yourself?
Nov 13, 2015 9:30:00 AM
Generational differences can have a profound impact on the workplace. The values, drives and personality differences between CNC shop owners/managers from previous generations and their Millennial employees (born between 1980 and 2000) are significant. This is not to say that Millennials are better or worse employees, just different. Which means their supervisors need to understand some basic Millennial characteristics so they can maximize their value to the company and to themselves.
Oct 30, 2015 10:30:00 AM
There are 170,500 CNC machine shops in the U.S. This is what your business could be up against in finding employees with the skill sets needed for exceptional productivity and quality.
Oct 9, 2015 9:30:00 AM
Getting more business for your CNC shop is a lot easier if you let potential customers know who you are, remind past customers you’re still around, and make current customers aware of all of your capabilities. Hopefully you’re doing this through personal contacts, email marketing, and inbound marketing using blogs and your Web site.
Sep 11, 2015 9:30:00 AM
When Gosiger sponsored the first Executive Roundtable Discussions last February with a dozen shop owners and managers in southeast Ohio, the three top of mind issues that came up were: (1) Finding and keeping good employees; (2) Pricing to be both competitive and profitable; (3) The desire for help from suppliers when tackling difficult problems.
Aug 14, 2015 9:30:00 AM
A CNC shop owner recently lamented that the machining business is a perfect example of “feast or famine.” It’s true that shop owners have a tendency to actively look for new jobs only when the pipeline is emptying. Otherwise they’re focused on getting work out the door as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
Apr 17, 2015 10:30:00 AM
There may be some sadistic types out there who actually enjoy firing people, however most of us don’t look forward to such acts. Certainly if an employee has stolen from our CNC shop or committed an egregious act we’re less likely to feel bad about the firing. Most of the time, though, we have to let people go because their performance isn’t up to standards or their behavior is disruptive. Regardless, firing is stressful, painful and could come back to haunt us if done improperly. So here are 5 important considerations when it’s time to pull the plug:
Mar 6, 2015 11:30:00 AM
As the new Congress takes shape there will likely be a number of tax issues that will be impacted by legislation. Like it or not, new tax laws and extensions or curtailments of existing programs may affect your manufacturing business. It’s best to keep in close contact with your trusted tax advisor as you move into 2015. Here are 7 important areas to keep an eye on:
Feb 20, 2015 10:00:00 AM
We’ve all been there: That big order was suddenly postponed or canceled. Even our best paying customers take their sweet time sending the check. An unexpected expense drained our cash reserves. Whatever the cause, slow cash flow keeps us up at night.
Jan 30, 2015 11:00:00 AM
Although social media, online advertising and other digital promotional tools get star treatment these days, it’s a fact that email is still the most widely used business communications vehicle. As such, email is also one of the most accessible and cost-effective ways to get more CNC machine shop business.
Dec 5, 2014 11:30:00 AM
One of the key findings of the annual Top Shops surveys conducted by Gardner Business Media is that the higher performing CNC shops invest more in employee training than their counterparts. Like any other business CNC machine shops must invest in continuing education to stay abreast of current manufacturing practices and technologies. Here are 7 reasons to invest in employee training:
Nov 21, 2014 11:00:00 AM
One of the most unpleasant tasks a manager or shop owner faces is dealing with problem employees. In a more perfect world we’d all come to work with the desire to do our best to help our companies succeed. In fact, most employees do just that. Sure, we all have those days when we’re not at our best, but most of us take pride in our work, so long as it’s appreciated.
Unfortunately, there are exceptions:
Sep 19, 2014 11:00:00 AM
Many business leaders agree that one of the keys to success is having the right people in the right jobs. Therefore we tend to focus on technical expertise, experience and intelligence when evaluating potential employees. Although these are all significant issues, it’s equally important to hire people who have the right personalities and attitudes.
Aug 29, 2014 10:30:00 AM
If yours is a large manufacturing company you may well deal with a union. If not, you most likely have created a work environment in which the employees don’t feel the need to belong to a collective bargaining organization.
Aug 15, 2014 9:30:00 AM
A wise machine shop owner once said that his most valuable assets walk out the door at the end of each shift. We all know that our employees are the lifeblood of our companies and one of our largest investments. Which means making good hiring decisions is critical to our success.
Jul 11, 2014 11:00:00 AM
Life is full of stresses, many of which we can easily handle. In fact, some stress is good for us. What psychologists term Acute Stress is that feeling we sense when met with the unexpected. This is the famous “fight-or-flight” response that helps us work through difficult situations and avoid danger, such as a potential accident. Our heart rate increases, our muscles tighten and we feel that rush of adrenaline that quickens our reaction times. Once the episode passes, our bodies return to a normal state.
Jun 20, 2014 11:00:00 AM
The National Small Business Association (NSBA) recently released a survey of 780 small business owners (businesses with 500 or fewer employees) across a number of business types including manufacturing (15%).