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CNC Machine Shops

5 More Secrets of Successful CNC Machine Shops

March 4, 2013

CNC Keys to SuccessIn an earlier post (7 Secrets Of Successful CNC Shops) we discussed recent research that, for the most part, looked at how high-performing shops apply technology to achieve their goals. Since producing parts is the core activity of CNC machine shops, focusing on how technology improves productivity and profitability makes perfect sense, as does working with an experienced manufacturing technology resource like Gosiger.

However there are characteristics beyond technology that successful CNC shops share. Is your shop as successful as you’d like it to be? Consider these 5 characteristics found in high-performing CNC machine shops and see if adopting any or all of them could make a difference for your company.

  1. Focus on the customer. Owners and managers of top performing shops understand that their reason for existence is to satisfy their customers. It’s easy to get caught up in doing what we love: making quality parts and products. But if we aren’t meeting the needs of our customers, all our technology and craftsmanship means nothing. Successful shops get to know their customers, understand their desires and look for ways to not only meet customer expectations, but to exceed them.
  1. Investment in their people. As great as high-tech machining centers and other technology may be, you still need qualified people to get the most out of their tools. That’s why smart shops hire only top drawer talent, and help them to grow. Could your operators benefit from advanced training on programming? Setup procedures? Workflow analysis? Or how about attending trade shows to see new technologies and experience workshops and symposiums on machining techniques. Top CNC shops keep their staff educated and up-to-date.
  1. Finding niches. Successful CNC shops find a variety of specialty niches that they can exploit. Perhaps they develop techniques for making parts from hard-to-machine materials, or add capabilities to produce high-precision parts for narrow industry segments, like specialized medical products. Typically these are higher margin customers.
  1. Diversification. It’s great to be respected as an expert in a highly specialized field. However if your entire business depends on serving one industry, what happens when that industry falters? The landscape is littered with shops that became captive suppliers to the auto industry and were unable to find other work when the bottom fell out in 2008. That’s why it’s important to have a balanced roster of customers and capabilities.
  1. Marketing. Smart shops understand that they must have a strategy for marketing their company. That strategy must include differentiating the shop from the competition, having a consistent, compelling message that resonates with their customers, and effectively using appropriate marketing media. These shops either have a marketing team on staff or hire a competent marketing firm to develop and execute the strategy.

We hope you’ll find some of these tips helpful for your shop. And if you’re looking for the right machine tools, accessories or factory automation solutions to make your company all it can be, let the Gosiger team put our more than 90 years of manufacturing equipment experience to work for you.