Getting To Know Us

Well you're holding issue three of Production Machining. So far, response to this publication dedicated to the screw machine industry has been better than we could have dreamed. We thank you very much. As most of you know, Gardner Publications publishes the magazines Production Machining and Modern Machine Shop.

Well you're holding issue three of Production Machining. So far, response to this publication dedicated to the screw machine industry has been better than we could have dreamed. We thank you very much.

As most of you know, Gardner Publications publishes the magazines Production Machining and Modern Machine Shop. Since its inception in 1928, it has been a policy of our company to try to bring more to the metalworking market than simply these trade magazines. We call this providing value-added services, and it's a hallmark of our company and probably of yours.

Success in this industry is conditioned on providing customers with what they expect but also on surpassing those expectations. Your shop does this by getting a hot order out the door a day early, by hitting a spec that most other shops would pass on, and in many other ways as well.

As a publisher, Gardner has been successful adding value and exceeding expectations by integrating the print magazine you're holding in your hand with the additional resource possibilities of the Internet. Our flagship Web site, MMS Online, has continued to gain daily visitors by delivering more information to more people.

MMS Online is the Internet component of Modern Machine Shop. For you, our reader, access to more information online in the form of archived articles, links to relevant sites and forums is an extension of the printed magazine you receive.

Production Machining also has a Web component: www.productionmachining.com. While it is not yet as robust as MMS Online, because it's still fairly new, it is moving in that direction. I invite you to visit both sites, use them in tandem as tools for your business and let me know your impression.

This month we are adding functionality to our Production Machining Web site that we think has potential to be a useful tool for your business. It's called Bid For Work, and it is designed for job shops and custom manufacturers to connect with buyers and specifiers requesting quotes for machined parts.

Now before you stop reading, figuring that this is another reverse auction site, let me allay your fears. It is NOT a reverse auction! We chose to partner with ManufacturingQuote.com (Smyrna, Georgia) on this site because it is not about using "price" as the single driver in the RFQ process.

One of the biggest headaches for shops is keeping a balanced load of work against the business. Too much and delivery becomes a problem, not to mention overtime and other profit depleting costs. Too little, and under utilization of assets cuts into the bottom line. In an ideal world, orders would stream in at a predictable steady rate that maximized profitability by optimizing capacity utilization.

The goal of Bid For Work is to create an opportunity, in addition to traditional sources of work, for shops to look at a group of RFQs and select jobs on which they would like to bid. It's a subscription-based service with sellers—the shops—paying an annual fee to participate in this community. Buyers—companies with work to let—are listed free. At present, there is a variety of work posted on the site including some screw machine jobs.

The motivation for participation in this network is to create a more efficient procurement process for both buyers and sellers, but ultimately, you will be the judge of that. As manufacturers, you know the key to making good parts consistently is elimination of variables in the process. An example is buying a better grade of bar stock so a lights-out shift isn't E-stopped because a new bundle is machining less free than the previous bundle.

We are incorporating this new functionality into our Web site because we believe that same devotion to reduction of variability may be possible to apply to the procurement process. Its use is as an adjunct to the efforts your shop is currently using—another arrow in the quiver. If this sounds interesting, see page 22 for a more detailed explanation. And please, let me know what you think.