PM Blog

Use Your Machine Shop Management System as a Sales Tool

The magnitude of the impact to U.S. manufacturing because of COVID-19 is unprecedented. ProShop ERP recently polled our manufacturing customers and found that more than 80% of them have experienced a significant reduction in their inbound sales and opportunities. In addition, 97% of them are looking to add customers. Include the recent explosion of new shops emerging as a result of easy access to low-interest loans for affordable, quality machine tools, and you have a perfect storm of intense competition between machining businesses.

So, the question becomes: How do you market your shop so it stands apart from others in such a competitive environment?

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Index Moves Markedly Higher After Falters in Second Quarter

Business activity as measured by the Gardner Business Index (GBI): Precision Machining gained 11 points in July, bringing the latest reading to 48.3. (Increasing readings which are below 50 indicate slowing decline as compared to the prior month, while a reading of 50 represents ‘no change’ in business activity.) The improvement in the index was broad-based as all components reported significantly higher readings in absolute terms. July’s new orders and production readings fell just short of a reading of ‘50,’ reporting gains of nearly 18 and 15 points, respectively.

During May and June, the production machining industry experienced a faltering in overall activity not experienced to the same degree by other manufacturing technologies. This opened a gap between the PM Index and Gardner’s other manufacturing indices. In particular, new orders, production and backlog activity as reported by production machinists experienced a relatively longer and deeper contraction compared to other manufacturing industries. July’s substantial improvement among these components helped to close this gap. By end-market served, production machinists serving the aerospace and/or medical markets reported expanding business activity in July after indicating deeply contractionary activity in prior months.

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Role Model Leads Shop to New Growth


It was only last year when Travis Donaldson became part of Donmac Precision Machining Inc.’s team full time to assist with his family’s company expansion to three times its physical size. Under Donaldson’s leadership, the Ontario, Canada, company has made extensive improvements, including streamlining its production.

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Let Them Move the Table

I’m not a big movie-watcher. This is largely because I typically spend much of my work day sitting in front of a computer. The last thing I want to do after that is to plop down to watch TV. I need to get up and move around; to do something.

That said, there are movies I like and scenes I appreciate. One example of the latter you might not expect me to point out is in the sci-fi, comedy and action film “Men in Black.” When actor Will Smith’s character, James Darrel Edwards III, was still an officer with the NYPD (before becoming one of the MiB), he participated in a series of tests with other MiB prospects.

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Gardner Establishes Manufacturing Cleaning Association

For several years Gardner Business Media (GBM) has had the implementation of a cleaning association on its radar. Hosting the annual Parts Cleaning Conference and providing quarterly editorial coverage of parts cleaning in Production Machining and Products Finishing has drawn attention to the needs of professionals in the cleaning industry, including education, training and networking. It has become clear that creating a community of cleaning industry professionals that can learn from each other, and establish and hold strict industrial standards that answer the question “how clean is clean?” is in demand.

With the lead of Gardner Manufacturing Association Solutions (GMAS), a new entity formed within Gardner Business Media, and Matt Gilmore, director of membership and business development at GMAS, the association will have its first board meeting at the end of August, held virtually. Gilmore will serve as executive director of the Manufacturing Cleaning Association (MCA).

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