2019 Top Shops Conference Concludes on Themes of Communication and Connectivity

Strengthening employee relationships and data-driven manufacturing highlight the event.


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Michael Guckes talks to an attendee

The technical program was based on Modern Machine Shop’s annual Top Shops benchmarking program from Gardner Intelligence. Here, Michael Guckes, chief economist and director of analytics for Gardner Intelligence, talks with an attendee.

The third annual Top Shops Conference presented by Modern Machine Shop concluded in Cincinnati on September 11, 2019. The three-day event connected leaders in CNC machining and announced this year’s Top Shops Honorees.

The event drew hundreds of machining professionals from all over North America and across the globe. Machine shop owners, presidents and managers represented more than 100 companies that came to share insights, network and get actionable information to take back to their businesses.

The technical program was based on Production Machining’s sister publication, Modern Machine Shop’s annual Top Shops benchmarking program and highlighted by presentations from several past and present Top Shops honorees, and presented in partnership with AMT—The Association for Manufacturing Technology. Topics ranged from technology insights to human resources best practices.


Hillary Coombs, giving presentation

Hillary Coombs, vice president of Westminster Tool shared best practices for transitioning from a group of highly skilled craftsmen to an inexperienced, cross-functional team during the Next Generation session.

“The turnout for Top Shops demonstrates that these manufacturers are hungry for ideas to grow their businesses and become more efficient operations,” says Derek Korn, technical director for the conference. “Beyond the benchmarking report they received there, they want to know more. Whether it’s new machining strategies, application of automation, personnel training or what opportunities they have in their local communities, these shops want to discover ways to improve.”

The 2019 Top Shops Awards were also presented during the event. This year’s honorees were Straton Industries, AceCo Precision Manufacturing, SDP/SI, and Metalquest.

Event organizers announced that in 2020 the Top Shops Conference will take place alongside IMTS at Chicago’s McCormick Place. More information is available at TopShopsEvent.com