How to Leverage Your Job Shop Manufacturing Software for Better ROI

Topics: shop management software

Posted on Sep 4, 2018 12:00:00 PM by Dave Lechleitner

If you have owned or managed a job shop for very long, you likely know how difficult it can be to remain competitive in a struggling economy. In situations like this, it is important to leverage what you can to make your business more effective. One area that many job shops can improve on is how they use their job shop management system.

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Increase the Power of Your Manufacturing ERP Solution Through Integration

Topics: shop management software, Increase Job Shop Efficiency, ERP Software Integration

Posted on Jan 15, 2014 9:55:34 AM by Dave Lechleitner


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The Benefits of Implementing Key Performance Indicators and Improving Operational Efficiency in a Job Shop

Topics: Job Shop Key Performance Indicators

Posted on Oct 18, 2013 2:36:00 PM by Dave Lechleitner

A quote often attributed to Albert Einstein says that, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again,yet expecting different results.” Everyone falls into this trap at one time or another, but in the business world indulging in this thinking can quickly lead to failure. Even if you hit a sweet spot early on and have been going off of intuition for years, you can’t afford to take chances any more in today’s business climate. Repeating what worked previously is only effective for so long.

Smart business people – job shop owners included – should have a strategic view of their business, and use a consistent set of key performance indicators to measure the performance of their business. If you are like most job shop owners, your shop is probably one of the most important parts of your life – providing income for your family today, employment for your staff, and a lasting legacy for generations to come. You can’t afford to be anything but smart when it comes to developing your company.

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Implementing Lean Manufacturing in a High Mix, Low Volume Job Shop

Topics: Lean Manufacturing

Posted on Sep 12, 2013 2:23:00 PM by Dave Lechleitner

There is no doubt that owning and running a manufacturing job shop in today’s economy is difficult. You are facing more strenuous demands – customers are demanding price reductions and ever-higher levels of service, material prices continue to increase, and finding skilled labor is a challenge. Your burdens are not getting any lighter. Yet, the need to remain profitable and relevant to your customers does not go away, no matter what the external circumstances. You still need to maintain and grow your business. In your search for effective strategies, you may have determined that implementing lean manufacturing strategies in your job shop could be a viable option to meet these challenges. However, even as you researched or learned how effective lean manufacturing could be, you may have also realized that in many ways it may not apply to the type of job shop you are operating.

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Optimizing Your Manufacturing Job Shop - You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure

Topics: manufacturing skills gap, shop management software, cost of doing business

Posted on Aug 21, 2013 10:30:00 AM by Dave Lechleitner

If you are an owner or a manager of a job shop or contract manufacturing facility, the old management adage of “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” is more true today than ever before. With the economic uncertainty that still abounds, the demands placed on you by customers for high quality parts at lower and lower prices, and the skills gap between those employees that you might be losing and those available in the workforce, it is critically important to understand the current state of your business through the use of real time key performance indicators or KPIs. The challenge for many job shop owners is understanding first WHAT to measure, then setting a goal or standard METRIC by which your current state is measured against also known as benchmarking, and then putting corrective actions into place to help you achieve or surpass these goals in a regular, sustainable fashion.


Key performance indicators should be uniquely personal for your shop.  However, for most small and mid-sized manufacturers there are the obvious indicators which EVERY shop should consistently measure at least on a monthly (or even weekly) basis.  These indicators should represent a cross-section of your business focusing on the key elements of customers, productivity, vendors/suppliers, and financial. 

For example, when a business establishes their customer indicators, these indicators should focus on quote backlog, quote win rate, order backlog in weeks or dollars, new orders placed this week/month, on-time performance, etc.  When the shop establishes productivity metrics, these indicators should focus on utilization by work center or department, efficiency by work center or department, throughput in days both from a production standpoint (lead days from first time entry to first shipment) and administrative throughput (lead days from order date to first shipment), overbook or underbooked work centers, rework hours, scrap cost,  and direct vs. indirect hours. 

For vendor metrics, the shop should establish metrics for a vendor on time performance, average lead time by vendor, acceptance rate by vendor, and valuation of stock and WIP inventory.  Finally, key financial indicators should focus on customer and vendor aging, past due invoices, average days to pay (customers and vendors), and current cash position.

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Standard Work Instructions— Key Lean Manufacturing Initiative for Job Shops

Topics: Lean Manufacturing

Posted on Jun 13, 2013 10:25:00 PM by Dave Lechleitner

If you are a job shop owner and have done any research on lean manufacturing, you undoubtedly have read about the importance of documenting standard work.  Simply, standard work instructions are the written description of the safest, most efficient, and highest quality method for completing a specific task.  By its very description, it implies that standard work instructions detail the ONLY way to complete a specific task or process.  However, the very nature in a job shop is that the variety of parts that are manufactured are NOT standard and are often one of a kind with very little opportunity to determine the best way to manufacture the item.  Yet, there are ways that even job shops can implement the concept of standard work instructions and reap the long-term benefits of standardization.

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Addressing the Skills Gap in Contract Manufacturing

Topics: manufacturing skills gap

Posted on Mar 29, 2013 9:52:00 AM by Dave Lechleitner

As U.S. manufacturing continues to rebound from the global economic downturn of 2009 and gear up for future opportunities, one thing has become abundantly clear. Manufacturing in North America cannot continue to meet the current and future demands being placed on it without significant investment in its workforce.

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Growing Your Job Shop with an Integrated Solution Quote to Cash

Topics: shop management software, cost of doing business, quote to cash

Posted on Feb 27, 2013 12:57:00 PM by Dave Lechleitner

For small and mid-sized job shops, the task of consistently managing sustainable growth can be quite challenging. Granted, when times are good, it is often easy to gain repeat business and sustain growth. For many customers, as long as you ship on time with reasonable consistency and offer a good price, they will continue to place orders. In harder economic times, however, this may not always be enough to keep customers around.

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5 Common and Costly Manufacturing Mistakes Made by Job Shops

Topics: shop management software, cost of doing business

Posted on Feb 5, 2013 3:44:00 PM by Dave Lechleitner

As a job shop owner, you face a unique set of challenges in today’s business world. Owning and managing a job shop may never have been particularly easy, but the modern manufacturing situation in the U.S. has only worsened. This has many job shop owners questioning whether they can even remain in business, much less thrive.

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