Scalable CAM Technology Helping Small Shops Grow

How small shops can use advanced CAM software features to achieve steady incremental growth

Part 1: Introduction

Small manufacturing job shops serving the aerospace, medical device, energy and other industries are finding they can compete effectively with manufacturing operations many times their size by purchasing high-value CNC manufacturing equipment and using advanced CAM software to manage a variety of technologies that reduce costs and provide for shorter lead times.
This series explores some of the strategies these small shops are employing to stay competitive with shops much larger in size.
If you are starting a small machine shop, you may want some advice on what to do. Some of the best advice we have heard includes the following – buy a quality CNC mill and (if the business is there) a lathe. Pair this equipment with an appropriate level of scalable CAM software for programming it.
During the first six months to a year, do as much of the work you can yourself because you will almost always be your most profitable employee. As work volume permits, incrementally employ people and more technology to give you the best prospects for productivity, profitability, and growth while you devote time saved to finding more customers.

Beyond that, there are a number of good CAM-centric moves a startup can make based on the owners’ aspirations, skill sets, and opportunities. Whichever ones they choose, they should all serve to:

  • Improve personal productivity
  • Trim excessive costs
  • Reduce lead times

Startup shops that consistently fulfill these imperatives are likely to survive and then thrive. The remaining posts in this blog series will go into specific details. Look for part two of this ongoing blog series next week.

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