Your fabrication shop provides one-stop shopping for construction contractors to fill their project needs. The time and money they save by gathering as many products and services as possible from one place increase efficiency for their projects. This helps the contractors stay within their timelines and budgets. The more you continue to improve your fabrication shop, the more satisfied the contractors will be. This elevates your bottom line.
Discover five ways to increase the effectiveness of your fabrication shop.
1. Ensure Shop Floor Safety
Employee safety needs to be your top priority. This reduces the costs related to injuries, healthcare premiums, disability insurance, worker’s compensation, and employee absences. For instance, ensure your employees wear safety glasses at all times and a face shield when grinding. Also, remind your workers to wear high-quality welding goggles, shield their eyes, and not look at the bright light created when using an arc welder. Additionally, make sure your employees wear steel-toed boots when lifting heavy workpieces and die sets.
2. Increase Your Fabrication Uptime
Minimize the time needed for setup and changeover when starting a new order. This requires having the right type of tooling, machinery, instructions, materials workflow, and software or systems in place and in good working order. The more efficiently you complete the order, the lower your fabrication costs. This lets you complete more jobs in less time, improving your bottom line.
3. Maintain Your Tools and Machinery
Keeping your tools and machinery in good working condition saves both time and money. Having everything work properly promotes productivity and reduces the need for costly repairs. Be sure your employees disassemble, inspect, and clean the tools either after each use or according to a schedule. Have them replace the stripper plates, brushes, pads, washers, worn springs, and other parts as needed. Also, frequently replace the air, hydraulic fluid, and oil filters. Additionally, regularly check back gauges and ram surfaces for parallelism and squareness.
4. Promote Employee Certification
Your team members may want to participate in vocational schools or alternative education programs to earn fabrication certification. Depending on their roles, this might involve becoming certified as a Precision Sheet Metal Operator, Agile Certified Practitioner, or Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional Advanced Sheet Metal operator. Advancement in your workers’ education and skills provides your team with greater career opportunities. It also helps close the skilled labor gap.
5. Vertically Integrate Your Shop
Determine which areas of the manufacturing process you can take direct ownership of. Rather than using external contractors or suppliers, you may want to acquire or establish your own suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, or retail locations. The areas to consider vertically integrating include material sourcing, fabricating, paint, logistics management and delivery, installation, controls, test and balance, and commissioning. Having more control over your offerings helps provide the products and services contractors need when they need them. This increases customer retention.
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