American Machinist’s “Best Machine Shops” program has caught this industry’s attention, and we are getting more shops across the country involved in it. And now is the time to start preparing for next year’s program.
We named our “10 Best Machine Shops” for 2008 in our November issue and, since then, I’ve heard from several shops that want to be considered for next year’s group.
It’s not difficult to get involved.
The “Best Shops” program has been a part of our effort to create a database of operating benchmarks for machine shops. We started this three years ago, and we’ll launch our next Machine Shop Benchmarks Survey in February.
All you need to do to get involved is fill out the survey; that will take 45 to 60 minutes of your time. We ask for detailed information, but we also we guarantee that the data will remain anonymous. No one will be able to dig your shop’s specific information from the results that we publish.
Then, to become nominated for the “Best Machine Shops” award, the only extra step is to check a box at the end of the survey. In that regard, the process is self-nominating. But, it’s free of charge and will only cost you the time it takes to fill out the survey and check the box at the end. That’s when our work begins.
We work with MPI Group – which specializes in developing benchmark information for a number of industries – to conduct the Machine Shop Benchmarks Survey and take the first cut of “Best Machine Shops” nominees. To do that, MPI has worked with us to developed a formula based on the benchmark data you provide in the survey. Having MPI Group do this first step assures that the selection of semi-finalists is an objective, data-focused process.
After that, moving ahead in the program includes a siite visit from one of our editors, whose job it is to confirm that the shops we consider are, indeed, operations that can be held up as examples for the industry.
Ultimately, American Machinist launched this Best Machine Shops program to provide examples of metalcutting businesses that are run efficiently and competitively; and to demonstrate that business which follow a specific improvement process will outperform those that run by the seat of the pants.
Each time we’ve done this, it’s been hard to limit our list of finalists to just 10 shops.
We are aware that there are plenty of aggressive, well-run shops across the United States, and I would like to get the chance to write about every one of them.
But the only way we have been able to confidently find world-class performers is through our survey. And I know we can’t pretend to deliver the 10 Best Machine Shops if you sit on the sidelines.
So when you start seeing announcements in February that the survey is online, I urge you to fill it out and get your shop into the running.