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Reduce Your Vendors, Reduce Your Headaches

Many organizations utilize multiple vendors to supply their metal components. In our experience, most organizations partner with around 3 to 5 vendors. This is understandable: if a single vendor is not meeting your needs, employing multiple vendors seems to be the answer. However, multiple vendors bring multiple headaches. Partnering with someone you can trust to meet your needs and grow with you eliminates those headaches and inefficiencies.

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Strategic Solutions in Action: Relationship Case Studies

F2O partners with a variety of companies in a variety of industries to find specific solutions to alleviate problems and maximize efficiency and growth. We have identified six partner solutions that resonate with companies we serve.  Usually, one or two of these six stand out to be valuable solutions we focus and apply quickly.  Below, you can read specific examples we have pulled together from different relationship case studies to give you some perspective and insight.  We believe some of the experiences we share here could relate to challenges that exist in other organizations and represent opportunities afforded by our commitment to strategic solutions.

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Just-In-Time Manufacturing: Eliminate Waste, Improve Productivity

What is Just-In-Time Manufacturing?

The British Motor Corporation plant in Australia originally developed the just-in-time production system in the 1950s, but it was largely adopted by Japan in the 1960s and 1970s. Post-World War II, Japan was seeking to rebuild industry but was short on cash and space. Rather than financing the big-batch, large inventory production methods used elsewhere, they built smaller factories that only housed the necessary materials to fill existing orders. This dramatically reduced inventory and investment costs. Toyota played a key role in developing just-in-time manufacturing in Japan and introducing the method to the United States; for this reason, it is often referred to as the Toyota Production System (TPS).

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How to Increase Cash Flow

Investing in inventory directly affects profitability and cash flow for a business. Knowing how much to buy and when is a critical game with big gains and losses. Leaders in business must be discerning in their investments; they must make strategic decisions to limit risk and increase cash flow.

Unreliable partnerships can cause strains and restrict cash flow. Manufacturers partnering with inconsistent vendors often find themselves absorbing the costs of those vendors’ shortcomings. For example, when a vendor’s lead times are uncertain and delivery dates are missed, the manufacturer may purchase and store extra inventory to create a buffer against these issues. This extra inventory depletes the manufacturer’s cash flow and takes up valuable floor space. Continue reading “How to Increase Cash Flow”

How to Scale your Business for Future Growth

A business’ scalability is crucial to its success. Leaders in business ensure their business models offer the potential for economic growth and that the internal systems of their companies can adapt to meet future increases. However, it is equally important to plan for growth in a business’ outside relationships. Growth must be supported externally as well as internally.

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CNC Tools of the Trade

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) references tools being controlled via computer. In the 1960s, the invention of CNC machines revolutionized the metal fabrication industry by increasing productivity and eliminating the need for constant supervision

CNC is the dominant method of machining materials today and comes in a variety of sizes for fabricating products. Below are a just a few of Fab2Order’s CNC tools of the trade and their capabilities.

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Why You Should Care About ISO 9001

As a business owner, strategic planner, or purchasing agent, part of your role is managing your vendors. While researching suppliers, perhaps you have noticed products or services referred to as ISO 9001. What does this designation mean—and why should you care about it?  

What does ISO 9001 mean?

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) gives requirements for a company’s quality management system (QMS). Although ISO is the organization that came up with these standards, it’s important to note that they do not certify companies. ISO 9001 establishes requirements that—if executed well—empower suppliers to offer products and services that meet expectations and comply with applicable regulations.

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Lessons in Leadership

Over my last 16+ with Fab2Order, I’ve learned some valuable lessons about what to do—and not to do—that have greatly impacted how I run my business and how I approach the people I work with.

Don’t get me wrong…I don’t have this all figured out. There are many areas that I still need to continue to grow. But here are some of the lessons I’ve learned throughout my years of being an entrepreneur, business owner and strategic leader.

PEOPLE YOU WORK WITH

The right people
The people you surround yourself with—from vendors to customers to employees to investors—must align with your purpose and have the same character you’re enlisting. Obviously, you need people with skills, but ethics far outweigh experience. If the people you work with don’t align with your character, you must be fair to your ultimate goal and replace them.

After you find those right people, your job is to train them, learn what motivates them, put them in positions that are best for them, point them in a direction with a clear objective and support them along the way with whatever they need: tools, equipment, training, etc. This will take them and your business far. Continue reading “Lessons in Leadership”

Getting a Welding Certificate: What You Need to Know

If you are applying to work at a welding shop, most likely you will be asked to test your skills. Larger shops will probably require you to show proof that your certifications are up to date.

Certifications are available for a variety of welding processes in order to test people’s ability to do sound welds. If you are applying for a job in MIG, TIG, or stick welding, you’ll have to reach a certain level of skill for the process before you receive your certification.

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