Insights

Job Shop Insights

Accelerate growth with business technology ideas and insights for job shop and contract manufacturers.


Making Service Contracts Profitable by Optimizing Field Support With ERP
Jun 04, 2019

By Reed Klinkhammer

Manufacturers both big and small put a major emphasis on R&D, quality, improving cycle times, maximizing inventory controls, minimizing scrap, managing supply chains and getting products into the hands of customers on time and on budget. And rightly so. 

Making Service Contracts Profitable by Optimizing Field Support With ERP

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Maximize NetSuite's Revenue Recognition in Manufacturing
May 09, 2019

Job Shop Insights-Maximize NetSuite’s Revenue Recognition in Manufacturing
These days there really is no excuse for any manufacturer (small, mid-size or enterprise) to still be using an unscalable legacy system requiring manual input and outdated spreadsheets for financial workflows. The limitations are simply too restrictive.

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Improve Order Management Workflows in an Omni-Channel World
Apr 11, 2019

Improve Order Management Workflows in an Omni-Channel World
As the economy scales, many job shops that produce consumer goods or sell to discrete manufacturers are scaling with it. Customers are placing orders in multiple ways, driving the rise in omni-channel commerce. Websites, applications, mobile devices, interactive catalogs and other eCommerce channels are increasing as the go-to methods for placing orders. Physical locations and email, fax, phone, mail or the good old-fashioned way of sitting down with a sales rep are still popular methods as well.

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How to Improve Warehouse Inventory and Supply Chain Management
Mar 28, 2019

By Reed Klinkhammer

Warehouse Inventory and Supply Chain Management
While IoT devices are commonplace on manufacturing plant floors — and the latest software platforms are leveraged in various office settings — many warehouses still operate much like they did before the digital age.

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5 Ways to Improve Job Shop Planning and Efficiencies
Mar 05, 2019

By Thomas P. Schiesl

5 Ways to Improve Job Shop Planning and Efficiencies
Multiple projects are managed simultaneously in a job shop. Most of them are custom and demand varying production requirements and due dates. These types of high-mix operations can make boosting productivity and maintaining lead times difficult but, finding efficiencies is critical to enhancing profitability and maintaining an edge in the highly competitive manufacturing industry.

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Top 2019 IoT Technology Trends for Manufacturing Job Shops
Feb 08, 2019

By Mark Stevens

Top 2019 IoT Technology Trends for Manufacturing Job Shops
The supply chain plays a pivotal role in global manufacturing; major industries and discrete manufacturers rely on the goods produced by smaller job shops and specialty contract manufacturers to serve their customers. Historically, many of those smaller operations have lacked the capital or skilled labor required to implement many internet of things (IoT) technologies that the “big guys” have been able to leverage.

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How to Leverage Your ERP to Improve Revision Change Orders and ECOs
Jan 16, 2019

By Reed Klinkhammer

ERP to Improve Revision Change Orders and ECOs
It’s common for manufacturers to produce components that are sold to various discrete manufacturers for use in finished goods — a pump may be installed in multiple types of equipment, for example. When those pumps leave the manufacturing facility, they need to be rebranded differently depending on who they’re sold to (e.g., labels, packaging, finish, color, etc.).

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The Benefits of Real-time ERP Reporting in Manufacturing
Jan 14, 2019

The Benefits of Real-time ERP Reporting in Manufacturing
Is anything more frustrating than opening up a program on your computer to pull a routine report, only to be reminded that you need to issue an IT support ticket with a 24-hour turnaround? It’s especially frustrating when you know the data is in there somewhere; you just don’t have the programming capability to write the code to extract it. Meanwhile, you’re faced with month-end deadlines and a CEO who’s expecting answers to help him make an important and time-sensitive business decision.

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How NetSuite Shortens Lead Times and Reduces On-Hand Inventory
Nov 29, 2018

By Reed Klinkhammer

How NetSuite Shortens Lead Times and Reduces On-Hand Inventory
Demand and supply planning can be crucial for manufacturers, and there are many reasons why. If you have long lead times, a seasonal business or unpredictable demand, or even unpredictability within your supply chain, planning can help you both shorten lead times and prevent missed deadlines to customers. Understanding what to procure, when to procure it and when to produce it so you can meet customer demand also helps you reduce your on-hand inventory costs.

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What’s the Best ERP System for Streamlining Intercompany Financial Processes?
Nov 14, 2018

What’s the Best ERP System for Streamlining Intercompany Financial Processes
To save money, parent companies often purchase services and supplies in large quantities at a discount to allocate to their various subsidiaries, and then issue a sales order to each of those entities for the portion of goods or services they receive. This is just one example of a transaction that can occur between entities in your growing business.

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Using Technology to Manage Human Capital, Time Tracking and PTO
Nov 07, 2018

PTO Time Tracking
Even in today’s digital age, some human resources (HR) professionals are still more comfortable keeping track of employee information on spreadsheets and in email folders or locked file cabinets. Learn how NetSuite’s SuitePeople allows HR to become a more integral strategic partner that helps an organization succeed.

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3 Ways Businesses Are Using NetSuite to Grow Their Customer Base
Oct 31, 2018

Customer Relations for Sales _ Marketing Workflow
Learn the top three ways how NetSuite CRM can help your business increase visibility into its financials, elevate its brand and grow its revenue.

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How to Optimize Your BOMs, WIPs and Routings to Increase Lead Times and Fulfillment
Oct 24, 2018

BOMs Routings WIPfor Manufacturing Workflow
The old phrase “time is money” is never truer than when it comes to manufacturing. So much of production depends on the time it takes to perform each workflow, which makes any gain in efficiency a huge win. And there are many areas that can see improvement — from having better visibility into your process efficiency and labor costs to tracking and ordering resources, you can increase production and save in overhead by becoming more efficient.

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How Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Helps Businesses Scale
Oct 04, 2018

How EDI Helps Businesses Scale_180
When your company first started out, manually tracking orders, invoices and customer communications seemed manageable. With more success came bigger customers, bigger orders and, thankfully, bigger profits.

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4 Technology Rules Job Shops Need to Apply for Growth
Sep 18, 2018

By Mark Stevens

4-Technology-Rules-Job-Shops-Need-to Apply-for-Growth 180
Today's job shops are caught in a bit of a technology trap. On the one hand, the emerging technologies available that leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) make processes easier and more efficient, and can help your job shop keep pace with the competition and industry overall. On the other is the considerable investment required to purchase and implement these technologies, which raises the question about true necessity.

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Gain Visibility Into the Costs and Progress of Your Engineering Projects With NetSuite
Sep 12, 2018

By Reed Klinkhammer

180912_Project_Management_for _Engineering_main 180
How much visibility do your project managers have into the costs and resources of new product development projects? Does your CFO have easy access to profit margins, budgets and real-time reporting?

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Why Cybercrime is a Legitimate Threat to Job Shops
Aug 29, 2018

By Mark Stevens

Why Cybercrime is Legitimate Threat to Job Shops
"Smart” manufacturing creates greater visibility across departments so that owners, operators, schedulers, and the front office can make better, more informed decisions. But is all that valuable data also visible and accessible to cyber criminals? Increasingly, manufacturers must be vigilant in protecting their systems from the threat of hackers.

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Big Data: Big Challenges for Job Shops
Aug 22, 2018

By Anirudh Nadkarni

Big Data: Big-Challenges for Job Shops
The future of manufacturing rests squarely on the shoulders of Big Data. The opportunities this presents for efficient and responsive production are potential game changers, but before your job shop jumps on the Big Data bandwagon it’s important to understand that there are some significant challenges on the way to successful implementation.

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5 Practical Ways to Boost Job Shop Sales
Aug 08, 2018

By Mark Stevens

Practical Ways to Boost Job Shop Sales
When it comes to process improvement, most job shops are understandably focused on manufacturing. However, ignoring some common sense ways to optimize your sales processes could mean leaving opportunities—and money—on the table. Here are five practical ways to boost job shop sales.

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What to Consider When Coping with Legacy Systems
Jul 25, 2018

By Thomas P. Schiesl

Dealing with Legacy Systems
If your job shop or contract manufacturing business has been around for a while (and most have), chances are you’ve still got some original business management technology operating in some capacity. The ability for those legacy systems to integrate with newer technologies and processes is a major challenge for many, and the cost to do so can be daunting.

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The Importance of Measuring Your Job Shop’s Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
Jul 19, 2018

By Mark Stevens

Overall Equipment Effectiveness for Job Shops
Does your job shop have numerous machines performing multiple functions? Have you determined how much value each is truly bringing to your business and whether each has resulted in a positive return on its investment?

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Agile Methodology — What Is It, and Is My Job Shop Ready?
Jul 13, 2018

By Thomas P. Schiesl

Incorporating Agile Values
If your job shop has been around for a while, you’ve likely heard of agile manufacturing and how it can improve production efficiencies and, ultimately, customer satisfaction. Since the concept at its core is a methodology intended to streamline processes, understanding how it can specifically be applied to the unique practices of your job shop can be confusing.

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The Four Biggest Challenges for Job Shops
Sep 20, 2017

By Mark Stevens

A Job Shops Four Biggest Challenges Here’s a look at what job shops and contract manufacturers deal with every day, and some simple tools to help resolve issues. 

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How Knowing Your Data Can Boost Job Shop Productivity
Jul 14, 2017

By Mark Stevens

Job Shop Data Boosts ProductivitySee how data can be integrated and made visible from various job shop departments to reveal major opportunities for improved productivity.

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5 Ways to Improve Efficiencies on the Job Shop Floor
Jul 07, 2017

By Mark Stevens

Improving Shop Floor EfficiencyUse these 5 practical and time-saving steps to identify and improve inefficiencies in your job shop.

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4 Steps to Get the Most Out of Your ERP Investment
Jun 23, 2017

By Mark Stevens

Get the most from your ERPGet the most out of your ERP system with these 4 steps and reap the results of improved efficiencies, workflows, production, and employee satisfaction. 

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Do ERP Best Practices Apply to My Job Shop?
Jun 08, 2017

By Mark Stevens

ERP Best Practices for Job ShopsLarge manufacturers use ERP best practices, but small job shops aren’t sure if those processes will help them. Ask these questions to find out.  

 

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Debunking the Top 4 Job Shop ERP Myths
Jun 02, 2017

By Mark Stevens

Debunking Job Shop MythsSmaller job shops believe ERP systems are for larger operations, or that they’re too expensive. It’s time to debunk those and other ERP myths! 

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Top 5 Questions to Ask When Choosing an ERP System
May 26, 2017

By Mark Stevens

How to Choose an ERP SystemWhen a job shop can confidently answer these 5 questions, they’ll be able to choose the right ERP system to manage operations, inventory, sales and more. 

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5 Ways Your Customers Benefit From an ERP System
May 17, 2017

By Mark Stevens

Customer Benefits ERPAn ERP system not only improves internal processes for job shops and manufacturers, it improves customer satisfaction and sales. 

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Top 4 Issues Job Shops Need to Address for Success
May 08, 2017

By Mark Stevens

Issues Job Shops Need to AddressHere are a few common missteps in job shops and suggestions on how to resolve them. 

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How Job Shops Can Save on Overhead Costs
Apr 28, 2017

By Mark Stevens

Overhead expenses can eat up most of a job shop’s income—especially if overhead isn’t actively monitored and appropriately reduced. 

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How to Adapt to Customers Changing Their Minds
Apr 14, 2017

By Mark Stevens

Changes from customers are inevitable. Instead of getting frustrated, focus your energy on understanding why changes happen and how you can positively adapt to it.

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The Psychology of Gaining Productivity in a Job Shop
Apr 06, 2017

By Mark Stevens

Psychology has proven that humans, by nature, need to feel supported, successful, and satisfied to work at peak productivity. 

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Process or Efficiency: Which Matters Most in a Job Shop?
Mar 03, 2017

By Mark Stevens

Pursuing efficiency for efficiency’s sake and ignoring the effectiveness of the process behind it can be misleading. This is especially true in job shops where processes—not necessarily efficiencies—drive productivity and, ultimately, profitability.

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What’s the Payback of an ERP System for Job Shops and Contract Manufacturers?
Feb 24, 2017

By Mark Stevens

ERP PaybackUnderstanding the advantages of using an ERP system will help your Job Shop gauge its actual value for your business operation.

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How Can I Improve Scheduling for My Job Shop?
Feb 17, 2017

By Mark Stevens

Improve SchedulingScheduling is pivotal in ensuring all other facets of the job shop run smoothly. Revamping your system can’t—and won’t—happen overnight, but you can implement four best practices to improve the process incrementally.

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The Secrets of Reducing Lead Times in Job Shops
Feb 10, 2017

By Mark Stevens

Job Shop Reducing Lead TimesFinding those small, often hidden, time thieves that increase lead times means taking a long, hard look at your overall manufacturing process from quote through payment. Understanding the entirety of your job flow will reveal opportunities for making relevant improvements. 

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The Pros and Cons of NetSuite for Job Shops
Feb 03, 2017

By Mark Stevens

Pros and Cons of NetSuiteWhile many are, there are several perceived downsides to NetSuite, the fit, functionality and value of this ERP system must be evaluated by job shops on an individual basis.

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A Roadmap to Sales Reporting for Job Shops and Contract Manufacturers
Jan 27, 2017

By Mark Stevens

Job Shop Sales ReportingCreating processes that produce better results, establishing expectations around adhering to those processes and measuring and reporting on behaviors that support them can elevate performance in any field. It’s only natural that you should apply this same discipline to sales management.

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Improve Sales Results by Focusing on Sales PROCESS!
Jan 27, 2017

By Mark Stevens

Just like most successful athletes, successful sales pros understand that following a disciplined approach to sales planning and execution will lead to consistently better results. Most importantly, they recognize that truly great sales teams work together to build the processes that lead to sustainable success.

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Marketing 101 for Job Shops
Jan 20, 2017

By Mark Stevens

Job Shop Marketing 101Marketing is something job shop owners and contract manufacturers know they have to do, but it often gets put on the back burner while more urgent matters take priority. Learn what you need to do and think about to market to the right prospect, with the right message in the right format.

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How An ERP System Keeps Everyone In The Loop—and Making Better Decisions
Jan 13, 2017

By Jeffrey H. Wulf

ERP Keeps Everyone in the LoopAn ERP system makes it possible for job shops to have an accurate, up-to-date, 360-degree view of the state of your company. Without it, companies find the process of gathering and making sense of all their information too burdensome and revert to gut-reaction decision-making and disjointed spreadsheets.

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Creating Your Job Shop’s Value Proposition and Customer Strategy
Dec 30, 2016

By Mark Stevens

Job Shop Value PropYou need to answer these questions about your value proposition, your ideal customer profile, the type of relationship the customer wants/needs, and the appropriate sales channels to put together a strategy that will deliver a pipeline stocked with quality leads.

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How Job Shops Can Build A Robust Sales Pipeline
Dec 23, 2016

By Mark Stevens

Job Shop Robust PipelineIf you’re like many job shops and contract manufacturers, you’re working hard to sell a wider range of products and/or services to a broader customer base. To do that, though, you need a healthy pipeline of work. But how do you develop and sustain it?

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Taking the Sting Out of a Tight Labor Market
Dec 16, 2016

By Mark Stevens

Taking the Sting Out of a Tight Labor MarketIt’s no secret that finding qualified employees is a challenge, but it is possible to manage through a lack of new workers if you provide the ones you have with the skills, technology and opportunities to help them “do more with less.”

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How to Implement an ERP Without Disrupting Your Business
Dec 09, 2016

By Brett Polglaze

Implement ERP Without DisruptionTo ease disruption and ensure high productivity levels during an ERP implementation, you need to help your employees understand and manage through the change. You also need to work with a provider with significant implementation experience and proven methods for saving time and reducing stress.

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How Job Shops and Contract Manufacturers Can Improve Communications
Dec 02, 2016

By Jeffrey H. Wulf

If communicating with people and groups within your organization has no real structure around it, you can bet there are opportunities to improve, including when it comes to profitability.

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How to Engage Everyone in Your ERP Software Solution
Nov 25, 2016

By Mark Stevens

An ERP system functions best when digital natives work alongside those with wisdom and a deep history with your business processes.

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Job Shop ERP Implementation: What “First Steps” You Can Expect
Nov 18, 2016

By Mark Stevens

Not every ERP implementation is identical, but each one comes with a common set of tasks and decisions that need to be implemented to ensure success.

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How Job Shops Can Get More Hours in Each Day Using NetSuite
Nov 11, 2016

By Mark Stevens

ERP systems not only integrate and optimize processes, they make it possible for job shops to take advantage of new product and market opportunities.

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Before You Implement a Cloud ERP: What Job Shops Need to Know
Nov 04, 2016

By Mark Stevens

Knowing what you can expect before you implement an ERP system will help ensure that you get the greatest value from it.

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Six Signs You’re Ready for an ERP
Oct 28, 2016

By Mark Stevens

Learn the signs that a cloud-based ERP system will help your job shop be more efficient and facilitate its growth.

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How Job Shops Can Save Time in the Quoting/Estimating Process
Oct 21, 2016

By Mark Stevens

Reducing the time spent quoting/estimating requires a complete, accurate view of all project costs for your job shop—something an ERP system offers.

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The Strategic vs. Operations Thinker
Oct 14, 2016

By Mark Stevens

When it comes to job shop growth and investment in an ERP, there’s a distinct difference between strategic- and operational-minded business owners.

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How an ERP System Drives Costs Out of Your Job Shop
Oct 07, 2016

By Mark Stevens

To stay competitive job shops must take every opportunity to better understand their operation and eliminate inefficiencies and unnecessary costs.

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How An ERP Can Help You Grow Your Job Shop
Sep 30, 2016

By Mark Stevens

An ERP system monitors and interprets vast amounts of data about your operation and turns it into actionable intelligence that helps you make informed decisions and pursue new markets.

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What’s the Total Cost of Ownership for a Cloud-based Job Shop ERP?
Sep 23, 2016

By Mark Stevens

One key decision related to an ERP is whether it’ll be on premise or in the cloud. There are several infrastructure and pricing factors that make cloud-based ERP a better choice for job shops.

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Why Your Job Shop Needs an ERP System
Sep 16, 2016

By Mark Stevens

Many job shops today use a mix of tools to manage their businesses, but newer software solutions integrate processes and provide insights that improve decision-making and company growth.

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ERP Systems for Job Shops: 5 Factors That Influence Your Cost
Sep 09, 2016

By Mark Stevens

While the software cost can be determined easily, it’s the “other things” that go into an ERP investment that will determine your ultimate cost. Here are five you need to account for.

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