May 18 2013
A metal fabrication job shop has to manage the ups and downs in the market. It is a balance beam at 50,000 feet! Jobs shops have regular customers but most all of those regular customers are unwilling to take product until they need it. This can wreak havoc on a job shop schedule.
A month at a glance in a metal fabrication job shop might show capacity on many machines one day and be completely over capacity the next day. To stay profitable the fabrication staff and engineering office is staffed for regular production. The stress to management and employees alike comes from the inability to predict customer demand. What looks like a regular production without overtime, can change at a moment’s notice with 2 or 3 large customers needing parts at the same time.