Top Shops Conference Recap

Shopware attended and exhibited at the inaugural Top Shops Conference in Indianapolis earlier this month. It is put on by magazine publisher and media company Modern Machine Shop. The conference’s focus is to review data from their annual survey (this year 350 shops submitted) and determine what makes a shop a Top Shop. Shops get to see how they stack up to their industry counterparts while seeing the technologies, strategies, and processes that leading companies are applying.

Beyond the survey data and analysis presented by MMS, attendees get to hear speakers and see curated vendors. MMS did a great job of focusing the content and vendors on showcasing leading edge strategy and technology.

Key takeaways:

1. If you have a CNC machine shop you should be at this conference. Not only is the benchmarking important, but you’d be doing your business a disservice if you’re not considering the technology, processes, and strategies that the top shops are using.
2. Cutting tool strategy is a major indicator of shop performance. Top Shops spend more on people, equipment, and tooling – but there is a larger discrepancy in the amount spent on tooling between Top Shops and the rest.
3. The Top Shops report opens with the importance of having an ERP/Shop Management Software. If you can’t understand your costs you can’t possibly hope to be a Top Shop.

The median Top Shop invests:

  • 21% More on its people

  • 31% more on capital equipment

  • 72% more on tooling

It was nice learning that shop management software was even more important for our customers than we even imagined going into the conference.

“ERP has greatly streamlined data collection and increased productivity by 120 percent.”
“Implementing ERP reveals actual costs and revenue where they happen.”

A Top Shop:

  • Makes a greater investment in advanced machine tool technology, other equipment and people

  • To create new processes more capably and efficiently

  • Which leads to stronger financial performance

We are already looking forward to Top Shops 2018, which will take place Sept. 13th at IMTS 2018.
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