At a recent gathering in Chicago of manufacturers an owner of a tool and die shop addressed what is a foundational concept of any business: What does your business do? As a business owner or employee, have you ever really asked yourself that question ? If so, has that answer remained stagnant over the years? Or has it changed to meet new market conditions and technology advances?
The owner told the audience that they no longer allow the word “job shop” in their internal lexicon in defining who they are. Rather they are a solutions and service company. Indeed, he is absolutely right.
Here at National Metal Fabricators we produce custom rolled rings from angle, flat bar, channels, tee’s, round rods, and selected tube sizes. In addition we are a custom metal fabricator with lazar cutting, forming, welding and assembly capabilities. That is the service we provide. But who do we provide it to?
Anyone who is looking for an answer to a problem that involves making something from metal ; be it carbon steel, stainless steel or aluminum.
When a company or person contacts National Metal they have a problem and are searching for an answer. In our case that problem is centered on their need to out source a rolled angle, bar or channel ring, an in-stock angle ring or fabricated metal part. That is the problem. It is our business to solve it for them.
We all know that problems come in all levels of urgency and intensity both in our personal and work lives. The problem which prompts a customer or potential customer to call National Metal Fabricators can vary. It could be they don’t have the equipment to make the part, they used to make it in-house but no longer want to, they’re a start-up with no in-house capacity, or they have problems with their current supplier’s pricing, delivery or quality. Whatever the reason there is a problem to be solved. That is not the focus of a “job shop”, but rather a “solutions shop”. It is what many companies and businesses are. It is what that tool and die shop is. It is who we are at National Metal Fabricators.
Once a company honestly defines what the core definition of who they are and what they do is, the planning in terms of marketing, advertising, and resource allocation becomes a focused endeavor with a specific path. But beware, that path will change as resources advance and improve. In this day and age that change is faster than at anytime in our history. When I first entered this business the only access we had to computers and cell phones, let alone the internet, was when I watched Captain Kirk contact Scotty or Spock to beam him up. The path is there and once you define what your business truly does it will lead you to the destination that is right for you, but it will never remain just a dirt road.