‹ Back to Columns

Answers May Be Simple, But Execution Is Key

Alfred Spada

I lost my keys last month.

We all have done it. In this case, these lost keys required all five of my family members and an hour and 45 minutes to find them.

During my all-out, turn-everything-upside-down search of our house, garage and cars, I kept saying to myself, the simplest answer probably is the correct one. For me, the simplest answer would have been that the keys were left in my car. So, we searched every crack and crevice of my car at least five times. But it took one final gasp of frustration during the last search of the car for me to take a step back, stare in the distance for some clarity (across the roof of my SUV), and see my keys resting on the roof.

This story relates to our feature, “Success Strategies for Job Shops,” on p. 34. This article contains the opinion of a veteran casting buyer who worked in a metalcasting facility in a previous life. The buyer is sharing his opinion on what metalcasters must do to solidify their business and weather the ups and downs of the economy.

Yes, you have read similar articles and heard similar presentations in the past. While this article doesn’t break any new ground on the subject, Modern Casting has selected this article because the message is still important. If your business doesn’t execute on the fundamentals, it is difficult to build a foundation for success.

Here is a list of the six points raised by the casting buyer:

  • Serve different market segments and diversify your customer base
  • Produce well-balanced product mix and never lose contact to market reality
  • Know your production costs
  • Permanently optimize processes in the shop
  • It is all about sales
  • Train and educate your people

While you can look at your costing system and say it is an accurate reflection of your operation, the best evaluations often come when you examine other successful businesses and their best practices. Maybe this is a metalcaster you compete against or maybe it is a manufacturer in another industry that received positive press for its implementation of a new quotation system. Constantly seeking out these case studies of success and comparing them to your own systems (no matter how efficient you might be) ensures you are running at peak efficiency.

The core of your business is the fundamentals. Execution of these fundamentals is at the heart of success.  Read the thoughts of this casting buyer and truly examine how your facility stacks up.

When I came home from work that evening on the day I lost my keys, my 11-year-old daughter Abigail smiled at me and said, “Remember, the simplest answer probably is the correct one.”  I will continue to remind myself of this and hopefully you will to.