Even if U.S. job shops wanted to offshore, they might find it difficult to do so. So says Derek Singleton in his blog posting 5 Technologies Driving Job Shop Competitiveness. He says the highly customized nature of job shop work is difficult to send overseas. And job shops tend to work mainly with local customers. Yet they must face the same global forces that have felled many U.S. manufacturers over the last ten years or so: low prices and cheap labor. He gives tips intended to help shops stay competitive:
- Use 3D modeling software because it automates much of the design process.
- Use technology such as laser cutting tools that only OEMs could previously afford.
- Use manufacturing software that helps streamline workflows.
- Employees should use iPads to do tasks such as view work instructions.
- New service firms can help job shops source, develop, patent, and market