We asked MoldMaking Technology magazine readers to give us their number one tip for cutting costs in this economy.
Walt Bishop, executive director, Society of the Plastics Industry, Moldmakers Division (Washington, D.C.). My number one tip is to optimize all of your essential employees. At times when layoffs are imminent, essential employees can be called upon to perform a variety of tasks that they might not otherwise be involved in. Make sure that they know the value of their contribution to the company.
Tom Fenton, toolroom manager, Minntech Corp. (Plymouth, MI). Plan ahead to eliminate the need for next day air shipments of mold components. A cost cutting tip that is not spoken of much is to look into the waste management side of the business and find ways to reduce what is sent to the landfill. Look at recycling oils. Talk to your electricity provider and look for ways to receive rebates for upgrading your motors or other electric powered equipment.
Jean H. Kroes, owner of J.H. Kroes Consulting (Ottowa, Ontario). My suggestion would be to improve communication and decrease pressure on workers. The improved communication will reduce unnecessary steps and labor. Reduced pressure on the workers will already be a result of the previous suggestion. In the long run, the benefit will be better quality and reduced time spent to manufacture, thereby reducing costs.
Jim Meinert, director of international marketing, Snider Mold (Mequon, WI). My number one tip is time compression - or faster thru-put in your plant - and using methods like concurrent work and unattended machines.
Tom Schade, executive vice president, International Mold Steel (Florence, KY). The biggest mistake I see made on a regular basis is attempting to reduce costs by reducing the quality of mold steels, components, cutting tools or of the mold shop that builds your tools. Each of these steps will usually increase overall costs over the life of a project. Now is not the time to be myopically short-sighted.
Richard Wagner, general manager, Shortess-Rawson & Associates, Inc. (Hillside, NJ). When the economy slows down, you don't cut costs but rather reinvest. Every economic slowdown allows the markets to shift in a new direction. America went into the last recession closing out our industrial age and came out of it to lead the world in a technological revolution that put computers and the web into millions of homes around the world. Economic slowdowns create new opportunities, but you must look for them to find them. Let your competitor's cut be bold.