Building a dream shop

Your new, ‘ideal’ shop should not fit your needs like a glove. By Gary Legwold Your shop is a tool, the biggest tool you have to get a job done. So it makes sense to find the best tool for optimum efficiency and to keep that tool sharp. In your quest for the ideal shop, …

Market changes since 2005

By Jeff Rasmussen Changes cited by suppliers and end-product manufacturers in the survey ran the gamut from having a greater number of fabrics to choose from to the dramatic increase in the prices of key materials, especially petroleum-based fabrics. Specific changes cited include: For suppliers Many more fabric choices are available worldwide. More acrylic suppliers …

Recycling’s fine line

Building the cost of recycling into a project’s cost is a popular idea, but in a competitive market, extra costs could drive customers to cheaper alternatives, unless recycling is mandated for everyone. Intensely debated is whether government or trade organization mandates would even the playing field. Bob McGilvray, general manager at Ferrari Textiles Corp., Pompano …

Looking forward: Change presents a challenge and an opportunity

By Denby Browning John Anderson, CEO of Riviera Yachts, Australia’s largest luxury boat-builder, warns that the marine industry is in a period of rapid change and businesses need to constantly reinvent themselves. “In our market—luxury boats between 40 and 70 feet—we are moving away from canvas and clears, as our owners want enclosed hard-top models,” …

Erickson helps launch marine-based charter high school

By Sigrid Tornquist Can learning science through the study of biological oceanic projects and learning math through marine fabrication give high school students the tools they need for life after high school? Mike Erickson, MFC, who was a founding board member of the Riviera Beach Maritime Academy, thinks so. And so does the Marine Industry …

Advice on surviving a tough economy

Everybody wants to help you make it through this tough economy, don’t they? Who to believe? Tempting as it might be to drop your prices or sell a cheaper product, there is a chorus of voices out there all singing the same song: “Don’t do it!” Amid the cacophony are these useful bits of conventional …

What to do when a customer complains

From “Start and Run Your Own Business”, by Alan Le Marinel, reprinted on www.howto.co.uk. Even the most conscientious companies, delivering high quality products and services consistently, can face an unhappy customer on occasion. All customer-facing employees should know what to do if they receive a complaint and view it as an opportunity to rectify the …

Strong supplier-manufacturer relationships benefit businesses

By Abbie Yarger The supplier-manufacturer dynamic is of equal importance to the manufacturer-customer relationship in the marine fabrication industry. “We try to be open and straightforward with our suppliers, just as we are with our customers,” says Jeri Perillo, Custom Canvas of Charleston Inc., North Charleston, S.C. “Our suppliers have to make money just like …

Top 10 tips for high-quality customer service

By Alton Martin 1. Have a service strategy for organization. 2. Keep customer satisfaction data. 3. Use the data to take specific action based on customer feedback. 4. Model good companies that provide excellent service. 5. Look for examples of excellent service outside of your industry. 6. Be open to new ideas and approaches to …

Incentives help maintain relationships with customers

By Abbie Yarger To encourage relationships with customers, and to spur business, some fabricators offer distinctive incentives for using their services. Dennis Bueker, branch manager of Tri Vantage LLC in Cleveland, Ohio, says Tri Vantage has an annual new product show that explains products and services to customers. The show includes complimentary breakfast and lunch, …