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Plotting business strategy

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Darren Arthur’s business strategy is to be a custom shop with a standardized process. In short, mass customization. He hopes his new plotter-cutter will help.

“We want to have a standardized method so we don’t have to rethink the process every time,” says Arthur, owner and president of Nautilux Custom Canvas LLC in Hazlet, N.J.

He cites the auto industry as an example. It’s got dozens of models, but highly standardized processes.

“With a custom shop, how do you automate one-offs?” he asks. “I think the answer for me is to standardize my basic process and procedures.”

What equipment do you choose? How much cost and space can you afford? How much output are you trying to achieve? Arthur thinks it starts with his new plotter-cutter
from Aeronaut Automation of Australia.

He says he has had trouble finding skilled help. He thinks a reasonably skilled worker can learn to program the device in the same way time after time, even if the settings change to create custom products.

Ideally, Arthur thinks he won’t have to “teach an employee to read a pattern or how to cut anymore.” On the other hand, he adds, “I need to find someone who can run the cutter, but that, I think, is an easier task than teaching an employee how to cut an enclosure or a bimini.”

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