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Details, details

Resources | September 1, 2016 | By:

This issue of Marine Fabricator focuses on many of those business factors that keep customers coming through your doors. You have probably heard the saying, “God is in the detail.” Or, conversely, “The devil is in the detail.” Either way, successful business owners and managers naturally juggle dozens of concurrent factors in their day-to-day operations.

Fabricators, of course, get really busy. This issue’s article on how regional climate influences the construction of boat enclosures highlights this reality (see page 28). Richard Hallett, owner of Hallett Canvas and Sails Inc., Falmouth, Maine, says, “Customers are darn sure they want to be on the boat at the beginning of the season in May, so we’ve got a gun to our head in that initial rush to get products done when they’re ready. We go with 8 to 10 employees working 14-hour days five days a week, and we have trouble getting help. If we take orders at boat shows in March and tell customers their boat will be ready in June—when the water is still only 51 degrees—they look at us like we’ve got three eggs on our head. They want their boat in April.”

Despite deadline pressures, perhaps the hands-on specifics of design and working with textiles and hardware are what you really love to do. On the other hand, the administrative aspects of running a business—comparing insurance quotes, following up on warranty issues and planning marketing campaigns—are just as important. This issue offers information on these myriad topics. You will find articles on:

  • Taking on difficult fabrication requests
  • Standing behind your fabrication services
  • Understanding how local climate and weather conditions affect your business
  • Keeping up with product innovations
  • Making sure that your business is properly insured
  • Using digital marketing practices to reach customers

All of these topics demand a capacity for focusing on details. I hope you find advice and suggestions that motivate you to stay on top of the particulars and inspire you to keep building your business. Please send your suggestions for future topics, whether you are interested in the big picture or the small picture concerns of marine fabrication. I can be reached at

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