Tuesday, February 26, 2019

If I only had an opportunity

Such a familiar saying, so little substance behind it. A lame excuse.  Actually for those who look for them, opportunities are everywhere and plentiful. The problem is that we are impatient to pursue small ones. But those small opportunities are to be chased because they will grow into big ones.

Manufacturing a prototype part is a tricky business because your customer wants it all: fast, cheap and the best possible quality. There is simply no money in it. Yet for a young machinist such jobs are a great opportunity to make their name. If you can do jobs no-one else can or wants to do, soon you will be known as the 'to go to' man. The word will spread and sooner or later, once you become an undisputed expert in your field, you will be ready for big opportunities.

The other day another desperate customer knocked on our door. He urgently needed two custom made parts. To say that we underestimated the amount of work needed to turn the parts would be an understatement in itself.  Josh ended up making $10 per hour. But we delivered on time, exceeding the quality and spot on with tolerances.  The customer was so impressed that he immediately sent more drawings for more challenging parts.

Can we compete with China?  No, not today.  But one day, all those Australian manufacturers who either subcontracted jobs to China - or built their own factories there to save a dollar or two - will realise what a mistake that was.



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