5 Ways to Differentiate Your CNC Shop from the Competition
Demonstrating that your shop has something your competitors lack can give you a significant edge when going after new customers.
So what is it that makes you different from other CNC shops? It could be any number of things, but whatever it is must be perceived as valuable to a potential customer. Quite often your point of difference will fall into one or more of these categories:
- Range of capabilities. Most CNC shops define themselves on the basis of their equipment, expertise and experience. Points of differentiation, then, are any capabilities you have that other shops can’t match. For example, if you can run lights-out production and a competitor can’t, the value to your customer is reduced cost-per-part and faster deliveries. Likewise, if you have a bar feeder with Ethernet connectivity that can share data with the CNC machine tool, you can automatically switch from one part program to another on the fly. This enables you to run high mix, low volume families of parts. Again this capability offers cost and time savings for your customer.
- Specialization. Another way to set your shop apart from the competition is to specialize in a particular market segment, such as making parts or complete products for a specific industry. For example, medical equipment and aerospace parts often require greater precision, certifications and documentation. You can differentiate your shop by excelling in these areas.
- A powerful way to get a leg up on the competition is by demonstrating expertise, experience and stability through a solid core of employees. By using thoughtful hiring practices, ongoing education and a workplace culture that encourages longevity, you will stand apart from shops who must constantly replace employees. Remember: A shop’s greatest assets leave the building at the end of every shift.
- What can you offer your customers beyond your shop’s machining capabilities? Design and engineering services? Warehousing parts for Just-In-Time delivery? Operations such as plating, assembly or special packaging that other shops must outsource? Making it easier for customers to get what they need through one supplier can go a long way to setting you apart from the competition.
- Many CNC shops simply do not successfully promote their differences. Once a shop recognizes its points of differentiation, it can create a brand image that focuses on these strengths. These should be clearly communicated on the company Web site and through any communications to customers and prospects such as emails, blog posts, social media and public relations.
LNS applications specialists can help you improve your shop’s performance and identify ways to differentiate your operation from the competition. For more information contact your local LNS representative, call 513-528-5674 or email: LNS-northamerica.com,sales.