How to Set Your Machine Shop Up For Success

Pooria Sohi August 10, 2020 4 min read

Teamwork makes the dream work.


Being a machinist is great, being a machinist who runs a machine shop is greater, and being a machinist who runs a successful machine shop is the greatest. That last part can be quite difficult, though. Competition is high, and the economy is currently slumping, so building out a machining shop that is set up for success is no small feat. Competitive edge is a formulaic balance of quality, cost, and time. We’re emerging into a new world where the idea that you can only have two of those three, is no longer true. To help, we’ve collated some pieces of advice to help you improve margins through seamless and time-saving workflows. Let’s dive right in. 


Collaboration made easy


The work environment is quickly shifting to a remote structure, and Fusion 360 Team is here to help you engage with remote workers and clients for presentation and data flow. With a cloud centralized data system like Fusion 360 Team, your data lives somewhere everyone can access it. No longer will you need to email large files or verify that everyone has the correct viewer or software tool. Simply share secure links to your live project data and allow critical business decisions to be made quickly and effectively. With Fusion 360 Team, there are also no server overheads for you, as collaboration is active by default. Even collaborating with non-technical individuals is a snap. Learn more about collaborating with Fusion 360 Team here.




You might be thinking, “all this cloud talk sounds interesting, but how can I keep my files secure?” Of course, security is very important when sharing data. You don’t want to give away your trade secrets, especially to customers (if they find out how the sausage is made, will they need you anymore?) Fusion Teams uses top-class security and data encryption, all the way through from management to in product, ensuring that as you share your content with customers, clients, and 3rd parties you might be working with, they only see what you want them to see, protecting you, and everyone else. 


Concurrent design 


Sharing data seamlessly, both internally and externally, is great, but what’s next? It’s still a bottleneck if only one person can work on a dataset at any given time. Enter concurrent design. Whether it’s making intelligent use of components, editing linked files in place, or working with a top-down approach using derived functions, Fusion 360 offers a plethora of ways for multiple people to work on a single dataset at once. This allows you to get to production faster.


All in one


Someone has to produce data for you to start machining, whether it be your team, a third party, or a client. With a cloud-based tool that’s all in one, there’s no need to lose time, money, and delay deadlines due to data migration from one tool to the next or phone calls to clarify file format for tool pathing. Fusion 360’s all-in-one capabilities will give you fewer headaches when manufacturing and help you build the efficiencies you need for a successful shop floor. 


Tool paths that save time


Every second your machines aren’t in use and your team spends time redoing tool paths is lost revenue. You need tool paths that work and strategies for every conceivable client request that comes your way. Fusion 360 has you covered with everything from the best adaptive clearing, probing, and steep and shallow operations. All this extra time saved can be focused on winning clients, bringing in more cash flow, and not losing sleep over whether or not your team can effectively tool path an object for manufacturing.


Adapt, overcome, survive


Nobody is meeting customers in person anymore. Word of mouth networks are slowing down as the conversations that once happened face to face are now digital. Even though shop floors are already COVID safe due to the distance people can keep between one another, getting customers in the door is still a hurdle. Many machine shops already use tools like Instagram to share their process and work, but how do you take marketing your company to the next level?


The marketing of machine shop services needs to evolve to embrace new ways of communicating with potential customers, whether it be through social media, YouTube, or just good old fashioned website SEO optimization. It only takes a small amount of effort to capture the quality of work your team produces and share it with the world online to demonstrate your USP over others. For us all to survive the immediate future, we need to adapt how we reach potential customers by setting up camp where they are spending their time.


Competitive edge for less


Having the best tool path strategists in the world on your team will only work to your advantage if you can give them the tools they need to get the job done. Fusion 360 gives you access to some of the greatest machining tools on the market for a fraction of the cost, enabling you and your team to work with the best tools to create the best work. Whether its multi-axis, probing, turning, parametric modeling, adaptive roughing, 3D tool paths or one of the plethora of other tools built into Fusion 360, we have your back.


Learn more about how you can set your machine shop up for success with Fusion 360 here.


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