For almost 30 years now, Engine Builder has been asking the professionals in this industry about business. We ask you for detailed information on how much you charge, how much you make, how much you spend and how much you have left over.
We compile all of this information into several different reports each year – in this issue, for example, Part 1 of our annual Machine Shop Market Profile is presented. Next month, we’ll make Part 2 available. Our annual Labor Costing Studies look at how much – on average – the industry charges to work on the Late Model Hemi or a Ford Zetec or the Navistar 7.3L diesel.
The average is very important to us, because it gives us (and you) a nice, statistical snapshot of this industry The 10,000-foot view, if you will, lets us see things in broad strokes and provide
information that will benefit the whole.
What’s important to remember, of course, is that each of these data points is an individual. Like a Georges-Pierre Seurat painting (or one of those cool photo mosaic posters that catch your eye at the mall) a close inspection of the total picture yields some very colorful stories.
We’ve met a lot of great people at trade shows and industry events and believe me – meeting you, hearing from you by phone, email or even good old fashioned U.S. Mail (yes, they still deliver that to our offices) – each individual character adds a level of detail to the big picture.
Our profiles of shop owners and operators allow us to share your stories, with the assumption that we can all learn something from others’ experience. Shops seem to be more willing than ever to share details of their business practices in order to help their fellow industry colleagues – a rising tide raises all ships.
The details are vitally important in your business of course. Specs and tolerances must be maintained in order to produce the highest quality product. In our business, details are just as important. I will admit that we went out of spec recently, which has led to some confusion.
In April’s issue, we failed to give credit where credit is due with regard to the photos and comments in Larry Carley’s article on Performance Gaskets and Surface Finishes. Thanks to representatives from Fel-Pro/Federal-Mogul, MAHLE?Clevite, Magnum Gaskets and Apex Automobile Parts.
We also failed to give proper credit for the photography that accompanied the article. MAHLE?Clevite supplied some informative illustrations about coatings on MLS?gaskets, and Fel-Pro/Federal-Mogul contributed several photos, including the opening photo of an MLS?gasket with its proprietary LaserWeld Technology. This technology has been used in a 3,300 hp Big Block Chevy.
We apologize for the oversight. Our goal is zero defects, and we didn’t hit the mark. Your knowledge and experience are valuable resources and we appreciate the confidence you place in us.
Please let us know if you have suggestions for markets, technical issues or engines we should be addressing in print or online. As we refine our aim moving forward, we’ll continue to count on you, the individual, to help us craft a product that is of value to the whole.