Modern Machine Shop

SEP 2017

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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Page 118 of 220

116 MMS September 2017 BETTER PRODUCTION Shops Using Technology Shop Finds Jobs Using Online Marketplace C ompetition among jobs shops for work can be fierce. This is especially true for shops like TD&M Machining LLC of Dubuque, Iowa—a town in which there are many machine shops within a 50-mile radius and "everybody knows everybody," says founder Troy Donath. Because of that, he decided to see if he could find work via the internet. After winning jobs through an online manufacturing marketplace, Mr. Donath has been able to grow his business for the past 10 years without competing against his immedi- ate neighbors. In 2007, Mr. Donath started TD&M with a two- axis manual machine in his garage. He began taking on work part time as it suited his avail- ability, with the long-term goal of becoming his own boss. When he was laid off from his full-time job at the end of 2008, he needed to quickly grow his business to support his family. This was chal- lenging, however, as his fledgling job shop did not have the resources to hire a sales staff, and he did not have the desire to compete for local work. "Shop owners do not take kindly to other shops trying to solicit their customers," he says. "I didn't want to get involved in this competitive environment, so I decided to seek work from outside the area." To remedy this, he searched the term "out- sourced machine parts" on the internet and found, an online manufacturing marketplace designed to bring together buyers and sellers from across the globe. Mr. Donath subscribed TD&M to the platform as a supplier and created a profile, specifying processes and geographic regions with which his company could work. O n t h e o t h e r e n d o f t h e p l a t f o r m , b u y e r s upload requests for quotes (RFQs), including all r e l e v a n t e n g i n e e r i n g d r a w i n g s , w h i c h a r e reviewed by staff to ensure complete- ness and accuracy. Mr. Donath can filter RFQs using categories such as materials, part size and run size to find jobs on which to bid. With parameters in place, the platform sends him email notifications when RFQs match those specifications. Mr. Donath uses the platform to bid on jobs, and the buyer can either award the job via the platform or offline. When Troy Donath was laid off from his full-time job in 2008, he had to quickly grow his job shop to support his family. He used to find small, one-time projects. TD&M MACHINING LLC PROBLEM Wanted to grow business without competing against other local shops SOLUTION Subscription to RESULTS 75 percent of current customers originated from the platform

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