Excerpt from Slippery Rock Gazette
Buying a Waterjet: A Personal Journey
Are you considering buying a waterjet for your shop? If so, you will be inundated with all kinds of information regarding psi, inches per minute, hydraulics, software, service support and a myriad of other things that are all very relevant to making your decision. The time it takes to understand all of these things and to make educated comparisons between vendors is almost enough to make a person forget about the purchase and just continue to do the work by hand.
Today, though, it is becoming increasingly apparent that if you want to grow your stone business you will have to improve productivity to remain profitable. The stone industry, in case you have not noticed, has been going through a rapid consolidation that began with the recession of 2008 which decimated the number of operating shops in the United States. The recession also took away the very fat profit margins that existed prior to 2008, and now the stone industry profit margin is moving down to margins in line with other manufacturing industries, which are often below 10 percent. At that level of profit margin you need to have a streamlined manufacturing process with the flexibility to adapt to fluctuating levels of demand, while still maintaining consistency in product quality and delivery time. For many shops stepping up to a stand-alone waterjet, it will make it possible to achieve the manufacturing efficiency needed to remain competitive and profitable, and most importantly, stay in business.
Please follow along as I share our company’s journey through the selection process.