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Best way for obtaining new work

Joined
Apr 12, 2024
Location
SE Ohio
We are Hydraulic Repair shop located in SE Ohio and we also have a full service machine shop that I run. We are trying to get the machine shop more work grow that since manufacturing is where our hearts are. I have Tormach 1100 MX and several lathes and of course a Bridgeport mill. Finding work outside of hydraulics has been unbelievably hard however. Our area has alot of Industry and I have spoken to just about all of them with no success. I have also went through the process of registering to get government contracts but that has been more of a night mare wading through endless papers and six different websites in hopes of finding a job to bid just to have to register on more and get more clearances. What route has people found more success in terms of obtaining customers.

Thanks
 
We are Hydraulic Repair shop located in SE Ohio and we also have a full service machine shop that I run. We are trying to get the machine shop more work grow that since manufacturing is where our hearts are. I have Tormach 1100 MX and several lathes and of course a Bridgeport mill. Finding work outside of hydraulics has been unbelievably hard however. Our area has alot of Industry and I have spoken to just about all of them with no success. I have also went through the process of registering to get government contracts but that has been more of a night mare wading through endless papers and six different websites in hopes of finding a job to bid just to have to register on more and get more clearances. What route has people found more success in terms of obtaining customers.

Thanks
I would think that building up the business around the companies that you already service in the Hydraulic Repair area would be the easiest. Perhaps these folks don't understand how you are willing and interested in doing other machining work. Are we talking line boring, fabrication, ...... or widgets?
 
Hydraulics is a good niche. What makes you think fighting along side a million other shops worldwide to get a piece of all the general CNC mill/lathe work out there would be a smart move? And a Tormach? What was the thought behind getting a Tormach?

I would focus on your hydraulics niche. How can you grow that side? Work on bigger/smaller stuff than you already do? Offer faster turnaround than the competition?

I do some hydraulic cylinder repairs and speed is always king with my customers. I don't have a gopher to run and get seals so I put that on them while I do the machinework. If I wanted to go bigtime into that realm I would hire a gopher to get seals. build or buy a large hone. I would dedicate a Mazak M5 CNC lathe with a manual chuck and keep the turrets loaded with all the tools to make glands right now. I would buy a CNC HBM and get rid of my manual HBM. I would buy a nice boretech with all the accessories, kit out a service truck and hire a field tech.
 
The Tormach was an opportunity that was presented to us and got it for a very reasonable deal, so far it has been good for us. We have grown every year since we opened and recently purchased an existing pump and motor shop where we hope to start machining pump castings as that market is good but also very slow from other manufactures. We just really wanted to diversify is the best way I can put it and step into other markets. Currently the machine shop just supports the Fluid power side and we have very few actual machining jobs coming in. We stock most rod sizes and its way cheaper to buy cylinder material as needed being we are a repair facility. The majority of my work is rods and lately glands and pistons have been keeping me busy on the manual machines but not enough to warrant full CNC on those at the moment.
 
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The Tormach was an opportunity that was presented to us and got it for a very reasonable deal, so far it has been good for us. We have grown every year since we opened and recently purchased an existing pump and motor shop where we hope to start machining pump castings as that market is good but also very slow from other manufactures. We just really wanted to diversify is the best way I can put it and step into other markets. Currently the machine shop just supports the Fluid power side and we have very few actual machining jobs coming in.
Look at the parts that side of the business purchases, can you make those inhouse instead? If they are doing repairs, what parts are failing? Can those be made better or of superior materials?
What do you know from your experiences that people in other shops don't know or know as well as you? Capitalizing on what you already have, what you already do and what you already know is more advantageous than figuring out something new.
A good place to start the diversification goal is by capitalizing your existing business relationships. As mentioned above, talk continuously with your customers that you have good relationships with about other things you maybe able to help with. If they get you making xyz widgets the move from there is to find out who else buys xyz widgets.
 
Possible ai spam...

How did you come to that idea?

Per a 3 second google search-

"From NIN Machining 28 Briar Bey Ln, Fleming, OH 45729

"We currently specialize in hydraulic cylinder rebuilds, valve body repair, and miscellaneous welding. We are able to get seal kits, o-rings(metric & standard), cylinders, rods, and tubing. We also take out hydraulic pumps and motors."
 
Finding a good hydraulic shop is hard. If you do good work at that all the non machine shop fabricators you do work for will have odd ball parts needed made.
If you do work like most hydraulic shops then sending you the base plates with tapped holes is not happening.
 
How did you come to that idea?

Per a 3 second google search-

"From NIN Machining 28 Briar Bey Ln, Fleming, OH 45729

"We currently specialize in hydraulic cylinder rebuilds, valve body repair, and miscellaneous welding. We are able to get seal kits, o-rings(metric & standard), cylinders, rods, and tubing. We also take out hydraulic pumps and motors."
Google map search comes to some random house in the middle of nowhere...and grammar...could be wrong but it's hard to tell sometimes.
 
Google map search comes to some random house in the middle of nowhere...and grammar...could be wrong but it's hard to tell sometimes.
With some outbuildings and near an excavation company. If you click on the pin on the maps, there's even a picture of their signs. A backyard shop, like many others on here, but legit. The google pictures don't look AI generated.

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That Is our business we are in Fleming, OH and its Rural for sure, as is alot of SE Ohio. NIN Machining is another LLC that is absorbed by Need It Now. We have been in the area for 25 years.
 
Look at the parts that side of the business purchases, can you make those inhouse instead? If they are doing repairs, what parts are failing? Can those be made better or of superior materials?
What do you know from your experiences that people in other shops don't know or know as well as you? Capitalizing on what you already have, what you already do and what you already know is more advantageous than figuring out something new.
A good place to start the diversification goal is by capitalizing your existing business relationships. As mentioned above, talk continuously with your customers that you have good relationships with about other things you maybe able to help with. If they get you making xyz widgets the move from there is to find out who else buys xyz widgets.
We have seen that since most of our work is so diverse that it is hard to make a excess of certain parts. I machine all the parts in house currently and we typically modify them as needed to make something better or function better and stringer anyway. We are successful as a repair shop and will always maintain our fluid power side but we are just trying to capture more work for the machines. Some other machine shops have been sending jobs our way as they are to busy and that helps.
 
I'd be branching out from hydraulics to related things. If someone is repair a piece of equipment because the cylinders are shot, likely so are the bushings, lugs, pins and so on. Setup to machine those parts. Look into line boring and cylinder honing. Look around and see what equipment is being used near you and find out what parts need to be replaced, then figure out what parts you can make faster and/or cheaper than OEM. Don't try and compete with the national job shop market, certainly not with a tormach. Heck, selling the tormach and grabbing a plasma table is probably much better suited to local work.

Ohh and get a website and work on your google presence too.
 
If I was hydraulically inclined, tiny and wanted a product line, I would look very seriously at making repair/upgrade parts for the $5000 1 ton chinese mini excavators that seem to be all over the place all of a sudden.

They're the 4x6 bandsaw of the earthmoving world. Strictly hobby grade stuff for dad or granddad to putter around with. But the cost of entry is low and it sure beats digging and lifting by hand when your back is retirement age. I'm thinking of getting one because I have a retaining wall to rebuild, and most of the rental mini excavators around here don't have a thumb.

But, like you might expect for a finished price of $2-3 per pound, a fair number of the parts are... cheesy.
 
We are certainly keeping our options open I appreciate all the insight. I should add we have a service truck already so throwing a line bore machine on there would actually probably help alot with obtaining that field work.
 








 
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