Modern Machine Shop Announces Top Shops Survey Results, Conference

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

(Cincinnati, OH) Now in its sixth year, Modern Machine Shop magazine’s annual Top Shops benchmarking survey results include a detailed data analysis report, identification of emerging operational and business metrics, and the unveiling of this year’s four Top Shops Honors Program winners.

The Top Shops program identifies optimal machining and shopfloor practices as well as operational and business metrics that define world-class competitiveness in discrete parts manufacturing in United States machine shops. This year’s survey included submissions from nearly 350 shop principals (owners, executives, managers) who provided metrics and detailed insight for the Top Shops program’s four main categories: machining technology, shopfloor practices, business strategies and human resources. From that, a Top Shops benchmarking group is established to enable all shops—from small job shops to large captive operations—to compare their key performance indicators as well as processes and equipment used with the nation’s best machining businesses. This enables company executives to identify and prioritize improvement efforts.

Key points for this year include:

  • The main industries served by Top Shops are aerospace, medical and equipment manufacturing.
  • Profit margin for Top Shops in 2015 was 15 percent compared to 8 percent for other shops.
  • Top Shops are more likely to use advanced machining equipment, such as horizontal machining centers, five-axis machine tools and turn-mill multitasking machine tools.

“Not only does the Top Shops survey serve as a baseline ‘report card’ of sorts, but the information that participating shops principals get eliminates the need to rely on gut feelings as a method of identifying and prioritizing improvement efforts,” says Derek Korn, Executive Editor of Modern Machine Shop and Top Shops survey director. “It also enables them to stay abreast of effective machining technology and business-related practices.”

Four participating shops in the benchmarking group were named 2016 Honors Program winners for the primary survey categories. This year’s winners include Donson Machine (Alsip, Illinois), Tech Manufacturing (Wright City, Missouri), C&M Machining (Webb City, Missouri) and Mallory Industries (Farmington, Connecticut).

The 2016 Top Shops Executive Summary detailing survey data and key findings is available at In addition, the inaugural Top Shops Conference, which will enable attendees to learn about practical ways to improve their machining business, will take place in 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana from September 5-7. More information is available at

About Modern Machine Shop: With an emphasis on applications stories and case histories, Modern Machine Shop provides insight into real world applications of metalworking technology. Helping the reader to discover, not only what the technology can do, but how it can change their business, how it can help them serve their customers better and how they can be more profitable as a business enterprise. The parent company Gardner Business Media was established with the launch of Modern Machine Shop magazine in June of 1928. To this day, the Modern Machine Shop brand is recognized around the world as the premier resource for metalworking product and process technology.