The key to success (and the primary challenge) for any job shop is minimizing turnaround time for non-repeating work. This Indiana shop shares some of its strategies for reducing lead times for the various large-scale jobs it encounters.
Good machining businesses are nearly always able to find ways to shave time off of repeating work. This is much more difficult, however, for job shops that may machine a particular part only once. And the challenge of compressing turnaround time for jobs that don't repeat is more daunting when a 40-ton crane is needed to install workpieces onto a mill's bed or into a lathe's chuck.