The fall trade show season will kick off in the next few months and continue through November. Any fenestration professional reading this likely has a few of these dates circled on their calendar.

And for good reason—it’s a prime opportunity to see some of today’s most advanced window and door technology, and to consider the future of your manufacturing operations. Trade shows feature modern manufacturing equipment along with the complementary window and door components that can help take your company to the next level. And that brings us to today’s tip:

Get ready today to make decisions about your plant’s future.

I’ve written in this space before about the impact automation—any level of it—can have on your plant floor production. Whether you’re a smaller operation taking your first steps toward automated production or a mid-sized company looking to optimize your business, identifying the right opportunities for automation can help you get there.

It’s important to remember that automating can be about much more than simply boosting your production numbers. You know the stakes in today’s industry:

Significant demand, production backlogs, long lead times, raw materials and supply challenges, and an often unreliable labor pool continue to hamstring manufacturers everywhere.

Automating parts of your production processes can help you overcome some of those challenges, no matter the size of your operation. And it doesn’t have to be expensive; any form of automation can help you make your production process more reliable, repeatable, and can help you use your labor force in the most efficient manner possible. Whether your company is large or small, you can’t wait until a crisis hits before you start considering these things.

So start thinking about them now, and head to the fall trade shows with some solid ideas of process improvements you’d like to make. You’ll have the opportunity to see and experience the full gamut of automation possibilities. In the meantime, you may be able to work with some of your components suppliers to discuss some areas of improvement based on your unique process needs and business goals. This is part of what our Quanex Technical Services team does on a routine basis: We work with our customers to identify short and long-term ways to be more efficient and optimize their processes.

There’s no time like the present to prepare for your future. Start strategizing now to maximize your opportunity at upcoming events.

John Ryba is Technical Services Manager for Quanex.

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