It’s December. Which means that 2023 is coming to a close. I think that’s always a good opportunity to reflect on things we’ve learned throughout the year, and how we can carry those lessons forward to make the next year an even better one.

It’s my hope that you’ve been able to apply some of the tips I’ve shared here on Shop Talk throughout 2023. The goal of this blog has always been to help you manufacture your products and run your business more consistently, efficiently, and safely. I hope you’ve found some value here, or a new way of looking at things, no matter how big or small. And that brings me to … well, not today’s tip, but today’s question:

What do you want to learn about on Shop Talk in 2024?

This blog comes directly from my experiences on shop floors around the country. The Quanex Technical Services team is continuously in the field, helping our customers overcome quality issues, finding new efficiencies, and much more, and it’s where my ideas for each month’s post come from.

But I’d love to hear some ideas from regular readers of this publication. What are some of your biggest challenges? What are some of your goals? What are you hoping to do better in 2024? Let me know at

Along with that question, for my final post of 2023, I thought I’d collect a few of my favorite blog posts from this year and share them with you again. Enjoy:

The Virtues of Keeping a Clean House

Keeping a clean manufacturing floor sounds like common sense, but it takes a concerted effort to do so consistently. And with that effort can come a range of benefits that I explored in this post from February.

One Way to Bridge the Generational Divide

It’s likely that your more experienced workers maintain different skills and interests than their younger counterparts—but both are important, and manufacturers can take advantage of them in a way that best suits the needs of your shop floor and your business. Here’s how.

Capitalizing on Color with Operations-Friendly Strategies

Branching into new colors involves deciding upon the different technology options that are available, and there are a few things to think about when you’re vetting those options and your suppliers.

Shoring Up Your Skill Sets This Busy Season

Cross-training on your plant floor is critical. This blog from summer stresses the importance of cross-trained teams during the busy season. With winter here, it’s a good opportunity to revisit now that you might have some more time to dedicate to training.

Thanks for reading Shop Talk this year. I’ll see you in 2024!

John Ryba is Technical Services Manager for Quanex.

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