Do you have outfall? Well then don't think of it as worthless scrap because it can be usable stock. All of this material should be inventoried and stored in racks for easy accessibility. If it is just leaning against a wall, it is more than likely you're not going to see all that is available for use. In our shop we made an inventory fallout log for it. After doing so, our amount of stock went down by more than half in less than four months. That's money which, in a sense, was just lying there on the floor. Also, if you own a CNC, are you nesting your tops? Complete nesting will save between 20 to 30 percent in stock savings, which translates into more money saved.
Also, using Web sites like eBay to buy shop supplies can save a lot of money. I just purchased some disposable green vinyl gloves from eBay and we saved $4 per box and that included the shipping cost. You can find some great deals on items like safety glasses and ear protection. Look around and don't settle until you are confident you have the best product for the best price.
The littlest things can have a big impact on your bottom line. Try implementing some of these suggestions in your shop and see the savings add up.
About the author:
Jon Olson is the production and operations manager for Sterling Surfaces in Sterling, Mass. He has been a solid surface fabricator since 1982 and can be reached at email@example.com.