What is Top Shops?

‘Top Shops’ is a benchmarking and recognition program designed to help shops build their business. Data is collected across categories including operations, technology, business strategy, and human resources. Select measures are scored and summed to total scores that serve as the basis for honoring certain shops as ‘Top Shops.’

Available Reports

Benchmark your business with Top Shops custom reports. Custom reports compare your shop to others across the country and show you how your shop stacks up on key variables. Top Shops custom reports serve not only as baseline ‘report cards,’ of sorts, they also provide data that aid the identification and prioritization of shops’ improvement efforts.

While the most comprehensive and actionable Top Shops data are provided to participating shops via custom reports, there is also the option to purchase a Benchmarking Standards Report (BSR). The BSR is a custom report populated by a ‘statistically typical’ shop which is compared to the same benchmarks as a participating shop. ‘Your shop’ in the BSR is equivalent to a shop providing the median answer for every question in the survey. The useful perspective provided by the BSR is not available elsewhere and provides a baseline for determining what is important to a successful shop.

Both benchmarking standards and custom reports can be customized based on survey variables. Variables commonly used in custom Top Shops analyses include number of employees, industry served, and number of parts produced. For custom reporting on any of the reports listed below, you can contact us by filling out the form at the bottom of this page.

Buy Modern Machine Shop Benchmarking Standards Report
Buy CompositesWorld Benchmarking Standards Report
Buy Products Finishing Electroplating Benchmarking Standards Report
Buy Products Finishing Liquid Coating Benchmarking Standards Report

Why benchmarking?

Benchmarking helps participants know how they stack up overall and relative to Top Shops, specifically. Recently introduced is a new report customized for fully participating shops, plotting where each shop falls on individual measures. Custom reports include a Performance Summary that lists whether areas measured are relative strengths, on track, or opportunities for improvement. Top Shops benchmarking has proven invaluable to companies committed to improvement and growth.

Why recognition?

Creds matter! Select Top Shops are profiled in one of Gardner Business Media’s publications. Marketing materials and suggestions are sent to Top Shops to help them leverage their Top Shops ‘status.’ Being a Top Shop has attracted and landed new business for several honorees.

What makes Top Shops so 'powerful?'

In addition to ‘standard’ Top Shops custom reports, participants can purchase additional reports. These reports generally break out sub-groups considered most relevant. Examples include shop size, industry served, volume, etc. The annual Top Shops Conference takes it all a step (or more!) further, diving deeper into aggregate data and leveraging the experience and wisdom of past honorees.

Among whom is Top Shops conducted?

The Top Shops survey is emailed to large numbers of GBM subscribers and posted to various Gardner digital properties to represent a broad audience.

When is Top Shops conducted?

Field dates for Top Shops surveys vary across brands, but any one tends to field reasonably consistently over time. Modern Machine Shop’s generally starts in January, Product Finishing’s Liquid & Powder Coat in May, Plastics Technology’s in the Fall, and Products Finishing’s Plating in December.

How is Top Shops reported?

A high level, one-page executive summary is broadly available. In addition, survey participants who answer most of the questions receive a custom report in return for their effort. Participants can also purchase additional custom reports.

How do I get a Top Shops report?

The Standard Top Shops report is available for immediate purchase below. If you're looking for something different or have any questions, please contact Jan Schafer in Gardner’s Intelligence group about Top Shops reports and/or completing the survey either by submitting the email form below or by calling 513-527-8952.

Prices vary depending on scope & complexity.

Inquire about Top Shops

Please complete the contact form below to send your Top Shops inquiry to Jan Schafer.