Mom And Pop Go High Tech

Michael Allawos' tool-and-die shop isn't very big. Housed in a tiny building in an industrial park in San Dimas, Calif., it makes metal parts for Northrop Grumman and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. But it has big plans--and big-company technology on its side. On sales calls, Allawos whips out a laptop computer to confirm the status of a customer's order--and verify that all the materials for the job are on hand. Orders for new parts are dropped electronically into his job-tracking system, and a financial package traces to the penny the cost and profit of every order, every step of the way.

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