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I fell in love with manufacturing when I first joined that world in the mid-70's. The creativity, the choreography of information and product, the amazing things that people can accomplish when we reduce and eliminate the barriers to great performance. It's not an easy world in which to thrive, much less survive, but I have a unique set of skills and way of thinking that has helped many manufacturers since I joined the ranks. After 14 years in the "big company" world, I started my own busine ...
 
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show series
 
“May you live in interesting times.” We certainly do. Supply chain shortages like we’ve never seen, an international pandemic that continues to mutate, and strong consumer demand. Oh, and a labor shortage faced by most every manufacturer. Resist the temptation to hire warm bodies. They are never what you need. What you do need is reliable people wh…
 
"May you live in interesting times." We certainly do. Supply chain shortages like we've never seen, an international pandemic that continues to mutate, and strong consumer demand. Oh, and a labor shortage faced by most every manufacturer. Resist the temptation to hire warm bodies. They are never what you need. What you do need is reliable people wh…
 
Organizational structure is a strategic choice and should not simply default to “what we’ve always done.” Companies are often organized by skill set or primary tasks, not by authority or decision-making responsibilities. Structures rarely are designed to instill core values or magnify human potential. Does your current structure develop personnel, …
 
Organizational structure is a strategic choice and should not simply default to “what we’ve always done.” Companies are often organized by skill set or primary tasks, not by authority or decision-making responsibilities. Structures rarely are designed to instill core values or magnify human potential. Does your current structure develop personnel, …
 
It wasn’t difficult to see this coming. This podcast from 2013 explained how chasing cheap labor was very short sighted and doomed to fail. The addendum, just added, explains how companies that recognize the value of talent and their responsibility in investing in it can endure, while others cannot. Don’t let a line item on your P&L fool you into s…
 
It wasn't difficult to see this coming. This podcast from 2013 explained how chasing cheap labor was very short sighted and doomed to fail. The addendum, just added, explains how companies that recognize the value of talent and their responsibility in investing in it can endure, while others cannot. Don't let a line item on your P&L fool you into s…
 
The CEO cannot be the only strategic thinker in your manufacturing organization. Nor can the leadership team be the only source. Not every decision is strategic, but every decision is better made in the context of a larger picture. How big a picture do your employees need to have? Not all are the same and all require something to pull them out of m…
 
I want to discuss with you disruptive technologies and specifically additive manufacturing. I have been a volunteer with the association for manufacturing excellence for about 15 years. AME puts on an annual international conference and we have done that for 25 or 30 years. Attendance is typically between 1000 and 1500 people, representing about 20…
 
Technologies that can and will disrupt manufacturing are evolving rapidly. If they are to be disruptive, they will be adopted and integrated into the business and operational performance of those businesses. This podcast explains that I, as the Disruptive Technologies track leader for the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (www.ame.org) Fall …
 
Fear can paralyze; risk can be managed. The Delta variant of Covid-19 is spreading primarily among the unvaccinated. We are currently facing supply and demand uncertainties that have crippled many manufacturers, but it’s time to turn our eyes to managing specific risks. You know how to deal with many of the uncertainties — like how to produce safel…
 
Fear can paralyze; risk can be managed. The Delta variant of Covid-19 is spreading primarily among the unvaccinated. We are currently facing supply and demand uncertainties that have crippled many manufacturers, but it's time to turn our eyes to managing specific risks. You know how to deal with many of the uncertainties -- like how to produce safe…
 
My book Manufacturing Mastery: The Path to Building Successful and Enduring Manufacturing Businesses will be available September 1, 2021. For pre-orders, I am offering benefits that will help you build your enduring business. The benefits offered differ for quantities from ≧ 3, 7, or 25. Check it out at www.mfgmastery.com and choose which works bes…
 
My book Manufacturing Mastery: The Path to Building Successful and Enduring Manufacturing Businesses will be available September 1, 2021. For pre-orders, I am offering benefits that will help you build your enduring business. The benefits offered differ for quantities from ≧ 3, 7, or 25. Check it out at www.mfgmastery.com and choose which works bes…
 
With labor, plastics, chips, cans and many other global shortages, demand is far greater than supply for many manufacturers. The question is: How best do we handle that? Allocation is the term for allocating your limited supply. It should always start with a strategy — 100% to top customers, or split among markets or customers, or something else. O…
 
With labor, plastics, chips, cans and many other global shortages, demand is far greater than supply for many manufacturers. The question is: How best do we handle that? Allocation is the term for allocating your limited supply. It should always start with a strategy -- 100% to top customers, or split among markets or customers, or something else. …
 
It’s one thing to focus on eliminating problems between shipment and delivery, the typical point of supply chain visibility. It’s quite another to discover there is a small facility in some backwater country that is integral to your entire supply chain. Visibility into the high level participants in your end-to-end supply chain is an important comp…
 
It's one thing to focus on eliminating problems between shipment and delivery, the typical point of supply chain visibility. It's quite another to discover there is a small facility in some backwater country that is integral to your entire supply chain. Visibility into the high level participants in your end-to-end supply chain is an important comp…
 
It’s not shipping on time that matters; it is receiving on time. That is true for you, and for your customers. That means manufacturers can no longer accept the black hole of logistics and last minute challenges. Supply chain visibility refers to a system of real-time relevant data converted to information that is utilized to identify and solve nea…
 
The term Supply Chain Visibility is not well understood. Here I explain the meaning and how to get started with the tactical processes that support your efforts to receive supplies on time, and deliver to your customers on time. This data based exception identification and resolution status system, often called a supply chain tower, is less complic…
 
Industrial Internet of Things is the digitization of important variables, with that data converted into information that creates faster and better decision making. Business leaders often believe the software development part is the most challenging, but that’s far from true. In fact, programming is the easy part of IIoT. The business decisions, the…
 
Industrial Internet of Things is the digitization of important variables, with that data converted into information that creates faster and better decision making. Business leaders often believe the software development part is the most challenging, but that's far from true. In fact, programming is the easy part of IIoT. The business decisions, the…
 
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is by definition about the digitization of factors important to your business operations that is not currently captured as data. It could be temperature, speed, humidity, wear or any number of other factors. Digitization creates data, which must be converted into information if it’s to be worth the time and …
 
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is by definition about the digitization of factors important to your business operations that is not currently captured as data. It could be temperature, speed, humidity, wear or any number of other factors. Digitization creates data, which must be converted into information if it's to be worth the time and …
 
Saying your mission is to be the best at whatever it is that you do, using whatever technology you use, is meaningless to the outside world. Do you think anyone states that they want to be mediocre or lousy? So how would that empty statement really excite others to join and support your journey? It doesn’t. A case study: Over a recent lunch we disc…
 
It’s never about the product; it’s always about the value the product or service delivers to the customer. That’s where logic converts to emotion, and emotion is what involves people in the dream. Saying your mission is to be the best at whatever it is that you do, using whatever technology you use, is meaningless to the outside world. Do you think…
 
Mission, vision, and core value statements were once considered serious. And then fluff, because companies had them, but didn’t live them. Thank goodness we’re never too old to learn! I have come to realize that Mission Matters! So do vision and core values. Together they attract the people and partners you want, or chase them away. They provide a …
 
Mission, vision, and core value statements were once considered serious. And then fluff, because companies had them, but didn't live them. Thank goodness we’re never too old to learn! I have come to realize that Mission Matters! So do vision and core values. Together they attract the people and partners you want, or chase them away. They provide a …
 
CEOs, COOs, and consultants like myself do NOT know everything. We shouldn’t pretend to, nor expect ourselves to. We do need to constantly focus on learning, thinking, and applying what makes sense. We all too often overemphasize the differences and underestimate the similarities of our operations with that of others. Becoming skilled at recognizin…
 
CEOs, COOs, and consultants like myself do NOT know everything. We shouldn't pretend to, nor expect ourselves to. We do need to constantly focus on learning, thinking, and applying what makes sense. We all too often overemphasize the differences and underestimate the similarities of our operations with that of others. Becoming skilled at recognizin…
 
Inconvenience and risk are present in our manufacturing businesses every day. Some should not prevent us from moving forward now; others represent to much potential risk — probability and/or severity — and require delay as we better understand and plan. You likely do much of this in your head daily, but may not realize that all your employees do th…
 
Inconvenience and risk are present in our manufacturing businesses every day. Some should not prevent us from moving forward now; others represent to much potential risk -- probability and/or severity -- and require delay as we better understand and plan. You likely do much of this in your head daily, but may not realize that all your employees do …
 
Last week’s podcast exposed my frustration with executives and journalists who claim to understand lean but obviously, to me and my opinionated thinking, do not. Today I will share a few of the critical distinctions that underlie my passion. First, when I hear the word “lean” I immediately think of the Toyota Business and Toyota Production Systems.…
 
Last week’s podcast exposed my frustration with executives and journalists who claim to understand lean but obviously, to me and my opinionated thinking, do not. Today I will share a few of the critical distinctions that underlie my passion. First, when I hear the word “lean” I immediately think of the Toyota Business and Toyota Production Systems.…
 
The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are fact-based high-quality newspapers. Each has acquired ‘political leanings’ in some of their writing, but for business articles they are widely respected. Each has recently published a poorly researched and factually incorrect article about the impact of the current supply chain upheavals on the pre…
 
The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are fact-based high-quality newspapers. Each has acquired ‘political leanings’ in some of their writing, but for business articles they are widely respected. Each has recently published a poorly researched and factually incorrect article about the impact of the current supply chain upheavals on the pre…
 
When I was growing up in manufacturing a primary point of friction between leadership and production workers was “quality or quantity.” Leaders did not understand what was so irrational about their expectation; the two should not be mutually exclusive. The production workers, however, who worked with existing processes, couldn’t see why management …
 
When I was growing up in manufacturing a primary point of friction between leadership and production workers was “quality or quantity.” Leaders did not understand what was so irrational about their expectation; the two should not be mutually exclusive. The production workers, however, who worked with existing processes, couldn’t see why management …
 
I wish we would all quit acting like everything was “normal,” implying steady and predictable, before Covid. It’s like we’ve all decided to recall “the good old days” the way octogenarians do. What has really happened is that we were comfortable with the types of ongoing constant change, something unexpected happened that impacted all of us around …
 
I wish we would all quit acting like everything was “normal,” implying steady and predictable, before Covid. It’s like we’ve all decided to recall “the good old days” the way octogenarians do. What has really happened is that we were comfortable with the types of ongoing constant change, something unexpected happened that impacted all of us around …
 
As manufacturers are searching high and low for employees, it is crucial that we not make bad hiring decisions out of a sense of desperation. A warm body is not what you need. Today we’ll dig into how to attract candidates who can help you create a future that you can’t even predict well right now. Technology is the future of manufacturing, yet we …
 
As manufacturers are searching high and low for employees, it is crucial that we not make bad hiring decisions out of a sense of desperation. A warm body is not what you need. Today we’ll dig into how to attract candidates who can help you create a future that you can’t even predict well right now. Technology is the future of manufacturing, yet we …
 
Today I will be sharing ideas with you about selecting suppliers for your manufacturing business. It is NOT based on the lowest purchase order price, and if you think it is, you or your boss are very short sighted. Let me explain a better more productive process. Which is better for your organization: paying $1 each but they are sometimes late and …
 
I hope you have a mission for why your manufacturing company exists, and that you have some kind of vision for what it should look like in a few short years to ensure you’re closer to accomplishing that mission. Your business is somewhere right now. You haven’t accomplished the mission so where you are now is insufficient for where you intend to be…
 
I hope you have a mission for why your manufacturing company exists, and that you have some kind of vision for what it should look like in a few short years to ensure you’re closer to accomplishing that mission. Your business is somewhere right now. You haven’t accomplished the mission so where you are now is insufficient for where you intend to be…
 
Everyone says they have, want to, or will transform their business. Few do. The digital transformation looks more like adding sensors than any significant change so far in most manufacturers. But transformation is crucial to the longevity of your business. It’s not a one-and-done activity and is never for the faint of heart. Perhaps that’s why the …
 
Today’s topic is “how fast should your company improve?” While the bottom-line answer is the same for most all manufacturers, it is worth first looking at the question by size of company. Small manufacturers face a challenge just getting orders in and out and all too often don’t focus on making significant improvements. That last part is why so man…
 
Today’s topic is “how fast should your company improve?” While the bottom-line answer is the same for most all manufacturers, it is worth first looking at the question by size of company. Small manufacturers face a challenge just getting orders in and out and all too often don’t focus on making significant improvements. That last part is why so man…
 
People want what they want when they want it. That’s hardly a crazy concept; just one most manufacturers don’t believe applies to them. But it does. The JIT concept has been saying that for a long time, but again, many manufacturers didn’t believe their customers really wanted or needed that. Here’s the thing: No one cares how hard your business is…
 
People want what they want when they want it. That’s hardly a crazy concept; just one most manufacturers don’t believe applies to them. But it does. The JIT concept has been saying that for a long time, but again, many manufacturers didn’t believe their customers really wanted or needed that. Here’s the thing: No one cares how hard your business is…
 
While the integral role of supply chain, which includes inventory decisions, has become more obvious to everyone, and college degrees in supply chain are increasing, many manufacturers still see it as a renamed purchasing department. Effective procurement is an important profession, but it does not define nor integrate inventory strategies into the…
 
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