Software System Evaluation

March 1, 2017

As manufacturing managers and executives we are focused on the machinery, manpower and materials that go into our products. We want to have the best quality of each of these components.  We spend a great deal of our time evaluating and upgrading our machinery, labor force, and materials to manufacture the highest quality products and […]

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Manufacturing Jobs- Where Have They Gone?

January 26, 2017

We have been treated to many articles and theories about the demise of manufacturing in America. However, it is a fact that the percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP) that comes from manufacturing has not changed in the last three decades.  But, the number of “manufacturing jobs” has certainly declined in this time period.  […]

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S&OP– A Process, Not a Technique

December 22, 2016

Over the past several years, APICS has been expounding on and explaining the Sales & Operations Planning technique.  APICS has a long definition of the S&OP technique in the 14th Edition of the Dictionary.  In this definition it uses the word “process”.  This word is probably the most important, and yet the most misunderstood, term […]

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Corporate Culture- the Secret Ingredient to Success

November 5, 2016

I was prompted to write this article on corporate culture by two recent events that I witnessed in the past month.  The first event was the Congressional Hearing for John Stumpf of Wells Fargo Bank.  This bank was found to have fraudulently opened over 2 million customer accounts without the customer permission or knowledge.  The […]

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Inventory Turns – A Powerful Tool

October 4, 2016

In the traditional  business world inventory is an asset.  It shows up on financial statements as an asset.  Therefore having plenty of inventory was good for the financial statement.  But is it good for the company?  A more modern view of inventory is to look at it as a means to an end.  To have […]

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Are You as Productive as You Want To Be?

September 6, 2016

Every manager or business owner struggles with this question.  You strive to build a successful business and grow the capabilities of our department, division or company.  A key objective is to increase your productivity by producing more output with fewer inputs, or at least with the same inputs.  This is basic capitalism and is at […]

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Make or Buy – That is the Question

July 30, 2016

OK, that was a poor paraphrasing of Hamlet; but the question is one that every manager or business owner faces regularly in the business world.  Should I buy this component/assembly, or make it myself? There was a period in the first half of the 20th century when companies leaned strongly toward making their components.  There […]

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Management 101- Feedback and Control

June 27, 2016

There are five major functions in business management.  Koontz and O’Donnel list these functions as Planning, Organizing, Staffing (some management theorists combine organizing and staffing into a single function) Directing and Control.  In a previous article in 2012 I discussed the function of Control.  At this time I would like to revisit this function and […]

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Teams – Organizing and Managing Them Can Be Challenging

May 25, 2016

The use of teams is the new paradigm of the business management world.  Everywhere you see recruiting ads searching for people who are “team players”.  The current justification for this increased use of teams is that with a team there are a wider variety of ideas and viewpoints.  The variety of skills of the team […]

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Are You Measuring the Right Results?

April 20, 2016

Many years ago when I was a Quality Assurance manager for a plant in North Carolina, I was approached by an enthusiastic purchasing manager.  He had found a new vendor for a major component of our product.  This vendor had a different design for the component and the cost was 75% less than our existing […]

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