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We're having a luncheon today for a colleague who is retiring this week. This colleague has been at IES for over a decade and manages our stakeholder reporting requirements, which are many (some might say legion). My colleague alerted me to her plans a year ago, and we were able to plan a transition for another team member into her role.
Previewing an Emerging Issues Forum session called "The Wisdom of Crowds in Manufacturing."
On this episode of the Manufacturing Minute, we start a periodic segment called "Great Moments in Manufacturing History" with a landmark event from January 1914.
The title for this blog popped in my head…like a flash of inspiration in response to a recent comment made in my presence about how much easier it must be to instruct soft skills classes and receive positive evaluations (since they involve so many activities and fun) as opposed to technical skills classes.
I am currently developing some programs around customer service, strategic customer care, customer focus, and the overall customer experience. These are topics that have been of interest to me since I first learned about total quality management in the late 80’s as a disciple of Tom Peters.
The other day at lunchtime, a discussion between one of our customer service reps and an EH&S specialist devolved into argument. The donnybrook, happening four offices down, became so loud that I could not focus my standard duties, like holding the weight of the world on my shoulders, so I rose to see about negotiating a cease-fire. Then I quickly sat back down. The squabble was about which was better – Star Wars or Star Trek. Darn. It was a Tuesday.
Let's see if I can get in a little trouble today.
Over the past few months, our unit at the university has been having an internal debate over whether we provide "training" or "education" to our clients.
In fairness to U.S. manufacturers who have been vilified for outsourcing their work, they did not start the trend. Ever since businesses began, or at least ever since enterprises grew beyond the "craft" approach and into truly modern "industry," companies have sought ways to reduce their operating costs to stay competitive -- and that has included moving operations from time to time.
A consultant recently prepared a report for my boss, and yesterday she handed it to me for a first look.
Without going into too much detail, the document is 17 pages packed with single-spaced type, with another 29 single-spaced pages tacked on for good measure. It has two or three pictures, but I'm not sure if they help or hurt; after all, pictures are worth lots of words, and the thing already has plenty of those.
Many of us feel the pressure to get more done with less time. As a result, there seems to be in our society an expectation that we all be proficient at multitasking, the ability to do more than one task at a time.
Our readers, especially those from manufacturers, are probably aware of the recent Boston Consulting Group report, "Made in America Again." The report predicts that rising labor costs in China ("about 17 percent per year") will mean the return of some manufacturing jobs to the U.S., and probably to the right-to-work (more on this below) South.
I hear the familiar descriptions as students introduce themselves when attending our OSHA Training Institute (OTI) courses. “I’m new to the responsibility of safety and health”, or even better, “Last week I was informed that I am the new Safety and Health Coordinator”.
I wrote my last blog on customer satisfaction and used the Kano Model to help explain different levels of attributes or product features that will delight your customer and keep them coming back. This blog will focus on how those needs, which are the voice of the customer, get translated into actions that your organization should take to sustain customer satisfaction.
"There are still issues with supplies of parts. But we will try to improve ourselves so that we can build as many vehicles as possible and deliver them to our customers." - Toyota President Akio Toyoda, April 8, 2011 (emphasis added).
While reading an Industry Week article, I came upon this comment made by Mr. Toyoda during his announcement that Toyota would resume operations in its Japanese assembly plants on April 18.
Some books entertain us, some books encourage us, some books challenge us -- and some manage all three at once. Guy Kawasaki's Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, definitely scores the "hat trick."*
By way of full disclosure, I mentioned in a previous blog post that Guy's book includes our "Manufacturing Makes It Real" Tour as an example of a good -- and possibly even an "enchanting" -- celebration. As a result of providing Guy with information related to the tour, I finagled a review copy of the book. Make of that what you will.