Finish Strong® Podcast Series The journey to excellence is not a simple one, nor does it follow a straight line. This podcast series addresses issues important to manufactures worldwide. Becky's insights include commentary on global, strategic, and tactical issues, as well as observations on current challenges and opportunities in manufacturing businesses. Feel free to suggest topics of interest to you; no doubt Becky will have something to say that will make you think.

So Much Risk, So Little Money

Rebecca shares some inexpensive and simple methods to be manage your business risks, from customers, suppliers, employees, product, and evil intent.

Executive Summary:  We can’t prepare for every eventuality and we shouldn’t.  But there are inexpensive and simple methods to be reasonably prepared.  First, consider these normal sources of business risk: Customers,Suppliers,Employees,Product and materials, Competitors,Evil intent of others, Bad luck, and of course, Lousy Leadership. In most of these categories, you can identify the likely risk categories quickly.  As a minimum, you can set simple metrics or processes to assess status. A bank that’s not prepared to handle a robbery is incompetent. Manufacturers can prioritize risks based on likelihood and define prevention, recognition and mitigation plans. These quick risk management steps are inexpensive and simple to execute. It’s unethical and lousy leadership that escorts a company totally unprepared for likely risks.

Business Lessons From Ed

Not everything is learned in Kindergarten – Rebecca explains key lessons she learned from her mentor Ed along her journey of lifelong learning. These simple lessons will help you too.

Executive Summary: Do you have very simple tests for distinguishing those you want to work with from those more trouble than they’re worth? Next, ignorance is not a bad thing, unless we try to hide it. I don’t need to pretend I know everything. Neither do you. False omniscience is expensive.  ..who makes the most isn’t a big deal.  What is a big deal is who brings the most value. The biggest lesson running through all these examples is that simplicity is more effective than complexity.  Each of these examples demonstrate a straight forward approach. No effort to complicate.

Creating A Valuable Supplier Conference

Rebecca explains how to plan a supplier conference so that everyone benefits.

Executive Summary:  A well-planned supplier conference can strengthen the supply chain, prevent significant problems, and reduce time-to-market for more than one participant.  The first step in planning an effective supplier conference is a clear statement of its purpose.Next, the host should invite those suppliers most impacted by the primary topic, or with the greatest ability to impact it.  You may be surprised to learn that there’s no need to invite all suppliers for the entire conference.  For those suppliers integral to accomplishing the purpose, invite their employees best able to contribute during the meeting, not those who can convey messages later. Please share your experiences with effective supplier conferences so we can all learn


Three Measures Of Effective Metrics

Making your organizational metrics worth the cost, and your KPI’s truly KEY.

Executive Summary:  First, it’s easy to resort to the obligatory metrics. Don’t waste money reporting metrics just because the company down the street uses it, even if it sounds good in a conference room. Next, we all too often waste time and money collecting data that is too untimely or inaccurate to improve decision-making.  Lastly, we often track metrics that do not provide clear interpretation.Here are 3 ways to measure the effectiveness of your metrics, and ensure the ones you end up with help you run your business better: (1) You can list one or more decision that you will make, based on the value or direction of the metric. (2) You won’t make a related decision without reviewing it first. (3) The value of improved decision-making outweighs the costs of reporting the metric.