Volume 19 Number 8 - August 3, 2021

My mission is simple. I am devoted to enabling people working in manufacturing to recognize and achieve their potential; through that each of you contributes to an improved quality of life for all you touch. Mission matters. That of your business, and yours personally.

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Allocating Your Limited Supply

Can’t get enough workers, cans, plastic, frozen wings, steel, or other resources required to meet customer demand? That’s not likely to resolve itself before the snow flies so managing the allocation of what you can produce must be a priority.


  • How will you prioritize customers and markets? This decision impacts what you make when and who is impacted the most. This must be intentional and well communicated.
    • Is your intent to supply 100% to your number one customer and allocate any remaining capacity among the rest?
    • Is your strategy to maximize production units and fill orders the best you can with this output?
    • Your allocation strategy must be clear to your team as they make optimal coordinated decisions.


  • Honest communication of what and when you can supply to each customer is crucial to their ability to plan. They may not like it, but at least you give them a chance to succeed.
  • Ask your customers for the truth. If you’ve built trusting relationships, you can do this effectively. They are facing other shortages and well. Your shipping them what they asked for and letting it sit on their shelf while they wait for other items required for them to use your product is a waste of capacity for all. If they use your product in a none-or-all means, don’t ship them partials that help no one.
  • Have these same conversations with your suppliers. Get the truth, not what they think you want to hear.
  • Keep your employees totally informed and ask the same of them.

Leverage technology:

  • This is where many of you would benefit from knowing where the truck actually is. Almost every trucking and logistics company has that information available. Insist on receiving that information frequently or an exception basis. You need to know about incoming and outgoing to plan and communicate.
  • Those manufacturers who have invested in IIoT technologies to automatically communicate among supply chain partners are way ahead in this race.

Some of you have not seen a benefit to your organization from investing in technologies or working with your supply chain partners to reduce and eliminate surprises. “If only we had…” is no way to lead a business.

Not one of you is too small to know the status of every delivery to and from you. None of you is too large to track the moving pieces to plan production and communicate the current reality with suppliers and customers.

Manufacturing is a team sport. It requires what every good team requires. Please remember that your suppliers, employees, and customers are all on your team.

The Starting Pistol

Vince Lombardi:
"Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."

The Tape

Rebecca Morgan:
"If all players do not know the game, the rules, the score, and real-time situations, the team will fail. Working together with common awareness of real-time truth positions the team for success."

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