Volume 15 Number 2 - February 7, 2017


When Sirius and XM satellite radio were first developed, the skeptics asked why anyone would ever pay for radio when they could already get it for free.

The answer is the value placed on location independence.

Consumers want to take their lives with them wherever they go without any effort. Consoles to transistor radios to iPods to cell phones. Travel agents and calling reservations to online to phone apps. That same thought process is impacting business-to-business products and services.

How are your markets impacted by the growing expectation of location independence?

Network tv was surpassed by cable and then satellite, which is being replaced by Netflix and other streaming services. What's the attraction? Users want control over what they enjoy, as well as when and where. The days of traditional entertainment companies pushing their schedules on consumers are gone. "What is the theatre showing tonight?" is becoming an irrelevant question.

That same user controlled pull trend is reflected in services like iTunes and Spotify that have changed the economic model of music, and Uber which has impacted car ownership. I've written elsewhere about manufacturing joining the sharing economy.

How will your company respond to the growing expectation of customer-controlled pull?

The third trend is one bifurcated by market: Bitcoin is an example of devotion to efficient and completely untraceable secrecy while Facebook is an example of the desire to publicize everything.

Does your market care most about secrecy, or about publicity? Some businesses have multiple markets split among those needs. I have clients that won't allow listing them as clients, and others that love being featured in my many published articles. Because I am aware of that distinction, I can serve the wants of both segments.

Every business should evaluate leveraging these three trends—location independence, user controlled pull, and secrecy vs sharing—to maintain relevancy.

Transforming Operations. Transforming Business.®

Let's discuss how Manufacturing Greatness can help you become a better manufacturing operations leader. Additionally, my latest book, Start Smart, Finish Strong: Forging Your Path to Operational Excellence and Long-Term Success in the Manufacturing World is available at Amazon, Kindle, and iBooks.

Sustainability Is In Your Best Interest

The Starting Pistol

Allan Smith:
"Designing for sustainability requires a dedication to evaluating a product's long-term effects and lowering the environmental impact at every stage of a product's life--from materials extraction to end-of-use.”

The Tape

Rebecca Morgan:
"Like quality and quantity, no choice is required. Sustainability and thriving long term are mutual."

Feb 19-21, 2017: San Diego, CA: If that Internet of Things (IoT) has you scratching your head, here's an opportunity to get your questions answered, ranging from changes in the business model to security to data strategies. Check out the Industry of Things World USA conference, brought to you by TechForge publishing company.

March 28-29, 2017: Chicago, IL: I have not attended this conference personally, but have heard good things about it. Generis (a for profit company that hosts workshops and conferences) is presenting the American Manufacturing Summit with a variety of speakers and networking opportunities. The agenda includes lean, innovation, and technology throughout the supply chain.

May 2-3, 2017: Ogden UT: If you've never seen a world class manufacturing organization up close, this is your chance. Autoliv has agreed to host a 1.5 day workshop for AME, showing many of their processes and systems. As Tom Hartman would say, "you can see it in the eyes of our people."

May 8-10, 2017: Cleveland, OH: The Industry Week Manufacturing and Technology Conference (previously IW Best Plants) includes presentations, plant visits, keynotes, technology demonstrations, and an opportunity to learn more from others and share what you know.

May 23-25, 2017: Phoenix, AZ: Disruptions large and small confront today’s supply chains on a daily basis. The Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference is an opportunity to meet with the best to be exposed to their transformational strategies.

Check out the Events page on our webiste for more information.

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