Volume 16 Number 2 - February 6, 2018


It's time for every manufacturer to accelerate important aspects of the business. If the world around us is changing faster and faster, we can't just sit here and wish it were different. At least not for long.

For most organizations, fear in decision-making and insisting people juggle too many balls at once are the leading contributors to drag. Those factors impact every process, making it logical that you address them first.

What next?

  • Make effective speed a constant undercurrent.
  • Utilize clear vision, core values, and focus on your five constituencies to filter the noise.
  • Pick 1 process that you really need to speed up to benefit your customers and your own organization.
    • Commit to cutting its elapsed time by 50% in the next 6 months.
    • Measure and post the results so all can see.
    • Quit doing the unnecessary and unimportant.
    • Make decisions with the data you need, not waiting for all the data you could get.
    • Learn from every failure
  • Move to the next impactful process.

This isn't about becoming hectic, working harder, or speed for speed's sake. Quick adaptable processes are a necessary core competency for all manufacturers — large and small. You don't have to go from 0 to 60 today, but the market doesn't care why you're getting lapped. It just knows that you are.

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.

Creating Your Competitive Advantage

The Starting Pistol

Mario Andretti:
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.”

The Tape

Rebecca Morgan:
"Slow drivers are more reckless than fast ones; winners know how best to combine vehicle and driving strengths with road conditions. The same is true for business."

February 28-March 1, 2018: Boston, MA: Harvard's executive education series includes this Design Thinking workshop. The methodology and tools of design thinking will be discussed and practiced. If you think innovation is important to the future of your business, design thinking is a topic I encourage you to understand.

March 6, 2018: Hagerstown, MD: AME is presenting this one-day workshop, led by the executive team at Meritus Health, on the Improvement Kata. Kata is a term mostly known from its marshal arts reference; it refers to a repeated pattern that creates mastery. This is a great opportunity to see how these leaders learn and leverage the Improvement Kata in their operations.

April 23-27, 2018: Hannover Messe, Germany: If you want to learn about Industry 4.0 all in one place, this is the conference for you. Cobots, smart supply, machine learning, AR/VR and much much more. Exposure to global actions and potential will vastly improve your decision making. The rapidly changing ways we produce and learn will change the requirements of leadership. Start the process!

April 23-27, 2018: Oxford, England: We can learn from anyone. This is an opportunity to learn from and with a small group of your peers in a rich experiential environment. Oxford University's Scenarios Program is a 5-day deep dive into strategic scenario planning. Leading your manufacturing company into a very uncertain future with success and confidence requires preparation for unstructured environments. Non-college-credit course with application required.

May 8-10, 2018: Raleigh, NC: Industry Week will host its annual conference in North Carolina this year, no doubt reflecting the substantial growth of manufacturing in the SE states. You can count on the high quality content and exhibitors, as always.

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

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