Volume 14 Number 11 - November 8, 2016


If you've flown recently, regardless of airline or departure country, you've heard an announcement that anyone carrying on, or packing in checked luggage, a Samsung phone is violating federal law. The announcement specifies a model, but all most of us hear is "Samsung."

Quickly following the recall of the impacted phones–which is interesting given that they don't yet have an equivalent non-explosive replacement model—Samsung is also recalling almost three million washing machines. Are we noticing a trend here?

We all know that reducing time-to-market is an important strategy that operations must master. But by letting Marketing push an introduction date of a product not adequately tested the reputation of an entire organization can be ruined. Of course we want to introduce the best and most exciting products as quickly as we can, but the words "as we can" have crucial meaning. There are three common scenarios a manufacturer may face in introducing a new product. First, and the one we all want, is an introduction on the scheduled date with all the targeted performance attributes verified through testing. The second, is that operations can hit the date with a less featured but verified product. The third is that operations, marketing, and finance discussions regarding product challenges result in a business decision to delay the release.

The fourth option, which is fraught with danger, appears to be the one Samsung chose: Introduce the new fully featured product and hope that it would have met all testing requirements if we had chosen to run them. I have seen an embarrassing number of manufacturers choose this fourth option. Some have been lucky, others have had less public failures, and some blow up like this Samsung fiasco.

Lean product development is a fantastically successful methodology for reducing time-to-market, but a company that can't also verify performance and safety during that development period has a critical weakness. Do your life-cycle testing processes meet your true business needs? If not, address those and choose from options one, two and three. Option four will destroy trust, and potentially your entire business.

Check out my video series, Manufacturing Greatness. 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.

4 Tips to Improve the Value of Your S&OP Process

The Starting Pistol

Dwight D. Eisenhower:
"Our real problem, then, is not our strength today; it is rather the vital necessity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow.”

The Tape

Rebecca Morgan:
"...so whether weak or strong, take action to create the future you seek."

Nov 14-15, 2016: San Diego, CA: Technology in manufacturing is evolving quickly now, after years of limited use. The Inside 3D Printing Conference & Expo is an opportunity to see state of the art equipment, applications, and materials capabilities, while learning about business model impacts. If you don't understand this technology well, it's time to get started!

Dec 6-7, 2016: Reading, PA: Struggling with achieving small lot sizes in a high mix environment? The Mastering Setup Reduction in A High Mix Environment 2-day hands on workshop at Misco Products, a cleaning chemicals company, can help you make a giant leap forward. Send a team of operators, setup mechanics, and supervisors who can determine how best to apply these skills in your operations.

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.

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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