Volume 14 Number 9 - September 6, 2016


Sadly, we have to refer back to the early 1980's for a well known example of immediate "costs-be-damned" corporate leadership demonstrating business ethics and overwhelming commitment to customer safety. Johnson & Johnson reacted without delay by pulling all Tylenol product off the shelves and repurchasing all product already sold when a Chicago-area criminal laced a handful of bottled product with cyanide, killing seven people. There was no suspicion that J&J production problems were the source. It was quickly clear that intentional sabotage was to blame. Regardless, J&J leadership acted responsibly and immediately, having no way of knowing where the tampered product sat.

Now we have automakers who knowingly chose to save a few bucks to buy airbags from Takata, a Japanese supplier of automotive parts. Airbag inflator units are explosives. The Takata explosives used are unstable. Autoliv, a highly regarded competitor, lost massive business to Takata when it refused to meet automakers demands that they meet the lower price of Takata. Autoliv had examined the Takata product and told its customers it was unsafe. Rather than sacrifice its ethics, they company sacrificed sales and profits.

Airbag failures that killed passengers began in 2014, after initial injuries from faulty inflators had injured numerous people in 2013. Today, massive recalls continue by several automakers, forced to do so.

Takata has experience with recalls, as mid-1990s seatbelt defects initiated what was then the second largest recall in DOT history. And that doesn't include all the problems in other countries. Honda and others were fined then because they knowingly installed the failure-prone seatbelts.

A few short years ago one of my client companies chose to behave like Johnson & Johnson when a component problem was discovered with one if its products. Rather than work to minimize the quantity recalled, they chose to cast a wide net and replace the component in any sold product that had a remote possibility of failure. I wish I could share their name, as these business ethics and commitment to customer safety are factors that makes them special.

Quality is Job 1. Build it like you would for your family. Advancement through technology. We bring good things to life.

If your business states it, do it. That includes leaving a few bucks on the table to ensure your product is everything you say it is.

I am excited to announce that my video series, Manufacturing Greatness, is now available through my website. Additionally, my new book, Start Smart, Finish Strong: Forging Your Path to Operational Excellence and Long-Term Success in the Manufacturing World will be available for Kindle and in paperback through Amazon in mid-October. I've been busy!

From Tactical To Strategic Thinking

The Starting Pistol

John Wooden:
"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

The Tape

Rebecca Morgan:
"There are multiple paths, none of which we are smart enough to see in entirety before we begin the journey. Just start."

September 25-27, 2016: Washington DC. The annual APICS conference is in DC this year, bringing with it presentations, keynotes, and workshops. Join more than 2,000 people from around the globe as you earn recertification points and learn!

October 24-28, 2016: Dallas, TX: The annual AME conference will be in Dallas this year. As always, great plant tours, keynotes, practitioner presentations, workshops, and small group conversations on issues of importance to YOU.

November 2-4, 2016: Chicago, IL: If you are searching to better understand The Internet Of Things (IoT) the IOT Emerge 2016 conference at McCormick Place will provide a fabulous learning opportunity.

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

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