Volume 4, Number 3 - March 7, 2006

As more and more companies choose to outsource, offshore, and outsource offshore, collaboration quickly becomes the competency most important to success. Given the often seen ineffectiveness of cross-department, cross-shift and sister-plant interactions, one has to wonder how well prepared much of American business is to master this hottest operational model.

So what are the keys to competent collaboration? First and foremost is the ability to communicate. Next, an ability to recognize, understand, and develop both private good and mutual benefit. And third, the ability to trust, be trustworthy, and be trusted. Without those three strengths failure is only a matter of time and degree. With them skills like project management and managing multiple priorities become relevant. Product knowledge and financial wizardry are near the bottom of the list.

The realities of your business may necessitate outsourcing and offshoring; if so, don’t get so caught up in the mechanics of planning and execution that you forget to address the aspects most critical to your success. Start now. As the great philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “it gets late early out there.”

to Georges Rochat and Jay Wimer for the merger of the Valtronic Group with AP Technologies, a Swiss manufacturer of orthopeadic implants. The new company will be called Valtronic Technologies, with operations in Switzerland, Morocco, Romania and Solon, OH USA.
nt Association (PMAC) provides a full day seminar “The Best Lessons We Ever Learned About Purchasing” at the John Carroll University campus.

On these pages earlier this winter I mentioned an interview I had with John McClenahen, senior editor of Industry Week, regarding who I believe to be the most influential thinker and/or doer in manufacturing within the last 35 years. While a few of you scoffed at my nominee (you know who you are!), you can see who made the final list by checking out the March issue of IW.

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