Volume 9 Number 3 - March 8, 2011

If you know a company — customer, supplier, friend, or your own — that could benefit
from improved operations, let us know.
Your best interest is our best interest.

The Finish Strong® monthly e-newsletter is for business leaders who recognize Operations as a strategic function that creates competitive advantage, profitability and brand loyalty to the marketplace.


Back in the 1980's, sourcing was fairly easy. Companies were big and easy to find. Since then, expertise in international sourcing has become a fundamental expectation of procurement. And in recent years, small entrepreneurial companies have become key sources of materials and services.

The state of Hawaii is resident to fewer than 10,000 people who make a living in manufacturing. The vast majority are companies under 30 employees. How will you discover if the supplier that could best help you is there?

While the numbers vary by state, the importance of small suppliers tucked away in nondescript buildings with small parking lots is exploding. They have brilliant engineers and state-of-the-art equipment. They are committed to continuous improvement and understand the concept of partnership. They are creative and not afraid of change.

Because they invest in their success, they frequently are not willing or able to finance your business through extended terms or holding inventory. They understand lowering entire supply chain costs, and aren't fooled by efforts to merely shift them to suppliers.

How do you find these outstanding businesses? And do you know how to partner with them for mutual long term success? Without these skills, the number and quality of your potential suppliers becomes limited, as does long term competitiveness. Do not assume big is better



Fulcrum ConsultingWorks clients VitaMix, Tremco, and Kennametal were honored at the 2011 Evolution of Manufacturing event on February 17, 2011. The winners were selected by a panel of judges selected by SmartBusiness. Last year I had the pleasure of serving as a judge for this event.



The Starting Pistol
Frank Knox, Secretary of the Navy, Feb 5, 1941, to Henry Stimson, Secretary of War:
"If war eventuates with Japan, it is believed easily possible that hostilities would be initiated by a surprise attack upon the fleet or the naval base at Pearl Harbor."

The Tape
Rebecca Morgan:
"Just because you sometimes don't want to believe what your employees tell you doesn't make it untrue; listen and consider before rejecting."


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For reprint permission, just give Rebecca a call at 216-486-9570
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