Volume 10 Number 9 - September 11, 2012


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.

These brief articles, list of events, and amended quote will make you think.
Go ahead: test us


As one candidate badmouths another, regardless of office being pursued, Americans prepare to vote.

Your company has plenty of competition. Is your strategy to badmouth all other organizations from which your market can buy?

I really don't hear Amazon.com, one of today's most successful businesses, badmouth their competition. Of course, they have so many competitors they couldn't possibly name them all.

Exxon doesn't badmouth Shell; Apple just keeps on designing great products, not wasting time reminding folks how unstable Microsoft products can be. Ford and JP Morgan fight through their own struggles, performing as the Top 10 earning companies they are, without highlighting their competitors' weaknesses. Each successful company focuses on letting the market know what they do well -- how they meet the needs of the customer.

I'm one of the best manufacturing operations strategists in the world. Why would I choose to bash others in my profession?

As you "vote" on your suppliers, your customers, your employees, your trusted advisors, and perhaps on your President, consider how they help you become more successful. If they badmouth their competition, they'll also not hesitate to badmouth you.

Take the high road to success. It's less crowded.


While driving Saturday I passed a downed power line. Being a good citizen, I wanted to let Cleveland Electric Illuminating company know about it. And they want to know!

Unfortunately, they appear to only want to know if you are a CEI customer.

Their website requires that you give them your account phone number and your First Energy company, which I don't have since I'm not a First Energy customer. But luckily the website also gives a "call this number!" option.

Again, unfortunately, the emergency number for reporting hazardous situations has an automated system that REQUIRES your account phone number and First Energy company.

Really? First Energy only wants to be informed of downed power lines by its own customers?

Utilities have a bad reputation for a reason.

Call all your automated systems from outside your phone system and follow the logic for both customers and non-customers who might call. Does it speak to them in ways that are logical for folks not familiar with your terminology? Does it give everyone who calls an easy way to reach a human if you've not anticipated their needs? Make sure your automated systems actually make sense.



The Starting Pistol
Abraham Lincoln:
“Towering genius disdains a beaten path"

The Tape
Rebecca Morgan:
"..so are you willing to make changes without first seeing many others do it successfully?"


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