Volume 11 Number 9 - September 10, 2013


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


Okay, I'm not exactly open-minded on the topic. I believe an operations strategy is an important part of the success of manufacturers, so it's hard for me to say that government strategies to support manufacturing are necessarily bad. They can be for sure, but they don't have to be.

Kentucky governor Steve Beshear spent this last weekend hosting a confab of southern governors to discuss regional support of advanced manufacturing. Beshear announced "This meeting will explore everything from taxes and regulation, energy, and workforce skills, to infrastructure, and innovation." Other politicians have urged similar efforts.

Looking at Beshear's summary sentence, most of those highly meaningful factors are the logical purview of governments. For those, private sector input is valuable, but must be coupled with urban and economic development expertise to lead to optimal long term decisions. But let's be real. Competing local interests will likely prevent any coherent strategy.

Innovation is the topic that somehow doesn't seem to go with "government." The space program required innovation that continues to impact manufacturing and our lives. Surgical procedures have improved greatly, in no small part resulting from the need to save lives while taking incoming fire. But until I see government innovate itself, I'll struggle with that one.

Better that each of you foster a culture of innovation yourselves.


For years I've been advised to expand my consulting business beyond manufacturing. After all, the industry was dieing and moving to China. Convinced that people will, at least in my lifetime, want "things," I choose to focus entirely on manufacturers. It is challenging, effectual, important and fun work.

New materials, processes and technologies, product innovation and socioeconomic factors will transform what is made, how and where. I will continue to help manufacturers prepare for and lead those changes. Until evidence suggests that materialistic values and modern conveniences are being rejected worldwide, or that unaided instantaneous formation of want/need-meeting devices is more than sci-fi, my belief in manufacturing will remain firm.

Darwin made an important point about change. Note that he said "adaptable," not "can run from." Let's keep manufacturing adaptable and the future is bright.


The Starting Pistol
Friedrich von Schiller:
“Dare to be wrong, and to dream.”

The Tape
Rebecca Morgan:
"Be willing to make mistakes; it's on the path of learning."

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.


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