I'm not known for patience in the face of mild inconveniences. I can navigate the major roadblocks life throws my way with a grin-and-bear-it or a glass-is-half-full attitude, but there is something about the small stuff that goes wrong that makes me sweat these trivial problems in a big way. But sometimes you can’t help but wonder if this one seemingly insignificant bother, left untreated, could develop into a major hurdle.
Gerald Zirstein jumped into television interviews last month, during which he demonstrated how he grinds his own beef now, refusing to buy anything containing "pink slime." The consumer media picked up the story and ran with it, and soon the words "pink slime" were on everybody's tongue. But what people were really talking about, specifically, were products primarily made by Beef Products, Inc. (BPI), the manufacturers of "pink slime."
Despite scientific evidence of a product’s safety, a deeply engrained negative perception will lead consumers to avoid that product.
In-depth life cycle analysis may take months and millions of dollars, but now there are better tools for design engineers to make cost-saving choices.
We hear all the time how today’s young adults are so disenfranchised with the idea of working in manufacturing that there are still thousands of jobs going unfilled. Typically, these positions require training in high precision skills like CNC programming. But the skill mismatch we currently face shares a seat with a vast pool of candidates who spent the past few years educating themselves for other career paths.
When designing pharmaceutical facilities, there is much to be taken into consideration, and merely throwing up a "bunch of bricks" just doesn't cut it anymore.
For many organizations, Lean means creating employment opportunities at home: Good jobs, a strong tax base, a brighter future. We believe that the tide is turning towards “re-shoring” jobs and capability that America has lost in the last two decades, and that the time to rally our Lean community is here. Long-term thinking is emerging: America can compete through use of Lean thinking.
Thankfully, the world remains full of billionaire playboys willing to invest their lives and fortunes in new frontiers others have all but abandoned.
During a recent trip to San Francisco, I was unprepared to be somewhat molested by airport security. The day started like many others planned for travel. I went over my checklist of things I needed ad nauseum and grabbed a cup of coffee for the road. But then, I was unexpectedly introduced to the airport’s new body scanner instead of the conventional metal detector that only requires a swift walk-through.
While manufacturing is finally beginning to show signs of a turnaround, uncertainty remains a chief concern. Economies around the world are grappling with debt crises, market volatility has become the norm and job growth can be measured by the decimal point. But what if this “perfect storm” of economic futility also had opportunities? What if the increased demand for lower pricing and higher production could usher in new efficiencies?
In America, there will be no sustainable recovery in the manufacturing sector without the right training programs to teach the necessary skills. Without cultivating the right talent right here in the U.S., those jobs will remain unfilled, and may eventually move overseas as well. Or U.S. manufacturers will look to other ways to accomplish integral business functions.
Small and midsize manufacturers (SMM) do not like to do business plans, but they all want to grow. The real question is: How much growth can they afford?
I must admit I’m a bit of a sucker for redemption tales, so to watch Motor City and the state of Michigan benefit from the auto industry’s comeback is heartening.
Employees have so many distractions these days, which means our priorities keep getting watered down because we spend so much time putting out fires.
If you were offered the opportunity to take over a company on the verge of bankruptcy, what would you ask for in return?
Have you ever asked your customers what they would be willing to pay 50 percent more for? Their answers might surprise you.
It seems that, as humans, we are excellent at temporary learning: The art of correcting potentially reckless behavior after some event shakes us up, but then quickly reverting to our careless ways. This tendency does not only present itself during workers’ commutes; it also follows workers into the factories where they work. Plant workers can easily get so comfortable in their repetitive daily routine that they forget to stay vigilant.
All too often, business fall into a trap with new technologies. They are impressed with what it promises that it can do, but never take the time to fully learn and implement these promised wonders of productivity. They may not have planned adequate employee training on the new program, or maybe they didn’t give employees enough time to adjust to the new software before expecting to see significant ROI results.
But often overlooked in the midst of these attacks are the food companies and owners investing in ways to make food safer and Americans healthier.
The axiom, “simpler is better,” is a timeless and universal idea. The Lean methodology improves business by identifying and attacking waste in its many forms. As we use the Lean methodology to eliminate waste we eliminate unnecessary steps, reduce effort, minimize work, and keep things visible and obvious. Likewise, Six Sigma strives to minimize variation. Things become much easier to control and less prone to vary when they are simple.