When Even the Losers are Winners

Identifying the travails of certain companies is not designed to pour salt in any wounds, no matter how easy it might be. In fact, we point them out because it brings to light some great examples of what your peers in the manufacturing space are facing, how they’re addressing these issues, and the subsequent success or failure of those efforts.

This article originally appeared in IMPO's May issue

Every day, I like to spend some time on IMPO’s Twitter page (@IMPOmag, if you haven’t checked it out) to get a better understanding of which topics are striking a chord with the Twittersphere.  Popular headlines often range anywhere from human interest stories (“Worker Survives Electric Shock on the Job, Tells his Story”) to the more contentious and political (“China Now World's Third-Biggest Arms Exporter.”

One of the newest and most popular pieces of online content lately, both in our website and Twitter page, is associate editor Maura Falk’s weekly roundup: “Manufacturing’s Winner and Loser of the Week.” Maybe the use of the word “loser” is kind of harsh, but this consistent feature simply takes a look at who in the industry had a great week, and which companies probably wished they’d ‘stayed in bed,’ so to speak.

What I like about this segment is that the weekly winners are fairly nuanced – one week we might feature a plant that’s celebrating an impeccable safety record, whereas another week might mention a new product development that’s blowing down doors. Alternatively, the losers are often manufacturers facing egregious safety breaches, recalls, or shutdowns. Sometimes product developers are racing the clock against pending legislation (think Tesla’s challenges with the legal barriers of selling their cars in some states, or Maura’s ‘loser’ from April 17th – Palcohol powdered alcohol – a product quickly accumulating bans throughout the U.S.).

Identifying the travails of these companies is not designed to pour salt in any wounds, no matter how easy it might be. In fact, we love the segment because it brings to light some great examples of what your peers in the manufacturing space are facing, how they’re addressing these issues, and the subsequent success or failure of those efforts. I wish I had a better opportunity to identify and understand the best (and worst) practices of my competitors, but good luck getting anyone in media to publicize their own mistakes.

In each issue of the magazine, as you know, we profile a manufacturer in our IMPO Onsite segment. This month it’s Griffin Claw Brewing Company, so be sure to check out page 8 if you can. While these onsite stories tend to be “winners,” we work hard to make sure the companies we interview are honest and candid. While it might go against the nature of any business owner to talk about their trials and errors in a public forum, it’s the kind of insight that make these case studies valuable to readers like you. We all know that running a manufacturing operation isn’t all sunshine and roses, and that the rough patches often yield creative solutions that others can learn from.

I’d ask you, IMPO readers, to think of us the next time your company does something great. Or the next time you face a catastrophic problem that you’re able to effectively navigate. Are you willing to share your experience? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Email me at Anna.Wells@advantagemedia.com.

 

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