KDC & Associates Ltd.

Dick Kallage

Consultant
KDC & Associates Ltd.
522 S. Northwest Highway, Suite UL-8
Barrington, IL, IL 60010


Phone: 847-525-6109
www.kdcconsultants.com

Scheduling high-mix, low-volume operations

July 30, 2014

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Scheduling remains one of the most complicated, least predictable aspects of contract metal fabrication. But why is this exactly, and what can a shop do to change this? In this first article in a series, Dick Kallage uncovers the answers.

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Differentiating in a commoditized market

July 24, 2014

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There are four principles to understand about differentiation and the buying factors that go beyond price: They always exist; they have economic value; they vary by customer; and they change with time, because yesterday’s differentiators can be tomorrow’s commodity.

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Winning in commoditized markets

June 18, 2014

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The lowest-cost-producer business model is simple. If you have the lowest costs and prices, you win. But this model can be ruthless, too.

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Commoditization: Is it inevitable?

May 30, 2014

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The digital revolution has changed the game of metal fabrication. How can business owners differentate their companies? Contributing writer Dick Kallage begins a new series to answer that question.

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80/20 homework

April 16, 2014

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Before a company looks to increase its inventory buffer as a step to improve on-time delivery, a shop should exhaust less expensive options first. These homework assignments may help fabricators explore those options.

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80/20: What can possibly go wrong?

March 18, 2014

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The necessary conditions must be in place to implement the 80/20 method of management successfully.

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An 80/20 primer

February 28, 2014

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The 80/20 management method seeks to maximize results—such as sales or profits—by systematically deploying available resources only to the drivers that have the most impact. It sounds straightforward, but columnist Dick Kallage explains why this management approach is sometimes hard to execute.

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Days in the lives

January 30, 2014

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To find time to dedicate to continuous improvement activities, a metal fabricator should have a good idea what employees do every day before assigning additional tasks.

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Want to make your own products?

December 6, 2013

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This column is a bit of a change of pace, but like all the previous ones it is targeted to the real issues I see with contract manufacturers and fabricators. This column focuses on products, specifically, the products you may want to build and market under your company’s auspices versus someone...

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The hidden costs in manufacturing

November 25, 2013

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Taken individually or in combination, hidden costs greatly affect a company’s financial and competitive performance.

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Adding rocks to the knapsack: A roadblock to continuous improvement

October 9, 2013

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There’s nothing wrong with tackling the low-hanging fruit, unless it kills the big improvement initiatives that can really make you better.

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So, exactly what are you going to improve?

September 5, 2013

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Cycle time? Labor performance? It’s easy just to pick a random area for improvement, but if a metal fabricator really wants to change operations dramatically, time and effort are needed to identify the root causes in the greatest need of correction.

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The will behind continuous improvement

August 9, 2013

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We all know about situations in which we spend money and yet nothing improves or even gets worse. But when you do continuous improvement right, you’ll get better financially and see a strong return for that investment.

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Stacking the deck for real improvement

July 12, 2013

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Improvement that drives real competitive advantage, which means superior margins and valuation, must come from everything that surrounds the mechanical magic of modern manufacturing technology.

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The art, science, and frustration of sales forecasting

June 28, 2013

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Forecasting, while seemingly futile at times, is something fabricators should take seriously instead of dismissing it as some hocus-pocus best left to Wall Street analysts, politicians, and tarot card readers.

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