June 18, 2014
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.
May 30, 2014
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.
April 16, 2014
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.
March 18, 2014
The necessary conditions must be in place to implement the 80/20
method of management successfully.
February 28, 2014
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.
January 30, 2014
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.
December 6, 2013
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...
November 25, 2013
Taken individually or in combination, hidden costs greatly affect a company’s financial and competitive performance.
October 9, 2013
There’s nothing wrong with tackling the low-hanging fruit, unless it kills the big improvement initiatives that can really make you better.
September 5, 2013
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.
August 9, 2013
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.
July 12, 2013
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.
June 28, 2013
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.
April 24, 2013
If you don't know the answer to that question, you aren't listening to your customers closely enough. And that puts the entire organization at risk.
April 19, 2013
A company structure can be an attractive size and shape, with a
seemingly strong foundation--but still be a house of cards. Therefore,
it’s important to test the robustness of a company’s structure to
determine whether it is what it appears to be.