March 16, 2016 | By Dick Kallage
The world is full of surveys these days, and some really don’t have much purpose. Others, however, can be extremely valuable. Industry benchmarking surveys, for instance, can be a vital tool for any company looking to improve. This includes the “Financial Ratios & Operational Benchmarking Survey” from FMA.
February 10, 2016 | By Dick Kallage
The fab shop is ripe territory for unexpected (and usually bad) things to occur. The best operations prevent them by doing as the accountants do. They audit regularly.
January 4, 2016 | By Dick Kallage
Continuous improvement initiatives often lack organizational structure and defined responsibilities. Consultant Dick Kallage describes three components needed to correct these problems and prevent continuous improvement from stalling.
December 15, 2015 | By Dick Kallage
Is ISO 9001 certification worth it? It really depends. If key customers or prospects require it, then yes, it’s certainly worth the effort. But if a fabricator does pursue ISO certification, it shouldn’t be a one-time effort but instead a continual improvement. It isn’t just window dressing.
November 4, 2015 | By Dick Kallage
When designing an effective quality system, manufacturers need to consider the cost of quality (COQ), customer and industry quality demands, and their company’s specific set of value propositions.
October 15, 2015 | By Dick Kallage
Listening to people on the shop floor is one thing, but really hearing what they’re saying is something else entirely.
September 2, 2015 | By Dick Kallage
Employee surveys can either be an important tool for improvement or virtually useless. For surveys to be useful, they need to have a purpose and, most important, spur action.
August 4, 2015 | By Dick Kallage
To attain high organizational energy, a company’s people need to be aware of the environment in which the company operates, and have the fitness and will to improve.
July 14, 2015 | By Dick Kallage
How will technology advancements affect the kind of skilled worker we will need in the future? And how many skilled workers will we need? The answers to these questions are of incredible importance to metalworking and manufacturing in general
June 23, 2015 | By Dick Kallage
To ensure every employee has a common view of what’s ideal versus what needs to be improved, a few hours of basic lean training can go a long way.
May 28, 2015 | By Dick Kallage
The definition of accountability has evolved to mean responsibility with consequences. Ideally, entry-level and other low-level employees should have accountability over the outcomes of their work, but that accountability must be based on objectivity and fairness. Otherwise, an accountability scheme can actually weaken an organization instead of strengthening it.
April 29, 2015 | By Dick Kallage
Nothing is more frustrating than spending time and money to train new hires, only to lose them six to 12 months later. Why did they leave? Quite often the reasons go back to their first 30 days on the job.
March 10, 2015 | By Dick Kallage
A great company has a “why” culture, one that encourages employee engagement and people don’t hesitate to ask “Why?” to find the true answer, based not on guesses or rumor, but on factual evidence.
January 28, 2015 | By Dick Kallage
Should you hire people with experience or rookies with good potential? It depends on the situation, but training and developing the inexperienced has become more important than ever. There just aren’t enough people with experience to go around.
January 20, 2015 | By Dick Kallage
During this long, slow economic recovery, there’s plenty of churn in the market. Customers are less hesitant to change suppliers to get what they want. In this environment, having insufficient capacity has become very risky.