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

Technology: The ultimate moving target

July 14, 2015

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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

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How basic training in lean manufacturing establishes a common view

June 23, 2015

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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.

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A modern take on accountability

May 28, 2015

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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.

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Employee retention: The first 30 days

April 29, 2015

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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.

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The power of why

March 10, 2015

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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.

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The hiring question in metal fabrication: Experience or potential?

January 28, 2015

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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.

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The capacity dilemma in custom metal fabrication

January 20, 2015

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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.

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New squeezes on the small metal fabricator

December 18, 2014

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The custom fabrication market is changing as more customers—with a single-minded focus on price—stipulate new performance demands for quality, delivery, service, responsiveness, and payment terms. Should custom fabricators rethink how they are structured and how they operate to offset what could be fatal weaknesses?

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Metal fabrication, efficiency, and safety

November 6, 2014

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Morality and fear often drive safety investments. People don’t want to see people get hurt, and they don’t want fines from a terrible accident to put them out of business. But there’s another driver that’s sometimes overlooked: efficiency. Safety is an important part of the foundation for efficiency and operational improvement.

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Staffing the comeback

October 22, 2014

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It’s no secret—this industry has a tough time finding people, and as demand has increased in recent years, the problem has gotten worse. Just how many people does this industry need to compete, what talents do they need to have, and how can a company attract the best? To address these questions requires realistic planning based not on perceptions, but on facts.

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How to get scheduling right

August 28, 2014

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Many point to scheduling as one of the most challenging aspects of running a custom fabrication business. Why, exactly? Sometimes it’s the software, but quite often, it boils down to the inputs used to create the schedule in the first place.

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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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