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Beware the One-Trick Pony
January 11, 2017

Al Landers had just put his career on the line. As Director of R&D at Huber Engineered Woods, he was under constant pressure from top management to develop new and diverse products – the CEO often reminding him with equal parts advice and warning the pitfalls of becoming a one-trick pony. Al’s team was relatively

Comfortable With Your Performance?
November 21, 2016

“Comfortable is a word I would choose to describe an old sofa. Sadly, many people in business see it as a destination.” Published by: Mick Holly | SBTI VP of Strategy I decided I needed to improve my writing skills and joined a writing class. One of the exercises we were given was to write

Can Continuous Improvement Protect Your Economic Moat?
November 9, 2016

The term, “economic moat” was coined by Warren Buffett. Morningstar have taken this term and developed an economic moat assessment to help it rate companies. Their definition is: In a free-market economy, capital seeks the areas of highest return. Whenever a company develops a profitable product or service, it doesn’t take long before competitive forces

Enhancing Material Utilization
June 29, 2016

Background Our client is a North American rigid packaging manufacturer of plastic bottles and containers. Operational Excellence is a principle tenet of the executive leadership team specifically raw material utilization to drive improved bottom line net income.   The Challenge Balancing footprint consolidation with ongoing manufacturing efficiency efforts possessed significant challenges in resource allocations. Management

Improving Inbound Supplier Quality
June 20, 2016

CLIENT’S BACKGROUND Our client is a global power systems company. During a twenty-year period beginning in the 1990’s the company experienced 300% growth emerging as the sole independent producer of diesel power systems and components in the world. In addition to rapid expansion the company saw the complexity of its products increase in a totally

A Little Push Is All We Need Sometimes
May 20, 2016

Relatively speaking, it was a good problem for Naveen to have – as of fall 2014, customer demand had skyrocketed at this leading global maker of suspension systems for semi-trailers. And as Manufacturing Engineering Manager, a key responsibility was to address this gap.   The Current Situation Internally, no unrelenting pressure from the C-suite or

With Common Language All Shall Flow…
May 5, 2016

Fred Stone’s grimace told it all. He was straight-shooting, no-nonsense plant manager at a leading automation company in the American Midwest, where poor third quarter numbers had worsened his already bad mood — the disappointing year was continuing… The Company Story It had become abundantly clear to him in-house measures were not solving problems of

Real World Experience Makes A Human Difference
April 7, 2016

At the corporate level, this consolidation process meant the purchase and merger of a handful of companies under one umbrella, with Jay’s facility itself being a $70 million business pumping out 18,000 bumpers a day for some of the largest automakers in the world. More specifically, Jay’s facility provided bumpers to a sequencing facility which

Why do most improvement initiatives turn into cost reduction?
November 25, 2015

  So you have been to the “transformation roadshow” or launched the “insert your own catchy title initiative” or “lean enterprise”, and six months in the results are not being seen in the ultimate scorecard –the financial statements.  The quarterly numbers need to be met so we know the quickest route to moving the dial