Operations Features

Randy Long's picture
Randy Long
A study conducted by the Laboratory Accreditation Bureau of noncompliances during accreditation assessments to ISO/IEC 17025—“General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration...
George Huang's picture
George Huang
You import promotional goods from China. You're sitting at your desk, staring down at the balance sheet, burning the midnight oil again. You have an order of 20,000 pens currently in production and...
Jordy Byrd's picture
Jordy Byrd
You’re only as strong as your weakest link. Although trite, the phrase embodies what manufacturing plants and processing facilities have worked to overcome for years: How do you plan for and...
Luk Van Wassenhove's picture
Luk Van Wassenhove
Establishing a clear and consistent focus, and knowing when to change it, is the essence of manufacturing agility. Factories don’t just make things. Viewed properly, they are where the rubber of...
Michelle LaBrosse's picture
Michelle LaBrosse
What habits do you need to develop to become a more effective project manager? Maybe you need to get more organized with your paperwork, or change how you spend your time each day to stay on track...
Harry Hertz's picture
Harry Hertz
During my 25 years with the Baldrige program, I have never come across an organization that couldn’t improve its communication, no matter how good it already is. The importance of...
Mike Micklewright's picture
Mike Micklewright
To many people, the relationship between daily kaizen and statistical process control (SPC) might seem as remote as the relationship between a kangaroo and the past iconic American TV series...
Jack Dunigan's picture
Jack Dunigan
Whenever I hire a new employee, as part of his orientation I am always careful to emphasize that it would be wrong to mistake my forbearance for indifference, that while I am long-suffering and...
Gilles Hilary's picture
Gilles Hilary
Eric (not his real name) was under pressure from his sales department. He was hesitant to close a large financing deal with a Chinese corporation but had little beyond his intuition to back up his...
Dawn Marie Bailey's picture
Dawn Marie Bailey
Losing can actually have its benefits. For Baldrige users, however, it’s a common saying that everyone is a winner who takes that first step. The most important reason for using the ...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
A piece of popular lore, provided by Shigeo Shingo, is that the original name for mistake-proofing (poka-yoke) was actually fool-proofing (baka-yoke). Shingo chided managers at Panasonic for...
John Paliotta's picture
John Paliotta
In today’s hyper-competitive global economy, customer satisfaction is increasingly being driven by software. Software is the primary controller of the human interface with electronic devices and...
Steve Daum's picture
Steve Daum
In daily conversations, I field questions from plant managers, quality managers, engineers, supervisors, and plant production workers about the challenges of applying statistical process...
Bill Remy's picture
Bill Remy
A recent article in The Wall Street Journal reported that quarterly profits and revenue at big U.S. companies are poised to decline for the first time since the 2008 recession, as some industrial...
Arun Hariharan's picture
Arun Hariharan
During my years of experience helping companies with quality, I’ve observed that in some, any conversation and initiatives related to quality seem to revolve around operations. In manufacturing...
Mary Ann Pacelli's picture
Mary Ann Pacelli
As a manufacturer, you don’t want workers; you want company ambassadors. Workers are individuals who show up and get their tasks done. Company ambassadors are a team of employees who are...
Giles Hutchins's picture
Giles Hutchins
Much of today’s organizational management mindset—whether corporate, nonprofit, government institution, or startup—is rooted in a flawed logic about how the world works. “We have been, and...
Gallup's picture
Gallup
As technology advances, it’s tempting for companies to believe that gathering more data and crunching more numbers will consistently lead to better customer insights. But Gallup finds that’s not...
John Hunter's picture
John Hunter
I have discussed steps to take to build a culture of continuous improvement in numerous posts on my Curious Cat Management Improvement blog. What it boils down to is building a system that supports...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
In 1987, shortly after I became a manufacturing manager, the shop foreman at the time warned me about a young assembler. “Watch out for Michael,” the foreman said. “He tends to bend the rules...