Content By Thomas R. Cutler

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Two years ago, the marketing research division of Florida-based TR Cutler Inc. interviewed CEOs of privately held manufacturing operations in North America and reported that their top fear was a lack of communication with employees due to the inability to motivate or inspire the workforce. That research was recently replicated, and while communication breakdowns are still the No. 1 fear, the reasons and importance are quite different: It’s about communicating with a multicultural workforce.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Two words no manufacturing organization wants to hear: product recalls. By their very nature, product recalls are unpredictable events.

The cost to a company transcends potentially expensive litigation and settlements. Product recalls and the effects that product failures have on companies that fail to conduct proper design analysis before, during, and after the manufacturing process are often unrecoverable.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Manufacturers’ waste-reduction initiatives are rarely as effective as they could be. When reducing waste, inventory is often the main target. But how do you right-size inventory in an environment of constant variability? In a word: kanban.

Electronic kanban signals keep product moving throughout the manufacturing organization and its extended supply chain. These systems operate in real time to optimize inventory levels by instantly tracking lead and replenishment times.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

It’s no surprise that multinational companies have complex global supply chains. What’s less obvious is how to simplify supply-chain processes and arrive at a lean, consistent, reliable, and cost-effective solution. One global leader, ITT Corp., has taken on this challenge with the help of Ultriva, a supply-chain solution by Upland Software, which supplies cloud-based manufacturing and supply-chain collaboration and execution solutions.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Quality professionals in most manufacturing plants still have safety under their area of responsibility. Safety has been a growing concern in the workplace for decades, and in warehouse operations, forklift safety is one of the biggest.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Established in 1982, the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) is a nonprofit association with a diverse group of stakeholders—including retailers, suppliers of all sizes, automakers, manufacturers, service providers, academia, and the government—working collaboratively to streamline industry processes via global standards development and harmonized business practices.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler


As regulatory compliance expands with fast-changing, ever-growing requirements, safety and quality professionals are falling behind. Senior management, particularly among small and mid-sized manufacturers, delegates the function of safety and quality without fully comprehending the scope and rigor required to maintain compliance to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Magline is a leading manufacturer of route distribution solutions. Back in 1947, the company was founded to “make things out of magnesium” because such products offered unrivaled strength and lightness. Magline’s first product was a modular magnesium hand truck that caught on rapidly. That was a pretty forward-thinking idea back then, and paved the way to help people do their jobs more safely and productively. Since then, the biggest change in the company has been in the role of women. 

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Much has been written about the different styles of management between the genders. Although there are still few women in top leadership, particularly in manufacturing, learning from them, even anecdotally, can provide insight into the current state of leadership and a future where more women are seated as C-level executives.