Operations Article

Douglas C. Fair’s picture

By: Douglas C. Fair

When a consumer goes to purchase a new car, the first thing they’ll notice is the vehicle’s make. Yes, the car may say “Toyota” or “Ford” on the outside, but what’s on the inside? In reality, the car’s components—from the tires to the transmission—are typically manufactured by third-party vendors and suppliers. These and a myriad of other vendor-made parts are assembled in OEM factories all over the world, where the final product comes to life.

George Huang’s picture

By: 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 scheduled to leave the factory in less than a week. You have a choice to make.

Do you save some money in the short run by skipping product inspection altogether? Or do you somehow allocate part of an already limited budget for inspection?

Jordy Byrd’s picture

By: 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 prevent broken equipment in your lean production culture?

Another trite phrase hints at the answer: The weakest link is the strongest because it can break the chain.

Luk Van Wassenhove’s picture

By: 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 corporate strategy meets the road of the marketplace.

Multiple Authors
By: Gilles Hilary, Arnaud Lagarde

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 position.

John Paliotta’s picture

By: 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 substantial parts of the core functionality. For many companies building devices, software is the brand.

Steve Daum’s picture

By: 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 control (SPC) methods. Following are the five most prevalent and costly mistakes I witness in the application of SPC.

Bill Remy’s picture

By: 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 firms warn of a pullback in spending.

Mary Ann Pacelli’s picture

By: 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 enthusiastic about their careers, and they are inspired and empowered to proactively help your business grow.

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