Category Archives: Manufacturing

Manufacturing: If it can boost the stock market, why aren't people more interested in working in it?

As a speaker at the 2012 IndustryWeek Best Plants conference last week in Indianapolis, I had the chance to sit in on some of the sessions and keynotes. I found one keynote speaker, Mary Adringa, CEO and President of …

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Supply chain channel checkers

It’s been proven that supply chain risk events can cause a company’s stock to tank and company to lose market value. Now enter the new supply chain risk market makers: the channel checkers. These are the analysts who follow large …

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Are Toyota's Troubles Tainting Lean?

As part of the public flogging of Toyota for its massive quality problems and recalls, some are calling lean and the Toyota Production System into question. A recent WSJ article, How Lean Manufacturing Can Backfire, describes how Toyota’s use …

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NUMMI Suppliers Lose Their Customer: Can Lean Help Them Survive the Loss?

Looks like it’s really all over for NUMMI, the Toyota/GM joint auto manufacturing venture in Fremont, CA. Last summer, I wrote a post about the strong possibility of Toyota’s closing the plant (NUMMI: Things Are Looking Gloomy). The …

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If Your Supplier's Work Environment Is Unsafe, What Do You Do?

Die casting is manufacturing at its most basic and dirty level. Companies that use casting suppliers must allow additional lead time for procuring the castings, as they are typically a long lead-time item. And die casters are known for being …

Posted in Corporate social responsibility, Manufacturing, supply chain | 1 Comment

Smart Supply Chain Move or The Turning of the Screws on Machinists?

Boeing recently announced that it was planning to replicate all 787 parts built in the Puget Sound area in a new facilities being built in North Charleston, South Carolina. According to a recent article in the Seattle Times,  Boeing …

Posted in Manufacturing, supplier performance, supply risk | 1 Comment

Italian Auto Suppliers: Out of Cash, Except in Their Swiss Bank Accounts

While American auto suppliers have not been directly bailed out, many have survived due to the bailout of their customers, GM and Chrysler.  No so for small Italian suppliers.  According to a WSJ article, the Italian auto industry has …

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Supplier Collaboration: Finding the Sweet Spot

I recently heard a presentation at the AME Lean Conference that was given by representatives from Hershey Foods and K-Mart (part of Sears Holdings) about customer-supplier collaboration. A K-Mart General Manager and a Hershey Foods sales executive discussed how the …

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Smokestack symbolism

I thought this video, which shows a 100-year-old manufacturing building in Lawrence, Massachusetts being demolished, was pretty cool. In its heyday, Lawrence was an important textile manufacturing center due to its location near water to power the mills and …
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You Know You're At a Lean Conference When…

Attending the annual AME Lean Conference was energizing and inspiring. The conference delegates are a different crowd. They are practitioners of the lean enterprise. This is apparent if you spend any time with these folks.

You know you’re at …

Posted in Business, Lean, Manufacturing | 3 Comments