May 2018

Is Lean Six Sigma Right for You?

5/18/2018 By: Anna Stefos A few weeks ago, The Center’s Brian Mamo wrote about great food pairings as a way to define the combination of “sales” and “marketing” into “smarketing.” An equally dynamic pairing provides manufacturers with valuable tools for reducing waste and improving quality as well as efficiency: Lean and Six Sigma. What Does “Lean” Mean? Coming from the Toyota Production System in Japan in the 1990s, the Lean methodology aims to eliminate anything that does not add value in a given process by targeting variation and defects.

Tactical Deployment: The Real Strategic Plan

5/11/2018 By: Ron Quinkert Now that we’re five months into the year, it’s safe to say that most of us have long-abandoned our New Year’s Resolutions. Whether we were hoping to lose weight, get better sleep or save more money, we probably forgot about our 2018 missions just about as soon as the new year started. This is not due to laziness or lack of time, however, but because we did not establish a tactical plan for meeting our goals. Take, for example, the goal of trying to lose weight. If your resolution was to get healthier and shed some weight, but you did not own a scale or establish a workout regimen, it would have been nearly impossible for you to achieve any real results.

Automation and the Workforce: Addressing the 800-Pound Gorilla in the Room

5/4/2018 By: Chuck Werner Discussions of the Industry 4.0 technologies among small to medium enterprises usually take one of two paths. The first is a politely positive path where everyone ignores the impact these advancements will have on the human workforce. This is what is known as ignoring the “elephant in the room,” where there is an obvious problem at hand, but no one wants to address it. The other is usually approached more fearfully, as if we were crawling into a cage with a seething Silverback.