Manufacture Smarter Blog

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Planes, Trains, Automobiles & Quality?

3/10/2023 - BY: ANDY NICHOLS
Oddly enough, the famously hilarious movie, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, starring John Candy and Steve Martin, has a lot in common with quality management! It hit the big screens in 1987. In the same year, ISO 9001 was launched and then became the base requirement for AS 9100D and IATF 16949. The automotive industry found that ISO 9001 did not include many tools that have helped produce the quality products we drive today. As a result, “Core Tools” were developed and added to the basic ISO requirements.


Michigan’s Food and Agriculture

3/3/2023 - BY: JOHN SPILLSON
Governor Whitmer has proclaimed March as Michigan Food and Agriculture Month to honor and celebrate Michigan’s farmers and diverse products. Our state’s unique climate and abundance of water has provided the ideal conditions to grow and process some of the nation’s finest agricultural products. As a $105 billion industry, food and agriculture provides more than 800,000 jobs, which accounts for 17% of our state’s employment. Encompassing nearly 10 million acres of farmland, Michigan has more than 300 commodities and is the second most diverse agriculture state in the U.S.


Is Your Business at Risk?

2/23/2023 - BY: JEFF WILLIAMS
When it comes to our cell phones, most of us can’t leave home without them. We protect our phones and act as if our whole lives are on the device. So why aren’t we doing all we can to protect our business? In the age of technology and automation, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of how to protect your business information systems and ensure there are effective processes in place.


Value Stream Mapping and the Dentist

2/17/2023 - BY: DAVE NELSON
We all know that good oral hygiene is essential to healthy living. Even though we brush our teeth daily, visiting your dentist twice a year is still important. Unsurprisingly, the dentist will often find plaque, an occasional cavity or other serious issue regardless of prevention during the visit. Similarly, good operational “hygiene” is essential to business success. Conducting a value stream map (VSM) on your various operational processes should be performed regularly. 


Quality’s Key to Success

2/10/2023 - BY: BOB JENKINS
In my last blog, we discussed the importance of being a proficient problem solver in your quality role. So, after learning the problem-solving process and exercising it to effectiveness, stop and ask yourself, “What else makes me the most effective in my role?” That’s an easy one…


The Power of Mentorship

2/3/2023 - BY: BARB SHONIBIN
“Mentor” is often used as a buzzword more often than something that is acted upon. However, mentorship can be a great way to engage employees, new and old, while also benefiting the company. In today’s landscape, engaging and retaining employees has become challenging. New generations entering the workforce have different expectations and mindsets. It is crucial that management teams adapt to the changes and implement new initiatives that will attract, retain and engage staff.


Your New Coworker: The Collaborative Robot

1/27/2023 - BY: BOB SCIPIONE
I don’t think it is a surprise that technology evolves each day. We all know a new version of our cell phones is released each year due to this very reason. The fourth industrial revolution is in full swing and thanks to these advances, technology can help manufacturers become more competitive and successful.


Internal Audits? Bah, Humbug!

1/20/2023 - BY: ANDY NICHOLS
As 2022 was ending, I reflected on our end-of-year celebrations and realized they have a great deal in common with how organizations prepare and conduct internal, quality management audits.


Leading With Questions

1/13/2023 - BY: ANTHONY WELSH
It wasn’t until after a decade of working as a mechanical engineer that I really understood the crucial concept of letting the questions lead. While working on discovery-based projects, we must spend ample time documenting our question(s) before jumping into action. Albert Einstein was quoted as saying, “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend fifty-five minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.” Consider the fact that the smartest person in the room might not be the one with all the answers, but the one with the right questions. 


New Year, New Courses

1/6/2023 - BY: THE CENTER
Start the year on the right foot by focusing on employee skill development. Explore our new courses being offered in 2023. 


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