Manufacture Smarter Blog

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Is Your Work Adding Value?

2/8/2019 - BY: MIKE BEELS
We tend to assume that every task we perform is essential in sustaining operations. But after analyzation from a Lean perspective, we might be surprised to discover that many of our activities are actually costing the organization time and money.


When Lean and Six Sigma Meet Industry 4.0

1/25/2019 - BY: ANNA STEFOS 
Each day, more manufacturers are implementing new technologies in their facilities in efforts to improve operations, boost efficiency and increase profitability. However, many are still trying to figure out how to best approach these new technologies and what they will look like for their business. One way to better understand how to achieve a “smart” factory is to think of it in the context of Lean Six Sigma.


Lead Your Project Team to Victory in Your Obeya “War Room”

11/30/2018 - BY: ROGER TOMLINSON
Successful projects don’t just happen; they require hard work and collaboration from both project managers and team members to ensure all tasks are completed and goals are met, on time and on budget. However, many projects ultimately fail or are abandoned because the team does not work together to achieve shared goals.


Getting to the Bottom of Your Bottom Line Issues

11/9/2018 - BY: GEORGE SINGOS & ROB STAUFFER
Do you really know how profitable your business is? Do you find that revenue is going up, but profits are going down or staying the same? To keep your business operating into the future, it is essential to understand why this is happening.


LEAN: Learn, Educate And Network

7/20/2018 - BY: BETSY WILLIAMS
At Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) in Traverse City, the tradition of sharing and learning from others on a lean journey launched the Northern Michigan Lean Learning Consortium (LLC) 10 years ago. Two years later, the Michigan Lean Consortium (MLC) was founded by a group of nine forward-thinking individuals who firmly believed that if every Michigan organization used lean principles, the state's economy would rebound.


Stop Risk Before Risk Stops You: 5 Steps to Effective Risk Management

6/15/2018 - BY: ROGER TOMLINSON
All successful project managers have one crucial ability in common, which ensures their projects never get derailed or end in disaster: effective risk management. This essential aspect of managing projects involves identifying, assessing and responding to potential project risks.


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.


Struggling to Embrace Lean Culture? Here’s Why.

4/13/2018 - BY: MIKE BEELS
People don’t like change. Learning new ways of doing things and adopting new technology can be a scary proposition. I often have clients ask, “Why do we need to change, we are already working hard?” or, “We are already profitable, why change?” The unfortunate answer is that you cannot avoid change; everything changes over time.


Seeing is Believing with Value Stream Mapping

3/30/2018 - BY: ROGER TOMLINSON
With all of the moving parts within a manufacturing business (both literal and figurative), it’s easy to lose sight of strategic objectives. What if your management team had a way to actually see all of the goals and processes of your entire organization in one clear visual? Fortunately, value stream mapping provides just such a solution.


Anyone Can Satisfy a Customer. But Can You Delight Them?

2/23/2018 - BY: JOHN SPILLSON
We’ve been conditioned to desire complete and utter satisfaction in everything we receive.  But why should we be content with being only satisfied? Satisfaction is merely accepting the minimum to meet a desired requirement. It would be even better if we could take it up a notch and truly delight our customers, whether they are buying cars, clothing, food, or anything in between.


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