Manufacture Smarter Blog

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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. 


Avoiding 5S Graveyards

12/16/2022 - BY: MATT SHOFFNER
While touring a facility, I always look at how workspaces are organized. Occasionally, I see evidence of past Lean initiatives. 5S is the easiest Lean tool to spot on a tour and it is also the easiest to identify when it is no longer in use. When I find 5S that is no longer being followed, I call it a 5S graveyard because that is where 5S went to die. 5S graveyards were once initiatives optimized to improve flow through visual management of a workplace for inventory, tools and everything needed to do a specific job.


New to Quality? Here’s What You Should Learn First

12/9/2022 - BY: BOB JENKINS
When it comes to working in the quality industry, a wise man once told me, “In quality, we don’t have jobs. It’s our responsibility to help everyone else around us do better.” Over the years, I have found that to be incredibly true. So, we must ask ourselves, if we are to be successful in the function of quality, what is important for us to understand and what skills do we need?


What is "Industry 4.0" and Why Does It Matter?

11/18/2022 The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) shared this video from Automation Alley’s Integr8 conference on Industry 4.0 and how technology can benefit Michigan manufacturers. If you have questions or want to learn more about implementing technology, let us know, and we can provide a free Technology Opportunity Assessment.


Don’t Be A Deer In The Headlights When it Comes to Your Quality Policy

10/21/2022 - BY: STEVE VAMPLEW
One of the many services we provide at the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) is conducting internal audits on our client’s Quality Management System (QMS) or Environmental Management System (EMS). In today’s manufacturing climate, where labor shortages abound, we are being called upon more than ever to perform these internal audits.


Retain and Attract Talent with the Going PRO Talent Fund

9/16/2022 - BY: TRICIA ONESIAN
With the manufacturing world struggling to retain and attract talent, having a culture of loyalty and investing in your workforce is more important than ever. Today, workers don’t necessarily seek employment with the highest paying opportunity, but rather with one where their career progression and development is important. Loyalty to an employer is now based on the loyalty the employer has to the employee.


Secrets of Great Leaders

8/12/2022 - BY: JOHN SPILLSON
On a regular basis, I work with various manufacturers, including platers, stampers, casters and assemblers. I also work with food processors such as bakeries, pickle processors, dog treat manufacturers and companies that produce nutritional supplements. Can you name one thing these distinct companies have in common? Everything they produce is done with PEOPLE. Yes, regardless of what business they are in, they are first and foremost in the people business!


Improving Our Delivery: Training from the Back of the Room

8/5/2022 - BY: THE CENTER’S EXPERTS
The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center’s (The Center) team of experts are dedicated to partnering with our clients to train, consult and find the right solutions to help them succeed. After all, our success is your success. To do so, we are always evaluating ways we can evolve and improve.


Your Lean Journey: The Path to Greatness

7/22/2022 - BY: JERED TYACK
What if I told you I recently had a conversation with a company who decided it wasn’t worth the cost of implementing Lean in their facility? They believed their employees did not have time for training and the overall investment, including temporary loss of production, was too expensive. This company believed it would cost too much to dedicate 10 minutes of clean-up time at the end of their shift. Sounds crazy, right? However, many companies think this way when they don’t fully understand Lean manufacturing and its benefits.


Walking to Eliminate Waste

7/8/2022 - BY: MIKE BEELS
When running a successful business, it is important to continuously work on process improvements. This is where Lean manufacturing can help. At the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center), we offer free Waste Walks to gather information about the work process, the work areas and any instances of observed waste.


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