Manufacture Smarter Blog

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What Kind of Supervisor Are You?

5/3/2019 - BY: RON QUINKERT
We all have had a bad supervisor at one point in our lives. Maybe they didn’t listen, didn’t show appreciation or didn’t include us in business changes. Whatever the particular issue was, they were the kind of supervisor who drives away employees. This leads to the question: What kind of supervisor are you?


Addressing a Different Type of Talent Shortage: The Soft Skills Gap

4/5/2019 - BY: KARA KUCINSKI
A massive talent shortage is posing a great challenge for manufacturers as they seek to hire workers with the experience and technical knowledge needed to fill open positions in their facilities. But now, a lack of soft skills, or interpersonal skills, among candidates is making it even more difficult to find the kind of worker that will help their companies succeed in the long run.


Everything I Know About Motivation I Learned from Prison

3/8/2019 - BY: CHARLIE WESTRA
Supervisors are constantly in pursuit of finding the perfect recipe to motivate problem people. Whether it’s a stereotypical millennial or an old-timer who is stuck in their ways, the question is the same: How do I get someone – anyone – to follow and execute my direction? It’s one of the most important and difficult questions for leaders to answer.


Redefining Manufacturing in 2019

1/4/2019 - THE CENTER
If manufacturers were to look back five or 10 years, most manufacturers would realize their companies have changed so tremendously, that they are unrecognizable compared to how they once were. These transformations in processes, products, staffing and innovations have altered how their businesses appear and operate. This begs the question, what will manufacturing look like in 2019?


Attracting, Engaging & Retaining Employees

12/7/2018 - BY: DEB JOSEPH
Here’s the good news: the unemployment level in the United States has reached a nearly 50-year low. The bad news is, there are now more job openings than there are skilled people to fill them. Nearly every manufacturer I speak with is feeling the impact of this nationwide talent shortage.


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.


Want to be a Workplace that Attracts—and Keeps—Staff?

11/16/2018 - BY: KATRINA GLOWZINSKI
When our management team learned that the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center made the list of the Detroit Free Press 2018 Top Workplaces, we were very proud. Then we were humbled. This award not only identified our company’s strengths, but it gave us areas for improvement, based on feedback directly from our staff about what they see as important.


Keep Your Employees Engaged – Before It’s Too Late

10/26/2018 - BY: MIKE BEELS
Although many don’t realize it, one of the most valuable assets a company can have is its personnel. The staff can make or break a business based on their level of commitment, motivation and interest in their work. While engaging employees already is a complicated skill to master, incoming generations of workers are bringing with them new expectations and desires for the workplace, making it even more difficult to keep all employees engaged.


Strong Leadership: The Key to Shaping Millennials into Manufacturers

8/24/2018 - BY: JAMIE HEADLEY
Employers across America are dealing with the combined effect of baby boomers retiring, a strong economy and record low unemployment. Now faced with the large labor shortage this perfect storm has created, manufacturers are looking to the next generation of workers to fill this gap: millennials.


What A Good Boss Does (According to a 4-Year-Old)

4/20/2018 - BY: CHARLIE WESTRA
It can be hard to pin down exactly what a good boss does, and even more difficult to become one. For most managers, this is an ongoing process of learning from others and evolving in the hopes of becoming a true leader. But maybe this journey of growing into a great boss isn’t as complicated as you think.


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