Manufacture Smarter Blog

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The Problem with Problem Solving

4/15/2022 - BY: SHAUN LEAHEY
Nearly every Quality Manager or Plant Manager has had this situation come up: The phone is ringing and it’s the customer. You instantly get a sinking feeling in your stomach, thinking, here comes a complaint. On the rare occasion there isn’t a problem, you take advantage of strengthening your relationship with the person on the other end of the conversation. But often, you’ll begin the conversation listening to what problem the customer is experiencing and how you can help. Your new priority is to begin problem solving, starting with assembling a team. Wait, we’re supposed to use a problem-solving team? Who’s on the team?


Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast!

2/18/2022 - BY: MIKE BEELS
What the phrase aims to describe is that culture determines the success in an organization regardless of how effective your strategy might be. In other words, if the people in an organization aren’t passionate about your organization’s mission, vision and brand, it affects their ability to work together, solve problems and come up with new ideas for improvement. Their lack of enthusiasm could mean they are unwilling to give their time and energy which leads to disengagement.


New Partnership Offers Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Courses to Manufacturers

11/24/2021 - BY: JAMIE HEADLEY
The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center is partnering with CADIA to offer several courses to manufacturers focused on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.


Fill Talent Gaps in Your Facility with the Going PRO Talent Fund

8/13/2021 - BY: JIM GORMAN
In a time when manufacturers are struggling to maintain productivity due to an unprecedented talent shortage, the value of an effective employee training plan cannot be ignored. Building a relevant, strategic training plan is vital to developing and retaining all workers, regardless of their role or level within the organization. Manufacturers seeking additional funding and support for their training initiatives can find help through the Going PRO Talent Fund.


Work Hard, Play Hard at The Center's Upcoming Project Management Summer Camp

6/4/2021 - BY: KAREN GOIKE & RICH WOLIN
This summer, The Center will host its first-ever Summer Camp training for Applied Project Management. Held in Traverse City, this training will give participants the opportunity to complete an accelerated project management program while experiencing the beauty of northern Michigan in the summer. Learn more about the benefits and details of the training, as well as the supplementary activities, in this brief Q&A.


Smart Solutions Series Recap: Tackle the Labor Shortage with Cross Training & Skills Acceleration

5/7/2021 - BY: JAMIE HEADLEY
In our most recent Smart Solutions Series webinar, we explored how manufacturers can solve challenges related to labor and skills gaps in their workforce through cross training and skills acceleration. Here are a few of the key topics explored. 


Smart Solutions Series Recap: Go Lean to Solve Your Labor Shortage

2/26/2021 - BY: PETE SCHMIDT
When I ask manufacturers about their biggest challenges, nearly all mention the lack of available skilled workers. With so many companies looking to hire, this added competition only further compounds the challenge. In our most recent Smart Solutions Series webinar, we explored how Lean manufacturing principles can be applied to an organization to maximize productivity – effectively filling these critical gaps in production using existing resources and talent.


Smart Solutions Series: Go Lean to Solve Your Labor Shortage

2/12/2021 - BY: PETE SCHMIDT
​During the past challenging year, one recurring theme that many companies have discussed with me – whether they have 10 employees or 200 – is that they are all struggling to find people to fill open positions within their organization. What if there were a way to reduce the number of new hires needed?


Smart Solutions Series: Tackling the Talent Shortage with Culture

1/22/2021 - BY: JAMIE HEADLEY
​The past year has been especially trying for manufacturers, bringing new problems to light while intensifying existing challenges like employee engagement and the growing talent shortage. To give manufacturers insight on how to tackle issues with engagement and retention, our team at The Center recently hosted the first virtual panel discussion in our ongoing Smart Solutions Series. Here are a few of the key topics explored.


Hamburgers & Happiness: A Lesson in Motivation

1/15/2021 - BY: CHARLIE WESTRA
In both work and daily life, we often run into people who use intimidation to get what they want. Why? Because it works. Sometimes leaders choose to give in to subordinates’ loud or threatening behavior, as giving into the squeaky wheel seems easier than handling the actual problem. Over time, this sends a message to workers that such behavior is not only acceptable, but rewarded. How can leaders deal with this behavior in a way that is more controlled and fair?


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