Manufacture Smarter Blog

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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?


A Leafy Roadblock

12/2/2022 - BY: CHARLIE WESTRA
Recently, I tasked my two kids to help with the daunting task of raking what they thought was an endless pile of leaves – a chore they hadn’t helped with much previously due to their ability to help combined with my inability to not push them like I was pushed as a kid. Whispers from my father echoed in my head… “it’s work time, not play time” or “the sooner you start, the sooner we get outta here” or my favorite, “no time for a break, grab a rake.” Despite my father’s best intensions, he always had trouble getting us involved. I just hoped my kids were different.


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.


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.


Being Open to Change: Are You a Luddite?

7/15/2022 - BY: GEORGE SINGOS
During the 19th century Industrial Revolution, a group of craftsmen known as the Luddites protested change in the manufacturing industry. As machines were being introduced to the textile industry, the Luddites took to destroy it. Today, the term is used as a way of saying someone is against technology.


The Root Cause of Most Project Failures: Not Using a Work Breakdown Structure

6/10/2022 - BY: ROB STAUFFER
When I advise my clients or teach a project management course, the first question I ask is what types of problems they experience when managing projects. As with most problems, the first step is to assume they are likely symptoms with some underlying root causes. If you or your organization does not follow a project management methodology (meaning everyone manages projects their own way), then you should expect these types of systemic problems. A variable process will always yield variable outcomes no matter how hard you try.


Creating a Data Driven Culture of Thinking: The N of Y=f(x) + N

5/27/2022 - BY: ANTHONY WELSH
By now, you should understand how we can take the mathematical formula Y=f(x) + N to create a data-driven culture of thinking. We’ve focused on the Y, the output, and the x, the input. Be sure to read the first three articles of this series to capture the whole picture.


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.


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