Manufacture Smarter Blog

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Nine Ways to Protect a Project - And Project Manager - From Failure

8/9/2019 - BY: ROB STAUFFER
As any experienced project manager knows, there are many things, such as scope creep and budget issues, that can go wrong when working on a project. When these problems inevitably arise, all heads turn to the project manager for a solution. To ensure your future projects don't fail, follow these key steps.


How Employee Training Affects Your Company Reputation - And Your Bottom Line

6/21/2019 - BY: DEB JOSEPH
The ongoing skilled trades employee shortage is causing many manufacturers to hire from outside of the industry, bringing in people without manufacturing skills or backgrounds. However, due to the unique nature of the manufacturing industry, this lack of experience and knowledge brings many challenges for the incoming workforce. To ease workers' transitions into a manufacturing environment, a strong training program is essential.


The Executive Leadership Gap - The Elephant in the Room

6/14/2019 - BY: JAMIE HEADLEY
In today's market, employee retention has become a major focal point. Knowing how to retain employees begins with undersanding why they leave a company in the first place. One thing senior executives do not commonly consider is that they could be a part of the problem. 


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.


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