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Leadership

“Manufacturing punches above its weight”

Supply chains, out for the count. If you survived the last five years you have to be doing something right. Think back to 2008 and remember the world’s largest economy contracting like a blown front tire by 3.9 percent (fourth quarter 2007 to third quarter 2009) marking the worst economic slump since the Great Depression and the first decrease(s) in the GDP in 17 years. In spite of all that, the m...
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Robotics: the basis of a paradigm shift

Rethinking what we already know It’s quite possible that we’ll look back on these times as nothing more than the period when robots saved our butts. It will have been the last chapter of the impulsive off-shoring experiment (see more). Hopefully we’ll see it as the time that we made that end run that moved us from fixating on symptomatic job losses to experimenting with new realms of efficiency an...
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Trending: Supply chains shift from efficiency to responsiveness

Earnings grow from enriched customer engagement Demand for increased responsiveness is one trend we didn’t mention in the Bastard’s previous post, 21 Tipping Points (or Tripping Points). But for the supply chain the trend is real and the need for information is real-time. It’s a signal to lean from being simply efficient, to becoming wholly responsive to customers. In that post, I cautioned that i...
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21 Tipping points (or tripping points)

Identifying trends from vague signals As a supply chain, you’re party to an expansive ecosystem that changes constantly. Your control consists of 1) how you respond to change and 2) how you adapt your business [people, product, place, processes or pitch (your value proposition)] in order to benefit from opportunities and avoid the perils. Leaders are challenged to identify and understand the tre...
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U.S. manufacturing is getting hot again

Responsive supply chain needed “[Ten years] ago nine out of 10 companies would tell you they were thinking about building their next plant in China. Today it’s more like three out of 10, and maybe five out of that 10, say they want to build in the U.S.” So says Antoine van Agtmael, chairman and chief investment officer of Emerging Markets Management LLC (EMM) and a director of Strategic Investmen...
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Navigate your business to growth with “GPS”

Lock on to the 10 coordinates that drive your business Are you working harder and harder at your business? Have you hit a plateau where all you see is a slippery slope of no growth on the backside? Do you really even know where you stand? “Circumstances (external forces) beyond our control” is the most common excuse used when a business begins to shake, falter or fail. Fact is; an overwhelming ma...
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10 Ideas on how to improve productivity

Incremental steps improve your work/life “There’s a geometric progression in business: as your venture gets more complex, your day becomes more compressed. You are then more likely to run out of time before you accomplish what has to be done … then there’s always that quality-of-life issue lurking just over the horizon.” Productivity, and I would add, quality of life, are inextricably tied to the...
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“Poke the Box”

Have the guts to ship You do more and more of your traditional factory tasks with automation. You’re an expert at acquiring raw resources and flipping it into goods for waiting customers. You have machines to do what machines do best. Thus, your value as a manager is reliant on your ability to communicate, negotiate and coordinate events with cohorts and select industry partners in a variety of s...
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Reshoring becomes more and more compelling

Steady trends beg: What can a supply chain do to get in?  The “buy American” trend is gaining traction. Increasingly, American consumers are avoiding foreign manufactured products. It’s a trend powered by renewed belief in American made products, and the promise to save jobs. To this end, a study released this year by J.D. Power and Associates show “the percentage of buyers who avoided import mode...
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From compliance to machinist mantras, four takeaways

Quips of recent posts save you time; enlarge your head Want to feel industrious? Here’s fresh insight for your business. Summaries of our last four posts optimized for faster reading. You decide if you need more. There’s a link after each one that will take you to the original story. 1. EPA gives way to EMS Born in the wake of elevated concern about environmental pollution, the EPA was established...
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