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Operations

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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Three ways to profit by working it smart

Improve margins; increase machining performance Effort is money and in that regard, for a large segment of metalworkers, things can seem like they’re all conspiring against you. If your business is cutting, milling, turning, grinding or drilling metals you know the devil is in the details—often at a microscopic level. Yet to remain competitive, your business must run the gamut from maintaining you...
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EPA. More or less?

Protecting lives but challenging business In 1970 the Beatles disbanded; the price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. was $0.36; and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in response to public concerns about the deteriorating conditions of our water, air and lands—it was also the year that the first Earth Day was celebrated. The EPA’s broad mandate fit the mood of the times. The in...
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21 News bites offer insight and direction

Once again, action precedes clarity  What can one glean from a collection of seemingly unrelated news bites? Perhaps the better questions are: What’s important enough and what is motivating enough to influence our thoughts and future actions anyway? You can’t make sense of someone, or some thing, without effort and some engagement. You have to take action. Get it from Karl E. Weick, organizational...
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Stickiness trumps persistence

Align your organization for optimal success/resilience With so much pressure and so many forces at work on your business it’s easy to come unglued. Consider your customer; supply chain risk frequently represents their number one threat to revenue. How does your list compare? The better question is how do you keep it all together? The bond that eludes us To deal with such marketplace pressure, I...
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Four takeaways you can’t beat.

Snapshots from our best posts in recent months. Knowledge and know-how helps us navigate a complex world. But information is useless if we don’t have time to consume it. Here’s the solution. Each quarter you’ll find a summarization post (like this one) that features three or four of the best Bastard posts of the last period. Short, to the point, and with a new takeaway. Now you’re feeling industri...
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Lessons from the state of the art

Inspiration from the making of Apple products. We can learn a lot from Apple. We would all do well to take a close look at how this company has been changing the game of making and delivering successful products to the marketplace over and over again. From idea to supply chain, no one’s doing it any better than Apple. I’d be asking myself, when was the last time WE acted on a creative idea? And, “...
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