It was 1996. After 18 years at bat, the New York Yankees won the World Series. President Bill Clinton was re-elected. And hips swayed across the country as the Macarena hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts.
Perhaps you’ve seen the meme that described 2020 as a unique leap year with 29 days in February, 300 days in March, and 5 years in April. The days and weeks have seemed to drag on – and it's only the middle of 2020. And who’s to say what will unfold in the coming weeks? It has been incredibly challenging to look 30 days ahead, let alone 12 months. You’re left wondering what’s next and when will things settle down.
No, I am not referring to the classic Johnny Cash song that I often heard my father play in my youth. Although perhaps a few lines of the lyrics are fitting.
No doubt the pandemic crisis and social unrest have shaken many of our companies, our work colleagues, and ourselves to the core. We have had our hands full trying to address challenges amid massive uncertainty. A friend and I were recently lamenting how customer service appears to be at an all-time low. We could cite several examples of carefree and lacking customer service. Seemingly, it is OK to explain away poor service and quality “because of COVID”. Understandably, our companies are challenged to perform. As leaders, we have likely taken our eye off the basics while dealing with the onslaught of uncertainty.
This article first appeared in IndustryWeek.
I do my best to stay attuned to manufacturing trends. There is a confusing barrage of articles and opinions on Industry 4.0. Some articles create new terms, others provide competing definitions around similar concepts, and others seek use cases to justify new technologies. Some are already talking about Industry 5.0 while 4.0 is still in its infancy and ill-defined.
It is awe-inspiring to walk into today’s manufacturers and see the efficient and productive way things are made. Yet, even though the United States remains one of the most productive countries, manufacturing productivity has remained flat over the past decade. This should be a major concern. Productivity is a vital foundation for stronger companies, rising standards of living, and vibrant communities.
Smart Manufacturing. Factory of the Future. Industry 4.0. These are the buzzwords used by those driving the manufacturing world forward. At the heart of these concepts is digital manufacturing and design (DM&D). But what exactly is DM&D? And what does it mean for the small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) that make up the majority of the industry?
Written by David Boulay Ph.D, IMEC President
What standards do you use to ensure your organization is functioning effectively?
We are reliant on standards in every way. We assume that we are adding a full gallon of gasoline as we fill up at the pump. We assume that we get the right amount of our favorite meats and cheeses when we ask for a pound at the deli counter. And, we plan to start meetings on time because we asked the team to arrive at the same time. Much of our lives rely on measurement and standards. Yet, we often take those standards for granted.
What about leading your organization? What standards do you use to ensure your organization is functioning effectively? Or, are you taking it for granted that you even have a standard?