Even in the 21st century when automation and digital disruption are all the rage, manufacturing productivity is still a people business. It’s not just about software, management theories, or even logic — people are a hybrid of reason and emotion and managing to optimize productivity and other metrics is as much about how people feel, as it is about what and how they think.
How important is it to bring Millennials into your workforce? Let’s put it this way: Like an unstoppable speeding train, the future is coming up fast. Couple that with the fact that the future belongs to those who adapt advanced manufacturing technologies. Will yours be the company running to catch the train after it has left the station?
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.
For years, those of us in operations have heard of or used the term “Gemba.” In fact, we often use the term quite loosely not realizing the Gemba is not just where the work is done, but where value-added work is done. A key understanding is how a well-executed Gemba Walk can help improve flow and value to the organization.
Corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) and its flipside—environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) practices—stand to be some of the most defining criteria for businesses since the introduction of quality standards. Any business seeking investors, wishing to sell, wanting to attract young and talented team members, or looking to improve its standing in the eyes of customers will need to pay close attention to the array of practices that make up this way of doing business.
“I can’t find people!"
This is without a doubt a common challenge for companies today. Challenges do not go away on their own. As leaders we must develop strategies to use available tools and resources to overcome the challenges. In most key areas of business there are strategic plans. The activities are planned, monitored, and managed to ensure the best results and minimize business impacts.
On the heels of the global pandemic comes yet another challenge for manufacturers to face: The coming of the “smart factory”. The factory that requires you to upskill your workers just to stay afloat and will leave you and your employees behind if you don’t start planning now. Right now.
At IMEC, we’re all about solutions. And with the invasion of COVID-19 early last year, the world had to scramble to find them. Businesses were shutting down at an alarming rate, affecting supply chains and OEMs locally, nationally, globally. Companies had to quickly find alternatives to keep the wheels turning. For IMEC, that remained especially true here in Illinois.