Archive for October, 2010


Manufacturing creates value to pay for schools.


Manufacturing creates value to pay for healthcare.


Manufacturing creates value to build and maintain infrastructure.


Manufacturing creates value to pay mortgages.


Manufacturing creates jobs.

Doing New

Doing new is hard and starting new is particularly hard. Once fear is overcome and new is started, doing new becomes a battle with discouragement. Not managed, discouragement can stop new.

Slumped shoulders and a head hung low are the signs and a mismatch with expectations is the source. Expectations are defined in the form of a project plan, but, since the work is new, expectations are not grounded, not calibrated. How long will it take to do something we’ve never dreamed of doing? Yet when disguised as a project plan, uncalibrated expectations become a hard deadline.

When you want to do new, you give the project to your best. When they use the right tools, the latest data, and the best processes, yet new does not come per the plan, your best can become discouraged. But this discouragement is misplaced. Sure, the outcome is different from the plan, but reality isn’t the problem, it’s the plan, the expectations. They did everything right, so tell them. Tell them the expectations are out of line. Tell them you think their doing a good job. Tell them if it was easy, you’d have given the project to someone else. Tell them they can feel discouraged for five more minutes, but then they’ve got to go back, look new in the eye, and kick its ass.

Don’t change the culture, change your behavior

Change the culture. Easy to say, tough to do.  What does it mean, anyway?

Culture is a result of something – behavior.  I’ll go further – culture is behavior, behavior themes, but behavior still. Behavior is a result of behavior.

Want to change someone’s behavior? Wrong question. You can’t.  You can change yours, they can change theirs.  Those are the rules.

Want someone to change their behavior? Change yours to help them change theirs. Want to seal the deal?  Explain why. Why cuts deeper than behavior.

Don’t change the culture, change your behavior.

Inspiring Work

Inspiring work is art.

Inspiring work is rare.

Inspiring work is scary.

Inspiring work is thrilling.

Inspiring work is the reward.

Inspiring work is life changing.

Inspiring work is easy to recognize.

Inspiring work is difficult to recognize.

Inspiring work is an acknowledgment of self.

Inspiring work’s magnitude is proportional to the fear.

Cure for offshoring: The design side of product development, from Machine Design

A recent article written by Leslie Gordon of Machine Design.

You have probably seen it yourself: images of Chinese workers toiling in mud-floored factories, each feeding a separate punch press, as if part and parcel of a living, progressive die. The lure of this cheap labor has sent many U.S. manufacturers scrambling overseas to cut production costs.

Although design-for-manufacturing tools that would have made this exodus unnecessary have been around for more than 20 years, companies continue to overlook them, says Mike Shipulski, chief engineer of plasma-cutter manufacturer Hypertherm,, Hanover, N.H. “Companies are sticking their heads in the sand. Many U.S. firms have become too entrenched in doing things the same way. For example, a typical product-cost breakdown shows material to be the largest cost at about 72%. Overhead is around 24% and labor is only about 4%. The question becomes, why continue to move manufacturing to so-called ‘low-cost countries’ to chase 50% labor reductions for a whopping 2% cost reduction? And it’s sillier than that because companies don’t account for cost increases in shipping and quality control.”

The problem is that companies neglect to efficiently account for cost during the design side of product development….

Click for the rest of the article

Mike Shipulski Mike Shipulski
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