Your manufacturing questions, answered.
High Value Manufacturing brought together our leadership team to share insights and observations about a variety of industry-related questions submitted by our colleagues, friends, clients, and associates. We enjoyed reflecting on career experiences and contemplating current challenges faced in manufacturing facilities.
Bill May thanks this impressive group of manufacturing professionals – Don Gauthier, Becky Ferrell, Pat Smith, and Brian Hartman – for thoughtful participation in this event.
This video is Part 1 of our two-part Panel Discussion. If you don’t have 15 minutes to view the video in its entirety, below is a summary of questions with links to the video clips and hints about the responses (some spoiler alerts!). Click to watch…
Q: What is high value manufacturing? (CLIP)
A: Take a listen or read this blog post by Bill.
Q: How can manufacturers make sure their suppliers are performing well? When it comes to Tier 2 suppliers and down the chain, what can manufacturers do to make sure product quality is satisfactory and costs are under control? (CLIP)
A: Talk to your suppliers…Becky explains in the video and on this blog post.
Q: How do I ensure my vendors in my supply chain are not introducing counterfeit components and devices into my finished product? What standards would I reference for guidance? (CLIP)
A: Go see suppliers’ products…Bill says why it’s important.
Q: What is the difference between being compliant with industry standards versus earning certification? What is the process for getting certified and do we need to? (CLIP)
A: It’s all about the standards…Pat points out the key difference between compliance and certification.
Q: It seems like the bench of the manufacturing experience is dwindling. The older more experienced engineers and technicians are retiring, and there doesn’t seem to be a sufficient pipeline to replace that knowledge gap. What does it mean for the industry? (CLIP)
A: Don’t panic. Retirees are tremendous assets…just ask Don!
Q: When it comes to industry experience versus “transfer of information” degrees, we are seeing folks with 20+ years actual experience being challenged by degree requirements. For example, some states have created equivalencies for experience versus degrees to protect military retirees with experience without formal degrees. Is this a positive workforce solution? (CLIP)
A: It depends. Hands-on experience is critical…Brian explains why.
Q: Why don’t American companies have innovation portals like most foreign manufacturers have to review new technology that affect the manufacturing process? This seems to be a problem that has developed over the last twenty years. (CLIP)
A: Crisis management takes priority…Bill talks about “putting out fires” in the plants.
Q: When your firm is hired by a manufacturing client, is it usually because of a crisis or basic improvement? What usually prompts them to look for consulting services? (CLIP)
A: Both. It is often profitability and customer complaints that raise the flag…Pat tells us why experience matters when looking for advice. This blog post provides tips for choosing the right consultant.
Q: What advice would you give a company preparing to launch a new plant or new product? (CLIP)
A: Don’t recreate the wheel…Don recommends turning to best practices. Read this blog post for more advice.
Q: What are the industry insights into small batch manufacturing? (CLIP)
A: Customer demand preferences change, which makes “change-over time” a major factor…according to Brian.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the High Value Leadership Panel Discussion – with different topics and a few more laughs.
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