Video: High Value Leadership Panel (Part 1)

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.

High Value Manufacturing team - Don Gauthier, Becky Ferrell, Bill May, Pat Smith, Brian Hartman

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…

High Value Leadership Panel


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.

What did you think about this video? Send us a note and let us know!



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