Posts by Cara Chatellier

New Year New Business Changes
Things are definitely different and big changes are in the air. But do not despair We are about to close the book on 2019 and open up on 2020. Somehow, the symmetry of the number gives it a special feel. Indeed, all of us are quite aware that these are “special” times and just about anything seems possible; both good and bad. But life goes on and our species continues to be challenged by our own complexities. The following is a list of what a recent survey elicited from a random group of business leaders on what was felt to be the main concerns in order of priority.   Political changes   2020 promises to be an exciting year in global politics, from the impact of Brexit to the United States presidential potential impeachment and election in November. An uncertain political climate can often impact business, as it can lead…
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Monti Packs a Big Punch with Protein Bar Packaging Overhaul
Situation A manufacturer for protein bar packaging recently moved relocated from a 50,000 square foot operation facility to a new 350,000-square-foot operation facility. This resulted in an assembly line production change where stand-up assembly packaging lines were converted to brand new automated packaging lines. In addition, there was a folding carton redesign where the Straight Tuck End folding cartons were replaced by new Top Kliklok folding cartons. The manufacturer also transitioned to and needed to integrate a new international packaging equipment supplier. Finally, the company needed a new documentation system for more accurate data collection and organization from start to finish.  The manufacturing company hired MetaExpert Kier-Monti, a packaging engineering expert with ample experience to design, measure, analyze, improve, and control the entire packaging process from location A to location B.  Actions Over the course of an 18-month contract, Kier-Monti took the following actions and strategies to evaluate and retool…
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Cross-Functional Disconnect and Order-to-Delivery
Situation MetaExpert Kellen was brought on board to lead a study that focused on lean policy deployment and order-to-delivery (OTD) improvement. According to MetaExpert Kellen, current state analysis determined that there was:  no visual management no leader standard work no cross-functional communication or collaboration no daily metrics tracked or reviewed no daily structured problem solving no cross-functional training or knowledge understanding across departments or production floor processing capabilities In addition, product sales had increased by 35% with no capacity planning or production availability preparation.  Actions MetaExpert Kellen leveraged his expertise in process improvement strategies to get the company back on track. He was able to: achieve lean policy deployment implementation,  complete and develop cross-functional training  Develop and utilize plant capacity model to align sales team with operations available capacity and capabilities develop and improve router instructions for the scheduler to properly utilize plant equipment capabilities and capacity Results/ROI MetaExpert Kellen’s…
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Security CIO Concerns
The mutually agreed General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on May 25, 2018, and was designed to modernize laws that protect the personal information of individuals. … It also boosts the rights of individuals and gives them more control over their information and provides for sizeable fines for companies who are not in compliance. Recently, hacking has taken center stage not only for the big political arena but also for almost all enterprises connected to the web. Newsweek cited that hacking in the USA cost corporate America over $445 billion, and a recent similar study posted $575 billion in estimated losses.  Each year, the Information Security Forum, a nonprofit association that researches and analyzes security and risk management issues, releases its ‘Threat Horizon’ report to provide a forward-looking view of the biggest security threats over a two-year period. Here are the top nine threats to watch for in the next year.…
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Given the Washington Circus and the global confusion, it’s safe to say that macro risk is on the rise. From Artificial Intelligence to Global Warming, there are few who doubt that civilizations around the world may be rushing toward an inflection point in history. Hopefully, it won’t be a zero-sum situation. But, one never knows. As individuals, as well as corporations and institutions, we all need to be thinking about risk mitigation So, what should CEOs be doing to help mitigate the growing uncertainties of our time? Identify the “Killer Risks” While there is a universe of risks out there, it is important to prioritize those with the greatest impact. There are specific industry risks as well as “macro” risks (War, economic depression, Hyperinflation, global health epidemics, and all the other dystopic events). While industry risks are a normal part of doing business, myopia can be dangerous. While most of…
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Effective communication is needed in all areas of life. Paul Meyer hits the nail on the head when he says: Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success. While basic communication skills are inherent, becoming a great communicator takes practice. You can start improving your own skills today by learning these four tricks of effective communicators.  Effective communication begins with listening. Too many times, people are either thinking about their responses or about something else entirely, and they fail to completely listen to the other person. By doing this, you lose focus on the conversation and may find out, in embarrassment, that your response is completely off base. When you are not listening, you are creating a one-sided conversation that shows others that you really do not care about what they have to say. Showing a genuine interest in learning what others think and…
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Negotiation Effective Leaders
 People with higher EQ are more likely to induce positive mood states in their negotiation counterparts. Many studies and reports have been done on what personality traits are found in expert salespeople and negotiators. The advice those studies offers is often difficult to apply, for 3 reasons. First, there are just too many contextual specificities underpinning each negotiation, such that one size does not fit all. Second, the effectiveness of each strategy is partly dependent on the personal background of the persuaders (i.e., sales or negotiation) — who they are, what they want, and how they connect. Third, many of the factors determining the outcome of negotiations are more emotional than rational, which requires a deep psychological understanding of the people involved. It’s All About Personality Personality research provides valuable lessons in predicting an individual’s ability to negotiate effectively. One very important measurable trait that correlates with improving an individual’s negotiation abilities is emotional intelligence…
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Vincent Steers Vehicle Manufacturer in Right Direction with VPS
Situation A luxury vehicle manufacturer in China was seeking to apply the value-added production system (VPS) rule and method as the company’s sister plant in Europe. The target group of trainees was area managers and section leaders who are responsible for more than 600 people across multiple plant locations. The vehicle manufacturer’s goal was to address the process issues at the lowest level in the organization with the end result being the shop floor employees taking the initiative to improve process performance. Actions MetaExpert Vincent conducted more than 800 hours of in-person, classroom training on the VPS subject as well as on-site improvement coaching at the vehicle manufacturer’s facilities across China. Vincent meticulously trained and coached the area managers and section leaders of each plant. He mentored the managers and section leaders on the following skills and principles: Transfer the eye of wasteLayout improvement Use of support chain Standard of workSpecific vehicle…
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Process mapping forms the basis of how business gets done on a daily basis as well as how the consumer-facing experience reflects those processes. Indeed, for a process to be a positive experience, it should be well-defined from beginning to end; and it all starts with mapping, refining, and codification.  Define the Sequence. For a task to be done efficiently and consistently, each step needs to be defined in a sequence of events that results in a defined goal. Mapping is the organization of how to arrive at a specific goal. Be it just starting your day on the “right foot,” or getting to the moon, it takes a schema of events that creates a chain of planned actions that reach a goal. There can be any number of schemas to reach the same goal. Mapping is the act of choosing the best path to a goal. The Critical Path.…
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Changing the World One Process Improvement at a Time
Ron Emory is a Continuous Improvement Consultant, Author, and Entrepreneur, and we’re proud to have him on our team of MetaExperts. Ron was recently highlighted on Supply Chain Game Changer as a leader in the supply chain process improvement industry. One of the things that make Ron unique is his background. Ron has traveled the world doing what he loves. “I have flown over four million miles, been on every continent but Antarctica, stayed in a hotel nearly 3500 nights. So, I guess that qualifies me as a “road warrior” but it really has been a fun ride and fun life.” He went from permanent roles as VP of Supply Chain to VP of Operations to consulting to owning and operating his own business. Although he is a leading expert in process improvement, he doesn’t hold a degree in Industrial Engineering like many of his contemporaries. Ron holds a liberal…
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