Executive Blog

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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Process Improvement - Construction Heavy Duty Equipment Company
Situation MetaExpert Brunno employed his process improvement acumen to aid a construction heavy duty equipment company with inefficiencies in their paint shop production. The paint shop was experiencing a period of growth and needed to adjust operations to accommodate the increase in daily production with limited time and the existing shop-floor team. High level of diversity for the parts painted, using two colors. Actions Brunno carefully observed the paint shop process and initiated the following actions to increase productivity: Reorganized layout of paint equipment.Studied the best way to paint the parts in the paint booth, looking to match the color, the size, and the time spent to paint any one part. Mapped the flux of parts throughout the shift and streamlined their sequence. Brokedown paint sequence and elaborated on the process sheet.Trained the paint shop operators regarding the new process. Increased shift by 1 hour to reach the production goals without hiring additional…
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Alignment Process Mapping
Alignment diagrams by themselves do much more than present a linear flow of activities. Buried in the process are various levels of analysis and strategies. Indeed, Aligned process mapping defines the “engineered customer and company experience.” The company wants its customers to have a great experience to the point that they will recommend the company to friends and acquaintances. With the power of social media, complete strangers can gain important insights and referrals from others. This fact can be a double-edged sword because bad experiences are also prone to revelation to the general populace of potential customers. Benefit 1. Empathy Analyzing processes, what they are supposed to do requires an examination of the human reactions along the chain of events. At each touchpoint are human beings (although this is changing for the worse, in my opinion.) For example, technology is supposed to speed things up and improve communication processes. Enter…
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RFP Response From the Reviewer Perspective
Chaz Ross-Munro made some important observations in her article on things to avoid when responding to an RFP. Ms. Ross-Munro starts out by placing the RFP in the context of the review process. “Imagine reviewing 20 technical Request for Proposal (RFP) responses that are more than 50 pages each. You’ve now stepped into the shoes of the average selection committee member reviewing more than 1,000 pages of material from various firms.” The implication of this context is to make it easier for reviewers to easily review your offering and quickly assess why your response makes your case.  To help others shape their RFP response to the realities of the receiving end of the process, Ms. Ross-Munro offers up the following suggestions: 1. Avoid Unnecessarily long responses Don’t: give a wordy response or narrative that drags on. Be as succinct as possible. Keep in mind that you should try to meet the needs of the reviewers…
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Manufacturing Plant
Situation A manufacturing plant was suffering from excessively high in-process scrap rates (6.8%) in the zinc smelting department. Although the raw material could be re-melted and salvaged, the labor costs were excessive and on-time product deliveries were at stake.  Actions To remedy the inefficiencies in the manufacturing process, the company called on MetaExpert Michael. Micheal led the company through analysis. They studied the data and found that the root cause of the problem was with two-part numbers coming from two die-cast machines.  Furthermore, Michael studied the parts and his efforts and attention to detail in the manufacturing processes led to the discovery that the tools used were not properly vented. This caused porosity in the parts which resulted in the high in-process scrap rates. Results MetaExpert Michael’s experience in manufacturing processes and keen eye led to both tools being repaired at a cost of less than $15,000 each. The root…
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Evaluating Indirect and Direct Factors for I.40 ROI
“Think of the tangential benefits from the Space Program” In July, the World celebrates the fantastic Journey that Apollo 11 performed in 1969 when the first men were sent to orbit the Moon. Just think of what has happened as a result of the single-minded goal of putting a man on the Moon. At that time, the total computing power needed for that effort was less than the computing power of a smartphone. The main computers that powered the Apollo 11 mission were the size of four refrigerators!  Most likely, the majority of us don’t remember the protests at the spending ($40 billion for the entire 12 years of the NASA Man-on-the-Moon project), but looking back, just look at the unforeseen benefits of the digital age. Technology has shown itself to have the capacity of producing exponential ROI …in hindsight. The Investment of Industry 4.0 When considering the important investment…
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excavators construction quality control
Situation A building and construction company brought MetaExpert Alan onboard to help sort out operational and logistical inefficiencies regarding the construction of metal structures. The company was facing a 100% sorting and rework rate of their products after manufacturing. In addition, as a result of the focus on inspection after product completion, rather than during production, deliveries were delayed. Actions To remedy the construction company’s quality control issues and delivery delays, Alan took the following measures: Reviewed with the team all applicable specifications to ensure all employees understood the requirementsDeployed the requirements to Key Process Control Parameters, not just final quality controlDeveloped the processes to be robust according to the requirementsImplemented control plansAudited process parameters and key characteristics, not just final goods Results Through his initial assessment, Alan was able to determine that a lack of communication and too many “experts in the room” was a major contributor to the…
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