Innovation

Aligning OpEx with Sales
It’s an old cliché that speaks volumes when a company finds it has a lack of initiative alignment: “The Sales Department makes promises to customers that production cannot meet.” The salesperson lives to make a sale by meeting and exceeding a customer’s needs but setting a false expectation can really burn the brand and future sales. As the sales department is normally the most customer-facing and a less controllable process than most of the other parts of a company’s processes, we will discuss alignment from the point of view of the Sales department as the “point of the spear” in most revenue based initiatives. Getting In Line: Sales Alignment Lack of initiative alignment usually happens for a variety of reasons. Even though most of those reasons are obvious, companies still violate the proper process needed for goal alignment and developing productive collaboration between various departments integral to the success of…
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Decision-Making Process for Industry 4.0
“Decision-makers must learn to leave egos at the door” In the era of Industry 4.0, technology will play a greater part in optimizing solutions. But do decision-makers have the expertise needed to fully understand the rapidly evolving tech world? If leaders can’t stand up and say: “I don’t understand how that tech solution works” and have the humility to learn new things, then optimal decision making in the era of Industry 4.0 may be in jeopardy. Making a good decision is only validated by the results. However, in an age of constantly growing complexity and the push to be innovative and “out-of-the-box”, there may be too many unexpected variables that can bring about unexpected results. This logical fear plagues decision making. In fact, decision making has become more challenging due to the exponential growth and access to information. Validating information is becoming a serious issue in the Corporate C-suite. Misleading…
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One of the first training programs I run is not about Lean. It’s not about Adding Value to the Customer, how they must strive for perfection, etc. etc. No, one of the first things that executives have a right to understand is how Lean will make them money – how the high cost of implementing Lean will have some return on its investment besides the visual tools on the floor that people associate with the process. Consultants, who have never been executives, scoff at this response, pressuring you as a leader that is not about money, but about the true Spirit of Kaizen, or that it’s all about the people. They point to the visual elements of Lean, and are more than willing to point out your failures on Gemba walks, with worker efficiency, holding you accountable, how you should “just do it”, your poor time management skills, etc. And…
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So, What's the Next Industrial Revolution Really?
In researching the subject of Smart Operations–which is essentially the data-reliant OpEx that’s overlaying the Lean Six Sigma-dependent OpEx and facing outward as much as inward–I Googled “next industrial revolution.” The first two pages of the search returned mixed results (to say the least): The Atlantic says it’s Eco-efficiency Business Insider goes with the Internet of Things Forbes says Robots! TechCrunch.com contends it’s the Industrial Internet Explainingthefuture.com touts 3D printing Natcap.org professes it to be Natural Capitalism Others are chatting up nanomaterials, self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, delivery drones, and even innovation as its own industry. I have my own opinion: it’s data-driven technology. See, we’ll be focusing on eco-efficiency, building bots, self-driving cars and drones, improving the functionality of all things internet, practicing natural capitalism, and maybe doing a lot of it with 3-D printing… But for every company in any of these and a billion other businesses, the industrial…
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