Leadership

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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Industry 4.0 Factors That Will Contribute to Increasing ROI
According to a study done by the World Economic Forum in May 2018, ROI on Industry 4.0 projects can vary widely. For example, industry leaders (which tend to be larger by revenue) can achieve productivity gains of about 70%. Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) are more likely to see gains of approximately 30%. Regardless of your organization’s standing in the industry, certain factors can help maximize the ROI of Industry 4.0 projects. Strong Executive Leadership. A successful journey to Industry 4.0 requires strategic vision and alignment across all parts of the organization. This is what makes having a comprehensive Business analysis of the entire company an important first step in the transition to I-4.0 This study must originate at the top of the organization. Leaders should frequently and authentically voice their support for achieving Industry 4.0, not only through organization-wide communication but also through the allocation of resources and the…
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Automotive Giant Back on Top with MetaExpert Help
Situation A multi-billion-dollar tier 1 company became involved with a customer regarding a safety issue in which the customer was accusing the supplier to be at fault, thus revoking all 3 supplier manufacturing site locations for Q1.  This put the tier one supplier on new business hold and at risk of losing additional business they had plus additional quoting of new business opportunities. The company reached out to MetaExpert Jack for his APQP Process understanding, Advanced Critical Chain / Critical Path Methods knowledge, 5S and Standard Work expertise.  Actions Jack guided the organization to meet the challenge and improved productivity and facilitation of quality training and awareness. A collaborative cross-functional team of production, purchasing, engineering, and management was formed and led through a decisive 1-year plan, which involved the customer. This allowed for all key milestones to be met such that Q1 customer endorsement letters and Q1 site certifications were…
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Excess Freight
Situation Our MetaExpert, Ron, had a client who was a $15 billion global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells, and distributes its product and related technology around the world. The client had a major issue with unexpected air freight costs into several of its offshore plants. They brought Ron on board to analyze the situation and recommend and implement solutions. He felt the air freight was symptomatic of the actual root cause and suggested utilizing a seven-step problem-solving process to get to the root cause.  Ron’s goals for this client were to: Get to Root Cause investigation and action.Implementation of Key Performance Indicators so that he could measure improvement.Improve forecast calculating and provide for the maintenance of systems.Improve inventory accuracy and material flow processes.Improve supplier communication and relationship management internally within the organization.Achieve budgeted expense control through process control. Actions To get to the root cause, Ron dove into the…
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The Situation John, a MetaExpert was hired by the U.S. Air Force to help tackle the lack of concrete processes for conducting medical physicals which were causing inconsistent patient care. Prior to John’s arrival, the Air Force was providing inconsistent patient care resulting in long wait times for patients to be seen by providers. In addition, key information was being missed during appointments which caused the need for additional appointments. Outcome John led the Air Force project team through mapping their current “AS IS” processes in several functional areas and developed standardized processes where none existed. He implemented the Lean methodology to reduce excess waste in the existing processes. John made recommendations for future projects and the team was able to see immediate results with some of the “quick wins” John implemented. John’s expertise in Lean, Six Sigma, leadership, process mapping (Visio), waste reduction, and ability to implement quick wins…
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Lean Six Sigma for Companies
What is Lean Six Sigma? Six Sigma is a set of methods and tools for process improvement with the goal of improving efficiencies and profitability. Developed in 1986, Six Sigma has become a global phenomenon with companies around the world adopting the paradigm as the core of their business operations. The “Lean” methodology is similar to Six Sigma. It stresses achieving the greatest efficiency in all characteristics of operations. Six Sigma emphasizes more on eliminating errors within processes. The lean strategy focuses on identifying needless steps that consume effort and resources. Lean Six Sigma (LSS) has proven to be so successful that it is estimated that over 69% of the medium and large manufacturers in the world use it. I mean, who doesn’t want to be efficient and well organized? In fact, as businesses grow, the tendency is to become more inefficient and less organized. These two methodologies have spawned…
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“In just 30 days, profits increased by $50,000.” Management articles are almost always about problems. But, this real-life event showcases how problems can be turned into opportunities. Owners and top-level management can sometimes be held captive by their limited experiences and training. However, there are many enlightened leaders who understand there is always something to learn. Indeed, learning from the mistakes of others is a wise strategy, but too often ego gets in the way. Until there is acceptance of a problem and a resolution to fix the problem can real learning take place. The following is a true story that demonstrates how education can quickly turn a problem into a long-term tool for success. The Business Problem A Chicago, Illinois-based steel fabricator, supplying a global market with wire product displays,  store fixtures, point-of-purchase (POP) displays, and custom wire frameworks, realized their profits were trending negatively. They had tried a…
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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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What Is the Cost of Safety?

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What is the cost of Safety
What is the cost of Safety when it’s not the first priority Have you ever wondered if putting money into your organization’s safety policy was worth it? If so, you’re not alone. Many people think they can put safety off, until something happens, and then, they instantly regret their decision. One organization in particular made an investment in improving their safety and truly reaped the benefits. Their safety turnaround resulted in Zero Lost Time Incidents, One million safe hours…then, two million safe hours, An Iowa Safety Council Award, and A National Safety Council Award. Perhaps most importantly, the safety improvement even lead to a feature story on ABC prime time. (more…)
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Transformation is change, and change is hard. People resist change. Even if today’s situation is terrible, change is still uncomfortable and scary – a case of the devil you know vs. the devil you don’t. People must become committed to the desired transformation, and this requires communication AND training. Communication lets people understand the vision, the desired outcome of the transformation. Training gives them the skills they will need in order to successfully contribute and therefore become committed. This kickoff training gives people the skills they need to become effective problem solvers, tools based on the “observation, then deduction” method of Sherlock Holmes. Holmes would look for clues at a crime scene, things that were out of place or different. Workers are trained to observe their own operations, to look at conditions when it performs brilliantly and when it performs terribly. They learn tools that search for the Consistent Differences…
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