Key Safety Metrics

Posted by Gene Niewoehner on January 18, 2012 @ 11:19 am

You can tell a lot about a company, by taking a quick look at their annual report and website. In today’s economy, it’s the results that count — that’s easy to understand —but leading companies take a more holistic approach to measuring safety. If you can only find results or lagging measures, look elsewhere; the lagging measures are functionally useless when it comes to evaluating a company’s future success. Instead, look for companies that provide results along with proactive or leading measures. When you find one, you’ve likely found a company known for its product or service quality, customer service, productivity and financial success. There are many ways to measure success, but I believe quality, service, productivity, financial, and environmental, health and safety are all linked through a company’s systems and culture. Break one link, and the company will exper... Continue Reading

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Some Ideas for Quality Management

Posted by John Clemons on January 10, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

Everybody talks about quality. It’s job number one. It’s what drives the company. And so on. But when it comes to manufacturing, what does that really mean? In most cases with manufacturing and the shop floor, it can mean a lot of things — probably way too many things. It’s easy to get confused, and by trying to do too many different things on the quality front, you can become your own worst enemy. On the other hand, the many different ways to approach quality on the shop floor can be a good thing. You have a lot of options, and, they’re all good ones. The key is to pick the options that make sense for you and your manufacturing environment. If you try too many, you’re sunk. But, if you pick a couple of the right options, you really can have a big impact on quality on your shop floor. So, here are some options for you to consider, tools for you to use and ideas to get y... Continue Reading

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New Year’s Resolution, Revelation or Resignation — Your Choice

Posted by Bill Stewart on January 3, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

Every New Year’s Eve, something special happens when the clock strikes midnight. We come up with a plan to eat better, exercise more and take time to smell the flowers along the way — a resolution. We imagine the different and wonderful life we'll live if we just stick to it — a revelation. Then one day rolls into another and we go about our work as usual — a resignation. When you return to work after the holidays, ask your process automation installed base what it wants to do with the new year. Get a cup of coffee, sit in front of the HMI and just listen while your GUI pours out its CPU to you. OK, that’s not going to happen, and if you sit there too long talking to the interface you’ll question your own sanity. However, there is a way to let the process automation installed base talk to you. Do an assessment and analyze the data. The data will “talk” to you if you... Continue Reading

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The 3 PM Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Posted by Don Dickson on December 15, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

Most of the project management mistakes I’ve made in my career were caused by lack of experience in project management processes, or lack of time. After some years in the process automation industry, I’ve learned that there are standards to help PMs with the process piece, including PMI, Prince2 and other custom processes developed by some of the world’s leading companies. With this wealth of information, there’s really no reason today’s PMs wouldn’t be well-armed with, or at least exposed to, standard project management processes. But what about lack of time? They say that time cures all ills. But what happens when project timelines are compressed and there’s a severe time crunch? Sound familiar? Lack of time can cause a PM to brush over or even skip critical steps. Here’s a listing of what I believe are the three PM mistakes you don’t want to make: 1. Failure to pla... Continue Reading

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Get More Value from Your ERP System

Posted by John Clemons on December 7, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

ERP systems are supposed to be the “silver bullet” of computer systems. They’re supposed to solve just about every business problem you might have. They’re supposed to handle finance, purchasing, logistics, orders, shipping, inventory, manufacturing, maintenance and everything else with a beautifully integrated suite of modules. And, you know what, except for the “silver bullet” part, ERP systems have actually delivered a lot of what they’ve promised. They really have done pretty well in finance and purchasing and logistics and several other areas. For most companies, ERP has been worth its weight in gold just by providing an integrated set of financial records and all the tools you need to manage the financial transactions of the company. ERP doesn’t have that same track record when it comes to manufacturing, however. ERP doesn’t really support manufacturing that wel... Continue Reading

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