Archive for the ‘General’ Category


Customer Service: Nothing So Useless?

In recent years, I’ve observed a much needed trend toward better customer service and “Listening to the voice of the customer”. In general, I applaud this trend and support this goal. However, even a worthy objective does not prevent us from doing something stupid. Sometimes, an ideal, such as customer service, creates an environment where […]

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Production Control: Nothing So Useless?

According to Peter Drucker “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” With developments in technology, we now have the ability to automate more processes than ever before. While I am an advocate of applied technology, another rule applies, “Don’t automate what you don’t need to do.” […]

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Overhead Absorption: Nothing So Useless?

According to Peter Drucker “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” Many companies give themselves credit with each portion of their production process. Many experts have pointed out that this practice motivates managers to build inventory in order to receive overhead absorption credit. Some of these […]

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Forecast Accuracy: Is Forecast Variability To Blame Or To Be Exploited?

In a recent LinkedIn forum, someone posted the question: “Is forecasting a waste of time? Is it more important to be able to deal with variability than predict it?” A question of this type intends to drive strong reactions. But the question is really comparing two different things. People who like apples will make the […]

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Hidden Money in Your Business Part 4: Customer Value versus Customer Cost

In this series of posts, I have discussed powerful questions to find cost reduction or cost optimization opportunities at an activity and business process level. Then I went on to explore cost reduction opportunities in product overhead. But I have saved the best for last.

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Hidden Money in Your Business Part 2: Respect the Value Chain

In my last post, “Hidden Money in Your Business: Ask Four Questions to Find it”, I discussed questions to use in identifying Cost Drivers. Cost Drivers are the reasons why we do work. Or, for the work we do, why the work costs so much, why quality suffers, and why the work takes so long. […]

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Strategic Business Modeling: Part 2

Part 1 of Strategic Business Modeling addressed three prime reasons to strategically plan or strategically model your business: Communicating with Others; Fleshing out the Process; and Testing Results.

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Measure, Mark, & Cut

After many years in business, I’ve noticed that we take our management process very seriously. We make measurements, we mark them out, and we take action. To demonstrate what we often do, I’ve assembled a few simple props: a log, something to measure with, something to mark with, and something to cut with.

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Strategic Business Modeling: Part 1

It is hard to drain a swamp while you’re fighting off alligators. Often business managers are so embroiled in day to day decisions that they do not find time to step back and plan. Planning goes by many names; we’ll call it strategic business modeling because it is so essential to the business. Why plan? […]

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Survival Guide for Management Initiatives

Your CEO has just announced a new management initiative. He just finished explaining his vision and strategy and how this initiative fills a critical gap. He said to expect sweeping changes as the company uses this initiative to become oh so close to your existing customers and to welcome hordes of new customers. Profits will […]

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