Blog

On-boarding New Hires: A Foundation for Employee & Organizational Success

January 02, 2018 by Donna Rhodes

What was your most memorable first day on a new job? How did your new manager make you feel on that day? As I reflect, I met the first day of each new job with excitement and anticipation. I wondered…will the job live up to my expectations? What will it be like to actually work with the people on my team? Will I fit in with the culture of the organization…the team? Will there be in place systems and an environment that allows me to be successful and flourish? I’m willing to bet many of you have had some of these thoughts cross your minds as you started your new jobs. An employee’s on-boarding experience is critical to his/her decision whether to stay with an organization or move on. If you’re the hiring manager, typically, you have as little as 30 to 90 days to convince the new employee that they have made the right choice in joining your company. This decision can even take six months to a year as studies indicate 70% of new hires will decide to stay or leave within their first six months of employment. The employee’s decision about this choice is important because of

Read More

4 Investment Strategies to Pursue in 2018

December 20, 2017 by Sam Wasylyshyn

With 2017 soon to be in the history books and 2018 on the horizon, have you started to think about what investments you want to make in your company? As a refresher, did any of the following cross your mind in 2017? We have been operating in survival mode without a plan… My sales are stagnant/shrinking and I don’t have resources… I’m getting traction in the market, but I don’t know how to scale to meet my demand… I want to create a business that provides financial freedom... If you answered YES to any of the 4 statements, then 2018 is the year to act. MAGNET has the resources to help make this a reality for a modest investment. In fact, the average initial investment is around $3-5K. The MAGNET process is simple: We identify critical business needs, we prioritize a project plan, and we implement the needed improvements. 4 Investment Strategies If you are a small manufacturer that wants to make a change for the better in 2018 lets talk more: Matt Sinclair – 216-534-9626 or matt.sinclair@magnetwork.org

Read More

SWOT and ISO9001:2015 – The Connection

December 18, 2017 by Gwido Dlugopolsky

Don’t underestimate the value of a good SWOT analysis. In fact, a good SWOT analysis will assist you in transitioning to ISO9001:2015 The four parts of the SWOT analysis: Strengths - What are the companies best practices? What gives you a competitive advantage over others? Weaknesses – What puts you at a disadvantage over others? Systems that are not fully effective? Opportunities – Potential areas of improvement? Areas you can exploit? Trends that could positively impact your business? Threats – Risk areas, Noncompliance? A good PEST Analysis will compliment the SWOT Analysis. A PEST Analysis identifies all of the various external political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental factors that might affect a business. Managers then assess the risks that the identified factors pose and use that knowledge to inform decisions. How SWOT can fit into ISO9001:2015: Clause 4.1 and 4.2 (Internal and External Context of the Organization) Clause 6.1 (Risk and Opportunities) Clause 6.2 (Quality Objectives) Clause 7.1.6 (Organization Knowledge) If you would like to talk more about the ISO9001:2015 transition or would like a 3rd party facilitator for an upcoming SWOT analysis at your company give me a call or email. Gwido Dlugopolsky at 216-391-7766 or gwido.dlugopolsky@magnetwork.org

Read More

Top 10 Sited Safety and Health Violations

December 13, 2017 by Gwido Dlugopolsky

One remarkable thing about the list is that it rarely changes.  The order may change but the top cited standards typically don’t change. Top 10 Sited Safety and Health Violations: 501 - Fall Protection 1200 - Hazard Communication 451 - Scaffolding 134 - Respiratory Protection 147 - Lockout/Tagout 178 - Powered Industrial Trucks 1053 - Ladders 305 - Electrical, Wiring Methods 212 - Machine Guarding 303 - Electrical, General Requirements Three of the 10 sited standards are directed at the construction standard (1926) while other fall within the general industry (1910).  It should be noted however that the general industry standard also has fall protection guidelines. Year after year, inspectors see the same on-the-job hazards, any one of which could result in a fatality or severe injury. More than 4,500 workers are killed on the job every year, and approximately 3 million are injured. By understanding these regulations you can improve your safety program and prevent injuries. Give me a call if you have any compliance doubts, or want to review OHSA regulations. Gwido Dlugopolsky at 216-391-7766 or gwido.dlugopolsky@magnetwork.org

Read More

Complete ANY Changeover in 10 Minutes or LESS

December 11, 2017 by Gwido Dlugopolsky

Why does it take a NASCAR pit crew only 15 seconds to change four car tires when it takes people like you and me minutes? The answer is simple SMED. Single Minute Exchange of Dies, or SMED, is a process for reducing the time it takes to do equipment changeovers. Using the principles of SMED you should be able to perform any changeover in your facility in under 10 minutes! The SMED process is simple – convert as many changeover steps as possible to “external”, meaning they are done while your equipment is still RUNNING, while simplifying and streamlining the remaining steps. SMED is broken down into the following 3 Steps: Separate Convert Streamline We found this article to be very helping in explaining the SMED process in more detail: LEAN PRODUCTION - SMED           A good first step to achieve this level of SMED efficiency would be to run a kaizen event at your facility to standardize (5S) your tools and supplies. Doing this alone will help you achieve 40% to 50% greater efficiency. Once the “low hanging fruit” is gone, you can still reduce setup times another 20% by practicing more advanced SMED principles.

Read More

Coffee is STILL for Closers: 3 Things Needed to Close Any Sale

December 07, 2017 by Sam Wasylyshyn

The secret to closing any sale is to reduce uncertainty in the buyer and replace it with confidence in YOU, your PRODUCT/SERVICE, and your COMPANY. Step 1 – Confidence in YOU Someone buying from you wants to be able to fundamentally connect with you on a human level and feel confident that you’re an expert in what you’re selling If you’re selling paperclips, be an expert in paperclips If you’re selling design and engineering related services, be an expert in design and engineering related services Focus on addressing the problem, not the solution….MEANING you already know you have the solution, connect with the buyer by being an expert with the problem he/she is facing. Prove that you know the problem and all aspects of the problem like the back of your hand. Step 2- Confidence in the PRODUCT/SERVICE you are selling Someone buying from you needs to trust the product/service you are selling will solve their problem. It’s your responsibility to deliver a solution and the benefits associated with it. Basically you need to “Hit a Homerun” communicating this message. Tip – Use Success Stories: Share with the potential buyer examples of your product/service solving problems and delivering value for

Read More

3 Factors Needed for Additive Manufacturing

November 30, 2017 by Sam Wasylyshyn

Right Application – “Find the Niches, Find the Riches” Right Material – “BUT, it’s gotta be this material!!” Right Machine – “Compromise is for politicians” Has your company ever brought up the topic of additive manufacturing (3D Printing)? Or discussed how you could use additive manufacturing at your company? I asked MAGNET’s Dave Pierson this question to better understand why some companies have been able to successfully utilize additive manufacturing and why others have failed. According to Dave, there are only 3 things “foundations” needed for successful use of additive manufacturing; Application, Material, and Machine. The Right Application: Must include Mass Personalization and/or Mass Customization 3D Printing Red Lego Blocks = NOT a good application 3D Printing Red Lego Blocks with personalized names on each block = A good application The difference between the two examples is the mass personalization aspect. If you are looking to produce large volumes of the same product (Red Lego Blocks) use existing blow and/or injection molded technologies, but if you are looking to add a certain customization feature (names, sayings, or logos), maybe additive manufacturing might be right for you. The Right Material: Function of the material is what matters Humans are creatures of

Read More

Reconsidering Resins - November 2017

November 27, 2017 by John Hattery

Much has changed in the resins market since we last considered it in early October. The market for plastics and resins has stabilized, with the disruptions to supply caused by Hurricane Harvey dissipating as capacity has or will very shortly come back on line. Additionally, reactive buying in the face of uncertainty of supply has been replaced by more proactive supply chain behaviors. Largely, buying behavior was bullish and aggressive in in the immediate wake of the storm, studied and reflective near the peak, and is now becoming more bearish. Given we are entering the second half of the 4th quarter, a period which usually brings tight inventory management, this bearishness is entirely rational. Buyers are balancing both “traditional” year-end pressures to keep working capital tied up in inventory to a manageable minimum with the potential for additional supplies the 3 new major resin plants starting to come to market. Domestic processors will likely work to limit their purchases while they wait for prices to fall back below pre-hurricane levels. Given these changing dynamics in the supply-demand balance, carefully consider large contracts in excess of immediate demand, as prices are likely to continue their softening trend, although with higher energy

Read More

Don't Take Cybersecurity Lightly!

November 21, 2017 by John Hattery

Cybersecurity Compliance in The Age of Hacked Everything? Everyone hears about cybersecurity in the news, it seems with greater and greater frequency, touching more and more of our lives.  Equifax got hacked.  The Chinese purportedly steal intellectual property and military secrets from American companies on a massive scale.  Retailers regularly report breaches of their systems exposing millions of customers’ credit card numbers to the “dark web.” Right now, if your company is at all involved in a supply chain servicing contracts with the United States Department of Defense (DoD) as a direct supplier or as a subcontractor to a prime contractor with DoD contracts, there is a clock ticking away.  Ticking very, very loudly. Your organization has until December 31, 2017, to become compliant with NIST SP 800-171. This is a requirement that is stipulated in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) 252.204-7012.  Fundamentally, the Department of Defense is taking very seriously the risk of cybersecurity and cyberespionage, and have taken a very strong stance that compliance must be achieved by the end of the year.  If a contractor is not compliant, they will not be eligible for to bid on further business.  I know in talking to a number of

Read More

Are You a Leader That Listens? Or a Leader That Hears?

November 16, 2017 by John Hattery

Leaders often ask their employees for input when making decisions big and small, and listen with great sincerity and intent. If workers are given the opportunity to provide input, they figure, workers will be more accepting of the decisions, committed to the process, and invested in the desired outcomes, simply because they feel heard. Not necessarily. The problem is that while asking for input is important, and actively and respectfully listening to what employees have to say is critical, often workers don’t grasp the “bigger picture” that the leader is trying to address. As a result, sometimes a leader reaches conclusions and implements actions that appear to be contrary to the input provided. As a result, employees aren’t likely to get on board, and are more likely to question both the process and outcome. Even worse, they may get angry and lose trust in the leader because they feel as if their thoughtful advice was ignored. If this becomes a frequent pattern of behavior, employees will come to believe that leaders are just pretending to be interested, gathering input primarily to keep people from complaining. Clearly, the answer is not that leaders should abdicate to mob rule and blindly follow

Read More