Blog posts by Sam Wasylyshyn

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

When Ocean Freighters pull a Houdini

November 15, 2017 by Sam Wasylyshyn

During the early 1900s shipbuilders and shipping companies worked hard to make ocean freighters faster AND more fuel efficient. To a large degree they were successful, speed was up and fuel consumption was down, however their economies of scale became progressively worse and they were losing money BIG TIME! The owners and managers of these large ocean freighters suffered a serious incongruity between expectations and results. They assumed that a majority of the costs were incurred while the freighters were sailing through the oceans. In reality however, the real costs of the freighter are incurred when the ship is at the port sitting idle. So no matter how fast and fuel efficient ships would become, the industry would continue declining! True innovation occurs when individuals are able to bridge an incongruity, which is what the industry leaders were able to do. Once they realized where the true costs were, the innovations were obvious. The shipping industry pulled a “Houdini” and began applying some of the best practices of the railroad and trucking industries. Those industries were utilizing roll-on and roll-off container ships for several years, something the shipping industry couple replicate. It’s important to note that it was a shift

Read More

Ideation at MAGNET: The Process

November 14, 2017 by Sam Wasylyshyn

Idea generation, or ideation as it is formally known, is an important part of the innovation process. MAGNET has a long history of helping manufacturers around the region ideate to solve specific challenges. Recently I sat down with Bob Schmidt, one of MAGNET’s Senior Growth and Innovation Advisors, to discuss the topic of ideation and to better understand MAGNET’s ideation process. First thing I learned….Not all ideations are the same MAGNET conducts TWO specific types of ideation sessions: 1. Technical – Technical Ideation Sessions are structured to solve specific “technical” problems…such as what manufacturing processes could be applied to develop a new product or developing design concepts for a new or enhanced product based on defined market criteria. 2. Growth – Growth Ideation Sessions are structured to solve business growth problems, specifically around market diversification. MAGNET and the client do a deep dive into the client’s core assets, current products/services, and market opportunities as a foundation for idea creation. Second thing I learned….There is a structured process in place at MAGNET for conducting each type of ideation session The MAGNET Ideation Process Third thing I learned…..”The Commonalities”. Regardless of what whether the ideation session is technical or growth oriented, there

Read More

Clark Kent or Superman? The Decision is Yours

November 13, 2017 by Sam Wasylyshyn

My message is simple, think BIG about your business. Ask yourself the simple question, “what business am I really in?” Your respond to this question can impact your business in a very significant way. Your answer will shape how you see your company, how your employees see it, how your competitors see it, and how your customers see it. If you think too small you run the risk of getting left behind. What do I mean by “thinking too small?” Take the railroad companies for example. For years they thought of themselves as being in the railroad business rather than being in the transportation business. This narrow view of their business allowed newer competitors in the “transportation” industry to take away their customers. The railroad companies serviced their customers only from a railroad perspective neglecting to expand into areas the automotive, aerospace, or telecommunications companies did. Let’s go back to thinking about your company. Are you in a larger “business” than you think? How can you think bigger to service more customers? Check out the examples below: • Hollywood – Movie Business or Entertainment Business? • Lifetime Fitness – Gym or Fitness Center? • Sheetz – Gas Station or Full-Service

Read More

Back to Life! Bringing back old motorcycles using Additive Manufacturing

November 09, 2017 by Sam Wasylyshyn

Birmingham Alabama is home to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, also known as, the worlds “best and largest” motorcycle collection. The museum opened its doors to public in 1995 with the goal of showcasing the engineering, balance, and unique design of each motorcycle under its roof. To-date the museum is home to over 1,400 motorcycles that spans over 100 years of production. Bikes from over 200 different manufacturers are represented in the museum’s collection. The museum staff takes pride in conserving and restoring motorcycles to running condition, and in some cases, to competition-ready shape. Their motto is to make the museum a “living museum”. Turing the museum into a “living museum” sometimes isn’t always that easy. When vintage bikes come into the museum (like a 1903 Harley Davidson), and need restored, the parts for the bikes are no longer being produced by the manufacturer and the museum might not be able to locate the needed parts in the market. When situations like this happen, what does it do? The answer is simple, it calls on additive manufacturing expert Dave Pierson for help. Dave has the knowledge and resources to reverse engineer the parts that no longer exist and directly print

Read More

Failure is great, it gave us the Ford Mustang

November 06, 2017 by Sam Wasylyshyn

No one wants to fail (most normal people at least), we want to be WINNERS! Sometimes, however failing can be a good thing. An unexpected failure may be an equally important source of an innovative opportunity, at least it was for Ford. In 1959 Ford introduced the Edsel to the market, a carefully designed car that would help Ford complete its product line, making it competitive with General Motors. Despite all the careful planning, market research, and design Ford put into the Edsel it completely bombed, sales were far below expectation. When analyzing the situation, Ford realized it had been segmenting its customers all wrong. Instead of segmenting them by income group, they should be segmented by their “lifestyle”. The new segmentation strategy resulted in a restructuring of how Ford produced cars. Seeing a need to appeal to the “Sports Guy” it soon designed and manufactured the Ford Mustang in 1962 and the rest is history! Have you ever turned an unexpected failure into an innovative opportunity? This story covers one source of innovation, “unexpected occurrences”. For more information on this topic check out the full article here: The Discipline of Innovation by Peter Drucker.

Read More

Joe Kanfer GOJO CEO shares Innovation Secrets

October 26, 2017 by Sam Wasylyshyn

On October 24th MAGNET teamed up with Brouse McDowell to host the first Manufacturing Executive Session at Brouse’s offices in Akron. The speaker for this session was Joe Kanfer, CEO of GOJO Industries, who delivered an amazing presentation on how GOJO successfully innovates. Joe laid out his 5 key ingredients for successful innovation: Drive out Fear Innovative companies develop a culture of confidence not fear. They reduce negative repercussions that come along with employees presenting new ideas and/or offering ways to improve things. Joe’s statement was “don’t get stuck in the middle”, don’t let fear paralyze you. In order to successfully innovate, get out from behind the computer, go visit your customers, stop making assumptions and start asking them the questions directly. Conduct Customer Research Innovation comes from understanding the work processes of your customers, knowing how they operate (ethnography), and delivering value by solving their problems. While you are “driving out fear” study the environment of your customers, investigate how your products are used, and look for other opportunities. Other opportunities will present themselves if you analyze your products before use or shortly after use. Watch Future Technology Trends Innovation doesn’t happen in a bubble. Technology is evolving fast,

Read More

Thank a Librarian

October 13, 2017 by Sam Wasylyshyn

During the early 1930s, IBM developed the first modern accounting machine designed for the financial sector. However, the banks weren’t buying the IBM machines; in fact, they were just trying to stay in business, and no one was investing in new equipment. The accounting technology was new, and people didn’t understand its potential yet (thus a reluctance to invest in it). Even with this dismal outlook, IBM found an unexpected solution: libraries. Unlike the banks, libraries during the early days of the New Deal era had money to invest. After the famed New York Public Library bought an accounting machine, others followed suit, leading to more than 100 purchases by libraries across the country. Once the economy regained momentum after World War II, the business community once again had the money to invest and recognized the sheer importance of computing technology. IBM redesigned their machines to help companies complete their payroll, and within a few years, IBM became a leader in the computer industry. Have you ever experienced an unexpected occurrence similar to IBM? Was in how the product was made or how the product was sold to the market? This story covers one source of innovation known as “unexpected

Read More

How to Lead Through Self-Management

June 01, 2017 by Sam Wasylyshyn

While engaging with other people is a staple of being a good manager, being a successful leader lies in something more: the ability to manage yourself. The world is full of executives who spend their days strategizing and weighing external outcomes, but real leadership means looking inward to find how your own strengths, values, and assets can help you manage yourself as well as others. This process has many pieces to it, but at the heart of it, there are a few core principles that play a vital role in being a leader (versus a manager) and getting the impactful results you want: Spend your time and energy improving on strengths instead of weaknesses. This concept is based on the idea that it takes far more to get from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence. As a leader and influencer, why would you spend all of your time and energy trying to be a jack of all trades and a master of none? It’s important to recognize early on that successful individuals excel in one or two areas, as this focus allows them to pursue excellence rather than settling for a skill set

Read More