In this article, Fortune business writer Tory Newmyer reports on a recent speech by highly regarded Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter. Porter was speaking in Charlotte, N.C., at an event sponsored by Duke Energy and Verizon, about some “very, very disturbing trends” he sees emerging in our economy.
The context of his view was based on his research on the fraying of American competitiveness. The evidence he presented was not a one-time fall, but a problem with U.S. productivity that he claims has been in process over the past 20 years. In short, he believes that U.S. industries exposed to international competition have created no new jobs for decades.
“This is a real, real issue facing this county and we’ve got to tackle it. We can’t hope that we’ll just have a recovery and things are going back to the way they were,” he said.
Porter’s research, which included a survey of 50,000 Harvard Business School alumni, lead him to the conclusion that American productivity is not strong enough to justify higher labor costs and other variables here in the U.S. He attributed the competitiveness problem to many factors, including the strides the less developed countries have made in education, infrastructure and improving governmental interference or corruption.
The take away from his message that is most poignant in my mind is that we in the U.S. are improving, but we need to improve much more quickly if we are to regain our former advantage in the world economy. In his view, the phenomenon of offshoring is not something that calls for blame. It’s just the way things work in a global economy.
This month, Northeast Ohio manufacturers have an excellent opportunity to learn more about exciting new global business opportunities at the upcoming NEO World Trade Conference, on Thursday, Sept. 27 at Executive Caterers. The half-day event includes a luncheon, two keynote presentations, several break-out tracks on specific topics like Helping Medical Manufacturers Access Foreign Markets, Eurozone Impact on NEO Companies, Global Financial Outlook and Government Support for Exporters.
The conference is sponsored by Crain’s Cleveland Business and co-sponsored by MAGNET. Check out the conference agenda. I hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity to learn from international business experts and to network with other developing global businesses.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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