Most companies know that if they only had a magic innovation wand they could do great things for their business. Who wouldn’t like to have innovation springing up and creating new and differentiating products, services and processes? What a difference it could make in the success of the company! While no one that we know has a magic wand that creates innovation, there are proactive and intentional ways to foster it so that it is not an accident that innovation happens. More
Why is it that when business is good we think that it won’t turn down and when it is slow we think it won’t pick up again? Let’s face it, business cycles are here to stay, and we would do well to anticipate them and run our businesses to make the best of the up cycles and to cope with the down cycles. While these thoughts are primarily aimed at others with manufacturing businesses, the primary issue is pretty generic. None of us have infinite capacity, so how do we most effectively flex our capacity or influence the demand so that they are relatively closely matched? More
For many of us who lead our companies, it is a challenge to see much past next month, let alone three to five years into the future. We may feel that we are doing well just to put together a plan with objectives and a financial budget for our next fiscal year. Unfortunately, if we are totally occupied on a day-to-day basis or only looking ahead one year at a time, it is unlikely that we will chart a course that will optimize the future of our businesses. If we are going to have a truly successful business, we need to find a way to grow in spite of a natural attrition of customers or projects that is an ongoing reality in today’s business world. More
Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute recently reported that an estimated 600,000 skilled positions in advanced manufacturing are going unfilled. Few would view this reality as anything but a threat to American Manufacturing. There is good news to report, however. America has now awakened to the seriousness of this situation and many different groups are starting to address it. Once a major obstacle to the health of America’s livelihood is visible and recognized as critical, the energy and resolve by its citizens to address it can accomplish great things. More
Any company that has established a unique corporate culture can relate to the challenge of having its values executed by each individual member of the organization. However, Acme Industries knows first hand that unification of corporate culture within a company’s business model is vital to customer satisfaction and success. More
Utilizing supply chain management best practices is vital to Acme Industries as well as our OEM customers. At Acme, we review what these best practices are to best achieve the most effective impact on optimizing favorable supply chain outcomes. More
Recently, business has picked up for many manufacturers, proposing the challenge for OEM’s to make sure they are working with suppliers that will reliably deliver their requirements for continued growth in business. The OEM needs be sure that its key suppliers can balance the dynamic load of customers’ orders with the mostly static capacity of their factory operations. If this task is not completed effectively, the delivery performance to the supplier’s customers can suffer or they can end up with too much capacity and a lack of machine utilization. More
The historical relationship between a customer and its suppliers has often been one of adversaries attempting to take advantage of one another if given the opportunity. The inherent philosophy of that approach is that the relationship amounts to a zero sum game where if one party wins, the other party loses. Breaking away from that practice requires integrity, trust, commitment to the client’s success, and performance that matches up to the commitment. These are some of the major traits of a strategic relationship that can greatly enhance the opportunities for success for both parties.
Acme Industries’ customers, OEM’s that engineer and sell precision equipment, increasingly face large challenges in their globally competitive markets. Most are spread too thin, and don’t have the necessary resources to meet their objectives. Each company needs solutions that will optimize the leverage that their finite resources can contribute, and make them more competitive. More
Lean Manufacturing experts say that implementing Lean methodologies is a journey without a destination. Acme Industries has been serious about its Lean Manufacturing journey for the last 5 years and we have learned many things, including that there are no silver bullets or quick fixes. Lean is a journey that can produce significant results if pursued with focus, applied resources, and a willingness to change.
Many businesses today struggle with the unavoidable force of commoditization that pulls competing products and services down into sameness until price determines customers’ choices. Escaping the pull of commoditization was possible for Acme Industries, but it required us to examine our business model strategy, not only from our own perspective but also that of our customers and prospects. Our goal was to differentiate Acme Industries from competitors and to accelerate our customers’ success as a result of using our services. More
Utilizing Supply Chain management best practices is vital to Acme Industries and to our OEM customers as well. Therefore, it is important to review what the best practices are that can have the most impact on optimizing favorable Supply Chain outcomes. More