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There are many reasons why giving feedback is challenging. Some people shut down after hearing tough feedback, others will actively avoid the person who gave them the feedback, and still others will become angry and lash out. The result can lead to a culture of avoiding feedback altogether. In one study , 44% of managers agreed that giving feedback is often stressful, and in another, 21% admitted to avoiding giving negative feedback, even though research shows feedback can actually make employees more engaged . If it’s difficult for a manager to give feedback, imagine, then, how challenging it must be for employees to give feedback to their manager. ...
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While still in its early phases, 4D printing technology has potential to transform organizations with customized and adaptive solutions for supply chain challenges. We interact with infrastructure all the time — from the pipes that bring water each morning to our shower, to the roads we drive daily to work. Much of the time, it can be easy to forget that these working systems even exist. They simply work. It’s when infrastructure fails that real challenges can arise, from the physical infrastructure we depend on to the kind that underpins modern manufacturing and supply chains. But imagine a scenario where infrastructure can adapt and respond — to use ...
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MTI's   Benchmarking Committee is pleased to announce the 2019 Wage and Benefit Survey as one of MTI's most valuable benefits. With labor being your largest cost on your income statement, this report is a member's #1 resource for wage and benefit data, for purposes of helping manage labor costs.  With employee recruitment and retention being any company's number one challenge today, this report is also used to make sure you are competitive on wage/salary rates and benefits. This survey compares you to your competitors, nationally and locally, in the area of 20 hourly wage positions, 14 salaried management and executive positions, and your benefit structure. ...
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As MTI President, I am excited to invite you to MTI’s Fall Meeting, which will take place October 3-5 at the amazing Fairmont Hotel in downtown Vancouver, Canada.  The Fairmont Hotel is located in the heart of Vancouver with nightlife, shopping, and great sight-seeing right out the door of the hotel.   You will want to book your hotel room as soon as you can.  The room block is already filling up and will sellout soon.  You can find full details on the meeting and a link to book your room by CLICKING HERE .   The Program Committee has done another outstanding job designing an incredible blend of experts and sessions that cover key topics that are ...
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The average cost per company for this cybersecurity issue? $8.86 million annually. Like many industries, manufacturing is becoming more digitized and automated, with companies consistently creating new technology to stay one step ahead of competitors. This type of innovation can reap many rewards, but also comes with inherent risks—from major impacts to the bottom line to employees accidentally or maliciously leaking coveted information. Manufacturing is among the five industries with the highest percentages of insider threat incidents and privilege misuse, according to the Insider Threat Report recently published by Verizon. The average cost of insider ...
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A bad night's sleep, or a night without enough sleep, might not just lead to weight gain, it can actually kill you, or leave you badly injured. A Harvard Medical School study —one of many on the subject—found that insomnia is responsible for 274,000 workplace accidents and errors each year, costing companies billions. That this is the case is hardly surprising. According to the CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 38% of American workers get less than the doctor-recommended seven hours of sleep a night. It makes sense, given the pressure-packed lifestyle of many Americans—long commuting times, overtime at work, night ...
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Toxic employees can affect turnover, productivity, and morale. And they can be harder to deal with than you may think.   You know your company’s culture is toxic, but where is it coming from? Is it a systemic issue? Point-source pollution from a handful of bad eggs? Both? It’s not always easy to tell. Because toxic leaders and employees are typically confident people, they’re often able to build a large network of followers to camouflage or protect themselves, despite their negative influence, said Deborah Ancona, a professor of leadership at MIT Sloan and founder of the MIT Leadership Center . “Toxic leaders are often talking about all the great ...
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The challenge of finding a black spot on a black background—and how solving this will cause a paradigm shift.   I remember my first interaction with machine vision. It was exciting, because I had this image of all the things you’ve seen in the movies. I always remember the scenes in “The Terminator” where you were looking through the eyes of the machine, and seeing what it saw. Little did I realize that while that was possible, it was not something easily accomplished. Machine vision is an exciting tool in automation; it takes machine sensing to the next level. Where before the machine knew if something was there or not, hot or cold, metal or plastic, ...
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Data is a crucial component of digital transformation in the manufacturing sector. In fact, it lies at the foundation of every digital initiative. However, data in itself is not a value driver. It must be put to use. In general, manufacturing operations collect more than enough data to form a basis for the initial stages of transformation. The challenge is that many may not have a clear idea of how to use it or cannot easily access it because it is locked in legacy systems. And simply accessing that data is not enough – organizations must be able to monetize it. With the right combination of technology and creative thinking, this is a realistic goal. One multinational ...
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At some point in our lives and our leadership, we all experience insecurity, and when we act out of that insecurity we tend to behave badly. Sometimes harming our relationships and reputation in the process. Especially for leaders, insecurity affects not only ourselves but also those around us. When an insecure leader thinks everything is about them, as a result, every action, every choice, every decision is put through the filter of their own self-centeredness, which doesn’t really serve others well. Here are 10 of the top signals that insecurity may be damaging your leadership. If any of these sound familiar, stop the behavior and work through the issues ...
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With nearly 100 volunteers annually serving on behalf of MTI members on the Board, committees, task force groups, and affiliated groups like Nadcap, AMEC, and CQI-9, there are many people deserving of recognition.   The Metal Treating Institute is pleased to announce nominations are now open for available Board of Trustee seats, Leadership & Service Awards, and the Commercial Heat Treater of the Year Award.   The Nomination and Award Committees would appreciate you taking a moment to look through each of the nomination processes below, and visit our website at www.HeatTreat.net to nominate an individual or company that you feel is qualified and ...
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MTI is pleased to announce a special offer by our official sales forecasting partner, ITR Economics, on two special webinars in June and July.  These webinars will provide you great insight into the growth of the 2020’s and the recession ITR feels is coming in the 2030’s.   Information and clarity on the future economy is so critical to helping you make great decisions in pursuing growth, labor, and equipment purchases.   These are two webinars you don’t want to miss.  Details for each are below:   JUNE 27 - CHALLENGES AND CHANGES THROUGH 2020   Business cycle decline in the US and the world will persist into 2020. It is important to know ...
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With change happening so fast in the marketplace, MTI has made an increased effort to help keep members informed on key developments that can impact various aspects of your business.  Since one of the keys to making great decisions in today’s business climate is immediate information, MTI has been growing its social media presence in 2019.      If you want to know real-time, key information from MTI, you will want to “LIKE” our Facebook and Twitter pages.  Once on our Facebook page, you will see that MTI is posting out daily information on committee work, task force groups, industry events, meeting updates, and much more.    CLICK HERE for MTI’s ...
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Five key competencies of digitally mature organizations serve as a good base for making sure you’re prepared to take advantage of the technologies available. For decades, manufacturers have driven continuous improvement and quality management programs based on Lean, Six Sigma, or overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) philosophies. Although these provide a solid foundation for operational excellence, a new wave of approaches driven by Industry 4.0 technologies is offering unparalleled improvement opportunities. Digital maturity  correlates with competitive advantage in time to market, cost efficiency, product quality, and customer satisfaction. But ...
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When salespeople become managers, they often do a horrible job. Four key steps can help them—and all soon-to-be managers—make the shift, says Frank V. Cespedes.   This sad scenario plays out at many firms: Top-performing salespeople get promoted to become sales managers, but don’t actually know how to manage. The result is a disaster—productivity takes a dive, disgruntled salespeople start heading for the door, and the new managers themselves burn out. Why are so many salespeople so terrible at managing? It’s because even after they put on their manager hats, they continue to suffer from the “super salesperson syndrome,” unable to disconnect from ...
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HIRING: Speed or Need

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You’re probably familiar with the old adage of the iron triangle: given the choice of cheap, fast, or well done, you can only have two. It’s a multiple-choice test that rears its ugly head in the daily operations of organizations of any significant size. You’ve probably even posed such a choice to your clients, if not in those exact terms.   In theory, these three constraints have a universal application, but if you’re a recruiter involved in talent acquisition, or have ever passed through the eye of the hurricane that is the hiring process, you know that in practice the choice is often even more stark. Often, you must pick between filling vacancies quickly ...
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The technology will revolutionize manufacturing, but how? United Technologies, GE, and Honeywell are taking different approaches. Like the cotton gin and the modern assembly line, 3D printing is the kind of breakthrough advancement that holds the promise to revolutionize manufacturing. The technology lets companies input designs into a printer the size of a small garden shed and have it spit out fully formed, usable products or parts – often at a savings of time, manpower, and money.  This potential isn’t lost on industrial giants like General Electric Co., Honeywell International Inc., and United Technologies Corp. - if you can make a part cheaper, faster, ...
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With interconnected supply chains, a hack on one supplier can jeopardize an entire business. Supply chain technology is advancing quickly, but are cybersecurity systems keeping pace? The answer is a resounding no. Given the interconnected nature of the supply chain, a hacker can knock out one or two nodes and a hack becomes hugely problematic, potentially jeopardizing an entire business. With reports of data hacks constantly in the news, it may seem like cybersecurity incidences are increasing, Jon Boyens, who leads the government’s National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management (C-SCRM) program, told Supply ...
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It's not about housekeeping. 5S improves your workplace environment for better control, productivity, and safety. What if you could spot abnormalities in your work environment in 30 seconds or less? Or you knew where your tools and other instruments were at all times because they had a specific home and they resided there when not in use? Or you went home from the job in a great frame of mind because you were productive, with little wasted time slowing you down? These scenarios all are potential benefits of well-executed 5S, a workplace organization system that Operational Excellence Consultant Todd Tommaney describes as one of the building blocks of ...
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Lean, the production system pioneered at Toyota, has fallen victim to a galaxy of misconceptions, say two of its expert minds. But when done right, it can generate wins for managers and companies. Ask what the term “Lean management” means, and you might see the blood drain from someone’s face. “Lay-offs, cost-cutting, downsizing,” they might spit back at you. But that’s not what the system — modeled after the Lean manufacturing practices pioneered in the 1970s by Toyota — is about, according to Lean experts John Shook, Chairman and CEO of the Lean Enterprise Institute, and Jamie Bonini, Vice President of the Toyota Production System Support Center. They ...
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