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Making decisions based on hard evidence requires a major shift in culture, technology, and mind-set.   A version of this article appeared in the Autumn 2019 issue of strategy+business. The entire ethos of the Spanish hotel chain Ilunion is built on innovation, and its most powerful tool for solving problems is now data. In January 2017, Ilunion started giving detailed information about the company’s bookings and revenue to managers and staff so that they could make smarter decisions. The company’s system consolidates more than 12 million data points from different sources and presents it via user-friendly dashboards. For example, a pricing analytics ...
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Today’s global manufacturing marketplace is becoming increasingly competitive. With digitalization now rewriting the rules of engagement, businesses operating in this space are constantly having to combat an influx of new market entrants. To thrive and survive, manufacturing firms will need to initiate smart ‘connected’ factories that drive value in the form of improved productivity, while delivering the agility required to adapt to a fast-changing market much more effectively. Connectivity, in the context of manufacturing, is not a new concept. Yet recent trends, such as robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) have ...
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If you’re in the process of evaluating your data management system or implementing a new master data management strategy, there are six common mistakes you’ll want to avoid.   Although it has been said that money makes the world go round, a quick Google search shows the expression is increasingly being rephrased: data makes the world go round. And it’s also been said that data can make or break a company, depending on how it’s used. According to IBM, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is created every day. With that much big data available, manufacturers might have trouble harnessing and distilling it into master data; but they can’t afford to ignore it. ...
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What do you think of when you hear the word factory? Probably some huge space, with machines humming and personnel walking around with notepads in their hands. The reality is different. Factories are getting smarter as they are now fully integrated and collaborative manufacturing systems that can respond in real time to changing demands. They are equipped with intelligent tools such as industrial weighing scales and sensors that are changing the manufacturing scene. Here are five benefits of smart factories: Asset Optimization In a smart factory, you can optimize different assets and use them to their maximum potential. You can identify the location and ...
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Organizations need to view performance management as a continuous journey.   As organizations continue to put greater emphasis on facts-based decision making, ensuring relevant measures and timely access to data becomes increasingly important. Often organizations will pinpoint a handful of key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge the organization’s operational performance. However, picking and aligning the “right” KPIs to the organization’s goals is often easier said than done, much less ensuring data is captured, analyzed, and disseminated in a timely manner.   APQC conducted a survey to garner insights into these challenges. The survey explored ...
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A network of 56,000 turbines, which are producing nearly 100,000 megawatts nationwide, has propelled the wind industry to new heights. Today, it represents the largest source of renewable generating capacity in the country. It also is supporting 114,000 jobs across all 50 states. And the next potential for tremendous growth will be along our coasts, where the energy resources are even higher since the wind is faster and more consistent. New hurricane-resilient technology that can take advantage of this offshore wind, along with other renewable energy sources, can shape the growth of our nation’s manufacturing future. With a growing global appetite for renewable ...
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MTI is excited to announce this year’s award winners during the 2019 Fall Meeting in Vancouver, Canada.  The following individuals and companies were recognized for their excellence, leadership, and service in the heat treating industry:   Commercial Heat Treater of the Year Award ThermoFusion – Hayward, CA This award, given in partnership with Industrial Heating Magazine and the MTI Educational Foundation, recognizes the company who has demonstrated a level of excellence in quality programs, pollution/hazardous waste control, and community involvement/leadership.   MTI Associate of the Year Gasbarre Thermal Processing Systems – Plymouth, ...
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Just because a person in a position of leadership is liked does not mean he or she is a competent leader. Although the boss-employee relationship is of paramount importance, when relationships become misaligned with organizational goals, team problems shortly follow. A pattern that’s easy to miss: A faltering team that belongs to a likable leader.      Overly “nice” leaders often create unintended and unnecessary team drama because their overriding priority is to be liked and to avoid conflict.  Here are three styles that nice leaders often use to unintentionally create team drama.      Best friend New leaders often have not developed the leadership ...
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  One area of strength for the Metal Treating Institute over the years has always been its line of leadership, and 2020 is no different.   At the final night awards dinner during MTI’s Fall Meeting in Vancouver, Canada, 2019 President Jamie Jones from Solar Atmospheres passed the gavel to Jim Oakes from Super Systems out of Cincinnati, OH. With Super Systems being a member since 1998, Jim Oakes brings a wealth of knowledge, vision, and history to the table as President.  Jim is the fourth associate member to be President in MTI’s 87-year history.  Jim is a graduate of MTI’s famed YES Management Training Program and has been very active on the Board of ...
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A lean supply chain is what you really need. Many people I run into have differing ideas on what the purpose of the supply management function should be. On one end of that spectrum are those who believe that purchasing’s primary focus should be scouring the world, looking for the source with the lowest possible piece-price. Once this is accomplished, all the rest of purchasing-related tasks are considered facilitative of getting usable parts to their point-of-use at minimal cost. From my view in the ballpark, this focus represents the vast majority of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) thinking. At the other end are those who believe the primary task ...
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The Metal Treating Institute’s Fall Meeting, hosted October 3-5 in Vancouver, Canada really hit the mark with all those in attendance.  Many stated it was one of the best meetings they have ever attended.  That says a lot, given MTI national meetings traditionally rate very high among attendees.    CLICK HERE to view a photo gallery of the meeting.   Over 190 people attended from 19 states and Canada, experiencing three days of high-level networking and content, focused on key issues impacting heat treaters and suppliers.   During the three days, MTI members engaged in two high-energy networking dinners.  This allowed many first timers and ...
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The Metal Treating Institute (MTI) and MTI Management Company, Tom Morrison & Associates, are pleased to announce that MTI and Tom Morrison & Associates will be moving their national offices to Nashville, Tennessee during the week of November 21, 2019.   CEO of MTI Management, Tom Morrison states, “The MTI Board of Trustees is excited about the move.  Nashville is a thriving city and the move puts MTI in a central location of activity for members and our premier trade show, Furnaces North America.  Being more centrally located in a vibrant city like Nashville will help us serve our members more effectively, host more regional meetings for members ...
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Within manufacturing, cybersecurity risk exceeds organizational preparedness. While this readiness gap is a notable issue for the industry now, it’s going to become a much bigger problem moving forward—particularly if sector leaders don’t prioritize a more strategic and preemptive approach to securing their operations from external attacks.   A Problematic Security Awareness Gap As a recent study by AVANT on the state of tech disruption across various industries revealed, much of the manufacturing industry has failed to take proactive steps to defend against cyber attacks—which is a notable problem considering the growing threats the industry faces. ...
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The concept of the “smart factory” is hot in the manufacturing sector, but the precise meaning of the term and the prospect of how to build one can be elusive.   What those terms mean is something of an open question. Each has become more of a sort of marketing slogan with evolving meanings than a definable signpost for high-tech manufacturing. And terms referencing intelligence or, for that matter, industrial revolutions, tend to become ever-more grandiose or more generic over time.  Such is the case with the second of the terms in this list, which came to life in 2011 as a German-government-backed Industrie 4.0 initiative to help the nation’s manufacturing ...
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Tempted to skip the mid-year review this year, particularly with your high-performers? Read this first.   Mid-Year Performance Reviews are the Half-Time Huddle of Business. Imagine you’re coaching your son’s football team. They’re up by 7. What do you say at half-time? “Well, you guys played a great first half. Just keep doing what you’re doing.” Or do you just skip the half-time huddle all together and go check your email. After all, you’re busy. No decent coach misses the opportunity for a great half-time huddle. Why would you?   Why Now? There are still six months to impact the year. In most companies, there’s no need to assign ...
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Manufacturers stand to reap big benefits by digitizing their operations, not only financially through cost reductions but also operationally, to gain such abilities as being able to fast-track production changes in response to market conditions in real, or near-real, time.   Jonathan Van Wyck, Partner and Managing Director at the Boston Consulting Group, says gains from digitization are too substantial for manufacturers to ignore and that over time it will become the de facto way of competing. The real challenge, he says, is to attain the speed and scale of digitization to operate optimally.   In a conversation with Knowledge@Wharton, ...
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How the metalwork manufacturing industry can leverage the strength of the R&D credit.   The fabricated metal industry in the U.S. is anticipating substantial  growth  in terms of revenue, employment, and exports in the next four years. The structural steel fabrication market alone is  expecting to reach  more than $184 billion by 2026, with manufacturing being one of the primary sectors of the market. While these numbers certainly offer hope for those in the business of metal manufacturing, it also means that competition will likely see an increase, forcing companies to innovate like never before. Luckily, this need to innovate won’t come without ...
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MTI is pleased to announce that it will be hosting another informative member meeting and reception during the October Nadcap meeting.  All members in attendance are invited.    Anyone from your company attending the Nadcap meeting is invited to attend the member meeting and reception.  These two events give you an opportunity to network and discuss, with heat treat executives and quality managers, key issues surrounding audit compliance.     On day one of the Nadcap meeting, prior to the opening Supplier Support Committee meeting, MTI's Technical Standards Committee Co-Chair, Ed Engelhard, will facilitate discussion among members on key issues on audit ...
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Gallup found that  only 26% of employees strongly agree that the feedback they receive helps them do better work. 37% of managers don’t give positive feedback. ( Zenger/Folkman ) Feedback principle #1 . People prefer affirmation to criticism. When options are available, you choose to hang with people who affirm you and avoid those who criticize you. (“ Negative Feedback Rarely Leads to Improvement ,” HBR Magazine Jan.-Feb. 2018) Have you given abundant praise? Try this experiment. Make tomorrow Affirmation Day. No criticism allowed. No complaining. None! It’s not enough to lock yourself in the office and refuse to talk to anyone on Affirmation ...
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Start by embracing open standards, open-source software   Before harmonizing new technology onto the manufacturing floor, critical steps include determining the business problems to be solved and securing buy-in from all stakeholders, industry leaders said recently during an AeroDef conference panel talk on manufacturing production harmonization. As part of the harmonization process, open standards and open-source software need to be embraced to help offset the costs and reduce the risks associated with proprietary software solutions. The current revenue model most widely used by software-based technology developers places a recurring burden on small ...
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