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May 2011

Looking for Evil on an Income Statement

By Kevin Meyer Here we are again, quarterly earnings season.  And here we are again with people who have no clue how to read even the most basic income statement or P&L spouting off on the evils of corporations – especially those supposedly obscene "profits."  Funny how profits depend on your perspective. I thought I'd create a simple lesson with the following table.  I've left off the company names and …
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Gettin’ Some Culture

by BILL WADDELL A couple of things you might want to check out in the cultural arena … Over on Christian Leanings I wrote a piece that has Meg Ryan squaring off against the Godfather in the title bout.  While you there you ought to poke aroound some of the other insightful pieces Mark Welch has written … good stuff, all of it. … and reader Cliff Allen sent in …
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No Such Thing as Non-Financial Metrics

by BILL WADDELL I thought it was high time the air got a little clearer regarding this whole metrics business.  After all, which metrics to use and their relative importance is the universal question I can count on being asked by every manufacturer I visit. There is no such thing as a "non-financial metric".  If it isn't financial then who cares?  The business exists to make money and all we …
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Gemba Academy – New TPM Course

By Kevin Meyer Gemba Academy has just released a new seven module online video training course on Total Productive Maintenance. In this pre-recorded, live training seminar shot at the Peterbilt Manufacturing Training Center in Denton, TX, Mike Wroblewski, a senior lean consultant from Gemba Consulting and the Kaizen Institute explains why Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is not optional for lean thinking companies who rely on machines and equipment to satisfy …
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Feliz Cinco de Mayo

by BILL WADDELL Bashing Mexico and Mexicans has become quite fashionable in the United States over the last few years.  I do quite a bit of Mexican bashing myself, but the Mexicans I bash are mostly my in-laws and in-law bashing has been an acceptable form of entertainment since the first Neanderthal couple walked down the aisle.  Don't get me wrong – there is a lot to criticize about Mexico, but much of …
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Accenture and Hindsight Consulting

By Kevin Meyer Well another of the big five (or is it four or three by now?) consultancies has figured out that offshore outsourcing doesn't work. The strategy embraced over the past decade by U.S. manufacturing companies to shift production to countries with cheap labor may no longer be appropriate, according to a consulting firm that has been a big promoter of offshore outsourcing. "Companies are beginning to realize that …
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Quote of the Day

by BILL WADDELL Jarden Reports Record First Quarter 2011 Results "As we continue to expand sales internationally, on the manufacturing front we have for the first time in a long while brought manufacturing of two of our product lines back from Asia to the United States. I believe that we are witnessing the end of a 30-year trend of relocating manufacturing (and therefore jobs) from the Americas to Asia and …
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This Whole Currency Thing

by BILL WADDELL China's currency is on the move again – bad for them, we'll see how it is for the rest of the world.  It is turning out that China just has a whole lot of bad karma working against them.  The question is whether western manufacturing is smart enough to move in for the kill. For those who aren't on top of the whole currency manipulation thing, it …
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The Waste of Unnecessary Communication

By Kevin Meyer Regular readers know I'm a big fan of visual communication – visual factory and visual leadership concepts.  Coincidentally just last week I received a copy of Gwendolyn Galsworth's new Work That Makes Sense – Operator-Led Visuality and have been very impressed.  Lots of ideas. But sometimes the quest to go visual can go too far and actually reduce the amount of information being conveyed. Lately the trend …
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