Let's get to it:
We have decided to discontinue our "ShowTime!'"
workshop events. The San Jose workshop drew 18 attendees and was a success
but the flight to and from San Jose was a real hassle and even at the $97
workshop fee, it was a breakeven business situation. Our Portland event
has not had a solid registration response and consequently we are
Enrique Mora has agreed to fill the gap with his unique,
in-house, kaizen driven, Lean Manufacturing Pilot Project. The project
will include "ShowTime!" our MRP vs. lean Manufacturing
simulation exercises. For additional information, go to:
Because of the upcoming holiday season, I decided to pass on writing my
usual technical article in favor of an article with a holiday theme.
Charlie Page, a free lance writer, wrote the selected article. Charlie has
helped us develop our successful Website and I can highly recommend his
variety of services. You can catch him on the Internet at:
Price Pritchett is back with another article from his "The Team
Member Handbook." Our third article provides an insight into,
"Three Things to Remember as You Succeed in Corporate Life"
Economic Trends replaces Price Trends and fills out the fourth slot and
"A Little Humor" is our closing piece.
You are welcome to print and share this newsletter with your business
associates. We have indexed and archived this and all previous newsletters
for your reference. Copying the below URL link to your browser and
clicking on "GO" will display the archive's "point and
This newsletter has reached your desk because I think we share a common
objective---to help manufacturing teams avoid "burnout" while
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simply send us an e-mail with "Unsubscribe" in the
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---- December 2001 ---
- A Time to be Thankful
- Back Up Others Who Need Help
- Three Things to Remember as You
Succeed in Corporate Life
- Economic Trends
- A Little Humor … Please
Lean Manufacturing Techniques for Winners
1. A Time to be Thankful
by Charlie Page
Mainland America was attacked for the first time in modern history on
September 11, 2001. This brutal attack has forever changed how we see
life, our country and the world around us. But has it changed us?
We have been blessed in America to be able to sleep with both eyes
comfortably closed. As parents we always keep a watchful eye on our
children. As middle-aged children, we keep a protective eye on our older
parents. Yet never before have we had to be on guard for our personal
safety from terrorism.
Now it seems we must learn to live as others have lived for decades -
with one eye open at all times for a possible threat. We are becoming
weary of this new pattern. And we are weary of the war. This weariness can
block our view of our true blessings.
Only a short time ago, an unspeakable tragedy occurred as American
Airlines Flight 587 went down in New York. Not only did this strike fear
again in the heart of New Yorkers but the tragedy of the event was
magnified when it was learned that the neighborhood where it fell lost
over 40 members in September.
It seems we can't read or listen to the news without seeing or hearing
talk of Anthrax, potential targets, a weak economy and a poor Christmas
retail season. Few speak of the blessings they enjoy. Yet for most people
these blessings are as real today as they were on September 10, 2001.
Some voices are asking, as the day approaches when we in America
"officially" count our blessings, is this a time to be thankful?
I believe the answer is a resounding "yes".
You are reading this on a computer connected to the Internet. In
contrast, many countries will forever deny their citizens the ability to
do what we do everyday - sign on and read email - for fear that truth will
set them free.
By the sheer fact that you are reading this article, you are better off
than 2 billion (yes - that is a "B") citizens of planet earth
who can't read. If you know right now where your next meal will come from
you are better off than 17% of children living in America. The rates for
other countries are staggeringly high. In these ways and more, most of us
are privileged in ways that others only dream of.
The Internet itself is a reason for great thanksgiving. It may seem
cliché, but the fact remains that in no other time in the history of the
world has it been easier to open your own business and change your
circumstances. For many the Internet is not a convenience, but rather the
only way out of desperate circumstances.
A computer programmer in one of the former Communist countries of
Eastern Europe found his way out of poverty by selling his services
cheaply over the Internet. Providing excellent customer service and
thankful for the opportunity itself, the income he earns makes possible
such "luxuries" as proper medical care and a steady food supply.
While the average per capita income in his country remains under $1000
U.S., he eclipses that number and is building a future for himself and his
extended family. Thanksgiving is an American holiday, yet one can guess
that it's Thanksgiving every day in his house.
If you live in America, your Constitution guarantees you life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness. You have rights. You have the right of free
speech, the right to peacefully assemble and to protest. Students in
Tian'anmen Square made the ultimate sacrifice on June 4th, 1989 in an
attempt to gain for themselves a right that we in America have enjoyed for
over 200 years. We move freely from state to state with no border guards.
We are free to worship as we choose. We have access to our elected
officials. If we don't like something they do, we can vote them out of
office. For these things we should be grateful indeed, because they ensure
our continued freedom and ability to determine our own fate.
Our world encourages us to be competitive, to win. These are necessary
traits if we are to move forward. Progress is both good and necessary. Yet
the siren song of business, the desire for double digit growth and the
constant comparisons of ourselves to others often causes us to forget that
we have so much more than we think. We must not let the hype of the
Internet steal our sense of well-being.
Can we be grateful in wartime too? We hear reports of the evil ones
being routed from their strongholds. Brave soldiers, both American and
those from other nations, are fighting now for the cause of freedom.
America has a President who has risen to the challenge and wisely
surrounded himself with capable people. Progress is being made. Brave men
and women are risking their lives to defend our liberties. We should be
grateful indeed and never forget their sacrifice. Make no mistake, real
tragedy has occurred. No amount of "happy thinking" will change
that reality. Business success will always take hard work and long hours.
Success itself will always be a collaborative effort. Grieving people will
always require time to heal. Genuine gratitude, however, to God and those
around us will speed our healing and bring comfort while we heal.
In the spirit of the holiday season (American and otherwise) consider
these questions. Do you live free today? Does someone love you today? Have
you heard children's laughter? Are you part of a family? The more you
think, the more you will realize that you are blessed indeed. When we
harbor the illusion that we can change the future, and allow our thoughts
to stay there, we forget the joys of today.
President Bush has it right. The war against terror is larger than the
Taliban or Ben Laden. The forces of good are in full array against the
forces of evil in our world. While the battle will be long and hard and
sacrifices will be called for, now more than ever, we must pause to count
our blessings. Count yours today and every day and you will find that you
are rich indeed.
Charlie Page adds the power of persuasion to your voice. Product
announcements, press releases, web copy and more, all at affordable
prices. Newsletter services include custom content, industry specific
articles and complete distribution services as well. To learn more, get
his FREE REPORT at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or contact him at
Lean Manufacturing Techniques
2. Back Up Others Who Need Help
by Price Pritchett
The best way to put a safety net under the team's performance is to
back each other up. Anybody can make a mistake, get overloaded, or just
need a helping hand. The question is will you be in a position to cover
for your teammates? The first step in being an effective backup person is
mental: Think team. Instead of focusing narrowly on your personal
assignment and nothing else, watch what's going on with the rest of the
group. There's not much chance you'll bring help unless you see that
someone has a problem.
Next, you need a good feel for your teammates' roles---where they're
supposed to be, what they're assigned to do, and the moves they need to
make. Unless you see the big picture, the way all the individual efforts
fit together, you can't be very versatile as a backup person.
The third step is to broaden your skills so you have enough know-how to
actually help. Develop the abilities you need to cover for others.
Cross-train, so you can come off the bench and serve as an acceptable
replacement in an emergency.
Finally, step four is an attitude of helpfulness. Being willing to jump
in. Being eager to help a teammate out of a jam.
Follow these four steps, and you'll prevent a lot of breakdowns. Also,
you improve the odds that your teammates will be there when you
need a backup.
Lean Manufacturing Techniques
3. Three Things to Remember as You Succeed in
As you move up the ladder at your company, there are certain habits you
need to develop in order to remain successful. If you do these three
things, you'll establish a solid relationship with your peers and
employees, make friends in powerful places, and build a network of
colleagues who admire and support you.
- Reserve a half-hour every day
to return calls. Even if it
means cutting into your lunch hour. Develop a reputation as someone who
"always get back to people right away". It sends the message
that you respect other people.
- Demand that people criticize you.
There are two types of managers: Those
who avoid criticism at all costs because they think it makes them look
weak; and those who encourage criticism and use it to improve their
performance, Be the latter kind of manager.
- Reputations are built at the bottom,
not the top. Remember the
low-level manager who helped you out so much when you were first
starting out? When was the last time you took her to lunch? What about
the team of employees who worked so hard on the project that garnered
you so much praise? Did you thank them and point out their
accomplishments. As you move up to the next level, don't forget about
the people on the previous one.
Lean Manufacturing Techniques
4. Economic Trends
the NAPM Report
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector declined for the 15th
consecutive month in October while the overall economy also failed
to grow after four consecutive months of growth say the nation's
purchasing and supply executives in the latest Manufacturing NAPM Report
The report was issued today by Norbert J. Ore, C.P.M., chair of the
National Association of Purchasing Management's Manufacturing Business
Survey Committee and group director, strategic sourcing and procurement,
Georgia-Pacific Corporation. "The manufacturing sector received a
very significant setback driven by the events of September 11th. The trend
lines were moving in a positive direction prior to this report. The
declines in production and new orders are among the largest in the history
of our report, which began in 1931. It is worth noting that the New Export
Orders Index indicated a much sharper decline in September than in
October, while the other indexes declined significantly in this reporting
period — possibly signaling a greater sense of confidence in global
business during October."
NAPM’s Backlog of Orders Index indicates that order backlogs declined
for the 18th consecutive month. NAPM’s Supplier Deliveries Index
continues to reflect faster deliveries, although at a slower rate.
Manufacturing employment continued to decline in October as the index fell
below the breakeven point (an index of 50 percent) for the 13th
consecutive month. NAPM’s Prices Index remained below 50 percent as
manufacturers experienced lower prices for the eighth consecutive month.
New Export Orders contracted in October for the second consecutive month.
October’s Imports Index declined after slight growth in September.
Comments from purchasing and supply executives this month reflect
continuing concerns about overall business conditions. Aerospace, steel,
and automotive are struggling while major construction appears to have
come to a halt. A number of respondents indicated that they look for a six
to 12 month recovery.
Lean Manufacturing Techniques
5. A Little Humor … Please
Four married guys go golfing. During the 4th hole, the following
conversation took place:
First Guy: "You have no idea what I had to do to be able to
come out golfing this weekend. I had to promise my wife that I will paint
every room in the house next weekend."
Second Guy: "That's nothing. I had to promise my wife that
I will build her a new deck for the pool."
Third Guy: "Man, you both have it easy? I had to promise my
wife that I will remodel the kitchen for her."
They continue to play the hole when they realized that the fourth guy
has not said a word. They asked him. "You haven't said anything about
what you had to do to be able to play this weekend. What's the deal?"
Fourth Guy: "I just set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. When it went
off, I shut off my alarm, gave the wife a nudge and said, 'Golf Course or
Intercourse?' and she said, '"Wear your sweater."