How Can You Tell if Inertia is Keeping You from Moving Forward?

Overcoming inertia

Manufacturers must concern themselves with regulatory changes, technology changes, and market changes that are not always an evolutionary part of the business story. Identifying when individual task-ownership and simple inertia is undermining your overall efforts to respond effectively to outside requirements is tricky because, after all, not changing is always more comfortable. Breaking free of the past without leaving the value of historical experience behind is a challenging balancing act. Understanding your organization’s tendency to prefer closed- versus open-systems can help you diagnose and fix your innovation challenges. Pattern recognition …

Why is Innovation So Much More Successful than Simple Change?

Innovation vs. Change

In a world where rate of change and rate of progress are rapidly accelerating, it is likely a good call for management to consider why innovation is so much more successful than change and to use that information to foster an innovative culture. When we look for synonyms for the word innovation, we find terms like change, transformation, revolution, and even upheaval. With a term like change leading the charge and an identity as a revolution rounding out the description, it should come as no surprise that the innovative organization …

The Benefits of a Workplace Giving Program

Workplace Giving

Finding an article on Workplace Giving in the recent issue of Quality Digest may be unexpected to some. But if you’ll pause to consider the role of Workplace Giving as a contributing element to the culture of an organization, you may feel a little less surprised. When we think or talk about the Quality body of knowledge and the contribution that the attitude of Quality brings to an organization, it shouldn’t be hard to correlate that the role of Workplace Giving can also be significant in the overall development of …

Dynamics365 – Obstacle or Opportunity

Dynamics365 - Obstacle or Opportunity

Expanded Choice Can Increase Confusion The various announcements from Microsoft to both the broader market and their partner channel in regard to the Dynamics365 products clearly raise a lot of questions in a wide range of areas. Should existing users migrate to new products? What products should new users select? If the focus is on a specific business challenge like improving inventory execution, what benefits do new products offer? For Microsoft partners, questions arise like ,”how much or when should we invest in learning or marketing the new offerings?” And …

What Single Word Leads to Improved Performance?

What Single Word Leads to Improved Performance?

In the Quality Management world, it is an accepted belief that people lack confidence in instructions for a given task when they don’t fully understand the value of or reason for the required actions. Therefore, it is important to build into our processes and instruction sets the explanations for the actions we are defining and the methods to confirm that those explanations are clearly understood. It makes “why?” the single most useful word for improving performance. A quote from George Bernard Shaw is often used in this context. It goes …

Cost or Confidence? Which controls your decision making?

Cost or Confidence? Which controls your decision making?

Do you know a business owner or employee who would say that the quality of their work is irrelevant? Probably not. How would you answer the question, “How important is the quality of your vendors’ or customers’ performance to the success of your business?” You would probably respond, “It is very important.” Right? Not a highly scientific survey… but an honest one. Quality matters. For everyone. So, and here is the age-old question, what is it about quality that matters? I would suggest, when you throw out all the tried …

Microsoft’s Message about Cloud brings Fog and Torrential Rain

Microsoft’s Message about Cloud brings Fog and Torrential Rain

In last week’s blog, we started a series of posts related to cloud trends for manufacturing. This week, the DynamicsGP User Group Summit event presents us with a great opportunity to expand a little more on that subject, as one of the key topics at this event is certain to be The Cloud. More specifically, it is likely to be how Microsoft, the owner of the Dynamics brand products, is planning to execute and drive adoption of Cloud technology for this business audience, even if this business audience doesn’t really …

Cloud Trends for Manufacturing

Cloud Trends for Manufacturing

The “to the cloud” decision is one that many businesses will face over the next few years and, while the term cloud is found everywhere, the definition varies so much that it can be confusing. This lack of specificity is causing many decision-makers to be more than a little uneasy about taking their first steps. From Information Super Highway to the Cloud This journey to the cloud is reminiscent of the journey that many of us made back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. During that period, a lot …

The Inevitability of Digital Transformation

The Inevitability of Digital Transformation

At the inception conference for Microsoft’s Envision this past week in New Orleans, digital transformation was at the heart of CEO Satya Nadella’s keynote address. Anyone not present for the keynote or not particularly focused on the software industry could be forgiven for wondering why a speech was delivered about transferring your photos or music to digital media. After all, haven’t we already done that?

The Great Search for the Right Integrated ERP

The Great Search for the Right Integrated ERP

Like every other year for the past 15 or so, I will speak with many organizations that plan to acquire manufacturing software or expand the capability of their existing solutions with functionality like quality management. These organizations will take similar but not identical routes in their investigation and evaluation of proposed solutions. A high number will find themselves facing the end of 2016 still not having made a final selection; they will be strongly concerned about how to balance their team’s ability to digest such a project and its perceived …