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Most Recent Articles

5 Myths About Quality Control

While there is generally NOT any disagreement about the need for quality control, there are definitely different levels of appreciation for it and commitment to it. No manufacturer would want to admit to not having a quality control process, and we assume that it would be rare to find any that don’t. However, there are a lot of myths about the topic which permeate perhaps because they work as an excuse for not doing things to the level the business should be – or is capable of. Change is hard, but the myths make it harder.  Here are five of them we dispel here today.

Topics: History Quality Control

Touring Strand’s Apples Added Value Warehouse to Process the Harvest

What kind of facility looks like a factory but isn’t? Or looks like a warehouse, but looks far more industrial than a typical facility with racks principally designed for storage? The “Added-Value Warehouse” is something of a hybrid. It is a facility that does some additional work on a product before it ships out rather than just storing, picking, packing and shipping previously finished products.

Topics: Case Studies Video Warehouse

Warehouse Employee Retention Techniques & Ideas PODCAST

Staffing, employee retention, and productivity are hot topics during an economy with a low unemployment rate of 3.7%. In August we shared the benefits of Big Ass Fans, and in July we shared how to reduce employee turnover and improve productivity.

Topics: Podcast Staffing Productivity

Building a Sound Product Development Process for Small Manufacturers – Part II

Last month, we published Part I of this article, where we talked about making that transition from “freewheeling inventor” to “process-driven listener”. Basically, it is about being more systematic in how you collect the data and insights that lead to more relevance in your new products. This is hardest for the business which was started from a single brilliant idea that succeeded, because it is not uncommon for the small manufacturer to not really understand WHY their initial product succeeded. Play-Doh, the ubiquitous colorful molding clay of everyone’s youth, was originally created in the 1930’s as a wallpaper cleaner. Success is great, but if you started out intending to be an innovator in the cleaning products business but all of your customers are under five years old, where do you go next?

Topics: Planning Process Improvement Manufacturing

Practicing What We Preach – Meet Jason Williams, Operations Director

Over the years you’ve seen a lot of material coming from us about using “Lean” Manufacturing and using Lean techniques in other areas like distribution and logistics. As a manufacturer ourselves, we have always strived to take our own advice, but like many of you, we also learned in the process that while the reward is great, the work to get there can be HARD.

Topics: Lean Manufacturing Efficiency Manufacturing