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As Buck Knives, Inc., celebrated a century in business, it also faced a cash crunch that was putting it out of business. CEO CJ Buck shares how his team took dramatic action (including moving the company from Southern California to northern Idaho) to fend off high-quality global competitors and to turn the historic and highly regarded company around with its own version of the Toyota Production System (TPS).
After leaping into "Lean," Southern Vinyl Manufacturing gained efficiencies in nearly every area of its operations. Specifically, entrepreneur Rod Matthews explains the challenges and rewards of involving employees in finding and eliminating waste using the "Five Why" process. As a result of "getting lean," the company resolves manufacturing problems by digging deeply to identify root causes instead of just treating symptoms.
Six Disciplines energized this manufacturing firm as its CEO and management team struggled to motivate and reward employees by measuring performance. Engaging employees in ongoing strategic planning, using Six Disciplines software to stay focused on the plan, and remaining accountable for performance resulted not only in increased enthusiasm and efficiency. An unexpected benefit was that it helped management and employees learn how to work much better together.
Among the newest business-excellence methodologies now available, Six DisciplinesT is growing in popularity as a holistic tool to help manufacturing entrepreneurs remain competitive against all comers. It's designed specifically to help small and mid-sized businesses ensure they are doing the right things at the right times. Goals include simplifying the quality management approach, fostering practical planning, and delivering effective, sustainable execution management. Many practical tools to implement the program are available.
Does Six Sigma methodology have benefits small- to medium-sized entrepreneurial manufacturing firm? "Yes!" proclaims this author, a Six Sigma Master Black Belt. He provides an overview of, outlines four actions needed for a company to succeed with, and defines steps to deploying Six Sigma.
Not all Web hosts are the same--far from it. Matching your host to your company is vital, and you have a lot of choices. Price, size, service offerings, type (there are four, at least), bandwidth, back-up processes, redundancy, and reputation are just a few. This article is part of a series on Web services.
Thanks to the Web, copyright laws are now front and center for entrepreneurs. Are the Fortune magazine quotes you use in your marketing e-newsletter protected? (Possibly) Are e-mails protected? (Yes and No) This article, while not legal advice, is an excellent, readable guide to today's changing copyright laws.
Even if it's "in place," your network requires continual vigilance and improvement. This article provides five "no-nos" that will help you keep up to date and up to speed by avoiding big mistakes.
The devils plaguing entrepreneurs who outsource are indeed in the details. Getting it right involves sidestepping five common pitfalls and following five commonsense practices. Basic to a successful outsourcing relationship: Does everyone agree on what the deliverables will be?
Just as with hiring internal managers and staff, using external support requires careful planning and selection. Before you select a consultant or contractor, determine your budget, scope of work, timeline, measures for success, and other resources available to support the people who will do the work. Use this worksheet to help you think through important issues and to guide you in the selection process.
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