As Director of Technology and Industry Research for PMPA, Miles brings 38 years of hands-on experience in areas of manufacturing, quality and steelmaking. He helps answer "HOW?","WITH WHAT?" and "REALLY?"
What is the most important job in a company? In any organization? What is absolutely the one thing that truly determines organizational success? Is it supervision? Operations? Accounting? Purchasing? Each of these are core competencies without which a company can struggle and ultimately fail.
But what is the most important job for the organization? Let me quote John: “The strongest department or skill a company can have is the hiring department. Getting the right person for the job is the majority of the task. The most successful companies always hire the best people for the job. Ones that think and contribute, not just ‘punch in and punch out’ thinking.”
I think John has this right. Having the right people is key for any organization. After all, the organization is those people and their attitudes, knowledge and abilities as demonstrated by their performance.
Thanks, John, for leading this conversation. But I would expand it just a bit. The most important job in a company is the selection of employees, suppliers and customers. A failure at any of these spells trouble in operations, production and sales.
What do you think about this? What is the most important job at your company?
One of the best aspects of social media blogging and LinkedIn is the follow up and connections in response to what is posted. I continue to be impressed by the quality of the comments and conversations on LinkedIn as a result of my posts.
“And how about closing the loop? You need to have a post job review with the estimating dept to make sure the quote was accurate, and if it wasn’t, why wasn’t it, and what will you do differently in the next quote so it doesn’t happen again.”
Thank you Michael. We couldn’t agree more.
Does your shop have an interdepartmental post job review process to address issues with the process and improve it going forward? Is it real or just proforma? What are the best lessons you have learned from your post job review debriefing?
Thanks again to Michael Unmann for taking the conversation to the next level.
Power must be directed to a purpose to provide useful work.
A lot of people have a false idea about “power” relating to authority at work. And from what I can see, the false ideas aren’t just limited to the business world.
I have worked for absentee bosses, authoritarian bosses, benevolent bosses, frighteningly competent bosses, incompetent bosses, knowledgeable bosses, Machiavellian bosses and respectful bosses. I have learned a lot from each. What to do from some; what not to do from others. I have concluded that the responsibilities and authorities that define a managerial position are not about power. At least not “power,” per se.
The purpose of the responsibilities and authorities that define managerial positions are to ensure that the managers clearly understand that they “have both the power and duty to make a difference.”
Power and duty to make a difference is a very different thing from power. Anybody would want the power. What separates the great bosses—the true leaders—is that they understand it is not about the power: It is about the power and duty to make a difference. Are you empowered?
Do you have what it takes as well as a duty to make a difference? You see, from my experience, it’s really not about the power or the title. It’s all about results.
A colleague asked me this question via email the other day. He said, “Simple question for you this morning: What do you consider to be the most important piece of the puzzle when quoting a precision machined component?”
What would your answer be? I responded that there were two equally crucial pieces of the quoting puzzle: • Confidence in my process cost data • Confidence in my process capability data
With inadequate process cost data, you die a slow death with every part produced. With inadequate process capability data, you can lose a “whole lot of money” if the capability isn’t there, and you are forced to abandon the “as quoted” process path.
My colleague agreed: “Exactly! Cycle time (for each of the processes), and how much you need to charge per hour. Then you can take those numbers and put them into cells, and have one operator running two or three machines and include automation and do the 5S and Lean and Kanban and paint lines on the floor and all the other things we do. But the bottom line is, you better pay attention to your process!”
His comments about cells, automation and painting lines give us insight into the fact that his world of precision machining is a world of low mix and high volume. But even in a lower volume and higher mix shop, making a mistake on either cost to process or capability of process on a quote is a great way to make a small fortune out of a much larger one.
What do you think? Are process cost and process capability the two most important aspects of your quoting process?