Success Through Failure
“I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan
The Drummond Short Schedule Time-Standard System
Using Man-Minutes to Manage Your Labor
Industrial engineering – “The branch of engineering that is concerned with the production of industrial goods, especially by the design of efficient plants and procedures and the management of materials, energy, and labor.” (Source:...
Too Many Companies Struggle with Making Process Changes
A statement far too managers make is that they are not able to get their employees to embrace change. If your company struggles with making changes in any given area, just keep in mind that real change always comes from the top down. If your company is struggling with change and you are the top...
Close the Gap on Lean Initiatives
When I’m asked why I chose a set of puzzle pieces for the 4Ward Consulting team logo, I’m glad to explain that fitting the pieces together has always been a part of my approach to business, my own and those I have assisted. We have teams, divisions, branches, departments, etc....
Taking Steps Toward Manufacturing & Distribution Efficiency
As we start the New Year, a focus of many operations will be setting goals to remain competitive. Today’s companies in the LBM/Component/Modular market are looking for ways to drive efficiencies throughout their manufacturing processes. Extending Lean Manufacturing principles and practices...
Employee Hires, Equipment Investment, and Making Changes
Another year has come and gone, and what an invigorating year it has been for most companies. Net profits after taxes for most component manufacturers were in the high teens to mid-twenties—at least for those who do not allow for never-ending excuses. Once again, it is time to reevaluate...
It’s Time to Huddle Up!
Setting the tone for higher expectations and productivity
I am often asked by lumber dealers, component manufacturers, and others for that “one thing” that will improve results, drive cultural change, hardwire behavior, or create lasting quality. I’ve come to realize there...
Independent CMs Still Have an Edge Over Multi-Location Companies
Since the home building crash of ‘08, there has been a huge spike in mergers and acquisitions of wood truss and wall panel component manufacturers. With all the big players in the market, independents naturally have concerns about staying competitive. Believe it or not, independents still...
When Your Company’s Manufacturing Labor Pay Rate is Causing Labor Shortages
“Good judgement comes from experience. And experience? Well that comes from poor judgement.”
Some of us are old enough to remember Dean Martin. Whether he stated this quotation about experience and poor judgment, I will never know. But let’s face facts—it has...
Constructing a Roadmap to Operational Excellence, Part 2
Part 2: Continuing the Journey of 7 Steps
As discused in "Part 1: Beginning a Journey of 7 Steps," we all aspire to have a state of operational excellence in our organizations, which is easier said than done. Operational excellence is about more than simply adjusting the...