Tony Boobier’s picture

By: Tony Boobier

Does your use of probabilities confuse your audience? Sometimes even using numbers can be misleading. The notion of a 1-in-a-100-year flood doesn’t prevent the possibility of flooding occurring in consecutive years. This description is no more than a statistical device for explaining the likelihood of flooding occurring.

Similarly, when we check the news for weather conditions and are told that there is a 90-percent chance of rain, this only means that on days with similar metrological conditions, it rained on 90 percent of them. As with the flooding comparison, it’s simply a mathematical method that expresses the likelihood of an incident occurring.

Bhushan Avsatthi’s picture

By: Bhushan Avsatthi

The very nature of healthcare construction and its specific infrastructural and functional needs pose significant challenges to the architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) sector. Crucial hospital spaces such as operation theaters and critical care centers need fail-proof connections to life support systems. Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) installations, electrical and plumbing fittings, and fire systems all need to be designed around healthcare needs.

Given the sensitive nature of the spaces, there can be no room for design errors or inaccuracies. And then there’s a plethora of building codes at national, state, and local levels, ranging from design codes to operational codes that must be complied with to ensure the safety of healthcare facilities. These ensure that hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics can withstand disasters and keep operating in emergencies.

Erika James’s picture

By: Erika James

Different people at different levels of an organization or ecosystem experience crisis in different ways. Senior decision-makers are unlikely to have the same insights as those who directly interface with customers or those grappling with the operational technicalities of the situation.

For this reason, prepared leaders—those who have worked to ready themselves and their organizations to withstand crises—should be open to all input and perspectives that can help create a solution and improve outcomes wherever that input and those perspectives surface within the organizational hierarchy.

As a prepared leader, you must be ready to do the following:
• Make space for other people to stand up, speak up, and contribute as the situation dictates.
• Let go of your ego and be humble enough to allow others to take the lead as the situation dictates.
• Let these things happen spontaneously and without obstacles as the situation changes.

Bryan Christiansen’s picture

By: Bryan Christiansen

Performing timely maintenance at remote locations brings an additional layer of complexity to an already challenging task. Actively managing this kind of maintenance work falls under the jurisdiction of field service management.

Performing field maintenance work comes with a lot of moving parts. Before you can optimize it, you have to understand what an ideal field-maintenance process looks like—from receiving a work request form to updating your maintenance and financial records.

What is field maintenance?

Field maintenance refers to maintenance work that’s carried out remotely—away from a production or maintenance organization’s location—on remote assets like:
• Installation
• Commissioning
• Modification
• Routine maintenance
• Repairs
• Overhauls

The work is usually performed by engineering and maintenance technicians.

Which industries commonly use field maintenance services?

There are two common situations that “force” a business to use field maintenance services.

1. Geographically mobile assets

Jennifer V. Miller’s picture

By: Jennifer V. Miller

Early in my career, I had four bosses in the span of less than four years. It’s not as bad as it sounds; I worked in retail, where churn was high. All of the departures were due to internal promotions, so that was good. I look back on that time fondly because each woman I reported to had a different work style and personality. Not only were these women my work team leaders, they also were my mentors—and I was a sponge, soaking up their advice and insider tips.

If you’ve ever had the good fortune of being properly mentored, you know what a blessing it is. Think about the folks you’ve learned from. What was the impact of them giving of their time and wisdom? If you’ve been in the workforce several years, chances are you’ve something to give back to an eager up-and-comer who would love to (metaphorically) sit at your feet and learn from you.

The pandemic created a mentoring gap

Like many elements of our work life, the pandemic has affected workplace mentoring in profound ways. Office-based workers are still sorting out the mechanics of time spent in actual offices with their colleagues, and this has implications for both formal and informal mentoring practices.

Emily Newton’s picture

By: Emily Newton

The demand for printed circuit boards (PCBs) will only increase until a superior technology comes of age. The global market for PCBs could rise to $72.3 billion by 2026. PCBs have become essential everywhere, from infrastructure to consumer products.

The overwhelming demand for PCBs for the internet of things (IoT), automotive and aerospace products, healthcare devices, and general manufacturing makes PCB quality control supremely important. With demand being what it is, manufacturers must find every method at their disposal to make quality consistent and rework nonexistent.

Here’s a summary of the most common PCB inspection protocols and what they offer:

William A. Levinson’s picture

By: William A. Levinson

Corrective action and preventive action (CAPA) is probably the most important process in any quality management system because so much else depends on it. This includes not only its traditional role as a response to defects, nonconformances, customer complaints, and audit findings, but also outputs of the management review. It can even address all seven Toyota production system wastes if we redefine as a “nonconformance” any gap between the current state and a potential or desirable future state. AIAG’s CQI-22, Cost of Poor Quality Guide1, recommends that we compare “the ideal state for how work processes should perform” against “the current reality.”

Inadequate CAPA is a leading source of ISO 9001:20152 and IATF 16949:20163 findings, and FDA Form 483 citations.4 “Five Signs Your Company Is in Dire Need of Root Cause Analysis and Corrective Action Training” reinforces this point even further.5 While ISO 9001:2015 doesn’t have a specific requirement for preventive action, one could argue that clause 6.1.1 (c), “prevent, or reduce, undesired effects,” constitutes an implied requirement.

Ann Brady’s default image

By: Ann Brady

Few of us today are unaware of the significance of cybersecurity and the threat of cyberattacks on our computers, smartphones, and other devices. We’re constantly reminded never to disclose passwords and to be on the lookout for spam and phishing emails that attempt to manipulate us into divulging personal information—such as those passwords, bank details, Social Security, or medical information. 

This form of identity theft, although troubling, becomes even more sinister when it’s directed at governments and other major institutions. “Seeing is deceiving” is the tagline of a popular BBC TV series, The Capture, which explores the effect of deepfake technology—described as the 21st-century’s answer to Photoshop—i.e., threatening national security, shaking the foundations of state, destroying trust, and making us doubt reality.  

Far-fetched in many respects, perhaps, but as we move deeper into the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the show highlights the potential risks and threats from rapidly changing and ever-more-sophisticated technologies.  

The global cost of cybercrime will reach $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. 

NIST’s picture


While I was reminiscing about National Take Your Dog to Work Day, a light-hearted conversation with colleagues led me to ponder how our furry friends might actually inspire people to reach new heights of excellence. But what business insights can we possibly gain from creatures who spend at least 50 percent of their day sleeping and loafing around?

Scott Ginsberg’s picture

By: Scott Ginsberg

We’re told the cardinal rule of the internet is, “Never read the comments.” This catchphrase is used to warn users of the toxic parts of the internet. One minute you’re sharing an article, photo, or video that you’re proud of. The next moment, dozens or even hundreds of comments snowball into a whirling mess of meanness.

I’ve published my writing online for more than 20 years now, and I can attest that reading the comments absolutely has the power to make you doubt yourself and lose all faith in humanity.

True story: I remember one of my readers commented that I was “nuttier than a bag of trail mix.” That destroyed me for an entire month.

However, communicating within a manufacturing company is a different arena.

When your goal is to continuously improve, empower frontline workers, and transform the company for the better, one of the best habits to get into is reading the comments—not in suggestion boxes, sticky notes, dry-erase boards, or clipboards, but with accessible and engaging digital devices.

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