Craig Cochran’s picture

By: Craig Cochran

Last year I had the good fortune of doing some consulting with B&C Specialty Products in Hopeulikit, Georgia. B&C does light manufacturing, primarily plastic molding and assembly, and they also distribute imported products produced by companies in the Far East. They have about 150 employees and are the biggest employer by far in Hopeulikit.
B&C was a perfect place to learn about managing and quality. Every day presented a new lesson. Usually the lessons were hard-learned, but those are the ones that really stick with you. B&C was gracious enough to allow me to interview their personnel about things that came up during my time there. Here is one of those lessons: Don’t let personnel problems fester. The scenario is described by the people who actually lived it.

Kimberly Kayler’s default image

By: Kimberly Kayler

As a major manufacturer and distributor of uncoated free-sheet papers, containerboard and corrugated containers, newsprint and market pulp, Boise Paper Solutions provides products that aid their customers in making their own products. That is why having to go offline for unscheduled lime kiln shut-downs at a cost of about $87,000 a year in lost production, makeup time and maintenance costs is disastrous.

Bill Kalmar’s picture

By: Bill Kalmar

Conversation at a business luncheon tends to be focused on work. The meal and service are secondary concerns. Still, clumsy service or a poorly prepared meal can ruin a productive business meeting, and a delightful meal and impeccable service can make such an experience enjoyable.
Recently, I had a luncheon meeting with a friend at a nationwide restaurant chain that prides itself on exemplary service.

I ordered first—a cup of soup and a small Greek salad. The waiter asked me if I wanted the soup and salad combo—a bowl of soup and a salad. I passed on the combo. My friend ordered the combo with a Caesar salad.

M. P. Bhattathiri’s default image

By: M. P. Bhattathiri

Editor’s note: The Bhagavad Gita is a guide for millions of people around the world, particularly in India. Quality Digest is interested in anything that can affect quality in business, and Bhattathiri’s use of the Bhagavad Gita is unique in our experience. See what he has to say and tell us what you think.

One of the greatest contributions of India to the world is the Bhagavad Gita, or Holy Gita—an ancient epic poem in Sanskrit whose title translates to “The Song of the Divine One” and is considered by many to be one of the first revelations from God.

Craig Cochran’s picture

By: Craig Cochran

Last year I had the good fortune of doing some consulting with B&C Specialty Products in Hopeulikit, Georgia. B&C does light manufacturing, primarily plastic molding and assembly, and they also distribute imported products produced by companies in the Far East. They have about 150 employees and are the biggest employer by far in Hopeulikit.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

The tagline to the 1989 film "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" was “The Enterprise is back. This time, have they gone too far?”

With up to 10 years of continued process improvements on the plant floor, and in back office and distribution operations, manufacturers have finally arrived at the front door of customer relationship management (CRM). Many senior manufacturing engineering and operations executives are strongly resistant and assert that lean CRM is the final frontier in the lean enterprise process. Now that the quick gains have been achieved from eliminating waste in the rest of the manufacturing enterprise, the areas most neglected—customer service, sales and marketing—are front and center.

Achieving bottom-line benefits from the implementation of many of the CRM technology solutions that provide “electronic” connections and profound data analysis and reporting capabilities is only part of the quality equation. There are systematic processes designed to achieve significant CRM benefits including:

Bill Kalmar’s picture

By: Bill Kalmar

Rather than travel to Pamplona, Spain, for the annual Running of the Bulls, one need go no further than the parking lots of many U.S. companies. Here people described in many company brochures as “our most important asset" are being herded and unceremoniously told to go home after years of service. The psychic goring of these employees often has already been done by an inept management team, and for some the wounds will last forever. There’s a remarkable, and bizarre, parallel between Pamplona and corporate America: long ago potential buyers of the bulls always ran ahead in order to be well placed for the purchase that followed the event. In corporate settings, management stays behind in the shadows, not wanting to confront the victims as they’re led to their "psychological slaughter."

Douglas C. Fair’s picture

By: Douglas C. Fair

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

The key to quality throughput within a warehouse, especially in a high-speed/high-volume environment, is the ability to move a carton into and out of a pick zone expeditiously.

When a warehouse control system (WCS) doesn’t process the information to divert products quickly enough, it causes cartons to be recirculated on the conveyor. This diminishes effectiveness, efficiency and quality control. Software must allow for consistent high-quality throughput, eliminating recirculation with effective communication between the WCS and the programmable logic controllers (PLC).

To achieve quality order fulfillment, the cartonization algorithm of a WCS selects the correct-sized carton for an order before the pick-and-pack process begins. The elimination of repacking is a central component in quality distribution: When the number of “touches” of the product is drastically reduced, quality control becomes lean and quantifiable.

Implementing a WCS with cartonization and zone skipping reduces the number of touches because of:

Craig Cochran’s picture

By: Craig Cochran

Last year I had the good fortune of doing some consulting with B&C Specialty Products in Hopeulikit, Georgia. B&C does light manufacturing, primarily plastic molding and assembly, and they also distribute imported products produced by companies in the Far East. They have about 150 employees and are the biggest employer by far in Hopeulikit.

B&C was a perfect place to learn about managing and quality. Every day presented a new lesson. Usually the lessons were hard-learned, but those are the ones that really stick with you. B&C was gracious enough to allow me to interview their personnel about things that came up during my time there. Here is one of those lessons: Establish a dialogue between your employees and your customers. The scenario is described by the people who actually lived it.

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