Food for Thought "If you have the right people, with good, basic values and good work ethic, you can have a tremendous journey."

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Food for Thought 2 "The follow-up in my Food for Thought series, with more focus on my experiences with Six Sigma and Kaizen."

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November 29, 2011

Made in America

Filed under: Food for thought for friends — Alec @ 10:29 am

Made in America, I made a terrible mistake on Black Friday. While shopping, 1st I never shop at Walmart, almost everything was made in China. So, 2nd. I went to Lowes to look for tools for Christmas presents, I found a wonderful tool set with an American brand name. I could not find on the box where it was made. I bought it, brought it home, opened it, and it was made in China.
So, listen to attached, if you really want to help jobs, stop shopping at Walmart and buy American made products.

November 25, 2011

Food for Thought, What would I do the same

Filed under: Food for thought for friends — Alec @ 2:09 pm

Someone somewhere recently talked about what one thing would you change if you could go back and get a do-over.

Examples, when I was a senior in HS,  I sang a solo at our little country church.
After the service, a 90 year old friend of my Grandmothers came up and said,  I would like to pay for you to go to NY Music College.
What would have happened had if I had said “Yes”?

Then there a lots of things I would like to think I would do differently, like study harder, practice harder,
drink less, waste less, save more, buy less, etc.    I have often wondered about jobs accepted and turned down.
What would have happened if we had stayed in Clarksville.   What would have happened if we had accepted that job at Autolite.
We will never know.    But,  If we had stayed in Clarksville or accepted the Autolite position,  we may never went to Manchester and Warsaw.
We have lived in some wonderful places, and have met some outstanding friends.

But, that started me thinking about all the things I would do exactly the same.
I would still go to MSU, still marry “Morning Glory”,  still have 3 kids,  still taken up running and bicycling, and more.
Bottom line, I would do all the big things exactly the same.     Oh,  I might not buy that Vega.
I would still be a consultant, a Kaizen Sensei, a coach, and facilitator (it has been great fun helping others).

Sometimes we learn from what we do right, and sometimes we learn more from something we do wrong.

Sometimes we are slaves to our own decisions.   Slaves to money, to credit cards, to our desire to have more.
If we did a financial justification on all of our purchases, based on usage and payback,  we would buy a lot less.
Probably rent and borrow a lot more.

In the end, everything we have is just loaned to us.    SO THINK ABOUT THE THINGS YOU WOULD DEFINITELY  DO OVER !

November 15, 2011

It is not the Symptom , It may be the interaction

Filed under: Food for thought for friends — Alec @ 1:07 pm

These are my notes from Pastor Rob’s sermon Sunday 11/14/2011,  but translated into my thoughts and business application.
First we have to ask why are we successful or unsuccessful. Be careful you do not look at the symptom.
Often we have a symptom like late delivery, poor quality, high price, poor customer service, etc.,
and we say that is the problem.   Actually,  those are all symptoms of a more systemic problem.
The real root cause is probably very complex and may be an interaction of several root causes.

I love Pastor Rob’s facebook Wisdom for the day today,
“You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” –Yogi Berra.

I love it because it is true in business.   We don’t know where we are going,
we are working on curing the symptom, and we probably won’t get there.

Let’s look at the symptom of “Customer Loyalty” because it applies to every business for profit and every nonprofit business.
Customer loyalty is defined differently by every customer, and it is all in their perception.
If they are unhappy for any reason, they probably will say nothing, just never come back.
So,  what to do?

Ask your customers,  what makes them happy, what makes them unhappy.
Probably,  responsiveness, value, late delivery, long lead times, quality, price, unfriendliness,
unreturned phone calls, damaged box, visual perception of office or shop, etc. etc.
It is a very complex issue, and it seldom one thing.   Many of these are not even the root cause.
Just take one,  late delivery.   That is very complex.
It is a symptom of poor scheduling, poor capacity planning, poor lead time quoting, high scrap, etc.
And Poor scheduling is another symptom,   The root cause may be untrained schedulers, inadequate software,
inaccurate reporting from the floor, or no data from the floor, etc.
Actually, we are still not at the root cause,
Inaccurate reporting’s root cause may be not procedure, employees not trained, etc.
Only now are we starting to get to something we can change to improve.

It is unproductive to work on the wrong root cause.

What you think it is does not matter, it is only what the customer thinks.
We must help the customer find satisfaction for them to be loyal.
We can’t blame our competitors if we are unfriendly or don’t return phone calls in less than an hour.
We can’t blame our competitors if we don’t leave a message on our phone machine and on MS out of office.

Don’t be blind to your own paradigms as to what you think the customer wants,   ask them.
Find the root cause,   you can do a little fishbone diagram of all the potential causes
and even ask you best customer to benchmark you.     Ask Questions,  don’t give answers.

November 9, 2011

One Year Ago, November 12th, Friday I had Prostate Cancer Surgery

Filed under: Food for thought for friends — Alec @ 11:50 am

I have had 4 blood tests since them,  all have been <0.1 psa,  so undetectable.   I feel the best I have felt in 10 years.   That is probably due to the Thyroid medication and Testosterone suppliments that I started taking 6 months ago.

We have changed our diet to more fruits and veggies, and less meat and less dairy.   So, I have lost 8 pounds.    However, I have not given up cookies and chocolate.    Not even trying to give up dark Chocolate.   I know sugar is evil but it taste so good in cookies.

We have not ridden bikes as much this year, but walked and lifted more.    I now try to do my 15 minutes of yoga stretches every day.

Life is good ,   May you have a Peachy day

Thanks for being in my life

Filed under: Food for thought for friends — Alec @ 11:35 am

One day a woman’s husband died, and on that clear, cold morning,
in the warmth of their bedroom, the wife was struck with the pain of
learning that sometimes there isn’t “anymore”.  No more hugs,
no more special moments to celebrate together, no more
phone calls just to chat, no more “just one minute.”

Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes
away, never to return before we can say “good-bye”, say “I love you.”
So while we have it, it’s best we love it, care for it, fix it
when it’s broken and heal it when it’s sick.

This is true for marriage…..And old cars… And children with
bad report cards, and dogs with bad hips, and aging parents and
grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are
worth it.

Some things we keep — like a best friend who moved away or a
sister-in-law after divorce. There are just some things that make us
happy, no matter what.

Life is important, like people we know who are special.. And so,
we keep them close!

I received this from someone who thought I was a ‘keeper’! Then
I sent it to the people I think of in the same way…

Now it’s your turn to send this to all those people who are “keepers” in your life,
including the person who sent it, if you feel that way. Suppose one
morning you never wake up, do all your friends know you love them?

Let every one of your friends know you love them. Even if you
think they don’t love you back. And just in case I’m gone tomorrow:


Have a peachy day

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