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Business & Management

Getting More For Less; Improved Employee Efficiency Without Cost

employee efficiencyNext to equipment, labor is the number one cost for most valve manufacturers. With increasing competition from overseas, finding new means to increase employee productivity with minimal investment is an essential component of ensuring ongoing business viability. Agree with me so far? Then if I were to tell you that the incorporation of lean strategies into company operations is likely the fastest and most effective means of achieving this objective, would you read on? My guess is probably not; so let me put it another way. Forget the concept of lean manufacturing and all of the hoopla that comes along with it. Lean is little more than organizing operations in a manner that improves efficiency, and it doesn't take a six-step program, a certification, or rocket science to achieve similar, if not improved, results.


Winning the Case Against IP Theft

rotork imageBecause of the serious safety and environmental consequences of using inferior counterfeit valves and the financial devastation that can come with theft of intellectual property, ValveMagazine.com ran a two part series in July 2012 dealing with these ongoing concerns.

One point made clear in that article was that, despite technological advances and government involvement in the protection of intellectual property rights, companies themselves must be vigilant in their own behalf.

Managing Your Customer: How to Improve and Capitalize on Customer Relationships

CRM-artWhen Reed Hastings first announced in 2011 that the mail order DVD services of Netflix would be spun off into a new company called Qwikster, the only thing that came “quick” was the rapid deterioration of both customers and stock prices.

Hastings, like many other company executives, lost sight of the most important element of business growth and retention: managing the customer relationship. The key differentiator between those companies that grow from those that simply exist (or worse yet decline), are in how the customer relationships are managed.

Outsourcing: An Historical Perspective, Part Two of Two

01-dye-penetrant-testing-visual-inspection-non-destructive-testing-methods-ndt-techniques thumIn last week’s Web Feature, we tracked the changes in the valve industry that led to increasing numbers of imported valves coming into the refining industry. This week: How failures of some of those valves led to new and improved valve standards and a change in the way valves, especially from foreign manufacturers, were approved and purchased.

Outsourcing: An Historical Perspective, Part 1 of 2

oil-refinery-picture

The Summer 2012 issue of Valve Magazine featured an article on the effects of globalization which grabbed the attention of George Reusch, a former long time buyer for Exxon’s Refinery and Chemical plants in Baton Rouge. Reusch, along with Larry Kirkland, another Exxon buyer, graciously offered their take on outsourcing as it affected the valve industry back in the 1980s and as it has affected the business to the present. I also spoke to Raoul Robert of Southern Valve to get his take from the valve repair side of the industry. The following is Part One of a compilation of written material from Reusch and Kirkland, and notes from my interview with Robert.

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