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Business & Management

Leading a Spirited Organization


A positive attitude within an organization begins at its inner-most core: Its own top executives must want to create a company for which they, themselves want to work, according to Ken Branco, founder and principal of R.E.V.V. International, Stafford Springs, CT, who spoke at VMA’s 2011 Manufacturers Workshop. Organizations whose leaders strive for that goal can develop a company spirit, and that spirit will travel from the heart of the organization (its leaders) out to its perimeters (its employees) and return in the form of a leaner, more productive organization.

More Website Tools for the Taking

This is an expanded version of an article that appeared in the summer 2011 edition of Valve Magazine.

The days when companies populated their websites primarily with PDFs of catalogs, a few paragraphs “About the Company,” a list of “Contacts,” and highlights of “Products” and “Customers Served” are behind us. Savvy companies today know that to draw customers and potential customers to their sites requires coming up with ways to add value to those who visit. After all, the world is now bombarded with places to go on the Web so companies need to find reasons why people should visit their website.

Going Lean: Continuing the Journey

jamie flinchbaughThis is the second in a three-part series of articles based on insights provided by speakers at VMA’s 2011 Manufacturing Workshop & Tour, held May 4-6 in Atlanta.

The most common reason companies start a lean program is because everyone else is doing it—it’s the “program of the month,” said Jamie Flinchbaugh, co-founder and partner of the Lean Learning Center.

People in industry tend to think in terms of the popular definition for lean, which is doing more with less. However, “I’ve never seen a company cut its way to prosperity,” Flinchbaugh pointed out.

Going Lean: ‘A Million Little Changes’

ross controls ceo john smithThis is the first in a three-part series of articles based on insights provided by speakers at VMA’s 2011 Manufacturing Workshop & Tour, held May 4-6 in Atlanta.

People in manufacturing often talk about lean “as if it is a program—something we ought to be doing” simply to eliminate waste, John Smith, president and CEO of Ross Controls, told the audience at the 2011 Manufacturing Workshop. Smith (pictured) spoke following a tour by attendees of the Ross Controls’ facility in nearby Lavonia, GA. He said “lean” is not finding new tools within the company; rather, “it’s the culture of the company that drives lean,” he said.


Opportunities in Latin America

vittorThe spring 2011 edition of Valve Magazine contained a short article about international expert José Luis Vittor. Here’s a longer version of that article, in which Vittor discusses business conditions in Latin America and advises where the most fruitful opportunities exist.

At almost any event that executives with global interests have attended in the last couple of years, one of the hot topics of discussion has been Latin America. Such was the case at a VMA leadership meeting held earlier in 2011 when international expert José Luis Vittor took the podium to explain opportunities in that area of the world to attendees.

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