Committing Harakiri as a Manufacturer

POST DATE: September 28, 2016

AUTHOR Udo Jahn

I have wanted to write this article for awhile. You see, nothing boils my blood faster than encountering living proof of Darwin’s theory of natural selection, especially when that living proof is a customer service rep on the other end of the phone. This particular story comes from a friend of mine in the forestry sector. A few of my customers in forestry have had similar experiences with their manufactured parts, but this incident is probably the worst I’ve ever heard. Read further at your own peril and potential amazement.
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Newsflash: Your Customers Are Actually Always Right. Here’s Why.

POST DATE: September 09, 2016

AUTHOR Udo Jahn

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “I’ve been around since before dirt was invented.” Another thing that’s been around since dirt was invented is companies saying their customers are being unreasonable. Those pesky customers, eh? Always asking you to do things. What a so-called unreasonable customer is actually saying is, “You may actually have to do some work!”
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My Favourite Competitive Sport is Business

POST DATE: August 26, 2016

AUTHOR Udo Jahn

Recently the entire world had the pleasure of watching the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The threat of Zika virus didn’t deter many athletes, who came and performed amazing feats that entertained the world. Our Canadian athletes won many medals and like you, I am very proud of them. When an athlete from your country is competing, you almost hold your breath watching them. Seeing them win a medal is even better and fills you with a sense of cheerful national pride. On the other hand, there were also hundreds of athletes who have been training for the majority of their lives, but did not win any medals in this year’s Olympics. The agony of defeat, and walking away with nothing, is tough, and you could see on their faces how much it affected them.
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What North American Manufacturers Can Learn from the Japanese

POST DATE: August 18, 2016

AUTHOR Udo Jahn

A few days ago, I was talking with a friend of mine who works at a subsidiary of a well-known Asian car company. My friend’s employer manufacturers components for their vehicles, and sends those parts to Japan to become part of the assembly line. My friend and I have known each other for over thirty years, and since we’ve been in the manufacturing industry just as long, it goes without saying that we always have lots of stories to tell each other. We talk about a lot of things in our industry, but on this particular day, we were talking about downtime.
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Paperwork Maintenance: It’s Also as Stupid as It Sounds

POST DATE: August 09, 2016

AUTHOR Udo Jahn

Wow. The virtual ink had not yet dried on my last blog post about piecemeal maintenance when I started getting an influx of emails from readers. Clearly, many people identified with the issue about maintenance not being performed the way it should be. Most of the emails spoke from personal experience of companies only doing enough maintenance to keep equipment barely functional. The minority of reader emails stated they were in a much different position, and they felt that those who were doing piecemeal maintenance were actually a step ahead of them. This puzzled me. How could things be worse than ‘piecemeal maintenance’?
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