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Globalization and lean manufacturing have made supply chain management more important than ever. It’s crucial that materials and parts arrive when needed in the manufacturing process so that you can fulfill orders and customer expectations. But because of the minimization of inventory, your company could be more vulnerable to disruption. Most people don’t like to … Continue reading “IS YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN READY IF DISASTER STRIKES?”

As smartphones (iPhone, BlackBerry) and tablets (iPad and Kindle Fire) become more popular, employees are increasingly asking if they can use their own devices for work. Whether employees use these devices for work full-time or just to take work home to check email after hours, many employers are recognizing the advantages of giving them a … Continue reading “Smartphones: Do you have a company policy?”

Is your business taking full advantage of the Domestic Production Activities deduction? This deduction – which can be as much as 9 percent of your U.S.-based business activity profit – is available to virtually every small business in the manufacturing industry. A company engaged in the following business activities may qualify for the Domestic Production … Continue reading “Are you using the Domestic Production Deduction?”

When a recession hits, it may be tempting to slash departments and costs seen as nonessential. Marketing comes to mind. So do research and development. After all, who knows if your R&D investments will ever pay off once they do make it to market? R&D Activity Increasing R&D investments by U.S. companies experienced a slight … Continue reading “Is it time to review your R&D strategy?”

Employee stock ownership plans – ESOPs – are tax-advantaged employee benefit plans designed by Congress to allow the purchase of private company shares to encourage employee ownership. ESOPs work well for companies to encourage employee ownership and for companies that might otherwise have a hard time attracting outside buyers. How Employee Stock Ownership Plans Work … Continue reading “ESOPs: Trends in the market”

Am I allowed to monitor my employees’ off-duty behavior and fire an employee because of it? Chances are that most managers have wondered about some form of this question. The behaviors might include drinking, smoking, working for a political party or candidate, using a competitor’s product or services, displaying certain bumper stickers, engaging in dangerous … Continue reading “Can you regulate an employee’s off-duty behavior?”

Manufacturers attempting to optimize investment and profit created the concept of lean manufacturing. Going beyond the definition of waste as excess or ruined materials, lean manufacturing evaluates process flow and the productivity of people and machinery. Inventory is replenished “just in time” with base levels restocked as used. Over the past few years, lean manufacturing … Continue reading “Benefits of a customer-driven supply chain”

The main reason good product ideas fail is that they get stuck between conception and development, often in processes that inhibit breakthrough innovation, according to a new study by CGT magazine and Sopheon Corp. Nearly 60 percent of the study’s respondents said that development resources were stretched too thin because of too many other projects under development. … Continue reading “Do you have too many products in development?”

In December 2011, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued an informal statement of opinion that employers who require a high school diploma for a job, without clear business necessity, may be violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This practice may be seen as discriminating against applicants who are unable to earn a high school … Continue reading “Requiring high school diploma could violate ADA”

Shiftwork – defined as working either a night shift or rotating shifts – is hard on people. They usually don’t sleep as well, which can lead to a host of issues, including fatigue, impaired concentration and problem-solving ability, stress and mood swings. A study of more than 30,000 Canadian shiftworkers found that they were twice … Continue reading “Help shiftworkers, help the company”

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