Oct 10 2011

End of Quarter Rush or General Pick-up?


The end of September is always an interesting time for ETM. Last week, Jo-Ann asked for a pull-in of 50 pieces she had on order. Sean also desperately needed the 10 prototypes as soon as possible, but 5 pieces would get him out of trouble. Kathy needed 10 of one part and 15 of another part in three days. Steve had to have at least 1 piece of the 30 piece order this week to ship in the quarter. And, by the way, Bill needed 3000 supports this week, not the 1000 he originally said he needed. The great news is that we are hearing pull-in requests instead of push-out requests (despite the recent economic news). The tough news is that is would be very difficult to expedite 7 orders at the same time unless we had lean manufacturing.

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Sep 25 2011

Super-Gary to the Rescue – it’s all about the people.


Tim was in a jam – he needed 12 cabinets FAST. In just 6 weeks he needed the first 5 and then the balance of 7 could follow 4 weeks later. Normally a new cabinet would take 6 – 8 weeks to engineer, build and tweak, but this needed to be reverse engineered as well. And this was no ordinary cabinet; it was stainless steel, built in 3 sections with beveled edges on the front corners. No matter how hard it would be to build, it had to be engineered fast and accurately. Was Gary, our manufacturing engineer, up to the task?

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Sep 16 2011

How Our Costs Affect Your Price


Four years ago when we rolled out open book management we had no idea where it would take us. In big companies layoffs seem to be a surprise and bonuses are even more of a surprise. When I bought ETM Manufacturing, I had a chance to do it right – share the financials of our private company with the employees so they could be involved in controlling costs, increasing profit and growing revenue. Today we meet weekly – everyone in the company – to review the company financials as well as safety, quality, delivery, and costs. We make better decisions, as a team, with the information we share.

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Sep 08 2011

A (Different) Tale of Two Cities


Several years ago, Greg Robillard and Delmy Valentin faced a similar challenge that you probably have faced. They were buying welded server racks in 1, 2, 3, 5 and 10 pc quantities for their test division. They did all the right things – found the best suppliers who could meet their needs, bid them competitively and chose a top supplier from Guelph, Ontario that best met their price, delivery and quality requirements. Their problem was solved, right?

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Aug 26 2011

ETM – A Personal Journey and How Our History Affects Your Future


We are all in communication overload. We are all suffering from a barrage of marketing and sales messages. I’ve therefore resisted the temptation to add yet another blog post to the digital footprint. Until now! It’s time to share a few insights -to make your day a little easier, to help you do extraordinary things in a limited amount of time, and to get you promoted (in good times) or save your job (in tough times). What you may not know is that at one time, not so long ago, I was you but in a different company with different parts.

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