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Rhythm Blog | Alan Gehringer

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

10 Ways to Improve Employee Engagement in Your Manufacturing Company (Video)

Alan Gehringer Sun, Jun 30, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

I grew up in a manufacturing family. My grandmother had her own manufacturing company, and my father was a partner in a local manufacturing company. I still have very fond memories working in and running the business. It was like one big happy family - most of the time, that is. We had employees that stayed with us pretty much from the beginning and that would be close to forty years in some cases. How do you get employees to stay with you for the long term and contribute to the best of their ability? One of the answers is to ensure they are treated with respect, appreciated, and given the opportunity to be fully engaged in their work environment. Employee engagement is the key to creating a high performance manufacturing culture.  Being fully engaged means different things to different people, but here are some key approaches to consider for manufacturing workers.

KPIs, Culture, and Habits to Improve On-Time Delivery

Alan Gehringer Fri, Jun 28, 2019 @ 11:05 AM

I previously wrote a blog titled 21 Production KPI Examples to Improve Manufacturing Performance, and many people were interested in learning more about how to measure and improve on-time delivery, one of the specific KPIs I mentioned. I am often asked how to improve on time delivery in manufacturing companies.  The on time delivery KPI time as one of their most important Key Performance Indicators as it is directly related to customer satisfaction and repeat orders.  So, let’s dig a little deeper into effective ideas to improve on time delivery.

5 Steps to Integrate Your Culture After a Business Acquisition

Alan Gehringer Fri, Jun 28, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

You just completed an acquisition in business, time to celebrate and break out the champagne. For some companies, acquiring businesses is their top growth strategy. Unfortunately for most companies, acquisitions fail to meet their objectives in the first year if at all. This can also be one of the most difficult ways to grow your business. That said, failure is not imminent if you do the right things to make the acquisition a success. One of these things is to focus on integrating the culture of the new company with the mothership. It sounds easy and straightforward, although integrating cultures is one of the biggest challenges and failure points after an acquisition. It takes a lot of time and effort to do it right. This is one reason that you should do your best to acquire companies that have good alignment with your Core Purpose and Core Values already to make the merger integration of the target company happen more smoothly.

How to Scale Growth

Alan Gehringer Thu, May 9, 2019 @ 11:04 AM

Your business is experiencing strong growth – now what? Double-digit growth brings with it a host of new challenges, particularly how to effectively scale as you grow without imploding.  Often growth and scaling are used interchangeably, but scaling means growing your revenue faster than your costs - IE profitable growth.

I had the opportunity in my early thirties to work for a very fast growth company. I remember hearing the founder say, "We can be as big as we want to be and grow as fast as we want to." I felt like I was riding the biggest wave you could imagine and what a thrill it was!

3 Steps to Identify and Define Your Core Customer [Infographic]

Alan Gehringer Tue, Apr 30, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

Philip Kotler implores us to do a better job of understanding “who” our valuable customers are and then to deeply please them, rather than trying to please everyone.  It is much better to serve your Core Customer completely and fully, than to try to be everything to everyone.  It will create a core market that you can please and creates a loyal fan base.

Every company should have a brand promise that it makes to its customers. The promise should differentiate you in your market and support the sales process by making it easier to close deals. The first step in developing your brand promise is to identify and define your core customer. The better job you do with this step, the more effective your brand promise is going to be and the more likely your prospects are to purchase a product.  This is needed for business to business and business to consumer companies.

21 Production KPI Examples to Improve Manufacturing Performance (Updated for 2019)

Alan Gehringer Tue, Apr 30, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

It is important to grow the top line of your business on an annual basis, but you also need to make sure the bottom line is healthy which can help fund that growth. This is particularly important if you are a manufacturing company and need to be efficient in your production process. In most cases, the two biggest expenses in your manufacturing business are labor and raw materials. There are exceptions, of course, in machine intensive automated manufacturing plants, but let’s focus on the former. So how can we make sure the production line is running at peak performance? One very effective way is to put the right balance of production KPIs in place. Some of these are leading indicator KPIs that help provide insight into future performance and some are results KPIs that tell you how you have done. It is good to have both, although I always prefer giving my production managers a good set of leading indicator KPIs as these manufacturing metrics drive the results.

Download our free KPI Guide to help you drive results with KPIs.

Here are some of my favorite manufacturing KPIs and metrics:

Strong 3 Year Strategic Plans to Grow Revenue and Stay Competitive

Alan Gehringer Tue, Apr 30, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

Has your growth stalled or have you missed your revenue and profitability targets the last few years? 

There is a solution. But before we get to that, think about if you have ever heard a dialogue like this or even told yourself these same stories. Play along with me here for a minute as I share the following pattern.

How is business ? Good, good, having a strong year. Busy.

How has your growth been the past three years? We really have not grown much, but maintaining or just a bit behind last year.

How are your margins, increasing, decreasing? Well, they have been decreasing, a lot of pressure from the competition. We are in somewhat of a commodity market. It’s tough.

Have You Validated Your 3 Year Strategic Plan?

Alan Gehringer Tue, Apr 30, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

You had a great annual planning session.  You worked hard developing your 3 year strategic plan for revenue growth and profit (scaling up) for the growth strategy next 3-5 years.  You brainstormed multiple strategies that have the potential to double your business revenue in the next 3-5 years.  You used your best estimates and available market knowledge and made certain assumptions in order to prioritize these potential 3 year strategic plans (winning moves) using the following criteria: 

How to Leverage Your Business Core Competencies to Create a Competitive Advantage

Alan Gehringer Sun, Mar 31, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

I have helped many companies identify and leverage their core competencies through the years, and doing this can really make a difference in the products or services you provide to your customer. Core competence is a concept introduced by C.K. Prahalad, professor at the University of Michigan, and Gary Hamel, management expert and founder of Strategos. They define it as “a harmonized combination of multiple resources and skills that distinguish a firm in the marketplace.”

Do You Know the Difference Between Manufacturing Productivity and Efficiency?

Alan Gehringer Sun, Mar 31, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

Two key concepts in manufacturing that often get misconstrued or even used synonymously are productivity and efficiency. Do you know what the difference is? Despite these two words pertaining to improving the production process of a manufacturing, agriculture, or service sector company, they refer to different things. Once you think about the differences, you can better utilize productivity and efficiency in your business.