I have spent most of my life working in the manufacturing sector. My first experience began as a young boy in my Grandmother’s sewing factory. After eating sugar cubes and Lance crackers while my Dad helped her out at night, she thought it was time to start earning my treats and put me to work sweeping her factory floor. Memory sometimes gets the best of you, but I could swear I was only six years old. I did not mind because along with the treats she would throw a couple of quarters my way.
I never looked back and soon worked summers for my Dad full-time to earn the money to feed my motorcycling hobby. This continued as I went to work for him after high school, before attending college a few years later. I give you this background because I wanted to share that manufacturing is in my blood from all of the years I spent growing up and working in it. It is something I am very passionate about, and I believe it is the backbone of our economy. I have seen a lot of changes through the years as tariff structures have changed and trade agreements have been put in place.
I have spent a large part of my career consulting and working with a variety of companies, including many manufacturers. One of the things I have come to believe is that while implementing process improvement methodologies like Lean Enterprise and Six Sigma are extremely powerful, they do not always make the difference between success and failure for a manufacturing company.