Operational Excellence by Design eNewsletter – March 2018


Issue: 2018-03
March 2018

Founder’s Corner
Who has the “Old Maid”?

by Joseph Paris
I was speaking with a friend who is the Chief Operating Officer of a multi-national chemical processing company a few weeks ago.  We were speaking about the various challenges that he is facing, which are not unlike the challenges faced by many companies.  His most important goal was to maximize profits whilst minimizing inventory – nothing new here.
We spoke about how he is trying to become specialized, being able to deliver short runs on short time schedules, but at higher margins.  But being a chemical company, the change-overs are a challenge and can easily negate any increase in expected (hoped-for) margins.  The same goes with building inventory in anticipation of orders.
I made mention that, in a value-chain, almost always someone is left holding the ”
Old Maid“.  We both laughed.  We both laughed because it’s true.
Old Maid is a card game that most of us have played as very young children.  Perhaps we have played it with our own children or grandchildren.  And whilst they have decks of cards specifically for playing Old Maid, we always just used a regular deck of playing cards…



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Featured Events

IISE Annual Conference & Expo 2018

May 19 – 22, 2018 | Orlando, Florida

Join us in Orlando, Florida in May, where internationally renowned Keynote speakers and experts in industrial engineering and management will set the tone for the various sections of this superb annual conference.
Our own Joseph Paris will be delivering 3 Plenary talks at this events, respectively entitled; “The Importance of Stewardship”, “Guerilla Transformation” and “CEO’s and
their Sausages”.
Join us for this most enriching learning experience, develop connections and share experiences!



Featured Article

The Future of Supply chain: A digitized Supply Chain

The economy is at the beginning of the next major industrial revolution, and technology is the driver, this time as the heart of both the production of many different products and as a core intelligent component of the things we use every day.


Digitization has long since moved into factories, and is now enabling operations in which humans work side by side with intelligent machines.


“Industry 4.0” is the catchphrase widely used to describe digital networking in the manufacturing industry. Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution after the mechanization of production in the 18th century, the electrification of production and the introduction of assembly lines in the late 19th century, and, finally, the automation of production, that started in the 1970’s and continued ever since.


This fourth revolution is set to raise automation to a new level, marked by the unstoppable march of information technology through all areas of industry, also known as the Internet of Things…
By Shereen Mossallam


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Thought Food

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Autonomous Vehicle





Successfully defying strategies of the Chinese mechanical engineering industry
European Mechanical engineering companies have served the world as a constant source of product innovation, claiming high standards in product quality, services and talents. However, these strengths have been matched, if not surpassed, by different strengths in China, the faster and cheaper competitor. Europe’s mechanical engineering companies should not underestimate the challenges, because the effects of digitalization will only augment the strengths of competitors in China.
China is now a country with the largest production for machinery and equipment, and the second largest exporter of machinery in the world. In other words, the headwind is increasing on global markets. However, China is the most important market for machines, “Made in Germany” and Europe. Many European machine manufacturers will have to reposition themselves in order to maintain their future success in China: the greatest sales potential in China is in the mid-market segment. Going for high-end products alone would be extremely risky from TMG’s point of view.


by Timo Wiegmann


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Trust me…


    Connect with us…

The Outliers Inn Podcast

Luca Willington has been in a position where she had to take a different perspective many times – as one of the first yogis in post-communist Romania, as an entrepreneur successfully breaking into the multi-billion international skin-care industry with natural, un-emulsified products, and also as a new arrival in Britain back in 1999. Perhaps it’s unsurprising, then, that when she heard about the work of WE Deming, she was hooked – and that Antlerboy and JP are intrigued by her move from training to marketing and her approach to organisational life.

Listen Now!


   Calendar of Events


Lean Six Sigma – Reality or Myth?

OpEx Vault

Business Lessons Learned from Playing Golf

It’s March – finally.  The Winter darkness has noticeably given way to longer hours of daylight.  The cold and the snows are abating.  The crocuses and early spring flowers are in bloom.  It’s a pleasure to waken to the birds chirping.  And a person can feel that Spring is just around the corner.
That is, except in Upstate New York, where March doesn’t come until May (especially this year).


Professional Organizations
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 Contact the Editor


Thank you for being a valued reader. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments related to this publication – or if you might be 
interested in submitting an article
 for consideration in our eNewsletter.


Gretchen Lubbe – Editor

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