If you manufacture welded assemblies, it’s no longer optional to be excellent in the welding processes. You’ll have to move quickly toward welding excellence to survive.
The business reality is that welding is – by far – your most complex process, involving more sciences and physics and variables than anything else you have. So no matter how good he is, your non-welding-engineer probably cannot enable you to survive. He certainly can’t enable you to take leadership in your manufacturing segment. If you’re going to make money in today’s flailing manufacturing economy, you must understand what your UWE is capable of vs what he is not capable of, and limit him to appropriate roles and authority. How do you do that? By hiring the real expertise that’s needed to guide him, further develop him, protect you from the self-serving interests of your supplier salesmen, and fill your profit gaps before you drown in red ink and close your doors.
But how? You don’t have 5 years to find your way across the financial desert by trial and error. How can you quickly make the critical changes you need without splitting your tribal welding culture into factions warring and squealing for authority and recognition? For 20 years I didn’t have a solid plan to answer that question. Now I finally do. Read the rest of this entry »