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The Benefits of Improvement and Coaching Kata for Business

Kata is a Japanese term that can be translated to mean “a way of doing.” It can apply to any discipline that requires expertise in a pattern of behavior such as sports, music or martial arts. For businesses, it is important to understand that Kata can be used as a stand-alone skill or in conjunction […]

Workforce Development Program Best Practices

Facing an often written about skills gap and employee retention woes, United States employers are faced with the daunting challenge of growing while having difficulty finding and retaining top talent. Bloomberg stated in a recent article, “The skills gap in the U.S. is substantial. The National Federation of Independent Business found that as of first-quarter […]

Using Continuous Improvement (CI) to Benefit Your Business

With the pace of change in today’s business climate, organizations that adopt Continuous Improvement (CI) can use it as a tool to stay ahead of the competition and keep employees engaged. According to Google, a common search phrase is “what is meant by continuous improvement in business”. Wikipedia defines the answer to this search as […]

Five Steps to Being a “Smarter” Manufacturer

There’s no question the digital manufacturing revolution is racing at us. As a small or medium-sized manufacturer, how close are you to already being “smart”? Here are five steps in the journey to becoming a smarter digital enterprise. First and foremost, be cybersecure. Cybersecurity is an underlying tenant of being a smart and trusted business partner. […]

Top 5 Myths On Why Manufacturing Websites Can’t be Awesome

We all know the image of Vermont as the quintessential northern New England getaway for tourists, from New York to UK. But if you live in Vermont and are tuned into the tech scene even a little, you’re aware of the parallel narrative of Vermont as innovation tech hub. Furthermore, Burlington made Entrepreneur magazine’s list of top-50 […]

Why Do Problems Keep Coming Back?

Everyone experiences problems. Some of us have more to contend with than others, yet often it’s not the size of the problem that gets us down, but the way we deal with it.  Structured Problem Solving (SPS) is a learned skill that helps you to step back and evaluate your problems, big or small, in a clearer, more structured way. It’s a “thinking […]

Recruiting Millennials for Manufacturing Careers

A key recruiting challenge for the prospective Millennial may be an outdated image of manufacturing careers from popular culture and possibly even their parents.  Manufacturing today is increasingly digital and innovative. Companies looking to recruit these younger workers must actively strive to prove that they value high technology and creativity as much as Millennials do. Using […]

Collaborative Robotics Enabling Manufacturing Workforce and Productivity Growth

In early 2016, the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) published ISO Technical Specification (TS) 15066, which outlines safety requirements for collaborative robots. The American National Standards Institute, ANSI, adopted ISO/TS 15066 later that year as ANSI/RIA Technical Report R15.606 (RIA is the Robotic Industries Association). These documents outline safety functions that maintain a safe distance between people and […]

Ann Clark Cookie Cutters receives national attention!

In 1989 Ann Clark started out with a pig-shaped Christmas ornament and a dream. After years of painting and creating small gifts for her children to give away she set up shop in her garage and turned a hobby into a business. In 1991 armed with a small amount of start-up cash and a large […]

What’s under your Technology Iceberg?

So many business managers and owners I meet say that their in-house IT person has all their tech needs “covered”.  When I probe a bit further I usually discover that their definition of “covered” is far from complete.  In some cases they’ve found a talented professional who is equally comfortable with everything from servers to […]