Is your profit margin about to retire?

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Is your profit margin about to retire? Is your company mired in undocumented tribal knowledge?
According to a new study from Harvard University and the Rand Corporation, “On average, every 10% increase in the share of state’s population over the age of 60 reduced per capita growth in gross domestic product by 5.5%.”
My experience through the years echoes that sentiment. I’ve seen the old guys working their last day and muttering about how these new guys just don’t get it, or that they had tried to teach the newer workers but weren’t able to get the point across.
I remember when I was young and eager to impress, dragging out a stethoscope to listen to the tappets knocking as we adjusted valve gap. By the time I got back from my toolbox the old mechanic had the problem isolated to which cylinder and then proceeded to school me on the proper technique. Being the youngster I was, I half listened and smiled politely (or sneered surreptitiously) as he told me about the joys of a hammer handle and how it worked just like a stethoscope in transferring sound to the ear and by moving it around the head you could…And I taught the same trick to my children when the time came. And they listened with the same laissez-faire attitude. Now no one has tappets anymore and valve gap is a lost art for the most part but the example is the same.
Older workers are retiring and the knowledge is being lost. I encourage you to start today, find a scribe and get the knowledge on paper before it’s too late; video tape the more detailed and complex lessons; get someone with a real interest in learning to work with them before their gone.
Don’t let the tribal knowledge leave your organization. If you need help getting the documentation done give me a call, I can come in and work with your retiree to get the information recorded and preserved.
Call Ric @ (518) 225-0623 or email me at

We think every day is an opportunity to improve.

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I’m a fan of Subway; I like their sandwiches, their service, and now their efforts to improve. The introduction of better quality meats and the addition of wraps, flatbreads and seasonal vegetables have all conspired to make a good place better.

So last night, when I went for my double points and to try the newest sandwich, my eye caught this sign. I had to steal the words. “We think every day is an opportunity to improve.”

We think every day is an opportunity to improve. I must have seen it before so I copied it down and plugged it into my search engines. The only hit I got was from Toyota Value in New Zealand. That couldn’t have been it, never been to New Zealand and don’t read Toyota Values.

I even plugged it into some search engines for Lean and Six Sigma, still no luck. How could it be that a near perfect phrase to define lean or continuous improvement or even the Toyota Kata had not been used?

Consider how that phrase could be used to motivate your quality department, your engineering department, and your overall company strategy.

Now go to the floor and spread the news. See for yourself.