5 min read

POV: Innovation in the World's Oldest Industry

By Grayson Bell on Oct 11, 2023 9:00:00 AM

Certain businesses and industries face seasonality in their volume, creating peaks and valleys in their demand. Whether it be an Ecommerce business trying to plan for Black Friday or Cyber Monday or a beer distributor preparing for the Fourth of July, each industry faces its unique challenges with seasonality. Some businesses stock up their inventory weeks or even months in advance, while others adopt a just-in-time approach. In any case, ops leaders at these businesses know that when peak season hits, they must be prepared to deliver on promises made to their customers. There’s no industry more familiar with this challenge than the world’s oldest: agriculture.

Topics: "Point of View" Blogs
3 min read

POV: Automation – The Right Solution for the Right Reasons

By Josh Mote on Sep 20, 2023 9:11:17 AM

Growing up in the “City of Firsts,” the manufacturing roots run deep in my family. Essentially every relative, coach, and adult I knew as a child worked in one of Kokomo, IN large factories on an assembly line or in skilled trades dating back to Haynes-Apperson, the first profitable American automobile manufacturer. From an early age, my plan was to get a degree (that my parents never had the opportunity at) and then follow them both into the factories for the next 30 years.  That was until the 2008 Recession hit and changed those manufacturing sites completely. Needing to pivot directions, I spent the majority of the next 10 years in industrial project management working inside some of the Midwest’s largest manufacturing and distribution centers.

Topics: Digital Manufacturing "Point of View" Blogs Automation
4 min read

POV: Industrial Laundry - Trying to Wring out Profitability

By Emily Koble on Aug 23, 2023 9:00:00 AM

With five years in industrial laundry, I have held various operation leadership roles in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana, from world-class Fortune 500 companies to 3rd-generation family-owned operations. Each share the same issues and hardships. The rental uniform business is highly complex and fast-paced, with the ultimate goal of serving customers a clean inventory of product week after week while allowing them to run their business safer, faster, and more comfortably. Industrial laundry is known for being highly competitive, very dirty, physically demanding, with long hours, and extremely tight margins . An average item is touched 10 times before returning to the customer. The most profitable customers are the ones that are retained, and a strong emphasis is put on keeping customers and limiting lost business. To add to the complexities, daily demand changes based on seasonality, customer behavior, economic sensitivities, and customer use. The Service and Plants teams have very little time to respond to changes, and traditional business strategies have limited the growth and success of this industry. To service customers better, faster, and safer, this industry must continue to engineer and develop creative ideas.

Topics: "Point of View" Blogs
7 min read

New Product Launches - Agility Needed

By Crystal Spates on Aug 9, 2023 9:27:37 AM

I’ve had the opportunity to work in both well-established food and beverage companies that have been around for many years and also, I’ve worked in various automotive startups.  In both capacities, I’ve always been on the production side! Production is fast moving - it’s assembly lines, equipment, materials, and people! It’s been a pleasure to energize and ignite teams to persevere and break records consistently - driving team members to truly band as one and work cohesively to make it happen, day after day. And if there is one thing my experience in manufacturing and logistics has taught me it is to always prepare for the unexpected. While strategizing and working to ensure your plan is solid, it’s critical to understand that there will always be something that will pop up. Agility and Flexibility can often be confused, but both are important to driving success in Manufacturing, Logistics, Warehousing, and the whole supply chain.  It all starts with winning the day which starts with winning the shift and that means winning by the hour. I thought I would share how I came to appreciate the impact of agility and what I took away as three key lessons to always ensure I was prepared in an ever-changing environment.

Topics: Operational Agility "Point of View" Blogs
7 min read

POV: Lean Leader - Any Part, Any Quantity, Anytime.

By Steve Reeves on Aug 2, 2023 9:00:00 AM

It goes by several names – Lean, Continuous Improvement, Operational Excellence, Process Improvement, Transformation – but the core of this discipline, regardless of nomenclature, is to reduce the amount of time between cash going out the door until you collect cash for a delivered product.  We do this through the elimination or reduction of waste and the optimization of processes, always with the customer in mind.  I’ve spent more than a decade on the floor executing kaizen and rapid improvement events to organization-level strategy alignment and deployment (Hoshin Kanri).  System-level cohesion with organizational alignment and determined execution; everyone rowing the boat to the drum beat of the customer to maximize efficiency. 

Topics: Lean Center of Excellence "Point of View" Blogs
8 min read

POV: Automotive Manufacturing Leader, Full-Throttle to Full-Brake

By Ty Morgan on Jul 26, 2023 8:49:47 AM

 Flint Michigan is a principal figure in the US automotive history books, and it is also my community of origin. The businesses and employees from the community have given a great deal of themselves to get the industry to where it is today. Growing up in Genesee County, I was indoctrinated into auto manufacturing at an early age. Relatives, parents of friends, spouses of my teachers, the retired neighbors; everyone was connected to the industry and influenced my curiosity for manufacturing. Coupling this interest with a Supply Chain Management from the big in-State university provided me with the opportunity to start my career with a Fortune 100 construction and farm equipment company. I spent 7 years working in various supply chain, purchasing, and manufacturing roles. I experienced multiple disciplines across multiple sectors in an industry that is heavily influenced by growing, planting, harvesting and construction seasons. Moving back ‘home’ I signed on with one of the big 3 auto manufacturers, furthering my understanding through roles in supply chain, global allocation, scheduling, inventory management, production system implementation, launch and operations management. I bring a solid foundational understanding of the entire value stream at Veryable.

Topics: Operational Agility "Point of View" Blogs Automotive Industry
6 min read

POV: Operations Manager, Controlling the Uncontrollables in Mfg.

By Austin Walker on Jul 20, 2023 11:21:00 AM



Before leading Operations across Greater Cleveland at Veryable, I spent time as an Operations Manager for a major American manufacturer where I worked to balance site level manufacturing execution with the ever changing needs of our customers and the respective inventory to do so. I worked closely with key Plant Managers and several Distribution Center Managers to make sure our customers were properly supplied. Working closely with these Ops leaders on a daily basis as we navigated the extreme volatility on both the supply and demand side during COVID, I’ve seen the impact that volatility can have on operations from a variety of different perspectives.

Topics: "Point of View" Blogs Operations Management
6 min read

POV: From Floor Supervisor to Regional Director, Warehousing & Distribution

By Michael Kavaky on Jul 11, 2023 8:17:13 AM

My name is Michael Kavaky, I’m the General Manager for Veryable in Central and West Michigan. I have spent 20 years of my career in logistics and distribution, having worked in many industries such as Consumer packaged goods (CPG), chemicals, food and beverage, small parcels, and furniture. I’ve experienced the challenges that warehousing and distribution leaders face at all levels, from managing the floor directly all the way up to managing many facilities across oceans and borders. At the shop floor level, operational leaders are focused on driving short term objectives like finishing dock schedules, improving OTIF (On-Time In-Full), and avoiding overtime. At the regional level, leaders are focusing on long term perfect service, contractual agreements, logistics as a percent of sales, and cost reductions. No matter what the org level or the goal, it all comes down to operational execution and KPIs can help show you how well you are doing.

Topics: "Point of View" Blogs
3 min read

POV: Continuous Improvement Leader, Food and Beverage Manufacturing

By Bob Einspar on Jul 5, 2023 1:41:42 PM


Topics: "Point of View" Blogs
4 min read

POV: VP Manufacturing - Furniture SMB (Embracing Big Orders for a Small Business)

By Jacob Shaffield on Jun 29, 2023 11:31:08 AM

You’ve worked hard to build your small business.  You’ve made a name for yourself and are building a brand.  An email hits your inbox.  It’s not an order.  It’s THE order.  A Fortune 500 company has decided to buy your product as part of a global rollout.  You’ve finally made it.  Then panic sets in.  How can we meet their deadline?  Can we meet the requirements of this order and keep our other customers happy?  Should we even accept the PO?

Topics: "Point of View" Blogs
2 min read

Perspective from a Former Plant Manager

By Pete Conrad on Oct 24, 2018 6:59:00 PM

As a plant manager, unit manager and departmental supervisor throughout my career, my day went something like this. Get to work early and assess the plans one more time before executing. Everything looks good, or at least the challenges are manageable - except for headcount.  We need 120 in production positions to complete the day without overtime and after call outs from full-time, I’m down to 113. Then, I move to my temporary staff positions which make up 15-20% of my team depending on the season which is about 18 folks, 8 of which are no shows or have yet to call and let us know their status.  Now, the team has to figure out a way to make up a 12.5% staffing deficiency through productivity and overtime, or not complete orders. This scenario occurs all too often, despite the variety of attendance policies promising to solve the issue.

Topics: "Point of View" Blogs