Stories by Subject
For two decades manufacturers have religiously abided by "lean" principles. But lean's greatest exemplar - Toyota - infamously derailed when it started churning out perpetual motion machines rather than safe cars. Toyota's travails raise the possibility that lean is long in the tooth. Mark's stories in trade magazine Manufacturing Executive - which he helped launch in 2008 and where he freelances as executive editor - have routinely probed fresh ideas that could start to muzzle the lean mantra. His articles span collaboration, innovation, processes, information technologies, supply chains, finance, sustainability and common sense:
The industry searches for new technology to radically reduce greenhouse gases
Jan. 28, 2011
Rising From the Ashes
Now for the good news about Iceland’s volcano: the country’s vast renewable power could help it climb out of its economic tar pit
Jan. 14, 2011
World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers: 10 Start-Ups That Will Change Your Life - Novacem Bakes Cool and Carbon-Free Cement
Sept. 10, 2010
Growth Strategy: Innovate by Committee
The recovery is on. Buyers are ready to spend on worthwhile inventions. Emerging markets are looking for entirely new products. How do manufacturers quickly meet their needs? Innovate by committee.
March 08, 2010
New Ideas Can Come from All Directions
Sure, money can help spur invention. But if you want to establish an innovative spirit at your company, look beyond the R&D department for great new ideas.
Feb. 16, 2010
Some CEOs Are Still in the Dark About IT’s Value
After decades of talk about information technology’s importance to corporate strategy, many C-suite executives remain skeptical about the value of it. What can be done to change that equation?
Jan. 29, 2010
The Art of Paring Back Supply Chains
Want to shorten your supply chain? Rather than cutting large numbers of suppliers as some are doing, take the long, collaborative and strategic route.
Oct. 26, 2009
Roadtrip: The Silence of the Sparrows
It takes a crisis to force manufacturers to innovate, speakers at the Progressive Manufacturing Summit in Sarasota, FL, said.
Sept. 29, 2009
Collaboration: Working Its Way Upstairs
PLM’s collaborative attributes draw praise from top execs.
Sept. 25, 2009
Now That's a Product Lifecycle
When it comes time to clean a nuclear fusion reactor, it takes a very steady (robotic) hand to do the job right.
Sept. 18, 2009
Dow: See You at the Swap Meet
Under the gun to cut costs in the face of losses, the global chemicals company embraces co-opetition and swaps favors with rivals.
Sept. 11, 2009
Business Intelligence Found Lacking
Expensive BI systems gather dust when they don’t fit user needs, Aberdeen reports.
Sept. 04, 2009
Renault's PLM Deployment — That's an (Executive) Order
CEO Carlos Ghosn signs off on the carmaker’s Dassault deployment as Renault broadens cross-company and supplier collaboration.
Aug. 05, 2009
How to Not Run Out of Ketchup
Consumer goods giant Unilever invests in demand forecasting technology.
July 30, 2009
Roadtrip: The Prime Minister's Challenge
At the Hannover Messe industrial trade fair in Germany, South Korea’s prime minister touted technology integration.
July 22, 2009
Cooperative Capitalism Works at BASF
In the wake of the financial sector’s implosion, a new iteration of capitalism has bloomed.
June 26, 2009
Leadership Agenda: Five-Point Plan for Manufacturing
European manufacturers have many techniques at their disposal to weather tough economic times, but focusing on a few key leadership principles will be the most rewarding of all.
June 19, 2009
Making the Customer Connection
Clothing giant Zara prospers with real-time information.
June 10, 2009
Sourcing: Diminishing Lean, and Other Heresies
New study seeks to reveal the truth about manufacturing locales.
May 29, 2009
Supply Chain: Practicing What Gurus Preach
Airbus seems ready to help its supply chain partners.
May 22, 2009
The Business Case for Sustainability Strengthens
A new study finds that European manufacturers such as Saint-Gobain, Volvo, Philips, and others are now treating environmental initiatives as a profit strategy.
May 18, 2009
Standards: Canon Seeks Development Uniformity
A top Canon exec says it simply: “If we can standardize the way we display and describe 3D information for CAD systems, then our life is going to become much easier."
May 15, 2009
Book Review: An Unusual Look at Leadership
Like skillful theatrical directors, good business leaders know how to set the right constraints and allow their performers to create on the edge of those limits.
May 11, 2009
Culture Trumps Techology at Manufacturing Executive Leadership Forum
L’Oréal CIO and other manufacturing industry leaders urge attention to people and processes as companies use technology to integrate and innovate their way out of the recession.
April 22, 2009
Progressive Manufacturing Award
Editors' Choice: L'Oreal
Beauty products maker undertakes fully integrated systems makeover.
Sept. 03, 2009
Siemens Industry CEO Calls for More Processing Power
In a wide-ranging conversation at Hannover Messe, Heinrich Hiesinger discusses what’s holding up PLM deployments and the digital factory.
April 22, 2009
Conference: Manufacturing Execs Confess to Demand Forecasting Failure
Companies did not foresee the recession’s drop in demand, further fueling the downturn. However, demand management is crucial to competitive success.
Apr 17, 2009
In Search of a Shared Vision
Unwieldy integration realities are blurring visions of the “digital factory,” where design, production, the enterprise, the supply chain, and wireless transmission will all feed continuous improvement.
March 26, 2009
BMW Unifies on One Brand of PLM
German automaker hopes its move to Dassault-only software will cut integration and speed up engine design and time to market.
March 12, 2009
Airbus Spreads Its Wings in China
The world’s largest aircraft maker looks to China for ideas as it embeds the country further into its production processes.
Feb. 13, 2009
Roadtrip: Business Unusual
Like Budapest’s famous “chain bridge,” supply chain innovation can have unexpected beginnings.
Jan. 19, 2009
Home Is Where the Market Is
“Nearshoring” takes on new meaning as manufacturers set up plants near booming markets while also bringing them closer to headquarters
Nov. 24, 2008
Roadtrip: Making Software Tick
Like Copenhagen’s renowned astronomical clock, finely tuned manufacturing relies on integrating information from across the universe of operations, ranging from the shop floor to the enterprise.
Nov. 24, 2008
Roadtrip: The Unbearable Lightness of ERP
In Prague last spring, Manufacturing Executive spotted a liberation movement aimed at unleashing the value of the enterprise software that has cost manufacturers billions of euros per year.
Sept. 29, 2008
The New Money Machine
Forget the banks. Software and tech can keep money moving around your supply chain and improve your working capital.
Sept. 02, 2008
Revisiting Supply Chain Priorities
High fuels costs, green concerns, exchanges rates, and other factors are bumping low labour costs out of top priority position.
July 31, 2008
The Struggle to Curb Energy Costs
Manufacturers, stuck in old purchasing habits and worried about the systems integration challenges, are slow to adopt potential energy cost-saving technologies.
April 14, 2008