Business Effectiveness Library


In Materials Selection Cast Iron Is Not Cheaper Than Brains by PJ SikorskyExpert Writer

Metallurgical Consultant

I can’t begin to remember how many times over the past 30 years I’ve felt the bile rise in my system as I’ve heard design engineers suggest that it doesn’t matter what material(s) are used to build parts and components. I suppose it’s natural for any of us to feel unloved and underappreciated in our professional endeavors. As a materials engineer working for two different major manufacturers over my career I often felt that materials selection was not given as much attention during the design process as it deserved. There are 5 repetitive problems I have observed related to material(s) selection over my career:

1. Material Selection after the part/component is ‘designed’.PJ Sikorsky
2. Material Selections not reviewed over time.
3. Materials copied from old designs.
4. Material substitutions fail.
5. Bad material selections – the gift that keeps on taking.

In the remainder of this article I’ll describe each of these problems in greater detail.



 Developing a Competitive Advantage-Your Most Valuable Business Tool by Roger WalkerRoger Walker

You have good products and/or services, good people working for you and a list of good customers, but....

  • Business is a constant struggle against steadily increasing competition.

  • Your best customers are becoming increasingly difficult to satisfy

  • Prices are steadily going down and you are forced to make creative cuts in your cost structure

  • It’s increasingly difficult to differentiate your value to your customers and what was once a preferred product and/or service is now feeling like a commodity


Service- The Untapped Opportunities by Jean-Paul ThierionJ P. Therion

How valuable would it be to have a direct link to your end user customer that provides additional sales opportunities and invaluable feedback for your business? By Jean-Paul Thierion.




Cost of Quality to the Supply Chain  by Ed Eisermann  Expert Writer

GEA's Ed EisermannThere are many supply chain businesses involved in the process from manufacture to unit start-up. Any one of the steps can cause the client to not want to order from the same supply chain. 

To evaluate the many possible issues, let’s consider an air conditioning unit that produces 50 tons or more of cooling. This would include Absorption, Centrifugal, Roof Tops, Air Handlers and Self Contained systems as a starting list.


Do Your Competititors Have an Advantage?  by Larry Butz GEA's Larry Butz 

Is competition beating you to the marketplace? Providing a lower cost product/service? Reacting quicker? Are they quietly using “special” resources?

Today’s competitive business place and rapidly changing business conditions require keeping your costs down and operating with lean resources. This can pose problems when that special opportunity comes along, or that crisis blindsides you. You may not have the in-house capabilities to react appropriately. Very few companies do. Existing staff is already fully loaded and unable to be freed up in a timely fashion. Or quite simply, the required expertise does not exist in your team.How these critical times are handled is what differentiates winners and losers.

Production Gate Check-Control at a Critical time by Ed Eisermann

A production gate check is a communication between the product manufacturing team and the sales organization (company or manufactures rep) where a check list is used to confirm key customer requirements. The check list consists of items that have in the past caused delivery problems that are not specific to the product's operation. 

A Shift in Sales Perspective by Roger Walker 

A study of sales people and businesses that consistently perform above the norms demonstrates what differentiates them. What's their discovery? They have learned that success revolves around the customer. 

Senior Management – Do You Really Understand and Inspire Total Organization Quality? by Ed Eisermann

Most Senior Management recognizes that moving your organization toward World Class stature requires adopting Total Organization Quality (TOQ). Organization wide Quality Improvement is critical to any successful business and inherent in all World Class companies. Two of the most vital benefits include elimination of internal waste (cost) and improving customer satisfaction by meeting expectations (real and perceived).

Beware the Baby Boomer Brain Drain by Norm GreeneGEA's Norm Greene

US Baby Boomers "officially" start retiring in 2008. The Census Bureau indicates that's about 76 million people born between 1946 and 1964 that are eligible to retire over the next 10 years, creating the largest exodus out of the workforce by a single generation. Even the current employment situation will not change the results. 



Business Case Basics by Ed Eisermann

Getting approval to implement a business effort with investors/management is difficult. The investment team is more likely to approve your request if you present them with a cohesive justification coupled with a face-to-face presentation of your business case.