Manufacturing principles

We use principles to guide decision making for each area of our business. Here are the principles we use in manufacturing:

1. Safety > quality > delivery > cost

It's not worth operating if we do not keep people safe. There's no reason to ship product that is defective. And, there is little value in trying to save money if we do not deliver on time.

2. Design processes so that anyone can perform them

To scale, you need to make processes intuitive so that you can quickly add staff when needed.

3. Judge people primarily on attendance

Attendance is a straightforward evaluation metric. It’s mostly all that matters if processes and positions are well designed.

4. Manage via metrics

Focus on turnaround, labor productivity, material utilization and quality. Making these a primary concern avoids distractions.

5. Share metrics publicly

Metrics always improve when they're visible. The important thing is to pick the right ones to share.

6. Talk to people

Keep good relations with people to stay abreast of problems and spot opportunities to improve.

7. Talk to attorneys

Always get advice on how to handle personnel problems. Don't assume your instincts are correct.

8. Use pay grades

To ensure people are treated fairly, design sensible pay grades and do not deviate from them.

9. Do not use incentive pay

Incentives are difficult to design and maintain. It's best to design processes and positions so that there is minimal productivity variance among staff.

10. Recurring savings > 1 time savings

Do not fret about 1 time savings or expenses. Recurring costs are what matter.

11. Don’t tolerate malicious behavior

Mistakes happen, but it's unacceptable when harmful acts are intentional.

12. Discuss important situations verbally

Manufacturing problems can rarely be solved via email. It’s best to talk about them.

13. Err on the side of extra training

People tend to want less training, but it's best to err on the side of more. This is especially important when training is provided by 3rd parties since it's difficult to schedule additional sessions.

Concluding thought

We aim to build the most productive and happiest manufacturing operations you’ll ever find. Our principles are designed to bring consistency to our decision making so that we are always headed in that direction.

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