March, 2010

A publication brought to you by the Manufacturers Alliance

Subscribe | Join MA
MA Announcements

New & Renewing Members
Thank you to all of our new and renewing members in the month of March for helping us accomplish our mission of sharing education & resources peer-to-peer.

A Couple of Gurus
ASI DataMyte Inc.
Azonal Enterprises
Bokers Inc.
Braemar Inc.
C.A Moore & Associates CareFusion
Construction Results Corporation
Eaton Corporation
Employment Action Center
General Label Inc.
Liberty Carton Company
Liberty Diversified Ind
Milltronics Manufacturing
Ostbye & Anderson
State of Minnesota Dept of Admin
Surgical Technologies Inc.
Tennant Company
Thymes
TKDA Engineering, Arch & Planning
Valley Craft Inc.
Waterous Company


Upcoming Events

February 7th 2023 09:00 am
- The Role of the Leader Online

February 8th 2023 08:00 am
- Creating Process Maps

February 9th 2023 08:00 am
- Sustaining Lean Culture Through Leadership Changes

February 14th 2023 09:00 am
- Learning to Solve Problems Supervision Fundamentals Certification

February 15th 2023 09:00 am
- The Role of the Leader

February 16th 2023 08:00 am
- Conflict, Communication and Collaboration

February 21st 2023 08:00 am
- Learning to Solve Problems 6 Sigma Green Belt Certification

February 21st 2023 09:00 am
- Leadership Style & Versatility Online

February 22nd 2023 08:00 am
- Root Cause Analysis

February 22nd 2023 09:00 am
- Learning to Solve Problems Supervision Fundamentals Certification

Other Announcements


2nd Annual Employers Association Sustainability Conference
This event is designed to give you sustainability solutions to reduce your organization's environmental impact while integrating corporate responsibility and ethics. <a href="http://www.employersinc.com/10Expand.asp?ProductCode=BUS0710">Learn More</a>

Article Index

Book Review: Authentic Leadership
Article by: John Hehre

“Where Have All the Leaders Gone?” is the title to the introduction of Authentic Leadership. When Bill George wrote this book in 2003 corporate scandals were all over the news, led of course by Enron and Arthur Anderson.


Employee Compensation Shows Signs of Life for 2010
Article by: Manufacturers Alliance

Despite the continued uncertainty surrounding the economy, many Minnesota manufacturing firms are indicating that employee pay raises are being planned during 2010. According to the survey administrator, Heather Lintner of Principal at Denarius Human Resources, Inc., a year ago when looking forward to 2009 increases, the average wage/salary adjustment anticipated was only 0.5 percent while some firms implemented pay reductions. 


MnTAP Goes to Northern Star Company
Article by: MnTAP

Northern Star Company, a subsidiary of Michael Foods Inc., is a potato processing facility in Minneapolis. As with many food processing facilities, a significant amount of water is used each day for processing the potatoes. This water use can be costly as companies are often required to pay fees for using and discharging large amounts of water.


MN Economic Outlook
Article by: Dr. Ernest Goss

For the month of February 2010, reported March 1, 2010. Minnesota's leading economic indicator, based on a survey of supply managers, advanced for February.


ADVERTISEMENT
Book Review: Authentic Leadership

“Where Have All the Leaders Gone?” is the title to the introduction of Authentic Leadership. When Bill George wrote this book in 2003 corporate scandals were all over the news, led of course by Enron and Arthur Anderson.

Fast forward seven years to today, and there are still corporate scandals all over the news. Executives once favored have left in disgrace, some to prison. Respect for leaders is once again at a low point. Bill George is one of those leaders, however, who still commands a fair amount of respect. He is the first to admit his failings but has worked hard to develop a successful leadership style. In this book, he describes not just the leadership style but how to apply it in order to create lasting value in an organization.

The book is divided into four parts. In the first part, Bill describes the dimensions of an authentic leader and goes on to illustrate the behaviors and introspection necessary to achieve authenticity along with the need for personal transformation.

Part two applies the principles from part one in building an authentic company. One of the most striking points is the passion and dedication of purpose required to truly succeed. The framework presented may appear warm and fuzzy but the book illustrates the hard work and tough decision needed to put the ideas into practice. Part three provides the external focus. Once the internal work has begun, how do you apply these principles in the marketplace?

The last part of the book returns in a way to the personal side; how to structure an organization and set up governance so one person doesn’t become the company. Flamboyant executives may look good from the outside but time and again, the most successful companies are managed by a team.

There are many books on Leadership, some of them are good. To be really good, they need to make the case and provide a coherent and reasonable path for success. This book does both and does it very well with many relevant examples. The lessons provided are clear and easy to understand. Implementing the recommendations will be difficult for many, but rewarding for all who succeed. There is also an epilogue “If Not Me, Then Who? If Not Now, When?” In it, everyone will find a challenge to discover their unique challenge and leadership opportunity – very useful for those looking for leadership opportunities.

John Hehre is a senior operations executive and provides interim management and project based consulting to mid-sized private companies in need of transformative change. He can be reached at jhehre@cprocess.com.

Back to Top

ADVERTISEMENT
Employee Compensation Shows Signs of Life for 2010

Despite the continued uncertainty surrounding the economy, many Minnesota manufacturing firms are indicating that employee pay raises are being planned during 2010. According to the survey administrator, Heather Lintner of Principal at Denarius Human Resources, Inc., a year ago when looking forward to 2009 increases, the average wage/salary adjustment anticipated was only 0.5 percent while some firms implemented pay reductions. 

Those actions are about to be reversed.

In the soon to be released 2010 Manufacturing Compensation & Benefits Survey, the annual pay survey conducted by Manufacturers Alliance and MPMA, firms are indicating average adjustments of 1.8% are being planned. According to Kirby Sneen, Sales and Marketing Manager at Manufacturers Alliance “This reaffirms our belief that progressive manufacturers stay on top of employee compensation developments and use pay and benefits, in part, to retain their best people. Now is an excellent time to gage your competitive position. And, the compensation survey is just the tool you need to do it.”

Copies of the 2010 Manufacturing Compensation & Benefits Survey will be shipped (PDF format) starting April 5, 2010. Bound copies will follow by two weeks. If you haven’t ordered your copy yet, contact Manufacturers Alliance at 763-533-8239 or click here to reserve your copy.

The mission of the Manufacturers Alliance is to provide peer-to-peer training, education, and resources which inspire manufacturing companies to continuously grow, improve, and stay competitive.

Back to Top

ADVERTISEMENT
MnTAP Goes to Northern Star Company

Northern Star Company, a subsidiary of Michael Foods Inc., is a potato processing facility in Minneapolis. As with many food processing facilities, a significant amount of water is used each day for processing the potatoes. This water use can be costly as companies are often required to pay fees for using and discharging large amounts of water.

In 2006, Northern Star performed a water use audit and found that 550,000 gallons of water were being used per day. Based on that amount, the company would have faced a seven-figure service availability charge (SAC) from Metropolitan Council Environmental Services.

The company quickly assembled a group to assess water use and recommend ways to conserve it. Within several months, the water conservation team had implemented a few water conservation measures, but the company was still facing a SAC of $416,100.

The water conservation team decided to expand their efforts and began working with the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP). All employees were asked to report leaks by writing them down and submitting them to water conservation team members. The team members then used buckets and stopwatches to determine the rate of water leakage at the reported sites. Serious leaks and inefficiencies became priorities for repair.

In less than one year, the company performed 47 different maintenance projects designed to fix leaks and reduce water use. Many of the projects didn’t require capital investments.

Some key projects included installing larger pumps for recycled water, placing automatic level controls on tanks, and increasing employee awareness.

Northern Star installed larger pumps for recycled water and now uses the recycled water for cleaning processing areas, clearing drains, and pushing waste through the system. Previously, the facility used fresh water for these purposes. Northern Star also placed automatic level controls on tanks used for cooking, processing, and holding. The tanks must contain water when potato products are in them. Water previously was added continually to the tanks, and when production paused, water would overflow. The new auto level controls ensure that only the necessary amount of water is added to the tanks.

Finally, the company increased employee awareness regarding water use and relied upon those employees to help find ways to reduce water use. For example, potato peels and debris used to be sprayed down the drain. This process required water, increased the cost of water treatment, and contributed to the amount of solid waste being generated. Now potato scraps are shoveled into waste bins and used for cattle feed supplement. This change reduced water use, waste, and costs.

The process of identifying water use and opportunities for conservation took time and effort from employees and management at Northern Star, but the company feels it was well worth the cost. Seven months after forming the water conservation team, the company avoided the $416,000 SAC. In addition, if the water conservation methods are continued, the company could see reduced water cost savings. Northern Star was able to reduce its daily water usage by 125,000 gallons.

MnTAP has a variety of technical assistance services available to help Minnesota businesses implement industry-tailored solutions that maximize resource efficiency, prevent pollution, increase energy efficiency, and reduce costs. Contact MnTAP at 612.624.1300 or mntap@umn.edu for more information.

Back to Top

ADVERTISEMENT
MN Economic Outlook

For the month of February 2010, reported March 1, 2010. Minnesota's leading economic indicator, based on a survey of supply managers, advanced for February.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Business Conditions Index climbed to 57.4 from January’s 51.4.  This was the seventh straight month that the state’s index has risen above growth neutral pointing to expanding economic conditions for the first half of 2010.  Components of the overall index for February were new orders at 68.8, production, or sales, at 61.8, delivery lead time at 56.9, inventories at 44.5, and employment at 54.8.  “Over the past year, Minnesota has lost almost 30,000 manufacturing jobs, or more than 8.5 percent of its manufacturing job base.  Almost 90 percent of the producer job losses were among durable goods manufacturers.  For the second quarter of 2010, based on our surveys, I expect minimal manufacturing job gains and very modest overall job gains,” said Goss.

Dr. Ernest Goss of Creighton University, used the same methodology as The National Association of Purchasing Management to compile this information. An index number greater than 50 percent indicates an expansionary economy, and an index under 50 percent forecast a sluggish economy, for the next three to six months.

Back to Top


Copyright © 2011 Manufacturers Alliance. All rights reserved.
Thank you for reading the Manufacturers Alliance E-Newsletter.