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Manufacturing Day 2022

1 MIN READ

Manufacturing Day is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. It’s a celebration that provides an opportunity to showcase all that manufacturing has to offer, and what it means for our country, our economy, and the lives of millions of Americans.  This year for Manufacturing Day Cambridge had the privilege of hosting students from the Francis Howell school district. These students are individuals that are interested in pursuing a career in manufacturing or are intrigued by what options exist. They were able to take a tour of the plant, and engage with a few current Cambridge employees. Our team members shared their own career paths and what their experience has been like in the manufacturing industry.  Cambridge also had internal celebrations for Manufacturing Day. We made it into a week of celebration to show appreciation for our hardworking team. In true Cambridge style we celebrated with lots of food as well as some new shirts.  Manufacturing Day is a great way to engage the community and work on our goal of bringing glory and dignity to manufacturing. If ...

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What to expect on the journey to be SHARP Certified

3 MIN READ

Achieving SHARP certification (Safety and Health Recognition Program) is one of the most prestigious honors a small business can receive. SHARP recognizes small businesses that have used OSHA's consultation program and have shown they have operational excellence when it comes to safety.  Cambridge first heard of SHARP through MODOL and the Missouri On-Site Safety and Health Consultation. We are a culture that puts safety first so we became very interested in SHARP certification.  How Does a Business achieve SHARP certification? Obtaining SHARP certification is a serious undertaking that requires dedication from internal staff and an investment of time and resources to achieve success. To start, you can: - Request a consultation visit that involves a complete hazard identification survey by calling 573-522-SAFE or filling out an On-Site Application - Involve employees in the consultation process - Correct all hazards identified by the consultant - Implement and maintain a safety and health management system - Agree to notify your state Consultation Project Office before making any working changes or introducing new hazards into the workplace.    Planning for success means planning for obstacles When we decided to begin this journey, we knew it was not going to be accomplished quickly ...

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FIX WHAT BUGS YOUR CUSTOMER - Getting LEAN beyond the manufacturing floor

2 MIN READ

During a recent visit in Rhode Island, a customer and friend of our organization complained about the features of our WiFi thermostat and Iphone App. He just didn’t like the interface with the control application. He struggled with understanding if the HVAC equipment was running and he didn’t like not being able to program the system settings directly from the Iphone App. Our phone interface bugged him. What happens when our customer’s get repeatedly frustrated with experiencing our product, services or people? You know the answer. They’ll be gone. frustrated We have been learning and growing in our LEAN journey at Cambridge. My key learning has come in the form of exposure to the energy and passion of our Operations staff for documented improvements in our plant. I’ve been drawn into the LEAN vortex in operations because of our people and their commitment to improving things every day. Unfortunately, the passion for LEAN has not translated to the same awesome level of enthusiasm and commitment beyond the factory floor. Like many in the sales, the customer service and the marketing departments, I have struggled to document meaningful process improvements. My focus on fixing what bugs me has yet to yield the transformational improvements that are possible for me and my team. While transformational improvements are not our stated objective, I find myself feeling reluctant to put forth additional 2-second Lean improvements. Others in my organization have shared similar frustrations. Paul Akers, the author of the book 2-Second Lean, details that every organization hits plateaus in LEAN and persistence is needed to push through to another level. My perspective on LEAN shifted during this Rhode Island trip to VIBCO, a family owned U.S. based manufacturing organization. I want to share my perspective shift in hopes that it might unlock more people regarding how LEAN practices can propel all of us forward into closer relationships with our customers. I am shifting my thinking from fixing what bugs me to fixing what bugs my customer. Over the last year, I have spent the majority of my time looking at my processes, my environment, my efficiency, my organization, my wasted time and energy. As I reflect on the power of our Customer Service team, I believe their stellar reputation in the HVAC industry is built upon this hard wired philosophy of helping customers solve problems fast. They strive to support the customer quickly. Both on the phone and on site, our customer service squad supports solving issues that bug customers. Within our technical advisory team, they support our Reps and contractors with information, analysis and design to make their customers more effective with their customer. They have a guaranteed 24 turn around commitment to their customer and typically deliver in less than 4 hours. LEAN beyond the manufacturing plant dock doors is all about fixing what bugs customers. happy I’ll report back on the progress we make creating our own LEAN Sales Vortex. We are building our 15 minute daily stand up meeting agenda now. It will include building and fixing customer issues and new ideas for customer improvements. We will be discussing our “Go and Watch” plans for cross functional team learning and customer centric improvements. Finally, we will be outlining our Revenue team external exposure plans so that we can provide an environment to unlock everyone’s genius for fixing what bugs our customers. Is it not true that what bugs the customer, likely bugs us the most?