This is a brief story about business challenges and different ways to develop solutions.
Ms. Smith has recently been promoted to lead her family-owned, West Michigan based company. She grew up in the company before attending an undergrad program and completing her MBA. The leadership team is well established and talented with deep industry experience.
Widget Corp. was founded by her grandfather several decades ago. They manufacture components and sub-assemblies for the automotive industry. The company is financially solid with a backlog of contracts extending over the next two years. Business is good, but there is a lot to worry about for Ms. Smith and her leadership team. (more…)
This article is not about stopping a wide-spread, silent and dangerous disease as the title may suggest, but you’re here now so let’s talk about PLM, Product Lifecycle Management. To put it dryly, it’s an information management system that can integrate data, processes, business systems and, ultimately, people in an extended enterprise.  Most importantly, it’s a disciplined way to connect and supercharge a ridonkulous amount of information in your company to get a product to market faster, decrease redundant activities, and increase profits. To readers not operating “extended enterprises”, you can imagine PLM to be like the work of ecologists who study complex, living ecosystems. (more…)
image source: google images
Back to the future…
“The Jetsons” was a hit cartoon when I was growing up (produced by Hanna-Barbera,aired in primetime from September 23, 1962, to March 17, 1963). For a half hour every week, the show engulfed my imagination in a future world where people were enabled by robots, automation and streamlined, on demand mobility options. Rosie the maid was a robot and everything seemed so much easier for humans. The family seemed so happy, except when they were complaining about the hard work and minor inconveniences of life. Many things have changed over the years, now decades, and some things will remain the same.
This lifestyle, as it relates to mobility and the way we interact with products, is a reality in the developed countries of this world. CES showcased IoT, smart city, smart home and automotive technologies to improve our lives. That’s the idea anyway.
Two different viewpoints…
Recently, I’ve attempted to wean myself from daily media sources and the talking heads. It’s a hard habit to kick. My primary sources of news lean towards liberal publications and daily news programs. It does not matter which side of the political divide you’re on, the world is in rough shape and nothing is getting done in the capitals of the world. It’s a pretty depressing picture.
There was an article (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/16/dining/kimbal-musk-food.html) published in the NY Times last Monday that prompted a welcome diversion in my thinking and a refreshed viewpoint on a few key issues.
Kimbal Musk is a tech entrepreneur who made his early fortune working with his brother Elon. He has the resources to do great things and his ideas about the food ecosystem in this country are worth reflection. His heart is in the right place and I was beginning to embrace his thinking until mid-way through the article. The goal of scale for the food business runs contrary to the immediate need in many communities for healthy sources of food and clean water. The need is now and urgent. Scaling industries takes time, capital and environmental resources. “The problem is that the people who made their money in tech understand disruption and scaling and all of these terms, but they don’t know how to get their hands dirty and engage the neighbors and the farmers and the cooks who make a food community”, said Michel Nischan, the founder and chief executive officer of Wholesome Wave.
Real change happens at the community level and we all have the power to affect positive change.