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Disobedience, the rarest and most courageous of the virtues, is seldom distinguished from neglect, the laziest and commonest of vices. ~George Bernard Shaw Is the key to beating scrap simply following process instructions and procedures? No! Scrap can’t be beaten. Well, maybe, if we had really easy boards to build or very similar part numbers […]


Do you know your plant’s capacity? If your answer is, “Yes, because we have a scheduling department and an extensive scheduling system module built into our ERP,” I would say “No, you don’t.” What is my reasoning? First, an answer like this doesn’t really answer the question I asked; it doesn’t tell me what the […]


“What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.” —Werner Heisenberg This month, we’ll focus on “what” based questions: how they reveal solutions to prob- lems faster and better than “why” based questions. The 5 whys are a tool that has been adopted by Six Sigma and Lean, and comes […]


“Letting your customers set your standards is a dangerous game, because the race to the bottom is pretty easy to win. Setting your own standards—and living up to them—is a better way to profit. Not to mention a better way to make your day worth all the effort you put into it.” —Seth Godin I […]


“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” ~General George S. Patton My good friend, retired U.S. Army Colonel Carl Schott, was once the commander in charge of the units that would have deployed tactical nuclear weapons if Russian tanks had ventured into […]


“you can’t run a business on theories. Like fads and fashions, they come and go.” —Harold Geneen If we can’t find the rocket fuel we need to transform our PCB businesses with some theory, where do we look? About a year ago, I was approached by managers of an equipment company in our industry who […]

Data Gray

Too many of us are swamped with mountains of data. This month, Gray McQuarrie illustrates how to make sense of data sets with large and small numbers and visualize the data to optimize wise decision-making. “Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom” ~Clifford Stoll Click Here […]


Do you think you have the best Lean program in the world? If you aren’t taking vital information and comparing it to the correct benchmarks, you might be killing your business. Yes you can be too Lean! This month Gray McQuarrie challenges you to think differently by understanding and examining your WIP. Click here to […]


The Scrum process, first developed nearly 30 years ago, has come a long way. This month, Gray McQuarrie explains some common misconceptions, and how companies can maximize its benefits. What is a Scrum? In the sport of rugby, a scrum is the unpredictable and chaotic means to restart a match. It requires backbreaking effort. It […]

Mobile Phone PCB Scrap

By understanding precisely the three different registration error modes, you have huge opportunity to reduce your plant’s costs and improve your competitive position. In last month’s column, How Can You Predict Your Company’s DAM Future?, I discussed the bad behaviors that block progress in un- derstanding PCB registration. Once data and discovery overtake people’s opinions and […]