Performance Solutions by Milliken

The “Plateau Effect”: Why Initiatives Fail

We have all seen this movie before. The scene opens with lots of fireworks and fanfare announcing the next great corporate initiative, which promises significant and sustainable improvements! This rollout is typically followed by lots of new staffing, training, slogans, and goals. The excitement level is pretty high . . . initially. A few quick...
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Milliken Plant Associates

Learn the Milliken Safety Way

As Craig Long shared in Milliken’s 9 Immutable Keys to Safety, many of today’s leaders are ignoring what should be their top business priority: safety. Using safety as a strategic lever has radically changed the culture of Milliken & Company over the last 40 years, as employees have gone from being hands who put in work to collect a...
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Calculator and Reports

Oxymoron: Budgeting For Breakthroughs

Today’s organizations face a major challenge. They’re all looking for breakthrough levels of improvements, but they’re shackled by traditional budgeting processes that, at best, lead to incrementalism. There are two major issues with traditional budgets that prevent organizations from making a transformation: Budgets still contain significant amounts of cost that the customer does not want...
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Safety Conference Attendees Sitting

7 Key Questions for Manufacturing CEOs

The Real Leadership Challenge In my last post, I positioned an argument that the global economics are changing in a way that may support manufacturing returning to U.S. shores. I mentioned our President is talking about it and major big box retailers, such as Walmart, are making commitments to buy more “Made in the U.S.”...
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Awards Presentation

The Milliken Medal of Quality

On October 15th, I was presented the Milliken Medal of Quality by South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley on behalf of the South Carolina Quality Forum. In light of the new year, a summary of my comments about Roger Milliken are below. The Milliken Medal of Quality: Reflections on a Leadership Legacy From our earliest years,...
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Car Under White Sheet

My Machine: First Day the Best Day?

Or is the first day the worst day for any piece of equipment? I will never forget my first car. It was a red 1960 MGA with one smashed headlight, one missing fender and a gash in the passenger seat upholstery that looked like the Grand Canyon. It was the most beautiful car I’d ever...
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Extreme Lean: The Next 3 Frontiers

There is a lot of talk these days about where things are going to be made next. That is a fair question as we have seen operations move globally for a variety of reasons: labor, logistics, proximity to markets, etc. There are many incentives enticing companies to set up operations in their region. All of...
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Excellence Innovation

Cultures in Conflict? Innovation & Excellence

“Operational excellence secures the present, innovation excellence secures the future” -Roger Milliken, Former Chairman and CEO, Milliken & Company Can cultures of Operational Excellence and Innovation co-exist in the same organization? Or, are these strategic levers so different, living at the extreme ends of the management spectrum, they can never reside in the same company? This...
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Manufacturing Plant Floor

Manufacturing: Reshoring or Renaissance?

In a recent interview on “60 Minutes,” President Obama said, “Businesses around the world are saying for the first time in a long time, the place to invest isn’t China. It’s the United States.” Last year, Walmart announced a pledge to buy an extra $250 billion in U.S.-made goods over the next decade. While the...
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Milliken Innovation Daily Team Maintenance

5 Keys to Achieving Employee Accountability in Manufacturing

If you have worked in any type of manufacturing for more than a week or two, you’ve quickly realized that your work-life’s goal is to improve one or more of the following performance measures: Safety Incident Rate (TIR), Customer Satisfaction (Product Quality), Productivity, Scrap Rate, or Cycle Time. There are other performance measures to consider,...
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