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Leadership Blog
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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Daily Team Maintenance Presentation

Sharing the Success

Milliken has come a long way.  20 years ago, we were juggling a number of goals, trying to achieve sustainability, efficiency, safety, and better business. We could reach a goal but lose sight of another – and with competition and the economy pressing hard, we knew something had to change. That’s when we began to...
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Operational Excellence Conference Attendees Sitting

What is Operational Excellence

What is Operational Excellence? Operational Excellence is an organizational mind-set that focuses on problem-solving, total employee ownership, and leadership results. By focusing on customers’ needs, engaging and empowering your entire workforce, and continually improving your day-to-day activities, this allows organizations to reduce inefficiencies. The philosophy of Operational Excellence is based on other continuous improvement methodologies,...
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Manufacturing Employees

9 Keys to Manufacturing Safety That Work

Not many leaders today are talking about manufacturing safety as a strategic lever. And the government does not trust organizations to embrace safety, so they legislate things we should do and audit us for compliance. I propose that safety should be any CEOs first concern. Not only is safety the right thing to do, it makes...
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