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Finding YOUR Competitive Advantage

Monday, March 14, 2016
posted by IMT-Webmaster

Finding your competitive advantage-webJust in case you hadn’t heard, we’re in a global economy. That’s not really a shocking headline. The rise of global trade has made it more and more difficult to stay competitive and maintain business growth. In a world where companies can ship their labor demand overseas for one-tenth the cost of labor in the U.S., we have to find ways to make our manufacturing companies ten times more efficient in order to maintain a competitive advantage.

Today’s business must stay adaptable. These five principles will help a company flourish in uncertain times.

Be Agile

We have to be ready to change. Fortunately, it’s a part of what has helped humans survive to this point. We’re the masters of it. We can no longer believe that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. If the old dog doesn’t learn a few new tricks, the young pup WILL get the bone. Experience has its advantages, and learning new strategies or techniques gives us additional tools, providing that edge we need to outperform our rivals.

Be Attractive

This isn’t a superficial quality. Today’s millennials are bringing a very different perspective to their careers. When we started out, the dream might have been to start and finish our working lives with one company. Employees working in today’s economy are comfortable changing jobs about every 4 years.

In addition to other companies, we’re also competing with the freelance economy and lower costs of entry to start businesses. If we are going to hire the best, most talented employees available, we have to offer attractive perks in addition to the regular paycheck.

Be Innovative

Innovation isn’t just what we create. It can also be how we create it. If we are going to be ten times more efficient than an overseas labor force, it’s going to require looking at our processes to see where we are wasting effort. If it’s manufacturing, are the parts of the process that aren’t actually doing work? Are there places where we can improve safety and have less loss time?

The same is true about using the automation tools available to us. Today’s digital resources can find correlative events that we might not have considered. Are we looking at a big enough picture to see where these events occur?

Be Aligned

From strategy to tactics to operations, all three levels must be working in alignment with each other. It’s one of the areas where we can improve our efficiency, and it’s more than just issuing a company policy and insisting everyone adheres to it. We have to create buy-in from the manufacturing floor up for the alignment to work. That can be one of the most challenging tasks.

Be Alert

We have to have processes in place that allow us to be instantly aware of changes. Changes to the market, supply or demand, changes to our resources, changes to our key personnel. Look at the chain of events and find the pivotal moments. What can we put in place that will set off alarms when those moments are in jeopardy.

Look for trigger moments that will indicate that other things are sure to follow. It goes along with being innovative and looking for correlations. Finding one event that often leads to another can give a company a head start on coming up with a solution.

Business growth in a global and unpredictable world demands more leadership than ever from the C-suite. Keeping some simple principles in mind will help keep business growth on track for continued success.

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Steering Millennials Towards a Future in Manufacturing

Monday, February 1, 2016
posted by IMT-Webmaster

steering-millenials-towards-a-future-webChange is coming as long as I am alive. And, change will come long after I am gone just like it was long before I was born. Manufacturing is not exempt from change, and the companies who succeed long term adapt as necessary to the ever evolving environment of their business sector.

Part of this success must come from efficient and effective employee training and development. Being aware of the ever changing business sector external environment alone is not sufficient, as project management within the internal environment is necessary to ensure your inputs, processes, and outputs meet and or exceed company goals.

A question I often ask myself is “What will become of the manufacturing industry in this country?” As I survey the landscape of today’s millennials and the varieties of directions they are heading, rarely do you hear or read about a college student gearing towards a career in manufacturing. Does this mean that the pool of currently available and soon to be available applicants for KRYTON Engineered Metals is subpar at best? No. Long gone are the days of a blacksmith as today we see technological growth in all areas of the manufacturing industry, and KRYTON Engineered Metals remains on the “cutting edge” with our “Cut It, Form It, Fab It” efficient and effective model. We are filled with the latest technology, and it shows in the quality of our work and the quality of our people.

What’s going on right now at KRYTON is simply a snapshot of a long tenured career in manufacturing, of which the majority has been with the company I helped start.  Make no mistake that the applicants who have the education and or experience necessary to get “a foot in the door” with KRYTON are aplenty as todays educational landscape focuses on technological advances and constant improvements in quality assurance. Once in the door at KRYTON, one can expect proper employee training and development so that we can meet and exceed our company objectives and goals current and future, as 2016 and 2017 will be pivotal years for all involved at KRYTON with incredible growth strategies being implemented. As these growth strategies are implemented, it will be only natural that more eyes will turn towards KRYTON, and with proper planning and development now we will not be caught off guard.

With KRYTON’s implementation of its global strategy in the years to come, millennial’s can be sure that the demand for applicants who possess the necessary talents will be in demand. Equally important at KRYTON Engineered Metals is the proper employee training and development of current staff so as to keep KRYTON on the leading edge in the manufacturing sector at a domestic as well as global level. Exciting times are here in manufacturing, be a part of it!

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Meeting Expectations in a Challenging New Market for Light Fixtures

Monday, December 21, 2015
posted by IMT-Webmaster

meeting-expectations-in-a-challenging-webIn a world of social media and instant sharing, new trends and styles spread like wildfire through the internet. For this reason, it is important for those who work in metal manufacturing to be up to date on the latest and greatest in terms of style, effectiveness, and quality.

Any interior designer will say, lighting is the key to tying a beautiful room together, and whether that lighting is custom done or simply just something unique that can be found in a store, it’s sure to be a very important aspect of a room, that touches everything. Of course, at the center of every creative lighting fixture is a precise, well done piece of metal manufacturing. Truly the heart of any light fixture, among other things, masterful metal working. Of course, manufacturing said lighting fixtures can be a challenge. It’s hard to balance beautiful and trendy design with sustainability and business figures. For this reason, a proper metallist is needed, not just one who is able to fill an order quickly, but one who is able to be precise, and able to share a vision to meet a specific goal or trend. Creativity is not something that many people think of when the words metal fabricators are spoken (I know in my case it isn’t), but this is something that very much needs to happen in our modern day. Interior design is nearly a hobby, and there are countless blogs, Facebook groups, or Pinterest pages dedicated solely to perfect and modern interior design. These trends and styles spread through the populous very quickly, and for this reason, people who sell products meant to be used in interior design need to be up to speed with them.

Sourcing a metal manufacturing job can be a tough choice. International work can be cheaper, but at the same time it takes additional time to be completed and shipped. when working on the bleeding edge of unique and decorative designs and lighting fixtures, it’s vastly important to find a group which understand and work in mind with the needs of home decor specialists and enthusiasts. Effectively, if there is a need for vast amounts of creativity and attention to detail and trends, a domestic manufacturer such as Kryton Engineered Metals is the choice. People who care about getting things done right the first time, and in time to ride the wave of trends that can come and go so quickly in modern home decor.

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No job too big. No job too small

Monday, November 9, 2015
posted by IMT-Webmaster

start-up-webWhen KRYTON started out, we wanted to stress the quality of our products and processes more than anything else. You can’t fake it in this industry; you either make high quality products or you produce the alternative. We also wanted to make it a priority to see that these quality products got into as many hands possible, no matter what an order called for. Be it one, single piece for a guy’s garage, or hundreds of parts for a major provider of aerospace equipment, we wanted to be able to put the highest quality metal product we could out on the market.

Especially when starting out, it’s important to not just be wide open to accepting new clients, but to look to build long lasting relationships with clients. As a startup company, you’re not looking to JUST receive orders and cycle products through the line as efficiently as possible. You’re essentially looking for “business partners” that value your services and will continue to do so in years to come. Building consistent relationships is key to the growth of any business, regardless of the industry.
We’re the kind of manufacturing company that has the values, and the feel of a local, small-time provider of expert services and products. BUT, also has the impressive ability to perform and compete at a global level. That’s a combination we’re proud to maintain.

too-big-too-small-webDoing so allows us to effectively communicate with larger consumers in different locations in a comfortable, informal way that helps build those relationships. It also helps provide for our local community by offering world-class manufacturing facility and the employment that goes along with it.

We take pride in the facility we operate in. We’ve been able to provide our awesome staff with some of the best tech in the business. This wide range of world-class equipment and technology also helps us achieve our goals of serving the few and the many. Strategic, digital planning helps us adjust our production process accordingly to the size and types of orders we have on any given day. We’re up to any challenge and fairly confident we can complete any order without giving it too much concern.

Our ability to do this confidently is an outstanding testament to the quality of our staff. We always stress lean tactics in both planning and production stages, but when you break it down and see that your staff is able to comfortably organize and complete orders ranging from 1 to 100,000.. well, that’s pretty cool!

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Finding sustained success with Self-Awareness

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
posted by IMT-Webmaster

finding-sustained-success-webGarnering self-awareness is often talked about among business leaders as an important aspect involved in growing your company, but it’s not always easy to grasp. Knowing yourself means understanding your industry, as well as your place in that environment. It means using financial and performance analytics to make future decisions, and it requires strong communication and transparency throughout all levels of your company. How can you expect an overall company to know itself, if each inner-working part doesn’t know its role in each decision? Overall, the best way to achieve self-awareness is to take a closer look at your decision-making process, and to learn from past experiences.

At Kryton Engineered Metals we’ve learned that the manufacturing industry is not only ever changing, but is also extremely dependent on a wide range of determining factors. Consumer expectations, worldwide forward thinking, the implementation of new technology, changes in other industries such as distribution and transportation, and seemingly endless other components can all force significant changes to the way we operate on a daily basis. It’s important to have the skills, man power, and awareness to first recognize these needed changes and then be able to adapt quickly and accordingly.
That said, what we’ve also discovered to be equally as important as being adaptable, is maintaining a balanced defiance and stubbornness required to reject change in specific areas.

What we mean:
Adapting and evolving in a constantly growing and changing industry can be hectic. It’s vital that your leaders stay focused, driven, and grounded.

Manufacturing operates as a large continuous process from the conception of ideas to the delivery of finished products. Within that continuous process are individual moving parts that are all susceptible to experiencing extreme changes. It’s important to consistently monitor each piece of the puzzle, to recognize opportunities for improvement, and to make adaptations as necessary. A new technology advancement being implemented at this station, or the need for an expedited delivery in this station, calls for an efficiently orchestrated adjustment to the entire process.

With so many moving parts involved, something as important as your company’s overall mission can get completely lost in translation. Consistently look to establish a confident sense of self-awareness that draws connections back to your company’s original goals and objectives.

Don’t just look at what’s happening to the overall industry and what you need to do to because of it. Instead, consider the goals of your company and the needs of your customers first. Then determine why that change is happening and how your future adjustments can match up with your values.

For example:
If more and more manufacturers are turning towards the implementation of a new piece of advanced equipment, we don’t just see it as some inevitable change that will shake things from the ground up. First we look at our major goals as a company, one of which happens to be a general focus on providing high quality products to a wide range of consumers. Then we determine if this new technology can ultimately help bring more quality into our environment. Can it improve the skills of our employees? Can it improve the physical environment our employees work in? Can it help us continue to produce the highest quality products possible, while potentially improving our process? If so, then we can begin to develop an implementation plan. But, we’ll never let any number of changes jeopardize the foundation we’ve built on quality.

Knowing yourself as a company ultimately means getting to the very bottom of why you do business, and staying true to it those values, even as you adapt to your surroundings.

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