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Mobile Apps in the Metal Manufacturing Industry

Monday, June 15, 2015
posted by IMT-Webmaster

mobile-app-in-manufacturingMetal manufacturing requires safety cut offs and accurate weights and measures that are life and death significant.  From metal spinning to application of all metals, the future of IPad contributions throughout the entire process is abundantly clear to those active in the metal manufacturing industry.

The storing of steel poses numerous  hazards that easily lead to injury if suitable safety programs are not in place. Risks include steel in its various forms having the unique inclination to roll, slip, slide or fall over if not restrained. More hazards exist and have to be dealt with  if racking or other equipment provided for storage is not durable for the weights involved. This could cause serious injury as well as loss of life. The Metal Manufacturing Material Handling Safety Checklist in Australia’s mobile app is intended to be used to create safer working environments. This app fortunately can be customized to production site.

Customized Applications for Your Metal Manufacturing Business

In 2015’s metal spinning industries as well as other related fields, it is possible to have custom made applications created to provide your company’s unique needs:

  • Delivery Software for any delivery business
  • Direct Store Delivery and Distribution processes
  • Field Service Operations
  • Field Sales
  • Asset Management
  • Inventory Records
  • Proof of Delivery
  • and other needs unique to your company.

Within metal manufacturing and wholesale businesses, much data must be collected and forms completed. Companies can save personnel time and cut  paper waste with a customizable manufacturing and wholesale mobile applications.  Whether you are tracking operation of a forklift and related OSHA inspections or customer packing lists, there is a customizable app to soothe and smooth your metal manufacturing operation.

Technology & Manufacturing Mobile Applications Showcase New Molten Procedure
The Technology & Manufacturing application introduced by Apple in 2015 demonstrates a procedure for  Liquidmetal  and other similar amorphous metal alloys to be melted and injected into your manufacturing equipment. The application simplifies the process of transferring molten alloys.

  • One method adds a “branch” to a regular type chamber containing  metal “fingers”cooled by water, containing a surface that is no-wetting.  Surface tension prevents  metal movement until metal fingers are retracted.
  • A second method uses tools like a hot glue gun by holding a solid piece of metal feed in place by constriction in the tube. The feedstock melts at the constriction and flows into your cold sleeve.

It is reported that parts formed with these methods have endless uses and application in consumer electronics. The Technology & Manufacturing application specifically cites uses in manufacturing:

  • mobile phones,
  • portable music players,
  • streaming devices,
  • laptop computers,
  • desktop computers,
  • watches.

Kryton Metals’ Role

Kryton Engineered Metals has followed through on its company pledge to stay abreast of all new technology in the manufacturing metals industry.  To this end, we have incorporated new procedures and innovations to established procedures to have a priority interest in applications for safety inspections, data record keeping, inventories and even particular production programs.  In this way, Kryton Engineered Metals and all affiliates offer the best quality product with the least waste of time or cost. Our home office in Cedar Falls, Iowa welcomes the interest of other metal manufacturers, and provides in-source production for other manufacturing interests when Kryton is able to do it faster, with better quality and more efficiency. As the go-to authority in metals manufacturing, Kryton is happy to share and collaborate with others in the metal industry.

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Coaching vs. Controlling

Friday, February 13, 2015
posted by IMT-Webmaster

coaching-vs-controllingWhen it comes to motivating employees to do their best, the traditional performance evaluation method can often come up short. By focusing on correcting past behaviors, mistakes, and shortcomings, it can set up an adversarial relationship between managers and workers – a “controlling” relationship where the employee feels like they’re being watched, criticized and judged.

In 2014, at Kryton Engineered Metals, we started the process to do away with traditional performance evaluations, and replaced them with Catalytic Coaching. We teamed up with three local businesses (Hawkeye Community College, Lincoln Savings Bank, and Distek), and brought the Energage team to the Cedar Valley to help us implement Catalytic Coaching with our organizations.

This new system was the perfect blend of employee engagement and performance management for our company, one that truly embraced the “coaching” concept.

Catalytic Coaching has challenged us to rethink a lot of standard employee management practices. It eliminates the rating and ranking of employees. It doesn’t attempt to justify next year’s salary with last year’s performance. It’s a new way of thinking that’s helping us transform our managers into coaches who help our employees grow their perceived strengths while developing areas for improvement. The concept centers around the employees drafting a development plan aimed at improving their contributions in their current job, and increasing their potential for other opportunities.

Catalytic Coaching at Kryton, like in sports, focuses employees on the future – not on the past. The focus is more on the conversation between the manager and the employee, rather than a long, complicated, complex form for compliance purposes.

As a result, we’re starting to see our supervisors begin to act more like coaches, and being less critical and judgmental, which has been better received by employees. Our employees are taking more ownership of the process for personal development. And our HR staff are becoming coaching consultants instead of process policemen.

And so far, that appears to be a win-win for everyone.

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Managing your Corporate Culture

Monday, December 8, 2014
posted by IMT-Webmaster

business-culture-webMany large companies have started to develop specific characteristics that they rely on to help define the entire business. This process is referred to as a corporate culture. It involves creating standardized policies that pertain to everything from the overall attitude of employees to the daily rituals businesses use.

Benefits of a Corporate Culture
Businesses that have taken the steps to create a corporate culture have enjoyed several benefits including better organization and improved customer drive. Some companies you may have heard of created and benefit from a strong corporate culture.
• Apple
• Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
• Coca-Cola
• Ford Motor Company
• Detroit Red Wings
• Hewlett Packard
• Southwest Airlines

After completing corporate training programs that have changed the overall company culture, these businesses have experienced less resistance to change, greater commitment from both employees and customers, and less backlash than they experienced prior to the shift in culture.

Creating a Corporate Culture
It’s not reasonable to assume that a corporate culture will be something that’s easy to create or change for that matter. Doing so requires initiative, inspiration, planning, and corporate training.
When it comes to creating a corporate culture, there are six different components that business managers need to be aware of at all times.
• Knowing exactly what type of culture best suits the overall professional organization
• Understanding the businesses core values as well as the values of the employees and customers
• A willingness to back up statements made about the business’s corporate culture with accountable actions
• Having a team of employees that truly believe in the business’s corporate culture
• An environment that encourages employees to work well and to interact
• Power of narrative

One of the things that business owners and managers must keep in mind when creating corporate training programs is that nothing remains the same. It’s unreasonable to expect that the corporate culture will remain static. Individuals who have been placed in charge of the corporate training programs need to be aware of changing attitudes, trends, and circumstances and adapt to the changes. The good news is that in most cases, the changes take place slowly so adjusting the culture feels organic.

The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to creating a corporate culture, is that managers need to lead by example. The best place to start creating the new culture is at the top of the pyramid. The attitudes of the business leaders will quickly trickle down and impact the rest of the organization.

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Success in a Down Economy

Monday, December 1, 2014
posted by IMT-Webmaster

success-in-down-economy-webHow do you succeed in a tough economy like the one we are currently witnessing? How do ensure that your business doesn’t go down like many others have done? How do you ensure that you’re not just keeping the business afloat and instead make meaningful profit?
It demands that you make very thoughtful decisions and calculate every of your moves. In down economy you can’t afford to make careless mistakes.

Here are 4 tips to help you steady the ship in the hard times.
1. Cut costs judiciously
Tough times call for big decisions so the first thing you may need to do is cut costs where necessary. These are several ways to do this;
— Take out less money from the business
— Slow down any expansion plans by shelving investment plans
— Cut or reduce owner and/or partner compensation by a calculated margin,
— Hire fewer employees or thin your staff appropriately

2. Do not slow down
When business slows down, it’s time to be most active. Instead of waiting for the next customer to drop by or make a call, engage your employees in finding ways to cut costs. You can also use this opportunity to strengthen relationships with existing customers, refine business, or prospect new customers.

3. Re-evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing
A tough economy also presents you with the opportunity to re-evaluate your marketing and find out what you are not doing right. We mentioned cutting costs and this will actually help a lot, but do NOT cut your marketing spend in a tough economy. Keep spending; just do it smarter. This helps in three ways;
— You instill confidence in your customers as they learn that you’re a stable business,
— You position the business to move forward swiftly when the economy bounces back, and most importantly
— You gain a market share over your competition.

4. Reinvent
Finally, consider reinventing practices for increased profitability. And reinvention here is not just about doing the same things differently; in some situations you’ll need to ditch old methods and adopt fresh ideas. For instance, it could be a good time to find new markets, not outside but within your competition.

Summary
With these tips and a bit of patience, you can expect to steadily sail through a down economy and should actually emerge stronger on the other end.

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Redefining your Profit Centers

Monday, November 10, 2014
posted by IMT-Webmaster

In management accounting (as opposed to financial accounting), operations are broadly categorized as either cost centers or profit centers.

Basically a cost center includes all operations where significant investment is required but profits are minimal. Nonetheless, these operations are still considered critical to long term stability and continued profitability of the business. Profit centers on the other hand are operations from which significant profits are made. Although these operations require investment, their returns per dollar are usually reasonably high.

profit-centers-webBoth cost centers and profit centers are critical to business success.
In redefining your profit centers you first need to appreciate the significance of the two sides. While you may be tempted to create more profit centers and kill a few cost centers, you must first critically analyze the importance of individual operations to the business.

Operations such as customer service are simply invaluable and can only be bettered rather than done away with. For example, a customer support desk rarely earns direct profits for the business, does it? However, a great customer service desk will help with customer follow-up and technical assistance which can go a long way in improving customer satisfaction. When customers are satisfied they will keep doing business with you and by that you’ll gain increased profit.

Research and development as well as branding are two other areas that are categorized as cost centers but which are too important to tamper with.

Do not treat every department as a cost center.
One mistake most businesses make is to treat every department as a cost center. This is where managers of various departments are simply rewarded for cutting costs. What follows is that they fail to sufficiently reinvest in the business to strategically position operations for future profitability. Hence you end up with outdated facilities and equipment, and soon your customers as well as staff start looking elsewhere because you’re no longer satisfying their needs.

A profit center should blend current needs for cash with the desire to grow profitably in the future. And in doing that you can’t ignore factors such as return on capital, relative returns, efficient use of resources, and opportunity cost.

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