S1-E19 Transcript Bringing Good, Well Paying Jobs Back to America

s1-e19-MTR

Welcome to manufacturing talk radio, the only show that takes a look at the obstacles and opportunities open to small to midsize enterprises to manufacture here in America, brought to you by All Metals and Forge group with your host Tim Grady and Lew Weiss.

Tim Grady: hey welcome everyone to Manufacturing Talk Radio. We are excited to be here and we are broadcasting live from Caesar’s Atlantic City New Jersey and so we’re going to have some fun here today.

Lew Weiss: I think I was supposed to.

Tim Grady: you were.

Lew Weiss: I appreciated the opportunity to tell the story of All Metals and Forge Group. I won’t bore you with all of that story from last week and what we’ve done and how we’ve done it. You’ll have to listen to the show in our previous shows if you want to get a little insight into what All Metals and Forge Group is all about. But I do appreciate you pulling me away from the gaming tables out there because I’m now broke and I don’t know if I have enough money for dinner tonight.

Tim Grady: you’re going home on the bus.

Lew Weiss: yeah, I’m afraid so.

Tim Grady: Well we’ve got a couple of exciting things coming up. The reason that we’re in Atlantic City is we’re down here with the New Jersey Broadcasters Association, they have their annual conference here, this is number 67 for them. And tomorrow we will be doing some interviews at the annual conference; you can hear some of that material next week. This week we have a couple of interviews that were recorded at the ISM conference which was out in Las Vegas at another casino not too long ago. No trip to Vegas is complete without a visit to a casino, after all, so make sure you find some time to visit one if you’re in the area soon and practice on the kiss918 apk website in order to hone your skills before visiting. It is worth noting that there is a legal age that visitors have to be to enter a casino. If you’re under that age, it might be worth trying to find some evolved fake ids to make sure your friends can all enter the casino and experience the infamous Vegas casinos and nightlife. Ensure the IDs look professional and real to prevent you from getting caught.

Lew Weiss: I’m still recuperating from that gambling experience. I knew I should’ve used an online casino game like https://casino-korea.com/ beforehand to prepare myself for gambling. I was overwhelmed with the real thing at Vegas!

Tim Grady: you’re not doing well at the gaming table.

Lew Weiss: no I’m not. Gambling just is not my strong suit. One of my best friends is an absolute pro and loves playing online games like starburst slot though. I definitely could have done with a few pointers that day

Tim Grady: I guess whoever has their next conference in Iowa needs to make sure they do not have any gaming opportunities. Anyway, there is some exciting stuff coming up in the future. We’re taking a look at manufacturing, and to all those listeners out there who are in the manufacturing industry what you’re going to be able to find with manufacturing talk radio is we want to hear your problems, your issues. Because what we’re going to act as, I think Lew coined the term ombudsman, we want to help you go between that resource to the solution providers and not just someone trying to sell you something, but for instance if you have a problem where you can’t find trained employees, the trade schools aren’t offering what you need to hire people; we’re going to reach out to those schools and universities and have them on the show and begin to build a network of caring between manufacturing and the resources at need. Sounds about right Lew?

Lew Weiss: yeah we’ve actually had Dr. Melnick from Michigan State on the show once already. We did get an email this past week from one of All Metals and Forge Groups’ customers who has requested to be on the show and he wants to tell his problems about the training of people and looking to get skilled and interested people. Thomas Net also, partnered with the Institute for Supply Management with a program called ‘30 under 30′. And it’s a program to make manufacturing sexy for the 30-year-olds who get them more interested in to manufacturing and to help address the issues that are going to come about as a result of reshoring. So we’ve got some interesting things coming up down the road, and Manufacturing Talk Radio we’re dedicated to help the cause and get the message out. No one else seems to be doing that at this time and we’re kind of proud that were a part of this.

Tim Grady: Yeah I think the other thing that you’re going to pick up on here at the show is we begin to talk with manufacturers about their issues and people who affect those people coming up. Because by 2025 all of us grey hairs are going to be out, retired or dead and the younger generation is going to be coming in. Here was the startling statistic that came out of I believe it was the Institute for Supply Management Salary Survey, and if I am wrong it was Thomas Net that did that, and that is that the average salary for people in purchasing supply chain, manufacturing $68,000 a year, and that’s just a couple of years into their career. So that’s a staggeringly good employment or salary number and those are the kinds of jobs that they’re trying to fill. As you will hear on the show or may have heard on the show this is not your father’s manufacturing anymore in the United States, this is not the blue-collar take a stud gun and put a nut on a bolt. That’s gone, we’re about robotics now. Now they’re looking for the people to run those robotics, and fix the robots and analyze what the robots are doing- how they can make good greater efficiencies and where they can buy faster leaner. So those are the kinds of things that are going on. Lew.

Lew Weiss: yes I would like to just add one point. We would really appreciate, we seem to have a lot of people listening to us now, our traffic has picked up significantly and I want to thank all the listeners for the comments that we’ve been getting and send us your comments, send us your requests if you want to be on the show and if you have something important to add or say please email us at live@MFGtalkradio.com.

Tim Grady: and we’re ready for one of the interviews that we did out at ISM and we want to go ahead and roll that now, we’d like the audience to hear that one. Welcome everybody to Manufacturing Talk Radio. We have a very special guest with us today and I’m going to let my co-host Lew Weiss from All Metals and Forge Group who also happens to be the show sponsor, introduce our guest for us, Lew.

Lew Weiss– sure! This is Harry Moser from Reshoring Initiative, in Illinois and Tim, take it away.

Tim Grady: Harry, there is a term that’s been throwing around now in the industry called Reshoringg. What is re-shoring?

Harry Moser: reshoring is bringing back to the US for manufacture, products that had been made here, went away for a while were made somewhere else and then came back. So they had been off shored and then reshored. And we’re only talking about products that will be consumed or assembled in the US. We do not suggest that products should be made in the US and shipped to China (we know that’s not going to happen) but in the same sense the US should be making more of what it consumes.

Tim Grady: oh okay and how big is this movement? I know that we’ve heard over the last 20 years or even 30 years all these jobs being moved off shore. How big is this resurgence and reshoring?

Harry Moser: the best way to compare it is to look back at the past and see that we lost millions of jobs to off shoring probably 4 million total, mainly over the last 20 or 30 years. And if you compare today to 10 years ago, in about 2003 we were off shoring about 150,000 manufacturing jobs per year, that many additional jobs were going away and almost none were being reshored. And now the off shoring has shrunk to about 40,000 jobs per year and the reshoring has risen to about 40,000. So we have net zero loss per year now, so we say we’ve stopped the bleeding.

Lew Weiss: okay are there any particular industries specifically that are making this resurgence?

Harry Moser: it’s strongest in larger, heavier things; appliances, machinery, automotive components, things like that where the freight cost is high relative to the labour content. There are definitely largely things that never should have go on. The GE is famous for having brought back their water heaters to Appliance Park in Louisville and then there’s probably a product that never maybe should have go on. And as the economics increasingly favoured US manufacturing it was one of the first to come back.

Tim Grady: great! Now Harry you are for Reshoring Initiative, what is it that you do?

Harry Moser: we document the trend. So we document what industries like we just discussed are coming back from what countries to what states for what reason. So we know that the logic, the economics of reshoring; I promote it, I give about 100 presentations a year around the country including today at the ISM conference. And the purpose of that is to get companies interested, and when they get interested they come to our website and we have a free total cost of ownership estimator. So the purpose of that is to help the companies that have been deciding on the basis of price (I can get it for 30% less in China for example) to have them instead look at total cost and add up price, duty, freight, packaging, carrying cost of inventory, travel cost, intellectual property risk, the impact on innovation when you separate engineering from manufacturing. The whole series about 30 total cost most of which the companies have ignored, and they start to recognize all those costs and they see that the cost savings they thought they were getting were never as good as they thought. And now that the prices have risen or the wages have risen so much in China that even the price cost saving has shrunk to the point where when they look at all these other costs it makes sense increasingly to bring work back to the US.

Tim Grady: and do you find in many cases where they bring back work to the US and find out “Wow we’re saving money by doing this?”

Harry Moser: Well they wouldn’t do it unless they believe that. But they don’t necessarily save it at the gross profit line. Essentially, the analysis says when we bring it back to the US do we reduce our overhead more than we increase our manufacturing costs? Because almost for sure the manufacturing cost is going to go up, but the overhead which is often 20/30% of the manufacturing cost when you import the product is slashed by 80 or 90%. So the question is does that come down more than the manufacturing cost goes up, if it does then they will be more profitable here.

Lew Weiss: I’m presuming Harry and I’d like you to correct me if I am wrong that your services applies perhaps to the larger corporations as opposed to the small to medium size companies. Would that be correct?

Harry Moser: we’re relevant to both. Certainly, most of the off shoring like most economic activity is done by the large companies; the GM’s, GE’s, Whirlpools and so on, so most of the off shoring has been done by them, so most of the decisions to bring work back has to be done by them. Sometimes it’s hard to convince them to make the decision because they have long-standing policies to offshore x percent of the work etc. So we work with them, we help to educate them but we also work with smaller companies to either help smaller companies make better decisions or more likely to help the supplier. Let’s say a Forge shop use the total cost of ownership estimator as a sales tool. So when that forge shop is going into the customer and the customer says well I’d I like to buy them from you but your price is 25% too high, your question should say well “Yeah, maybe my price is high but is my total cost too high?” Then get the customer to go through that analysis with you and hopefully understand that even though your price is higher, your total cost could be lower and therefore they should give you the order.

Lew Weiss: thank you.

Tim Grady: now Harry, you said you go around the country and do hundreds of presentations a year (which is a lot of travelling) in promoting this, what are you promoting?

Harry Moser: we’re promoting the fact that reshoring is actually happening so we document the actual trend. We provide, we demonstrate, or describe the total cost of ownership estimator- the software. We invite companies to report their cases of reshoring. Now those who do so get a free “Manufacturing is Cool” T-shirt and then they all have to just go to our website which is www.reshorenow.org go to resources and under that submit a case study. You submit the case study and as long as we accept it and its legitimate then you get the free “Manufacturing is Cool” T-shirt which is provided by MFG.com, which is the business-to-business portal that puts together buyers and sellers about mechanical products. If you Google Reshoring or Reshoring Initiative, you’ll find that we dominate the field.

Tim Grady: what are you doing with MFG.com?

Harry Moser: well they’re a business-to-business portal where a company can go on and for example forging and it would put the buyer in touch with many forging houses and MFG.com has been kind enough to do this. They had already come out with these really “Manufacturing is Cool” T-shirt and they agree to give to the companies who submit their reshoring cases.

Lew Weiss: well I’m glad to hear that because they are actually scheduled to be on our radio show within the next couple of months.

Harry Moser: that’s great I’m a little prelude for that.

Lew Weiss: let me ask you this; is there anything that our listeners can do to help in the reshoring growth?

Harry Moser: as consumers I encourage everybody to look at the label and see if it’s made in the United States. So if you go into a hardware store to buy a hammer see if you can find one that’s made in the US. And if you can’t then tell the retailer it would be nice to be able to find a US hammer here, and so you can help pull the demand. At the companies for which you work you can if you know that the product is being off-shored, then you can talk to the supply chain people, the strategic people, the President if you can get to the President and say “Why is it that we’re off shoring so much, wouldn’t it make sense to make more of it here or buy more of it here?”And The President might say “It’s cheaper off there, we need that to survive.” The answer would be well “The wages are lower; the price might be lower but is the total cost of ownership lower?” “Might be our company would be more profitable if we brought some of it back, we’re not saying everything but do the analysis and see if some of it would come back.” So as an employee respectfully protecting your job but still at least bring that up to management to get management to at least think about it.

Tim Grady: Harry I get the sense that you have a wealth and a depth of information to be able to sit with someone and tell them what kind of reshoring is occurring and what by state by industry, is that correct?

Harry Moser: well one of the other resources on the website is the library. We have over a thousand articles that have been written about reshoring by us but mainly by other people. And we take those articles and create a database that says here’s the source article and then it breaks out a row for each company and has 30 pieces of data about each company. Let’s say one of them is GE Appliance Park and then if there’s 20 articles that have discussed GE Appliance Park we pull all of those rows of GE together and then come to a conclusion. So we know for that facility how many jobs will come back, how much has been invested, reasons, all kinds of things, and then we add all those companies together and then do a statistical analysis on that to see what industries are coming back, from what countries to what states, for what reasons and how many jobs.

Tim Grady: Okay great!

Lew Weiss: Harry, what if anything is the US government doing to help initiate and promote reshoring?

Harry Moser: let’s say more than five years ago but much less than they should. Congressman Wolf of Virginia read one of my articles in manufacturing engineering, produced and put out by SME-Society Manufacturing Engineers and he’s the head of the commerce department sub-committee, so he got the commerce department to push this, so the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships- the MEPs have been pushing it. And there’s four or five websites in the Commerce Department that linked to ours. They put out something called ACE tool that has ? everywhere. It helps companies analyze various qualitative cost off-shore versus domestic and feed into our total cost of ownership estimator. So they’ve done a fair amount. They have the ‘Made in America’ initiative which economic developers are using to help companies decide to reshore, and we’re working with Mississippi, Pennsylvania and hopefully other states to do that, so they’re doing something. But they spend I’d say billions a year helping companies export and they spend almost nothing on helping them import less and do more manufacturing here. And so I think if they made an equal effort on reshoring which is importing less as opposed to exporting more they’d have more impact on the country and we’d all be better off.

Lew Weiss: thank you Harry.

Tim Grady: Well that’s certainly an interesting approach and I would agree that the federal government does spend through the Commerce Department lots and lots of money to try to move exports which is as a result of moving off shore. So it would be interesting to see if we can get them to moving jobs back on shore. I know that there is, in talking with Lew about his company he is even feeling a sense I think that this ‘Made in America’ label which the government tried to ? some years ago which didn’t apply very well, is now coming back around and in fact the world is clamouring for US-made products, is that what you’re seeing Harry?

Harry Moser: we have I think 12 consumer surveys about the consumer preference for ‘Made in America’. And so we’ve taken all 12 of those and summarized the data. So if anybody wanted that they can contact us and we could provide them that data and help those companies target that preference for ‘Made in America’. The essence of it is a sort of middle-aged, Midwesterners preferred ‘Made in America’. Younger people on the coast don’t seem to care so much. Poor people who are really just scraping by, it’s hard for them to justify maybe a slightly more expensive ‘Made in America’ product. Generally more affluent people seem to do it. The more safety there is involved in the product like a parachute buckle, or the slats of a crib, the mother carries this slats of the crib or treat it with safe chemicals, whereas she doesn’t care whether the table at the school is that way because there’s no baby to chew on the table in the school. So there’s a certain rationality applied to this and certain demographics. We’ve got some good data on that. If anybody is at a retail company or a consumer product company and wants the data on that they can contact us we’d be happy to provide them with the data to help them make a decision to bring some things back.

Tim Grady: okay and I noticed that you’re website is a .org, are you a non-profit?

Harry Moser: we’re not for profit, we file for the 501(c)(3) status and we believe in about three months we’ll get it. Well it takes about 8 months to get the status.

Tim Grady: okay anything else that you want to share with our audience Harry before we break for commercial here?

Harry Moser: one trend that’s interesting is Wal-Mart identified that they’re going to buy an additional 50 billion worth of big dollars ‘Made in America’ products. So anybody out there that works for a company that does supply Wal-Mart or could and could sell Wal-Mart more ‘Made in USA’ products we’d encourage them to make that decision and make more sales here at Wal-Mart. And we’re working with one company out there right now to help them understand the economics of that and we’ll be happy to work with anyone else that wants to contact us. They can reach me via the website and if I can just help them by phone or by email there’s no charge for it because our charger is to help companies bring work back.

Lew Weiss: Okay that’s terrific and Harry I appreciate you sitting down and talking with us. I think your topic is critical for our economy and I think that’s a great thing that you’re doing.

Harry Moser: Lew we’re happy to be here.

Tim Grady: thanks again Harry and we’re going to take a quick commercial break here.

And let’s give a shout out to our sponsor for today’s special program All Metals and Forge Group, your best source for opened eye forgings and seamless roadways in alloy, carbon, stainless and steels, nickel, aluminium, titanium, copper you name it they can roll it. Just go to steelforge.com or send us a request for quote at steelforge.com and now back to our next interview.

Tim Grady: Welcome back to manufacturing talk radio. We have a guest joining us today with a really very unusual approach to business in manufacturing. We’re very excited to hear about it Lew, introduce our guest please.

Lew Weiss– well it seems like it’s a little bit backwards, but its Daniel Feiman, his company is Build it backwards and he is consistent, his business card is front and backwards. I’m still trying to figure out where he’s located but it’s in California, Redondo Beach. Tim.

Tim Grady: Daniel you were a speaker here at the conference, you did a presentation this morning, tell us a little bit about what Build It Backwards does?

Daniel Feiman-well Build It Backwards works with manufacturers all over the country to help them go from their current position of just trying to survive to being much more successful and sustainable. And we take the approach literally of building it from the future back to today. So when we sit down with the leadership team of an organization, one of the first things we do is ask them where they want to take the organization. And I have to tell you to my great surprise many of them have what they consider long-term plans, 3 to 6 months in the future.

Tim Grady: and what time frame should they be looking at?

Daniel Feiman: that’s I think surprising to most companies. We literally encourage them to go 5, 10, even 20 years into the future so that they can really suspend all of the assumptions that have limited them through today. And that’s one of the biggest problems with manufacturers, they produce great products, however, they are so short-sighted when it comes to all of the factors in the marketplace that impact them. Unless they look a little further out, unless they look outside the organization-macro factors, competition, their suppliers’ suppliers to really get deep into the supply chain, even their customers’ customers; they are generally going to be a victim of the marketplace when things change as we saw back in the 08 recession rather than being proactive and being able to anticipate what could happen, so that they can make plans, produce and work with their supply chains much, much more effectively. So I try to push them out again 5, 10 even 20 years and we’ve got a company now that we arm wrestled for about an hour over this and they finally realized that to their real benefit, if they look out 20 years in the future they could look at almost anything as far as accomplishments and they created some great targets.

Lew Weiss:-is it hard to convince manufactures today being that they’ve gone through 5, 6, 7 years of survival mode and then you’re trying to convince them to forget about survival, look out 20 years. That’s hard to swallow would it not be?

Daniel Feiman: of course it is, if it was easy everybody would do it literally. In fact, if it was easy and everybody recognized the benefit they would do it on their own. So that’s truly one of our biggest challenges is getting the senior management, the leadership team to really break with tradition. So my job is to help them understand, to look at examples of other companies that have been exceptionally good. But also to help them understand that just because you’re looking out 20 years doesn’t mean you’re going to ignore everything between now and then. That’s really the first step, is you accept those 20 year horizons and then you build it backwards from there and you step back to 10 years, 5 years, 1 year, this quarter, this month, then we can look very tactically.

Lew Weiss: how do you work with a client when you first initiate with them?

Daniel Feiman: well we actually follow our ? Model which is step one: is to do an assessment. We go into the company, we assess where they are, what are their true resources, their strengths, their weaknesses, their opportunities that they’re not seeing. So we go through a formal assessment then we sit down with them and give them what we call a report out “Ladies and gentlemen this is what we found, here is where we think you can go with your current resources, these are the resources you need to develop.” And then following that ? Model after the assessment, then we help them, we really facilitate true strategic planning, long-term planning. And one of the tools in there is to have them do what we call a SWOT analysis but not in the traditional way. SWOT normally is 4 cells right? Well in our last book we exploded that out to 6 which confuses a lot of people, but here’s the idea Lew. Strengths we should have a few, weaknesses almost always you’re going to have more, but opportunities we break down into internal opportunities. Those items, those situations, those processes inside a company that we’ve ignored up to this point that’s our own low hanging fruit, then we look externally at outside opportunities. Same thing with threats, we all when we do SWOT analysis look at external threats, but so many of us forget to look at internal threats, such as, tribal knowledge. What happens when that senior person leaves the company goes to competition or retires and takes all that knowledge with him, that’s never been documented? What happens if there’s some other critical element that we completely don’t think about? I’ll give you a very quick example, we don’t evolve with technology, we’re using XP-the Operating base of our computers. And guess what, exactly a month ago Microsoft doesn’t support that anymore, there is an example.

Tim Grady– do you also run across two situations, you say tribal knowledge, one of those has to be “I have the knowledge and I’m not going to share it.” And the other one probably is “Well that’s the way we’ve done it for 35 years.” Have you hit those roadblocks?

Daniel Feiman: well let’s see I’ve probably run into that EVERYTIME. And literally you’ve got some of the old guard, you’ve got people who’ve been in the company, in some cases I’ve got one client 44 years in the same company. This particular individual knows all the secret sauces. No one’s ever asked him, challenged him, and encouraged him before, they actually write it down to train other people. So it is a challenge because in this case he feels his value is all locked in his head. Part of the process improvement training that we do with the company is to implement the plan that was created is to make that individual frequently a subject matter expert and giving them the title, and have them begin to walk through some of the processes and document exactly how to do things right. Because if we’re going to improve processes and truly adopt a culture of continuous process improvement it starts by documenting the current state- how do we do things now? So with the subject matter expert working with the process owner and the process team and really facilitated through the process champion, we can start to get some of that tribal knowledge from your head to the paper. Once we do that then we can craft a plan to improve it. But yes terribly common for the old guard to know my value, this is in their mind, “It’s in my head,” but we have to teach them that the real value is in bringing up the next generation.

Lew Weiss: in 1994, our company went for ISO certification and actually we were the first steel company in the United States that went for it. Not only did I have resistance from the employees because “What do we need that for?””It worked well without it” But I also had comments from friendly competitors who said “Why do you want to be controlled by a foreign government, Switzerland?” And they just didn’t get it and my response always was “If you don’t to do it now you’re going to do it later or you’re not ever going to get a chance to do it,” and ISO of course has become the leading quality management system in the world ever, so I understand what you speak of.

Tim Grady: now Daniel, how does CPI fit into this whole mix?

Daniel Feiman– well continuous process improvement as many of us know is truly the only way that we’re going to be able to really survive in the future. I’ll give you a specific example, in the aerospace industry very specifically you look at Boeing, you look at Airbrush, you look at Honeywell, you look at the primes, the tier ones they’re doing two things simultaneously; one is, they are reducing dramatically their supply chain at Boeing it’s a 75% reduction over a relatively short period of time. They are only choosing those suppliers who truly can meet their rather rigorous standards, that’s number one. But number two, at the same time while they are asking all their suppliers (that’s a nice way to put it); they’re requiring all of their suppliers to really be much more efficient. They’re also saying “Oh by the way we wanted 2-3% price reduction. Don’t come up with a price increase next year give us a price reduction and be 1 of 4 instead of 1 of 20.” So without process improvement we can’t eliminate waste; you reduce it first, you eliminate it second. And then without changing the culture in the organization to move from we put out fires to preventing fires, to being completely proactive in the culture of adopting continuous process improvement in everything we do. And go back to what we’re talking about tribal knowledge, if we get a dozen people in a room who performed the same process and ask them to write down the steps of the process, guarantee you’ll get between 3 and 15 variations from 12 different people. So our current state is not even standardized. Unless we have standard work and document that standard work and trained to that standard work, we have variation which is waste, which is excess cost. Today, continuous process improvement is the way to go. Going back to your point Lew, ISO 20 years ago was something that you were proactive on. Organizations today, manufacturers that don’t jump on and incorporate the continuous process CPI bandwagon are going to find that they may not have a business in the very near future.

Lew Weiss: clearly, clearly.

Tim Grady: see I would agree with that, I think what we’re hearing is the conference and it’s becoming kind of a central theme is for our listeners out there, if you are a first-tier, second-tier, third-tier, fourth-tier supplier, you need to be ready for a really rigorous examination. I think you call it an x-ray Daniel of who you are and what you do is that correct?

Daniel Feiman: that’s absolutely correct. In fact, that’s one of the things that I talked about this morning and tying this into our previous comment literally the primes, the tier ones, and even the tier twos are pushing more and more of the supply chain down to adhere to certified standards. And the only way that you can meet the rigorous criteria of your real customers is to adopt continuous process improvement and be able to withstand a periodic audit. They want to make sure you’re not just ticking the boxes (going back to the comment on ISO), that you are really performing that way. But here’s the good news you will be more successful this way. You will get much more out of your resources. You’ll have both a combination of improved efficiency, improved effectiveness and even though you may have to pass along price reductions, if you can cut your cost by 4% you pass along 2% of that, you still have more in your bottom line.

Tim Grady: very true, very true. Now this is going to seem like an awfully odd question but let me throw it out to you. What can manufacturers do better?

Daniel Feiman: very important today and this is the secret sauce that should be obvious to many of us but simply isn’t. What they can do better is actually create document, a plan where they want to take the company. Whether you call it strategic planning or operational planning or business planning, it’s literally getting the brain trust together, crafting a plan of exactly where you want to take the company and how you’re going to get there. Because a plan that looks beautiful that is not implemented (which unfortunately is the vast majority of the time) is not even worth doing in the first place. Save the resources. If you’re not going to implement the plan don’t create it. But if you do create it and you want to be as good as you can be, you want to survive, you want to thrive, have an implementation plan. And if you follow something like our ? Model, if you’ve done an assessment first, then you plan, the next critical point is to communicate. And we find unfortunately, in my experience both in commercial banking before I started my consultancy and in the last 18 years of consulting with companies, communication is their biggest complaint. So communicate consistently, concisely with multiple channels, then have your plan for implementation and do it, follow the Nike example. Measure what you do on a regular basis then just like your budgets make the adjustments that you need to in the short-term. Then you go through process improvement for your most critical processes and then you repeat it. With the companies that we have worked with and the ones we’ve researched over the last 30 years that works. It pays dividends.

Lew Weiss: so when you’re dealing with a small to medium size entrepreneurial organization I can hear them through my earphones here that they’re saying this could never happen, never happen. You know they slide by the seat of their pants and what you’re talking about is organization structure, planning actually putting stuff on paper not on back of napkins. How do you deal with that group which is probably a fairly significant size group of manufacturers?

Tim Grady: and they own the place.

Daniel Feiman –rule # 1 is the boss is always right. Rule #2 is if the boss is wrong refer to rule #1; we’ve all heard this. Absolutely true! My greatest successes with the smaller companies, the more entrepreneurial companies, is to use examples of other companies that I’ve worked with. The smallest companies that I’ve worked with that we’ve gotten testimonials from some of them say sure have your new prospects call. In most cases the call isn’t made, just the offer is what convinces them to at least listen. And we explained and this is not a real secret it’s been known for a long time. Look at entrepreneurial companies that never grow past a certain point they are the ones where the entrepreneur continues to micromanage everything. The entrepreneurial companies that grow into the Microsoft’s, the Goggle’s, you pick the industry are the ones that the entrepreneur is smart enough to know when to bring in professional management for the other elements of the company and to be proactive rather than reactive.

Lew Weiss: so we’re heading near to the end of our segment, I just have a couple of comments or questions to ask you. If one of our listeners wants to get involved with your company and needs to hear more on a one-on-one basis what you can do for them, what is the best way to contact you, through email?

Daniel Feiman: the easiest way to get a hold of us is just my name Danielfeiman@builditbackwards.com or they can even go to the website which is www.builditbackwards.com and there’s a link there. It’s just info@builditbackwards.com

Tim Grady: Daniel this seems like such a valuable exercise I know that speaking with you briefly before the show you know after the 2008 great recession many, many manufacturers that we’re hearing from are willing to take baby steps or everybody is cautiously optimistic. I think you’re the first person we’ve talked to that told us “I can help them take leaps forward to help them move their business forward,” rather than kind of just tiptoeing around waiting to see what happens. I think that’s very exciting.

Daniel Feiman: well I think so too. What we have found is we really challenge companies and entrepreneurs to take that risk and invest in them. If they’re not willing to invest in themselves and take enough risk to get ahead of the pack then they’re going to be (pardon the expression) a victim of the marketplace rather than taking control of their future.

Lew Weiss: Build It Backwards is not a non-profit organization?

Daniel Feiman: well when we started we were but not by choice. When I left commercial banking and started this firm I really did it to make a difference with companies. And one of the things that I said was we’d never take on a client we couldn’t really help and I’m thrilled to say that our typical client is able to measure in their own P&O a 200%- 500% return on our fee in the first 12 months. So yes Lew we do end up being free in essence because the company has improved so much.

Lew Weiss: good answer.

Tim Grady: to earn it and work for it. Again that’s DanielFeiman@builditbackwards.com. Daniel thank you very much for joining us on Manufacturing Talk Radio.

Daniel Feiman: Thank you.