Heat treating is a critical operation in gear manufacturing. It can make or break the quality of your final product. Yet it is one that frequently gear manufacturers outsource to someone else. Then the crucial question becomes, how do you know you're getting the right heat treater? How can you guarantee your end product when you have turned over this important process to someone else?
Business ethics are like apple pie and motherhood. Few people are willing to come out agin'em. But in reablity, apple pie is full of fat and refined sugar, motherhood is not what it was when June Cleaver ran the kitchen, and business ethics? Well, it's always been easier to talk about them than to actually practice them, and things certainly haven't improved in the last few years.
The two reports referred to in this article, "The people wise Organization" and "House Divided: Views on Change from Top Management - and Their Employees," crossed our desks some weeks ago. They stimulated a fair amount of discussion here, and we hope they do the same in your offices. We welcome your responses. How do you view the corporate/competitive environment of the next few years? How do you see yourself and your company fitting in? Can these ideas work in the gear industry? Let us now what you think.
Much about ISO 9000 is the subject of noisy debate. But on one thing almost everyone, true believers and critics alike, agrees: Getting ISO 9000 certification can be expensive. Companies can expect to spend at least $35,000 for basic certification and six-month checkup fees over a three-year period. These figures do not include hidden costs like time and money spent on internal improvements required to meet ISO 9000 certification. But the really big-ticket items in the process are employee time and the cost of bringing in outside consultants. Many ISO 9000 consultants charge upwards of $1,800 a day.
On of the key questions confronting any company considering ISO 9000 certification is, how much is this going to cost? The up-front fees are only the beginning. Dissect the ISO 9000 certification procedure with an eye for hidden costs, and two segments of the process will leap out - the cost of consultants and the cost of making in-house improvements for the sake of passing certification. Most of these costs can be controlled by careful selection f the right consultant in the first place.
What follows is the first of three articles we will be running on ISO 9000 and what it means for the gear industry. This first article will cover what ISO 9000 is, what some of its benefits - and problems - are, and whether your company should be a candidate for this certification process. In our next issue, we will consider the important question of how, when, and if to hire an ISO 9000 consultant. The final article in this series will discuss ways to save money while streamlining the certification process in your company.
What can be done about the rising cost of labor? Mr. Robert Reich, U.S. Secretary of Labor, has already indicated the administration's intention of pushing the minimum wage from $4.25 to $4.50 per hour and indexing it for inflation. That means that every jiggle in the inflation chart will push the minimum wage higher.
Putting one's best foot forward is important for successful business communication. And successful business people know the "rule" of the game, what it say and do in business situations, to make the best impression. However, these rules change from country to country, and what is appropriate behavior here may appear rude to someone from Latin America, Europe or Asia To help you become more familiar with some of the different rules of engagement in other countries, Gear Technology spoke with three businessmen who have had extensive contact in various part of the world.
The object of any business transaction, be it foreign or domestic, is making a profit. That's why you go through all the effort of making and selling your product in the first place. Getting paid in a timely manner is crucial to making profit, but when your customer is in another country, this "timely and convenient" payment can become complicated; hence, your need for a banker with expertise in international markets.
One of the key questions to be answered when exporting is how you are going to get your product to your customer. All the time, effort, and money you've spent to make a sale in the first place can be wasted if the shipment is late, damaged, or lost, or if delivery becomes an expensive bureaucratic nightmare for either you or the buyer.