April 6, 2011

Lessons from Apple—what can small manufacturers learn from Apple's success?

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We saw the bill of materials (BOM) for the iPad 2 last week and were impressed by the low costs Apple was able to achieve for its newest version of the tablet, which is considerably improved over the original....

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A Timbuk2 limited edition custom bag As we mentioned recently on this blog, it is commonly believed that much of U.S. manufacturing has moved overseas in search of cheaper manufacturing alternatives. And while it’s true that many companies outsource, we hear about...

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Using an ERP system to manage constantly changing BOMs during product design is a common trap that many organizations fall into. Although ERP systems shine as transactional tools that manage inventory and provide control throughout production, they’re not built to manage the engineering change process or keep everyone on...

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Do you ever feel like “innovation” is the perpetual buzzword of the week? For many, innovation has become synonymous with progress, and in all job roles employees are increasingly focused on the next big thing. Because of the growing importance of “new and improved,” many leaders are going to great...

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For small to mid-size businesses, manufacturing beautifully intricate product parts typically means contracting a supplier to do the job. But what if you were able to *print* your own parts in your own “home”? Some entrepreneurs are already doing it! Thanks to the advances in three-dimensional printing, your manufacturing...

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For years, “Made in the U.S.A.” implied “overpriced” to manufacturers and consumers alike. The pressure to reduce costs drove many manufacturers to seek less expensive offshoring alternatives to the seemingly more expensive domestic ones. Coupled with the fact that our economy hasn’t been...

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What can make or break a manufacturing company? According to Eric Larkin, co-founder and CTO of Arena Solutions, the answer is “how well it handles its product data.” In the early 1990s, as CTO of an underwater video equipment manufacturer, Eric and his team used spreadsheets to manage...

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This Valentine’s Day we are giving part numbering schemes a big juicy KISS.Parts are the heart of your product. You have to manage (um, treat) them just right, otherwise you could have product heartache on your hands.Assigning a part number is a way for a...

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