The Value Stream

An Oregon Manufacturers' Resource

Total System Thinking: Learn To Truly See Your Business

So often business owners make decisions based on intuition, luck, or the magic 8 ball. As a small or mid-sized manufacturer, there are so many factors that can affect your company’s profitability, both inside and outside of your control. How do you make proactive decisions for the betterment of your…

OREGON: Trial judge okays paying greater of daily versus weekly overtime

Multnomah County circuit court judge recently ruled against workers who claimed their manufacturing employer should have paid them both daily and weekly overtime, not just the greater of the two amounts. This was the lawsuit that launched an uproar over how Oregon manufacturers should calculate overtime pay for employees who…

The Art of Job Task Analysis

A job task analysis helps break down a job into smaller, manageable chunks for on-the-job training. Whether you are developing work instructions or writing a job description, breaking down a job into a set of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks can seem daunting. Which tasks do you start with? How…

What My Clients Have Taught Me

The past 25 years of my career in manufacturing, and especially my last 4 years as a consultant, have been filled with lessons about making things better, and mostly learning about human nature.  Here are some important lessons I’ve learned from working with Oregon manufacturers across sectors. It doesn’t matter what I know, it only…

It’s Not the Bottom, It’s the Foundation

I recently came across this blog post from marketing guru Seth Godin, and felt that it was very pertinent to manufacturers who want to make their workplaces great places to work. Read on for an insightful post about leadership, organizational transparency, and the foundational work of managing your workforce so they are…

6 Telltale Signs Your Manufacturing Company is a Learning Organization

There has been a lot of talk recently about creating and maintaining a ‘learning culture’ in manufacturing. You may have asked yourself, ‘are we a learning organization?’ and then scratched your head, wondering what a ‘learning organization’ actually looks like… What is a learning organization? The concept of a learning…

What OSHA’s New Drug Testing Interpretation Means for Manufacturers

If you’re like most manufacturers, your drug and alcohol policy probably allows you to test an employee following an accident or near miss incident. But when OSHA released new anti-retaliation rules earlier this year, it changed the way employers can apply post-accident drug testing requirements. In the comments to…

National Manufacturing Day 2016 Wrap Up

Happy Manufacturing Day, Oregon! 2016 marked Oregon’s largest manufacturing day yet! We say that every year, but every year this fantastic series of events continues to increase in participation and influence. 2016 marks the 5th anniversary of National Manufacturing Day, and Oregon manufacturers showed up in a big way!…

Building Portland’s Maker Ecosystem

Thanks to Courtney Tait of Portland Made for this guest blog post In May of this year, a group of Portlanders passionate about supporting the city’s Maker Movement began meeting to discuss issues and ideas; services and strategies. Their goal? To help build and grow financially successful maker and manufacturing businesses…

The Formula for Successful Manufacturing Leadership

A while back, I asked my kids to “rake the leaves”. When I checked on them 2 hours later they had raked the leaves, but were now busily spreading raked leaves everywhere, diving into them with enthusiasm.  They were having a great time raking the leaves, but leaf pile jumping…