Be Like Gates—Never Stop LearningNovember 1, 2010
Bill Gates once told Fortune magazine that, “at Microsoft, there are lots of brilliant ideas but the image is that they all come from the top. I’m afraid that’s not quite right.” Instead, he went on to explain, it took the help of numerous other trusted individuals to help realize the company’s success.
In analyzing Gates’ success story, author Evan Carmichael lays out critical lessons that every business owner/manager can apply. My favorite: Never stop learning.
“Every now and then I like to pick up a copy of Time magazine and read every article from beginning to end,” added Gates, “not just the articles that interest me most. That you can be certain to learn something you didn’t know previously.”
It’s clear to me that managers of successful metalforming shops understand well what Gates preaches, and encourage continuous learning throughout their companies. And that’s what MetalForming and many other products and services offered by the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) are all about. Just ask Bob Clay, CEO of metalforming company Pridgeon & Clay and PMA’s Chairman for 2011. In an article beginning on page 20 of this issue, Clay shares several examples of how continuous learning has propelled his company to success. Among them:
“PMA’s CEO roundtables (networking events) offer particular value…By listening to others shares their experiences, I’ve been able to make better, more informed management decisions.”
“George (in-die-electronics expert George Keremedjiev) has been making presentations here since 2004…I’d conservatively say that our presses are running 25 percent faster, without wrecks, due to the knowledge picked up from George over the years.”
And, Pridgeon & Clay’s director of quality assurance Cathy Winterhalter adds:
“I’ve taken a (from attending PMA Quality Managers Roundtable networking events) ideas from others related to reducing the cost of quality. For example, we’ve created common inspection criteria for each type of product we manufacture…resulting in tremendous time and cost savings.”
This issue of MetalForming offers several opportunities for metalforming managers, engineers, quality professionals, etc. to learn new ideas. For example, in Lean Laser Cutting (beginning on page 18), you’ll learn how utilizing a full array of cutting nozzles, rather than just one or two, to handle a range of workpiece alloys and thicknesses results in a tremendous reduction in assist-gas consumption, saving one metalformer $1000/month. And, our Tooling Technology article (beginning on page 30) explains how a relatively simple installation of an inexpensive pressure sensor into a stamping-lubricant delivery system can avoid thousands of dollars in die-repair costs.
Are you a believer in the value of continuous education? Keep reading MetalForming, and follow Bob Clay’s lead when he says:
“We make sure that our employees take advantage of opportunities to network and learn.”
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