Brad Gall has recently joined the team at Inertia to spearhead our manufacturing and supply chain solutions. Brad brings a broad base of knowledge and experience from multiple industries. With expertise in operations, start ups, strategy/planning/execution and leading teams we’re really excited to have him on board.
Except you didn’t think we’d let him get off with a simple welcome blog post did you? To help everyone get to know Brad a little better, we put a few questions in front of him. (some work related, some not)
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?
Toss-up between Leonardo da Vinci or Howard Hughes. Both heavily pushed the envelope for their time, creating some crazy devices and inventions.
What are three priorities/best practices you recommend to clients to failproof their manufacturing process?
Nothing is failproof, but getting close is possible. Without these three items, getting close to failproof isn’t possible:
1) Have manufacturing drawings that clearly communicate design intent, materials to be used and performance expectations. Drawings provide the base of expectations with suppliers and force critical discussions on capability and repeatability of processes.
2) A very robust QA Plan that includes checks and measures for each critical element. This living document goes hand-in-hand with good manufacturing drawings to set high expectations of the manufacturing site and forms the basis for frequent process audits.
3) Thorough auditing of the manufacturing facility and process. This is especially important for distant manufacturing facilities. The only way to know for sure that things are going well (or otherwise) is to witness it or have a trusted person do it for you.
Suppliers do their best to produce great products, but need help knowing what is critical and what is not. In general, what gets measured gets noticed.
If you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?
A knife, magnifying glass and a friend (it would get boring!).
What are 3 ways you make supply chains both efficient and economical at the same time?
1) Clearly delineated tasks and communication lines. Time spent upfront to develop who is going to do what, and when, will pay dividends later. Even though there is a lot happening when products are being launched, there is even more happening AFTER the product is launched. The time to decide this is not when things are going wrong.
2) Plan for growth from the start, but be realistic. Don’t plan on a non-scalable solution if healthy growth predicted. An initial low-cost solution could quickly become a barrier to growth if the supply chain can’t handle the growth. The organizations we partner with are capable of handling strong growth and our systems are also in-place to handle it (e.g. in-house ERP)
3) S&OP (Sales and Operations Planning) is critical to have the lowest-cost supply chain solution without having stock-outs. Good ongoing planning and reviews ensure the right amount of inventory is in-place to meet sales targets.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
A guy with a mild case of road rage that had a pink “Princess on Route” bumper sticker on his truck.