Repaired

GE Microwave

Our GE midsize microwave stopped working….the turntable would not turn. This microwave was purchased in May of 2014….less than four years old.

Troubleshooting was relatively easy and opening the bottom….found the small turntable motor shaft had fused to the turntable tray assembly. Deciding this microwave was worth repairing….the new parts were ordered. 15 minutes to remove the old motor….plug in the connection….and our microwave was as good as new.

GE makes good products….though perhaps not as good as years ago….the expectation is that our microwave will last at least for another 4 years.

 

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Precision

Cree LED

Cree, Inc. is a company located in the Research Triangle….and is well-known as one of the originators of the LED technology.

A few months ago, BusinessInsider had a special offering of five of these Cree mini flashlights for $15. Since I was familiar with the brand….I went ahead and purchased them.

These mini flashlights are very useful….and exceedingly bright. While manufactured overseas….the unique thing is that they have a high degree of precision in the metal case.

While probably a low profit margin product….the well-made and useful flashlight enhances the Cree brand.

http://www.cree.com/

Adapt – 200 years

Loane Bros., Inc.

Not many business have been in existence for over 200 years. From bbc.com:

www.bbc.com/news/business-42135812

Founded in 1800 to supply sails to te whaling ships, Loane Bros. has adapted and reinvented itself to continue in business.

The key to longevity is: “We are still always learning to improve on what we do and how we do it.

Not all businesses can do this or even want to do it. However for some….it is also time to move on. In our business, it would also have required adaptability and even perhaps expanding the market. The market definitely changed and we would had also to change.

http://www.loanebros.com/

Soft – Hard

Business Sustainability

I am flattered beyond measure by the words used to describe my work. I want to add/remind you of one thing. These “soft” ideas–people [really] first, fierce listening, obsessive MBWA–are capitalist words; that is the true basis for long-term sustainable growth & profitability. _ Tom Peters

My life in 6 words: Hard is soft. (Numbers are mushy, plans are fantasies, org charts are a joke.) Soft is hard. (So-called “soft stuff” such as relationships are in fact bedrock.) Rich Karlgaard makes this point better than I–and does it from Silicon Valley perspective to boot.- Tom Peters

Win: Act now. Aim low. Think small. Never go negative. Thank you. I’m sorry. What do you think? MBWA Cognitive bias is omnipresent. Hard is soft/Soft is hard. Relationships take time. Excellence is the only standard. Excellence is the next email. Excellence is the next 5 minutes. – Tom Peters

Tom Peters has been a proponent of the Soft vs Hard concept for decades….and has written numerous books incorporating these ideas. If a business seeks long-term results than it needs also to inculcate soft vs hard into its culture.

These concepts weren’t taught at the Michigan Business School because much of business teaching at that time was primarily analytical. Perhaps it is different in 2018. 

In our business, we indirectly understood this….though soft vs hard emerged much later after we left the business.

News Roundup

December 2017

+ Where are they now from December 2012 –

  • Tree Stand: Possibly no more tree stands
  • Graphics House: http://www.ghimaging.com/
  • In Search of Excellence: The standard for business/management

+ I have sat before my keyboard for an eternity pondering. I cannot image a single benefit to consumers from the CVS-Aetna linkup. – Tom Peters

+ WE HAVE AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE: We care more. – Seth Godin

+ Care for your customers. Care for your people. Care for your product. Care for your community. The ball is in your court. This is what is actually yours. – Jeph Maystruck

+ Any discussion of management that does not put the development of our people* first is a waste of paper or bits & bytes or keystrokes. (*”Development of our people” explicitly includes helping them better prepare for an uncertain tomorrow.) – Tom Peters

+ “CIVIL. CIVIL. ONLY CIVIL. And throw in some KINDNESS. Civility + Kindness = Lasting client relationships = Profit.” -Tom Peters

+ How Amazon makes money:   http://www.visualcapitalist.com/breaking-amazon-makes-money/

+ The thing that keeps a business ahead of the competition is excellence in execution – Tom Peters

+ When in doubt-make better tacos – Seth Godin

+ First class is not just a seat on an airplane – Jeffrey Gitomer

Discipline ?

MBWA

We ventured into a well-known franchise a short time ago. The environment was unacceptable (if I was the franchise operator) – the employees running around completely undisciplined.

Yes, these are entry-level (minimum wage) positions….however if there is no training and/or management….than these folks will have a rocky path to future work.

This franchise has invested millions in their facilities….unfortunately it seems good training and good management was not included in the budget.

Perhaps finding  people with some sense of self-discipline is the challenge….and maybe management should spend more time walking around (MBWA).

Toyota – Honda

Better Choice

We have had several Toyotas….they are well made automobiles.

Our 2007 Camry is just fine….though it doesn’t have the electronics of the current models….it  serves our purpose well.

A recent article in Motor Trend (December 2017) compares the 2018 Honda Accord and Toyota Camry….both best sellers.

The conclusion of the report: ” Simply put, Toyota built a better Camry, but Honda built a better car.”

These brands have been iconic brands in the automobile industry. I would think that Toyota would work in the future to also build a better car. What differentiates brands is to be better and different….Honda did that in the 2018 model.