Category Archives: Business

Better Makes Us Best

By Dr. John Psarouthakis, Founder and Former Chairman and CEO, JP Industries Inc. and Executive Editor, The Business Thinker.

I wrote a small book because I believe that “Better Makes Us Best” to explain my belief that anyone can achieve his / her potential by setting milestones / goals for constant improvement. It is a philosophy that I began to think and implement while a tee ager particularly in sports.

 I got the same satisfaction if I did better than the previous time though I wished I could be the best. In time I applied this “Credo” to the over 20 underperforming manufacturing businesses in the USA and western Europe I bought for JP Industries, Inc that I founded with the strategy of acquiring such businesses, paid the expected lower price and create a higher value by improving the performance significantly by implementing this philosophy by providing the opportunity to employees to improve their ability through training and special coerces at the near by community colleges and /or equipment suppliers. This required, often, higher relevant technology. In a related article back then, BusinessWeek magazine described my approach as a “blending high tech with worker involvement”. You will find details of this book in the recently launched platform on Knowledge Transfer: Click on www.jpmcenter.com You can also connect with me on this book by sending me your questions via email as instructed in site.

CHANGES IN THE INFORMATION INDUSTRY


Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

 

In addition to the major shifts that have already occurred, we now have also other shifts caused by the explosion occurring in front of us in the information industry.

  • One change is globalization that has rendered national borders meaningless.  This in turn has increased competition for goods and services by several orders of magnitude.  Today, companies anywhere in the globe can compete in markets which in the recent past were not accessible to them.  They can have the advantage of new technologies, low-paid and highly skilled labor, and capital availability as they need it.

  • Second change:  Quality of labor.  In 1972, one third of the work force in the USA were “brain power” related, while two thirds were people that used “muscle power.”  Now, it is exactly inversed ?  two third’s “brain power,” one third “muscle power.”

  • Third change:  Whether the worker is “brain power” or muscle power, he or she must be able to think for themselves.  They must be involved and make critical decisions on the goods and services they are engaged to produce.

  • Fourth change:  We must be a team
  • Fifth and most important:  Business executive leadership is redefined.
    – Make technology your friend
    – Be innovative
    – Communicate
    – Motivate
    – Solicit participation by teammates
    – Be a Visionary
    – Be involved in the affairs of the community
    – Be sensitive to employees problems beyond the workplace
    – Attract the financial community
    – Be analytical / conceptual
    – Be sensitive to the bottom line
    – Be aware and sensitive to societal needs and the corporation’s
      participation in fulfilling them
    – Contribute time and money to worthy causes
    – Be able to walk on water

What else is happening out there in the real world?

THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN MANUFACTURING


Dr. John Psarouthakis

Executive Editor

 

Let me illustrate by looking at three pivotal industries: motor vehicles; electronic computing equipment; and machine tools. In the past couple decades the share of the domestic market held by domestic manufacturers producing in domestic plants has declined from approximately 80% to about 50% for motor vehicles, from 90% to below 60% for computing equipment, and from 80% to below 60% for machine tools. In recent years there has been a move toward recovery.

It is hoped that we can find a way to put our talents together to deal with the very real problems facing manufacturing in the USA. My purpose here is to suggest ways to do so.

We have one relatively simple decision to make: do we accept the current situation, continuing the decline in our manufacturing base or do we recognize that manufacturing and industries which support our manufacturing base are critical to our position in a global economy and commit intellectual and financial resources to improve our manufacturing base?  Recognizing the situation and doing something about it, however, are two very different issues.

Nevertheless, manufacturing accounts for nearly 20% of our Gross National Product, as it has for about 40 years. There is a much lower percentage of the total work force employed in manufacturing, but they are responsible for a large part of our economy.

In addition, our burgeoning service industries are in fact dependent greatly upon manufacturing. About half of all U.S. service employment is tied to manufacturing related activities.

There is a second reason why manufacturing really matters. Most if not all of us to some extent value the principles, “free” market economic system, and political structure of our nation. Some of us also feel it is important that we remain influential and powerful

in an uncertain and sometimes dangerous world. We cannot maintain our influence on the world affairs, if we become a second rate industrial power. While I don’t see us in the same context as colonial Great Britain, the declining influence of Britain for years was in part due to its neglect of its technological and industrial bases.

If we value our political and economic systems, we must strengthen and enhance our manufacturing base. But what are the specific tasks we need to address? As I see it, there are three tasks to be addressed. First, we must improve manufacturing related technology development and deployment. Second, we must improve the art of managing our manufacturing base. And, third we must “up-grade” and strengthen our human resources in manufacturing.