At Optimation we design and fabricate manufacturing systems for companies all over the United States and the world. To build this equipment, we use a lot of steel and stainless steel and lesser amounts of aluminum and exotic alloys. A couple months ago, the rules changed when getting prices for these commodity items. Many of our suppliers began to provide pricing which was good for only 24 hours. This reaction by our suppliers was created by threats of tariffs being placed on steel and aluminum.
"Unintended consequences." Sounds harmless, guilt-relieving, “not-our-fault” kind of language. On the surface it's a simple-enough statement, declaring that there were outcomes to some actions taken that (usually) ran counter to the intent of the project, and generally they were not desired. In other words, "some bad things happened that we did not expect."
When one is in the business of selling purpose-built manufacturing systems and equipment, one is frequently asked by one’s prospective customers to provide pricing for their goods and services. Depending on how well defined the needed solution is, which would be embodied in the equipment to be priced, calculated equipment costs can be widely variable. In these situations, where a selection of different technologies and even approaches may satisfy our prospect, we recommend that some preliminary engineering be performed to better define the needs of the client’s operation, and thereby provide criteria with which to limit options and better judge best fit/return on investment from the solution options.
We are a business that executes hundreds and hundreds of projects every year. These span the spectrum from simple to complex, urgent to critical, and small to large. As a vendor in industrial automation, we participate in these interactions as a supplier to prospective clients wishing to accomplish business goals. There are about as many ways to go about this as there are projects; however, there are certain parameters that yield more likely success more often. Let's look at them.
Last week the New York Photonics & Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster held their annual meeting. The Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster has been around for a long time and its predecessor the Institute for Optics was founded in Rochester in 1929. The photonics industry has been around a long time in Rochester. We haven’t been talking about it very much for all that time, in fact hardly at all until recently. Now it’s a big deal. Chuck Schumer, Louise Slaughter and Dr. Ernest Moniz, the Secretary of the Department of Energy himself, came to Rochester to attend the meeting. It was held with a great deal of pomp and ceremony at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. It was no doubt the largest attendance at an annual meeting ever, so large in fact that the event was “sold out.”
I guess it is time to say goodbye to summer and welcome in all that comes with autumn! It has been an amazing summer, but now the kids have gone back to school, the morning traffic has returned, it’s getting dark earlier, and it’s getting a little cool for a convertible or rolling all the windows down on the morning commute to work. All of these things signal the next season, not only in our personal lives, but in our work lives as well.
A great deal has been studied, written about and taught on the subject of selling. All of us in our daily lives are salesmen of some sort and all of us in our daily lives are consumer and buyers as well. If we think about our own buying experiences, we can begin to understand what it takes to be a better than average salesperson.
In today’s age, it’s easy to search and get reviews for pretty much any product or service. If you’re looking for a hotel, you probably read the reviews of the hotel before you book. If you’re looking to buy a new product, you do the same before adding it to your cart.
In 1957 "Sputnik" not only launched itself into space but also, simultaneously, a space race. Several years later, American President John F Kennedy announced a seemingly impossible mission: landing Americans on the moon and bringing them back safely.
This combination of goal setting, vision, and leadership propelled America to the forefront of innumerable technologies and industries. Seizing on potentially dire conditions as a result of the Soviets’ surprise leap into space ahead of America, JFK tapped into that in a proactive and unparalleled manner.
With last week’s 47th anniversary of American astronaut Neil Armstrong's first step onto the lunar surface, it's worth considering what moonshots can really be all about, and how you can have one also.
While there may not be a singular definition of a "moonshot," it's safe to say that it consists at least of a stretch goal (that really redefines "stretch"); addressing multiple problems at once; requiring different thinking; an unwillingness to fail. So what is your moonshot?