New Year, Better Us: a Service Business' Resolution

Posted by Pete Sherer on Jan 30, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Not only did we celebrate a new year when the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2020, but also a new decade (depending on who you ask)!  What is it about a new year that causes us to take stock and vow to make improvements?  As I stepped on the scale this morning, I noted that one of my high ranking resolutions is in serious jeopardy.  But then, I was able to rationalize my lackluster progress by remembering that all the holiday cookies, candy, caramel coated popcorn, etc. have been consumed, and the plan to lose a few pounds should self-correct (skeptics need not reply).

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Topics: Communication, Business, Project Management, Internet of Things, For Fun, IIoT

The Best Thing You Can Do Before Going Out to Bid (Clone)

Posted by Wendy Smith on Dec 10, 2019 9:00:00 AM

One of the most important factors for a successful project is being able to specify the requirements up front. Many times, the customer doesn’t know exactly what he needs. More preliminary engineering is required to get the project requirements specific enough for suppliers to offer a fixed price bid for the project. But often, clients don’t realize they need to budget for this and therefore don’t want to pay for this service.

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Topics: Purchasing, Project Management

Capital Project Investing:  How to turn Complexity and Risk into Success

Posted by Pete Sherer on Jul 2, 2019 8:27:20 AM

In business, it’s been said, “you need to spend money to make money.” This axiom certainly applies to capital investing, where market demands can be exploited with increased production through the careful implementation of new equipment.

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Topics: Mechanical and Process Services, Purchasing, Business, Skid Systems, Upgrades, Project Management, Engineering Services

The Best Thing You Can Do Before Going Out to Bid

Posted by Wendy Smith on Jun 24, 2019 10:07:06 AM

One of the most important factors for a successful project is being able to specify the requirements up front. Many times, the customer doesn’t know exactly what he needs. More preliminary engineering is required to get the project requirements specific enough for suppliers to offer a fixed price bid for the project. But often, clients don’t realize they need to budget for this and therefore don’t want to pay for this service.

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Topics: Purchasing, Project Management

“Did you read the instructions?” The Best Way to Simplify Equipment Moves

Posted by Pete Sherer on Apr 10, 2019 1:56:33 PM

You may have heard the old adage, “Real men don’t read the instructions.” This is often followed by disastrous results – furniture put together incorrectly, hours spent on equipment repairs that could have been solved in minutes, or a family taken wildly off-course on a road trip. As funny as these examples are, manufacturers are susceptible to similar outcomes when it comes to projects like equipment moves.  

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Topics: Manufacturing, Equipment, Project Management

The Cost of Quality and Doing the Job Right the First Time

Posted by Wendy Smith on Oct 17, 2018 1:20:02 PM

In my last post I was excited to share an example from a client who shared with us some pictures of a process we had installed in the 1970’s that had stood the test of time. To contrast this feelgood story, I wanted to share another recent experience we had with a current client who reached out to us.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Quality, Project Management, Skilled Trades

Risk Assessment & Mitigation in Project Management 

Posted by Steve Beyer on Jan 9, 2018 3:13:56 PM

BusinessCaseForProjects.jpg

It’s that time again—looking at our practices to find areas for improvement. Today’s subject is project management: risk assessment and mitigation. Risk is a big deal here at Optimation. We are managing not only our own risk, but also that of our partners, suppliers, and clients. It’s a form of stewardship, that is, caring for the well-being of assets entrusted to us. Very often our clients hire us explicitly to help manage their project risk. This can come in the form of scope, schedule, or budget dimensions, each of which poses its own unique challenges to a client's ability to achieve their goals when undertaking capital projects.

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Topics: Project Management

The Art of Effective Project Communication

Posted by Steve Beyer on Nov 30, 2017 8:35:03 AM

Communication is one of the most significant factors in any kind of venture. Whether it's operating a business or executing a capital project, communication among team members and between stakeholders is critical. Clarifying understanding, enabling trust, and building confidence, are just a few of the critical benefits of optimized communication. This blog post is intended to explore the application of effective communication, specifically in capital projects.

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Topics: Communication, Project Management

The Benefits of Thinking About the Negatives of a Project

Posted by Steve Beyer on Nov 6, 2017 2:04:03 PM

 

"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."

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Topics: About Optimation, Communication, Manufacturing, Business, Project Management

From Concept to Fabrication:  What are the Risks, and How are they Mitigated?

Posted by Pete Sherer on Oct 24, 2017 8:39:43 AM

At Optimation, we describe our company in terms of our ability to provide turnkey solutions to the manufacturing segment.  Our solutions and services can start early in the project process, as we are able to assist our clients in investigating a variety of technologies that might help them with their production challenge or problem.  We generally receive a problem statement and some User Requirements from our contact at the client company.  We respond to the customer’s needs with a Concept Design phase, which includes performing a technology assessment.  Our Media Conveyance Facility stands ready to offer Development Engineering and modeling to predict behavior for products that are built on flexible webs, for example.  Once a preferred technology is selected, a manufacturing platform or machine configuration is generated that answers the client’s User Requirements (the first steps of our Project Process).  We then invite our client to participate in a Concept Design review to validate our work product so far.

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Topics: About Optimation, Mechanical and Process Services, Manufacturing, Project Management, Engineering Services

Welcome to the Optimation Blog

Tips, tricks and trends

The goal of this blog is to be helpful to readers by providing useful information about applications in industrial engineering, design and skilled trades, as well as industry knowledge. We're passionate about manufacturing in the United States. We have a little fun with it too.  

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