Trends & Forecasts
- Published on Tuesday, 11 August 2015 11:22
- Written by Kate Kunkel
While the shale gas boom continues to play an important part in the economic well-being of the United States, it was the price of oil that was foremost in the minds of presenters and attendees alike at VMA’s 2016 Market Outlook event held in Chicago this month.
- Published on Monday, 29 June 2015 09:58
- Written by Dr. Aaron W. Hughey
The 2015 VMA Manufacturers Workshop featured a two-day intensive workshop on Lean Leadership. All of the sessions at this year’s conference, held April 30-May 2 in Nashville, TN, were designed to help managers, supervisors and team members acquire a more functional understanding of the key leadership skills needed to facilitate and sustain a lean transformation. That is achieved when leaders have the skills essential to successfully implement the lean philosophy and they must work collaboratively with different personalities and styles to create a cohesive workforce that focuses on lean processes (striving to become more efficient and precise). The ultimate goal of lean leadership is a workforce fully committed to the approach and driven by principles focused on problem solving, effectively implementing change, defining and achieving goals, and being more accountable.
In the lean way of doing things, leadership is not a position, it is a relationship and leadership is everyone’s business. It is a set of skills and abilities, and to develop as a leader means to develop the self. This has profound implications for those in leadership positions. It is important for management to be committed to and understand the importance and role of employee training and education. To make that training valuable, it must also be implemented properly and leaders must set realistic expectations.
- Published on Monday, 18 May 2015 11:15
- Written by Kate Kunkel
More than 750 million people currently lack access to clean water worldwide. That is a statistic that generally doesn’t affect too many people in North America, but the 10-year drought in Texas and the current situation in California are bringing attention to the fact that even the wealthiest of nations can have water-related shortages.
In the United States, 60% of well and surface water goes to industry and agriculture consumes 30% of water used. While conservation efforts may alleviate some of the supply problems, continually increasing demands on this resource are pressing the boundaries of technology to come up with new solutions.
- Published on Monday, 04 May 2015 14:55
- Written by Kate Kunkel and Judy Tibbs
When Brian Beaulieu of ITR Economics asked attendees at VMA’s 2015 Leadership Forum what economic issues most concerned them, the plunge in the price of oil was high on the list. The impact of a high U.S. dollar, the possibility of interest rate hikes and the future of shale gas were also subjects of interest, and Beaulieu ensured that he would cover them all and much more in his presentation.
- Published on Monday, 06 April 2015 09:57
- Written by Ben Wilkerson
The energy industry is entering into increasingly challenging environments. Deeper waters, more extreme temperatures and higher pressures are driving technology developments for new products to meet these needs. How do we define a process to design, produce, and qualify these products?
Other industries and organizations, like the Department of Defense (DoD), have been implementing a five-stage new product development (NPD) process for years and have valuable best practices to offer. In addition, new and developing standards from classification society DNV GL, which introduced its first pipeline code in 1976, and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) are adopting existing DoD specifications to use as guidance to develop and qualify new products.