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Business & Management

Outsourcing: An Historical Perspective, Part 1 of 2


The Summer 2012 issue of Valve Magazine featured an article on the effects of globalization which grabbed the attention of George Reusch, a former long time buyer for Exxon’s Refinery and Chemical plants in Baton Rouge. Reusch, along with Larry Kirkland, another Exxon buyer, graciously offered their take on outsourcing as it affected the valve industry back in the 1980s and as it has affected the business to the present. I also spoke to Raoul Robert of Southern Valve to get his take from the valve repair side of the industry. The following is Part One of a compilation of written material from Reusch and Kirkland, and notes from my interview with Robert.

Flex the Power of Generational Differences

steve jacob generational web

A report from the VMA Market Outlook Workshop, held in August 2012:

“Attracting, retaining and motivating talent is difficult, especially when you’re recruiting those who can really add value to your business”, said Steve Jacobs, Senior Manager at Ernst & Young, as he began his presentation entitled “Managing Workforce Generational Differences”.

The Momentum Cycle: Leading the Lean Transformation

momentum_1 I have worked and taught in organizations for nearly half a century, and for at least half that time, I’ve led sessions on Lean and it its predecessors.

Over those years, I’ve observed, considered and practiced what it takes to successfully lead a Lean transformation, and I’ve often asked myself why the change seems so difficult. The answer I’ve come up with is: context.

Women in the Valve Industry

sheri_updikeWhile women are making great strides in many industries, there is still a sizeable gap between the number of men and women in oil and gas, mining, utilities and pulp and paper. In 2009, the gap actually widened, with many women leaving top level positions in those industries as the economy slowed. Currently less than 10% of executive and board member positions in oil and gas companies are held by women.

As the economy slowly rebounds, we spoke with some industry experts to survey the current state of affairs and what opportunities are on the horizon for women in the valve and affiliated industries.

Finding and Keeping Talented Employees

financepersonRecruiting and retaining qualified personnel in this post-recession environment is a challenge in all segments of the economy. This is especially true of finance talent, where issues including retiring baby boomers, regulatory pressures and complex operations are impacting the availability of key finance talent. But a recent presentation by Ken Kunkleman of Deloitte Consulting at the VMA 2012 Finance Leaders Seminar offered excellent strategies to fill this growing need.


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