Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Culprit and Interwire 2009

Tonight, I had a few minutes to try replacing the intertube on my bike (see a previous post). My first attempt, on Saturday, did not go great. However, today's attempt almost made it. It appears that I need an additional part to extend the stem when pumping. The pump accept the stem when the intertube is out but the stem does not stick through the rim far enough for the pump to fully accept the stem. Anyway, during this process of trying to get everything put together, my thumb happened to slide along the inside of the tire and then a line of blood appeared. A very tiny, but very sharp piece of metal had penetrated the tire. I was pleased to find the cause of this flat tire and now have a better idea of what to monitor and check. After cutting my thumb, I kind of paused for a minute just looking at it and thinking... about being alert.

"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)

I'm learning more and more that it is important to be alert

And now another topic... Interwire 2009.

On Monday night, Jason and I headed over to Cleveland so that we could go to the wire trade show, Interwire 2009, on Tuesday. Your probably thinking, "Oh, wow, the wire trade show. Now that sounds exciting." Actually, I was able to finalize an upcoming trial and walked away with a few cost reduction ideas and learned about some new technologies. One of the cool parts of the show was a panel discussion held first thing in the morning. The panel included four industry leaders - including our own Executive Vice President. The grouped shared some interesting points. Although, this is an incredibly challenging economic environment, a few positives came to light. In this environment, people are more receptive change, more open to trying new ideas to trim costs or improve productivity. Consequently, the companies that do this stand to be much stronger when the economy starts to rebound. Several of the panelists also stressed the importance of relationships. Of course the customer relationship is a given. However, especially in this environment, developing a strong relationship with suppliers is important. These relationships create opportunities to problem-solve, share resources, and trim fat. In summary, their keys to success included a strong balance sheet, customer and supplier relationships, consolidation, and innovation.


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