Mike Pierce's blog

No Room for Complacency: Building Quality Culture

Quality, like safety, is a constant journey of fighting complacency, human nature, and in some ways, the basic laws of physics. 

The second law of thermodynamics states that all things tend to chaos unless acted upon by an outside force. I have written on this before and it bears repeating, as it relates to quality and safety. The essence of Newton’s law as it relates to quality and safety is that it takes effort to be safe and to apply quality practices. It takes extra effort to check your PPE, to remove a tripping hazard, to make sure barricades are properly anchored.

Aviation and Aerospace - The First 50 Years

As The Austin Company, Boeing, Aviation Week and others celebrate their centennial of Aviation in 2016, it is also, ironically the 50th anniversary of the start of Boeing’s Plant in Everett, Washington. In 1966, Boeing contracted with Austin to Design and Build the giant Everett Plant; and it had been fifty years since Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company made the same decision in Buffalo, New York.

For Austin, these are the bookends of the first fifty years in designing and constructing aviation facilities. There are striking similarities between the projects, while the proportions of the facilities are representatives of the magnitude of advancements in the industry. 

Doing the Right Thing: Corporate Social Responsibility

I have always kept a motto that if you do the right things, the right things will happen for you. This philosophy lends itself well to Company cultures and the environment we all work in. Our parent company, Kajima Corporation, has a significant portion of their website and annual report dedicated to CSR, or Corporate Social Responsibility. A closer look at the website shows that Kajima’s CSR has several component strategies, including Compliance, Ethics, the Environment, Safety, the Community, and being a company that people are proud to work for.

A true benefit – a blessing even – that I get in my position is a front row seat to seeing how this dedication to Corporate Social responsibility works.

Pioneers in Aircraft Manufacturing Facility Design-Build

What was it like to design and build an aircraft manufacturing facility 100 years ago?

As Austin celebrates 100 years of designing and building world-class facilities for manufacturing, maintaining, and developing aircraft, airplanes and other aeroplanes, I wonder what it was like to do these projects 100 years go.

Craftsmanship - Taking Pride in Your Work

In June 2015, Mr. Yoshikazu Oshimi was promoted to the position of President and Representative Director of Kajima Corporation, Austin’s parent company. Mr. Oshimi has 30 years of experience within Kajima, starting in construction and moving into project management and then management. In his message, “My Commitments as President,” published in the 2015 Corporate Report, Mr.

The Meaning of 100 Years

Aviation Week and Space Technology (AW&ST), the magazine, okay – call it “the bible” of the industry, first published in August 1916. William Boeing founded The Boeing Company in 1916 as well. Also in 1916, The Austin Company began design and construction of its first (of many) aircraft assembly plants – one hundred years ago this year, the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company plant in Buffalo, New York. The precursor to Curtiss Wright.

Finding Success with the Perfect Partner

I attended a conference last week in Chicago and heard a speaker say that, “one of the secrets to life is finding the right partner.” Now, this was a bakery trade show and not a marriage encounter, but either way, the concept resonated with me.

Evoking the Passion for What Drives You

I returned from a business trip last week after visiting a food company that is planning a new project. My plane arrived in Cleveland at 12:15 am and it was 1:45 am before I finally crawled into bed, exhausted but unable to sleep.

In the quiet and darkness, I replayed the events of the day in my mind … preparing for the presentation, meeting the key players and getting to know them, touring their plant several miles away to see how they manufacture their product, understanding their needs and the problems they are trying to solve, identifying and aligning the services we offer that will best fulfill those needs and help solve those problems, and then communicating that message to those key players.

Building Relationship Equity through Continuous Feedback

Recently, Austin made the initial investment in a Client Feedback Tool. This is a tool designed to monitor a client’s perception of the quality of your services and results, especially as you reach project milestones. A critical benefit to this process is that it engages the team in measuring perceptions as they move through a project, instead of waiting until the end.

Thoughts on Starting the New Year ... with Emotional Intelligence

I find the Christmas Holiday a fascinating time of year from a business and management perspective.

A whole host of companies basically shut down (I bet their fiscal year doesn’t end 12/31). Many in professional services look at the year-end as a time to catch up, clean up, clean out and organize. It is a time for planning and preparing for a new year, a fresh chance at improving, and resolving old problems once and for all.

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