Channeling our Inner Ernie Banks: The Power of Positivity

Permit me some self-indulgence on this one. I have joked for years that being a life-long Cubs fan provided great training for a career in sales – it has taught me how to deal with disappointment and adversity, how to maintain optimism and good will, and that attitude is the biggest factor in one’s happiness and success. No one represented those qualities more than Ernie Banks. “Mr. Cub” passed away recently at the age of 83. 

Benefits of Conducting an Early Favorable Area Study

By Jonathan Gemmen, Senior Location Consultant with Austin Consulting

For several decades, corporations have compressed the timeline on which they execute the site selection and construction process. We’ve seen that most firms want to minimize the window between the date when their competitors know of their future expansion and the date when production starts. Every day that the market knows of the proposed expansion, is another day they can prepare for and adjust to the upcoming increase in production capacity.

Perspectives on Leadership

I have been reading a wide range of articles and books lately on the roles and responsibilities of leaders and how that affects results, and it has me thinking.

Dan Ebener has a book called Blessings for Leaders where he takes the Beatitudes and applies them to characteristics and practices for being effective leaders. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they will inherit the earth,” etc…

He equates “Poor in Spirit” with humility. Those leaders who are servant leaders will succeed. He suggests a leadership style to be adopted that has a goal to create followers. At the Marines boot camp, the last ones to eat in the mess hall are the Officers. Servant Leaders are focused on nurturing their followers so that they are able to become leaders.

Balancing New Year’s Resolutions with Continuous Improvement

Happy New Year to all my blog readers. Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions yet? Broken any yet?

Certainly an interesting tradition that goes back to ancient Babylonia, New Year’s Resolutions are essentially about Continuous Improvement metrics. We set goals to improve and in general, we set a timetable to achieve those improvements (one year?). Livescience tells us that 4000 years ago, the Babylonians used the New Year to swear allegiance to an old King, or a new one if a change had taken place.

Water Reliability and Potential Impacts

Brandon Talbert, Location Consultant with Austin Consulting

On January 9, 2014, crude 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM), a chemical agent used in washing coal, reportedly leaked from a storage tank at a chemical storage facility located along the Elk River in Charleston, WV. The spill leaked into the ground before traveling to the adjacent river. The incident occurred about one mile upstream from American Water’s treatment facility along the Elk River, which flows into the Kanawha River in downtown Charleston. When it was determined that the spill had contaminated local drinking water, a “do-not-use” advisory was issued to parts of nine counties, affecting up to 300,000 customers. The ban lasted five days before gradually being lifted.

Perceptions and Positivity: Balancing the Good with the Bad

One of the last chapters of Scaling Up Excellence is titled “Bad is Stronger than Good”. The focus of this chapter deals with people’s perceptions and how their experiences shape them. Bad events have a stronger, more lasting effect. Bad events are also more contagious. Psychologists studying this phenomenon have defined what they refer to as a “five-to-one” rule:

The Annual Marathon That We Run

In the U.S. at least, the calendar year is an interesting marathon race. It can be a long journey with many sights and people along the way. The competitors we encounter are generally empathetic with the other runners, because in the end we are running the race ourselves. We challenge each other to improve along the way.

How to Handle Tighter Shipping Capacity

From Austin Consulting

For the last several years, truckload capacity has been on the minds of nearly every shipper. Issues they are hearing and facing include fewer trucks, fewer drivers and tightening capacity. But what does that really mean and how does it affect your business?

Some factors that are driving the capacity issues include:

Room for Growth

When this automotive components manufacturer quickly outgrew is production space, Austin delivered an expansion that doubles the facility size. 

Manufacturing in the U.S.: Taking Advantage of a Bright Future

I recently posted on LinkedIn a link to a very interesting study released by Boston Consulting on the current state of Global Manufacturing. It’s a great study, but my take away from it, aside from the obvious information it gives, is the sanity check it delivers on what would otherwise be considered conventional wisdom and how wrong it can be.

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The Austin Company

The Austin Company offers a comprehensive portfolio of in-house services, including planning, architectural design, engineering, design-build, construction management, and construction, as well as site location and operations improvement consulting, for commercial and industrial companies throughout North America, Europe and Asia. 

Founded in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1878, we continue to uphold our founder's Core Values and believe in providing, "Honest work, well done." Our facility solutions are developed and implemented to improve your operations and make them more efficient - the results you receive are more than just shade and shelter for your business.

In addition to services for the built environment, Austin offers value-added strategic planning services, such as site location, transportation and distribution consulting, and facility and process audits. Our Results, not Excuses® approach provides you with expertise and innovative solutions for your facility challenges.

Check out our blog for Austin's insights on everything from site location to leadership in the design, engineering and construction industry.   

The Austin Company headquarters remain in Cleveland, with additional offices in Irvine, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Kalamazoo, Michigan; and St. Louis, Missouri; in addition to Mexico City and Leon, Mexico. Austin became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kajima USA Group in 2005 and is a proud member of the Kajima family of companies. Kajima Corporation is a leading global engineering and construction contractor. 

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