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.

Organizational Time Management: Improving Performance with more Efficient Communications

Recently, there have been discussions within our management ranks about email preferences. The topic centers on how much information does one want to see. Some prefer to get copied on everything. Others on a need-to-know basis. But, at the end of the day, we are all trying to find a happy medium of managing time and information. A few of us remember the days of “Goldenrod” – I’ll explain that in a little bit for those not familiar with its meaning.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Spec Buildings

From Austin Consulting

When looking to expand or relocate into a new territory, many growing companies start a property search with hopes that an available building suitable for their needs is on the market. Existing buildings are attractive because the overall cost of the project will typically be cheaper and the company will be quicker to market, saving the company two key resources: time and money.

Built to thrive: What makes a long-surviving organization successful?

One of my favorite sources of thought and contemplation of business is the McKinsey Quarterly.  In case you are not familiar, McKinsey & Company is one of the leading management consulting firms in the world and a top source of global CEO recruits. Many top authors and analysts also have gone through McKinsey’s organization. The Quarterly is a publication of some of their most esteemed thinkers’ works.

Building and Maintaining Company Reputation: Integrity, Honor, Values

Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” And reputation in business is not immune to this wisdom. What gets lost sometimes in the day-to-day, give-and-take of work is the loss of focus that the one bad deed that Mr. Franklin was referring to might have just taken place.

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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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