A different course of action is far less risky than continuing the path of failure

Flexible leadership, Leadership in extreme circumstances and not throwing good money after bad lessons from Stalin, Bligh and Arnold.

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Brian O’Neill in his post  on LDRLB titled Three Surprising Leaders Who Demonstrated the Importance of Flexibility brings out interesting strategies leaders can adopt in various situations to ensure flexibility and achieve their manufacturing goals.

As manufacturing engineers we have been taught and have implemented flexible manufacturing systems  and hence the need for flexibility to achieve agility in today’s industry and its importance is not new to us.  The buzz word for today’s manufacturer is “agility”. An agile manufacturer is one who is the fastest to the market, operates with the lowest total cost and has the greatest ability to “delight” its customers. FMS is simply one way that manufacturers are able to achieve this agility. If you are not Agile and hence not flexible, your competitiveness index as a manufacturer , nation or region will be adversely affected. A good example closer to home is the “dying” or “the dead” Zimbabwean Manufacturing Industry. The Zimbabwean industry  lacked Capacity linked flexibility  and could not thrive in the harsh economic hardships and global competition it found itself facing. The industry could not adjust its quality, production methods or manufacturing strategy to take head on the challenges which it was  facing. The comfort zone of quasi-monopolistic dominion was quickly  swept away by the dawning reality of an advanced  global market with lower  unit costs and better quality. Manufacturers found themselves selling at a loss as price determination was now market driven and manufacturers were now price takers. The result is well known, Zimbabwe deindustrialised.

Zimbabwe’s manufacturing competitiveness could have been different had the manufacturers been agile. The time is now for Zimbabwean industrialist to create agile manufacturing systems if they have any hopes of being competitive against their neighbors South Africa.

Some people may argue that the social, economic and political climate in Zimbabwe was a factor for the demise of the manufacturing sector. However I believe  we can not blame Robert Mugabe on this. It is the  manufacturing philosophy  and strategy  of a company or industry sector that drives it. In Zimbabwe’s case we found ourselves wanting of  manufacturing leaders who could stir the ship in extreme circumstances. It is not too late for manufacturing experts to configure their companies to world class standards and improve the country’s economy.

For more information on the strategies available you can read the referred article on this link..


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Defining God-The first cause (Engineering Religion)

Manufacturing and GOD

Image God created the earth (All the matter that we play with in manufacturing, and all the engineers that tinker with this matter)


The word manufacturing comes from the compound ablative Manus (to make) Factus (by Hand). Manufacturing is thus a creation of objects from the hand of a man. From the book of Genesis we find out that God created man in his own image and likeness ( meaning that the creative nature of man is just as intended by God). If thus our inspiration comes from God (Elohim) it is imperative that we understand this God. Today we look at God the manufacturer of the earth and all that is within it the one that inspires man and engineers.

The resourcefulness of God, his agility and how he created the earth that always evolves and continually improves eternally is what inspires the  continuous evolution of the current manufacturing plant. What we call world class manufacturing has already been achieved by God in the most simple of his creations. Hence we see more and more  engineers borrowing a leaf from nature to inspire their designs and their factories.

So who is God?

A general definition of this great First Cause, as far as human words dare attempt one, may be thus given: The eternal, independent, and self-existent Being: the Being whose purposes and actions spring from himself, without foreign motive or influence: he who is absolute in dominion; the most pure, the most simple, and most spiritual of all essences; infinitely benevolent, beneficent, true, and holy: the cause of all being, the upholder of all things; infinitely happy, because infinitely perfect; and eternally self-sufficient, needing nothing that he has made: illimitable in his immensity, inconceivable in his mode of existence, and indescribable in his essence; known fully only to himself, because an infinite mind can be fully apprehended only by itself. In a word, a Being who, from his infinite wisdom, cannot err or be deceived; and who, from his infinite goodness, can do nothing but what is eternally just, right, and kind. Reader, such is the God of the Bible; but how widely different from the God of most human creeds and apprehensions!


We continually work on lean six sigma to ensure we reduce errors and wastefulness such that we can also reach a stage where we can develop a system that can not err.Just like God never errs and is never wasteful

The words always right the first time have always been said in most manufacturing firms and large stickers are plastered on the walls, this is a characteristic of God always right every time.

This moment lets take time as engineers to be inspired by God who daily inspires us to design and develop those systems we call world class.

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The only way for Africa -Identify opportunities in Manufacturing

A very good article on opportunities for African Manufacturing.

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Lean Start ups a good read.


This article is on point and managers and stake holders in the manufacturing industry can borrow ideas from this. Agility is continually being demanded from manufacturing firms as the customers’ taste are evolving each day. This makes nearly every project in the industry a start up project or demands that managers leading change in these organisations treat every project as a start up. The advantages are explained in the article by Steve Blank in the Harvard Review.

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Harare, Zimbabwe — Is It Really The Worst City On Earth?

Harare, Zimbabwe — Is It Really The Worst City On Earth?.

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Some of the photos of Harare, Zimbabwe




Exceptionally written piece. Politics aside Zimbabwe can never be the worst city in the world as you rightly put it.  The city has however deteriorated (It was once called the sunshine city) and could have been a better place had it not been for the 15 years of economic decay we experienced. As a nation that was used to the donor syndrome and  credit lines from the world bank and IMF, the instant withdrawal of such services from the world left Zimbabwe in a state of shock. This shock affected all industry sectors and will take a very long time for the country to recover from this shock.  If we were discussing politics then we would say this kind of shock was designed for political reasons…But as you rightly put it…No politics.

I am impressed by your analysis. However stress levels are high in Zimbabwe due to load shedding and water rationing (This is from a personal experience), but such levels can not warranty it to be the worst city in the world.

I would recommend that you check the criteria used for ranking these cities and then do the analysis with such a checklist.  It will be interesting to note  how Harare fares on crime, hospitality, literacy, internet connectivity, cell phone penetration, housing standards, etc

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Nearly 100 killed in Bangladesh factory building collapse

This is a sad event considering the fact that this loss of life could have been avoided had the owners of these factories followed Safety rules and laws.  There is need for an international interest in this as it is very clear that the clothes which were headed for Wal-Mart. As confirmed by one of the owners of the factory.

He said that his firm had been sub-contracted to supply Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world’s largest retailer.

via Nearly 100 killed in Bangladesh factory building collapse.

As a manufacturing expert I believe following world class manufacturing methods could have easily avoided this disaster and still ensured that the factory owners enjoy their profits.

This is a selfmade image from the english wiki...

This is a selfmade image from the english wikipedia. The photographer has uploaded it as GFDL (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The Benefits of Green Manufacturing for TN’s Manufacturers

one of the pillars of world class manufacturing is green manufacturing. We have to come to the realisation that going green is not only a corporate social responsibility, but that it also is a great way of reducing manufacturing costs and hence improve competitiveness.

Made In Tennessee

Green ManufacturingYou’ve probably heard the phrase “going green” before. At first, you most likely heard about “going green” from celebrities… and they were often referring to taking quick showers or driving particular cars. But then, the manufacturing community learned about a different type of “going green.” This meant implementing more environmentally sustainable practices – initiatives that would help TN manufacturers realize many benefits!

As a manufacturer in Tennessee, you can do the following by embracing green manufacturing principles:

  • Appeal to more customers by improving your brand awareness
  • Manage energy costs
  • Reduce waste and save production costs by reusing materials
  • Improve production processes and efficiencies

In today’s competitive environment, green manufacturing is becoming an important business strategy for the manufacturing community. Customers and suppliers now weigh how “green” a company is when making a purchasing decision.

Manufacturers were initially hesitant to embrace green initiatives, as they were associated with higher production costs…

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