Magazine article Industrial Management

SEMS Says

Magazine article Industrial Management

SEMS Says

Article excerpt

NUMBERS GAME MASTERY

Costs and the control of costs are common to all managerial positions (budgets), while our impact on revenue is more remote. This premise is why cost objectives are a common feature of most managerial evaluation schemes. It is important to assign costs in a way that their control and impact are understood and monitored.

Since how we are evaluated drives behavior, the assignment of costs encourages managerial action. If assigned inappropriately, we see unintended consequences.

Cost engineering is an iterative process that changes to accommodate new technologies and to incorporate new methods. It continues to require the integration of accounting, engineering and management knowledge to achieve desired results in often novel ways. Each business is different and a cookie cutter approach does not work. Cost engineers must be creative in their application of the basics to the assignment of cost to achieve the desired results - the ability to forecast costs into the future as the demand of the product or service changes, the ability to forecast the impact of changes in the business processes and the ability to encourage the appropriate behavior by those impacting costs.

William R. Peterson, associate professor and chair, Department of Automotive and Manufacturing Engineering Technology, Minnesota State University

EXCEPTIONAL COMMUNICATION

As leaders on our journey to becoming exceptional leaders, we must become exceptional communicators.

I was recently at a leadership event, where I had the opportunity to listen to many leaders speaking on a variety of topics. Some were great leaders, but not great speakers. Others were great speakers, but not great leaders. As leader after leader spoke, I couldn't help but notice that those who were known as exceptional leaders in the organization were also exceptional communicators.

There's nothing like the feeling you get after speaking to or listening to a leader with exceptional communication skills. Whether the interaction is in a group setting or one on one, somehow you leave the interaction motivated, energized and eager to get back to work and accomplish great things. Leaders who can communicate exceptionally well have a way of making you want to follow them. They know what to say, how to say it and when to say it.

Exceptional communicators find a way to connect to their authence. Their communication is genuine and spoken with a passion. They move around as they deliver their message, making a point to make eye contact with individuals as they do. They speak candidly and honestly, yet have a sense of humor.

In a one-on-one setting, an exceptional leader will communicate with you in a way that makes you feel comfortable and valued. Finally, their choice of words seems effordess, yet perfect to get their point across whether coaching or praising.

Deborah A. Laudenslager, director of industrial engineering, The Hershey Co.

Society spotlights four management trends

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION MEASUREMENT

Assessing customer satisfaction in order to manage customer relationships better is increasingly important yet appears to remain a significant challenge in practice. The customer surveys we all see as consumers of everyday services (e.g., at hotels, restaurants, etc.) may seem deceptively easy to design and administer; however, there are many examples of ineffective customer surveys, whether it be in design, administration or evaluation and use of results.

You can design a survey, execute it with a pilot test, analyze and review processes based on the design decisions and use the results for improvement. …

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