John was recently hired as a materials manager for a medical device durable goods company. He had prior military service, Six Sigma certifications, and he came from a large chemical manufacturing company where he had streamlined the entire raw materials shipment process. This had resulted in enormous annual cost savings for John’s previous company. John thought he was coming to his new company to perform similar feats. He soon found out, however, that his new challenges were much different. John was not familiar with FDA regulations, which had to be followed. And, while there was, indeed, an issue with incoming raw materials, the issue wasn’t about quantity. He had the proper amounts coming in, but more than half were being returned for bad quality. John had an entire inbound process that needed repair.
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Nakul was a project manager in a food services company. He had been successful, and even excelled, at streamlining processes and managing product flow. A downturn in business put Nakul back in the job market, and he soon accepted a position as a project manager in an electronics manufacturing business.
Nakul was confident in his preparation and his skills as a project manager. He had earned certifications, and he knew he could learn new processes. But there was much in the electronics industry that he didn’t know, such as the specific ISO requirements. In addition, there were issues in the supply chain, and it was Nakul’s job to identify and remedy them NOW.