Hi and thanks for checking out my blog! Originally, I wanted to share and challenge ideas on improving the product and process development system within the manufacturing industry to benefit all stakeholders. My new direction is sharing the experiences of a new manager to start the conversation with veteran leaders to share and pass down knowledge to the next generation of business leaders.
Outside of my manager pursuits, I love soccer, being outdoors, cooking, music, and spending time with my dogs, Kya and Karma.
Below is my video on how American Manufacturing needs to adapt to the changing economic environment. Though this topic is still very relevant to the industry, I wanted to shift my focus to a wider range of businesses and how young leaders can better prepare to take over in the not-so-distant future. Be on the lookout for an updated video!
Hi, Kait Cook here and this video will summarize how my ideas and skill set add value to the manufacturing industry. Because the modern business mindset is rapidly transforming from the authoritative one of the Industrial Age into the servant leadership mindset of the Social Age, American manufacturers need to prepare for this change in order to survive.
So far in my brief career, I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to have multiple roles within some great organizations in different industries. And through these experiences, it has been made clear to me how important leadership is to that organization’s survival. And because in my undergrad they never taught us about the human element on the periodic table I obviously had to go back to school for a business degree to improve upon my people and leadership skills. All jokes aside, my work and scholastic experiences have helped prepare me to be able to give back to the manufacturing industry in order to make those organizations better for all effected stakeholders.
So, this new and challenging chapter in manufacturing needs to start with innovative changes in nearly every aspect of the industry, including culture, leadership expectations, operation monitoring protocols, and others. The customer is driving these new demands and even though most manufacturers are B2B companies, unsatisfied end-users will quickly have the business suffering financially if the manufacturer doesn’t accommodate these changes in a reasonable manner. For example: an amazing American tradition, the chocolate chip cookie, is still made daily by the billions in the familiar large circular shape we’ve all come to expect. But, through social media and with a little bit of creativity new forms of this beloved cookie are capturing and delighting every sweet tooth out there. Product innovations, like this cookie cup, in manufacturing were traditionally imagined and handled by an elite few, but now the Social Age demands more input be taken into account to improve our beloved goods beyond just the product itself.
So, innovation must occur through multiple avenues within manufacturing beyond just creating the next greatest product. Manufacturers have a huge impact and should own their responsibility in matters beyond just hitting the set production metrics. Improvements in positive environmental management, employee empowerment, life-supportive compensation for those employees, and real relationship building provide a greater ROI than most technical process upgrades because the manufacturer is showing they care about their number one asset: the employee.
Additionally, purchase decision-making by customers isn’t just about what the product is, it’s function, or the price any more. Customers are starting to ask the tough questions, like:
-Where are the ingredients sourced from and is it acquired ethically?
-How does the company treat its employees?
-Do they manage their waste appropriately and are by-products of the process harmful to the environment?…among other questions.
Customers are wanting to ensure their hard-earned money is going to a brand they believe in, can engage with, and trust.
And this is where I come in. With my experience and understanding in manufacturing, business, and social media, I bring a balanced and collaborative method towards altering the current state of the traditional, authoritative, and hierarchal mindset of the manufacturers stuck in the Industrial Age to a honest, open, and caring social age one. These changes stem from the customer’s ability to not only learn about a manufacturer, (inside and out) but also from their new ability to respond publicly on the company’s reactions via social media. The customers’ responses can make or break any company. But, it’s particularly hard for manufacturers to respond because they’re not on social media like their customers are.
And I care so much about manufacturing because I’ve been in love with that environment since my first internship and even though America has shifted to more of a service-based industry, American manufacturers are far from calling it quits. However, changes need to be made in order to be competitive with our more-efficient and less-costly neighbors. My knowledge of manufacturing processes and my ability to listen to customers combined with my passion for continuous improvement provides a winning combination to guide, lead, or even follow change as our society enters into a more caring, social, yet technological world. Thank so much!
Check out my contact page if you would like to get in touch!