Written by: Ellen McKewen, Marketing Manager
Sometimes, to move forward, we have to first look back. We do this all the time in business:
- We review historical financial statements in order to project future revenues and profits.
- We reflect on successful (and unsuccessful) projects from past years to determine which endeavors should be reflected in this year’s budget.
We review exit interviews in order to improve our employee engagement methods and communications policies.
In the interest of offering premium services and content to our clients and readers in 2014 (and beyond), we took a look back at the five most popular blog posts for the past 2 years.
1. “Continuous Improvement - Six Sigma” - 5-part series of posts about Six Sigma
The top five posts ranked as follows:
2. “What Are the Most Effective Ways to Conduct a Kaizen Event?”
3. “Top 4 Reasons for Implementing Lean Manufacturing”
4. “The State of Manufacturing in California”
5. “The Benefits of Exporting”
We can really learn a lot about what appeals to you, our readers by examining this list and the content of the posts that appeal to you. Once again, we find ourselves looking backward to find the best direction to move forward!
Here is what examining the content in this list tells us:
- Our readers are very interested in posts about continuous improvement. This likely results, at least in some part, from the workforce skills shortage in California and nationwide. As companies struggle to find skilled workers, they are forced to figure out how to produce more with less people. It is also widely known that effective continuous improvement programs lead to greater profitability. And, who doesn’t want to make more money?
- Our readers are specifically interested in tools. The top two posts address specific continuous improvement tools, Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma. Business owners want to know how to make things happen. Posts that provide the “how to” of continuous improvement obviously resonate with our readers.
- Our readers like to hear about best practices. Three of the top five posts were about the most effective ways to conduct a Kaizen event, the benefits of exporting or the top four reasons for implementing lean. All companies are interested in improving, but don’t want to “reinvent the wheel”. What better way is there to do so than by learning what has succeeded for others and the benefits of undertaking a new initiative to evaluate the business case?
- Our readers are looking for new ways to expand their businesses. The fact that an exporting post was ranked so highly signals the desire, at least on the part of some of our readers, to expand their market by exporting. Exporting is more feasible in California than in many areas of the country, due to our proximity to ocean, rail and air transportation. In addition, one of the effects of the economic downturn in 2008/2009 is that companies are now looking for alternatives to expand their markets and product lines to avoid a lack of customer diversification. The “one customer in our backyard” marketing approach doesn’t work for most companies in this manufacturing age!
- Our readers are concerned about the economic climate in our state. It has been said that California is notorious for its political and economic climate (though it is also envied for its weather). California businesses know all too well the challenges of doing business in the state, but all business owners get so wrapped up in daily firefighting that it is hard to see the bigger picture. By providing a post on the manufacturing situation in California, our readers got a broader view of the business climate and the challenges facing manufacturers at large. This provides valuable perspective when running a business.
As we at CMTC create future newsletter and blog content and develop new services, we will keep the observations above in mind! Look for more posts on tools, continuous improvement, best practices, business expansion techniques and the “state of the state” of California in 2014! In addition, we will introduce some new topics that may be of interest to manufacturers.
Download the Next Generation Manufacturing Summary of 2013 for more insight into the manufacturing sector.