“You must always have a focus on what your business needs to do to stand out against the competition. Strive to be the best at all times – never rest. However, be sure not sell or provide a service or product that your customer does not pay for. This is tough because your customer doesn’t pay for rework, so you can’t price your product for the amount of rework you have to do. You have to be able to reduce rework. Safety is a high cost but your customer does not want to pay for accident prevention or past injuries.” – Matt Chambers, president, JRL Ventures Inc. / Marine Concepts

“We implemented a suggestion box using lean manufacturing techniques. Monthly, we read the suggestions and apply the ones that make sense. The employees who make suggestions that are used are put into a drawing and two winners receive cash prizes. Before and after pictures are taken and posted with the name of the employees who made the suggestions. This helps get all the employees involved and thinking of ways to help make our company more lean and efficient.” – Lori Luchak-Olund, president at Miles Fiberglass & Composites

“Change is how we approach the hiring process. Using the Harrison Assessment, we can try to understand the applicant better before they are hired. We also organize a dinner with the spouse to understand the family dynamics and to make sure they fit within our culture. In short, the hiring process now consists of many more steps than before. We also use the DiSC assessment (Dominance, Inducement, Submission and Compliance) for all team members to enhance communication amongst the teams and figure out how they fit. Using a Dave Ramsey-developed tool, we started posting the DiSC results at each member’s cubicle and trained each person on how to understand the personality style of the other team members.” – Dirk De Vuyst, president at International Marble Industries, Inc.

“At The R J Marshall Company our business strategy is called Marshall Total Performance (MTP). This performance strategy is a continuous improvement process that utilizes cross-functional teams to identify and implement opportunities for improvement. By defining our 10 core values as a company, we can make sure our employees know and support our values.” – Tim Price, vice president at The R J Marshall Company

“Effective business strategies can be refined as three important things: Selling more, selling better and managing cost. This resulted in more fun and record profits.” – Randy Weghorts, chairman emeritis at AOC