Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Armstrong Energy Council Advances the Productivity Frontier

I just wrapped up two days at Armstrong’s Energy Management Council in Chicago. Armstrong is a leading provider of energy system and service solutions for energy consumers. Their ongoing challenge is to serve clients that are equally challenged to balance the factors of time, risk, and money as they seek solutions to today’s dynamic energy markets.

The Council is an opportunity for energy managers from the food processing and pharmaceutical industry—many of whom are actually competitors—to share information about new technologies and practices. This forum allows peers to validate new applications that are otherwise backed only by sales materials. Attendees walk out of the Council with improved knowledge of what will work, what won’t work, and what’s still yet to be verified. This applies not only to technology, but to management practices and communications that are needed to get things done.

This event indicates the potential to improve productivity through collaboration and information sharing. Perhaps you’ve seen the business press that describes American industry’s inability to maintain the productivity gains that it enjoyed through the 1990s. We’ve reduced the number of labor hours per dollar of production to its bare minimum. I think the opportunity now is to better coordinate the efforts of people that remain. The Armstrong Energy Management Council is one forum that permits this kind of collaboration. I hope to see a lot more.



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