2022 STRATEGIC INITIATIVES
By Bill Huseby, President & CEO
Here’s our 2nd edition of the President’s Corner in VIDEO format. In this episode, I discuss our planning process, look back at 2021 to review the strategic initiatives we’ve accomplished, and dive into our new strategic initiatives we’ve laid out for 2022.
I hope you enjoy the conversation! And please share your thoughts about what you found interesting or what you’d like to hear more about next time.
Welcome to the second edition of the President’s Corner on video. I’m Bill Huseby, Owner and CEO at SIGMADESIGN. So, in the coming year we’re really hitting our stride here at SIGMADESIGN. We don’t have any giant efforts in place to change software, or new buildings, and so we really get a chance this year to refine, tune, and optimize what we are doing. And I’m really excited about that.
We go through a planning process here at SIGMADESIGN and it involves everybody in the company. We have over 400 people now and everybody is given the opportunity to participate in the beginning of our yearly planning with what is called a SWOT analysis which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It’s a big deal. We do this back in November. We did it on zoom and everybody brings what their perspective is. From that, we look for themes. We want to find those things that the organization thinks we need to focus on for the coming year to poise us for that next that next jump in performance.
We completed that and the leadership team went through and looked for themes. They brought to the executive team seven or eight different strategic initiative proposals. We whittled that down to three. And now we start the execution.
STRATEGIC INITIATIVES ACCOMPLISHED IN 2021
The strategic initiatives that we had for 2021 were three: One was to really focus on developing our skills and our processes for new product introduction. That’s the bridge between R&D and manufacturing, what happens in that time from a project perspective. We had a great team of folks come together and they did a lot of work on that new product introduction or what is referred to in the industry as NPI.
One of the other strategic initiatives was to begin the implementation of a product life management (PLM) system. This mainly focuses on the engineering side to make sure we have rev control and we release the right rev parts. Huge deal, mainly driven by the fact that we use many, many different CAD systems: mechanical, electrical and software. There are different systems, different versions that we need to have in order to satisfy our clients’ needs. That’s a great benefit for us.
The third one that was really strong in our SWOT analysis was the training program that we had. Where [previously] we couldn’t really track what trainings were happening. Managers couldn’t see which training their employees had. We were really inconsistent. When new employees come in, we want to introduce them to SIGMADESIGN. We want to give them the proper safety training, not only physical safety but also safety in terms of computer usage. It’s a wide, wide range of different training that we put together so that people can have the skills needed to get their job done.
STRATEGIC INITIATIVES FOR 2022
This year for 2022, we also have three strategic initiatives. The objective is to find those key initiatives that we have to focus on to make the company more efficient, to make the processes go smoother, to give more value to our clients and our partners. We have ISO 27001 (ISO/IEC 27001 — Information security management) which focuses on the BT or business technology sector. The other is inventory. And the last is kind of an overarching process improvement process.
The first one ISO 27001 which really has to do with our security systems from a business technology or what used to be called an IT infrastructure. We really need to get that certification so that we can be compliant with what our clients want to have. We’re quite a ways along but just getting that last little leap of certification can be quite the challenge.
One of the other strategic initiatives that we have is inventory. So inventory affects the financials of the company. It affects the efficiency of getting the job done. We recognized, because again from the SWOT analysis, that we need to put some effort into getting a control over the inventory situation.
And the third and final strategic initiative that we have is process optimization. We’re ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System [compliant] at our headquarters facility. But there’s lots of other processes that make SIGMADESIGN function; make it work. There are some that are cumbersome, some that are inefficient. So we really want to put together an effort to give the employees a voice to change their processes, and to improve them. So, we got a team together that’s going to work on that. That’s going to be cross-functional. That’s going to be a pretty big deal.
LOOKING FORWARD TO 2022
So each year we renew our commitment to working with our partners in our clients, and improving. And it’s going to be tough cuz we still have the pandemic to live with. I’m looking forward to the next year and the company coming together even tighter. Our new clients that we don’t know yet, I’m looking forward to meeting them. And I’m looking forward to continuing our great partnerships that we have with our existing clients; growing our business across the board. And it’s kind of interesting because I really do feel that excitement, that enthusiasm for 2022.