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8 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2020 Tom Popomaronis wrote an article on War- ren Buffett's simple test for making tough deci- sions. He wrote [1] : "If a manager expresses uncertainty, Buffett says he asks them how they 'would feel about any given action if they know it was to be written up the next day in their local newspaper.' He tells them that the article would be 'written by a smart but pretty unfriendly reporter' and read by their family, friends, and neigh- bors. 'It's pretty simple,' he says. 'If [the decision] passes that test, it's okay. If any- thing is too close to the lines, it's out.'" Now, ethics (and sometimes the lack there- of) are always a part of the decision-making process; I'm sure you'll grant me that point. This passage caught my eye not so much be- cause of the discussion of ethics, but because many of us can see some tough decisions com- ing over the horizon. Quick! Name a department in your compa- ny, and I bet I can identify a challenge. Sales? Lead generation and virtual customer visits. The shop floor? Easy! Interconnected equip- ment, process tracking, and new wet process- es, just to name a few. Marketing? Revamping programs and trade shows for a virtual experi- ence. Human resources? Finding skilled new hires and providing them with safe working environments. Purchasing? Supply chain re- siliency. Accounting? Yes, not even accounting escapes the threat of cybersecurity and ran- somware extortion. All of these challenges and changes must be coordinated from the executive ranks. Risks must be assessed, investments ranked, and funding planned. These market dynam- ics may be changing the calculus of the fab- rication business. Supply chain dynamics potentially expand into fabrication dynam- ics, including new regional and captive fab- rication, and capital investment. Businesses throughout the industry are rethinking their Nolan's Notes by Nolan Johnson, I-CONNECT007 Rethinking Manufacturing

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