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8 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2023 Nolan's Notes by Nolan Johnson, I-CONNECT007 The Manufacturer's Mindset It's the ongoing balance of the four forces of flight—thrust, drag, weight, and lift— that will keep any flying object aloft. To gain altitude, the pilot adds lift, which usu- ally requires more thrust. To descend safely, there must be less thrust, allowing weight to exert more force on the trajector y. Applying this concept to the business world: thrust is revenue, lift is manufacturing capacity, weight represents various business obsta- cles, and drag stands in for the operating costs and other financial burdens on your business. Just as the bird or pilot must bal- ance their four forces, you must balance yours to climb and stay upward. Consider the external forces that con- tribute to the balance of the forces. Just as a plane may fly faster thanks to a tailwind, the economy, government, or investors can influence the thrust/drag balance in either direction. Investment can also increase the lift or capacity. The warning, of course, is that too much of one force can upset the bal- ance enough to cause something unmanage- able, like a stall. The key is to fine tune these forces to follow the flight path you've cho- sen. We can all think of examples of compa- nies that tried to climb (expand) faster than their thrust and lift (revenue and investment) could sustain, causing the drag of their oper- ating costs to pull them into a crash. In this month's issue, we address those forces working for and against our businesses. As we've made our way through some turbulent times, and on the heels of a quite successful trade show, this is the perfect time to find out what's on your mind. If you were in San Diego, you likely felt the buzz; you know what I'm talking about. This is the ideal time to suggest read-

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