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We recently caught up with Santa on his pre- flight rounds checking chimney status in Ohio.

"I'm a big fan of the Precision Machined Products Industry, you know."

Speaking of Precision: What brings you to Ohio now? I would have thought that you’d be back at the North Pole frantically working on Production?
Santa Claus: Frantically working on production? Heck No. We’re ISO/TS 16949. We have systems in place. Procedures to follow. There is nothing ‘frantic’ about our product realization methodology.
SOP: Sorry about that Santa. I guess it isn’t very well known that your North Pole Workshop is ISO TS 16949 Certified.
SC: Yes. Everybody thinks we’re this old fashioned, 19th century kind of sweat shop. We’ve had to keep up with the manufacturing technology you know. We’re nothing at all like that overly sentimental Coke commercial. We’re up to date. Using best practices. Modern lighting. Safe job procedures. Continuous improvement. Who has time for nostalgia?  Do you know how much coal I have to deliver to Wall Street Bankers this year?
Our monitoring and measurement of product (TS 16949 Clause 8.2.4 )  is one of the reasons I’m out here with the Medina Township Fire Dpartment today. Our procedures require us to validate delivery systems, so the fire department is driving me around to verify chimneys. The data I get will be used in our algorithm for lean delivery…

SOP:  Santa, who would have thought that you were a proponent of “lean anything?” Just sayin…  But why not just do a reindeer flyover?
SC: Are you kidding me?  I’m all about reducing waste. I have a world to satisfy in just one night. As for why not use the reindeer, look, you don’t know just  how hot  it is here. Look at me, I’m really sweating here in this heat wave. Is Ohio always this hot?
SOP: Santa, its 10 degrees F, we just got 6 inches of snow…
SC. Down right tropical. Down right tropical. If I’d have brought my deer, they’d be losing weight. They will need all their energy for our big night. Thank goodness the fire department can take me around on this preflight.  So what is it that you have on your list? New Car? Vacation? Stop foreclosure on your house?
SOP: Santa, Thanks for asking, on behalf of the precision machined products industry (we’re the people who make things)…
SC: Just like us at the North Pole, I know you guys. You make the crucial components that make other technologies function. I use a lot of your stuff in my work. And I think one of your shops made the hardware for my hip replacement last June.
SOP: You had a hip replacement?
SC: Yes, it was the off season. Your guys did a nice job on the screws  to attach it. Looked like they were whirled, not chased.
SOP: Well Santa some of our shops do that. Now about that list.
SC: Yes- The List.
SOP:  What we’d  like from you, Santa,  is to see continued and growing demand for  our Precision Machined Products.
SC: Well of course you do, you tracked me down to ask for that?
SOP: Also, we’d really like to see improved availability of the raw materials that we use to make our products. ..
SC: You’re telling me. I had a bit of a time finding some rare earth magnetic materials for earbuds and hard drives. I’ll see what I can do- professional courtesy, manufacturer to manufacturer,  you know. You guys wouldn’t happen to need any coal would you?”
SOP: No thanks on the coal Santa. Save it for the bankers. Finally, we’d like to see some real substantive action out of Washington on the issues of manipulated currency and regulation escalation.  The last two administrations have been do- nothings on the artificially low value of the Renminbi, and we are constantly trying to respond to the latest regulation or reinterpretation that puts our shops at a disadvantage globally, increases our costs to comply, and increase our risk of facing draconian fines and penalties….
SC: Can’t help you there, son. Even my magic has limits…   Why not ask for a winning season for your local Cleveland sports teams? Better chance of my delivering that- someday.  Sheeessh! We’ll see what we can do on the demand and raw materials side, but your industry is going to have to effectively work with the folks in Washington if you want to get any real change. Asking magic guys in flying sleighs isn’t going to help in that arena. That one you’ll have to tackle yourselves.
SC:Well  I’ve got to run, off to verify the quality of my purchased product. You know, ISO TS 16949 Clause 7.4.3. Tell your people thanks for making quality parts that make a difference. I’m really enjoying my new hip. Improved mobility is a real blessing. Your peoples’ focus on Quality will continue to be the key to keep them on my Nice List. You should see how many Wall Street Bankers I have on my Naughty List.
SOP: I’ll tell them Santa. Thanks for the chat.

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