Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 4/22/16

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Some of the best learning happens when you read stories about real people and real companies. Read them for ideas, for lessons, and inspiration. This week’s stories and strategies from real life are about Seaworld, Across The Board, Apple, Tesla, ATS Corp, and IKEA.

From Sandra Pedicini: SeaWorld faces challenges after orca decision

“SeaWorld Entertainment’s stock has soared since the Orlando-based company revealed plans to phase out its signature killer whales, but it still has challenges ahead.”

From Joe Holleman: For Crestwood game-maker, finish line brings joy to loss

“Races are run in stages and on various courses, and everyone’s ends at a different time. For Kim and Ryan McDaniel, they snagged one of the dreams they chased when they started Across The Board, a company that manufactures board games.”

From the Economist: Keeping it under your hat

“APPLE and Tesla are two of the world’s most talked-about companies. They are also two of the most vertically integrated. Apple not only writes much of its own software, but designs its own chips and runs its own shops. Tesla makes 80% of its electric cars and sells them directly to its customers. It is also constructing a network of service stations and building the world’s biggest battery factory, in the Nevada desert.”

From Travis Hessman: Lean Thinking in Action at ATS Corp

“Two years ago, this privately-owned maker of circuit card assemblies and electronic box build products had a basic understanding of lean methodologies and basic six sigma tools, but little work had been completed to apply them to production. Matters of process flow, visual indicators, and waste had been ignored in the day-to-day work of the factory. And ATS paid the price for that in efficiency, quality and profitability.”

From Tom Bergin: IKEA finalizing its biggest overhaul in decades

“In two medieval Dutch cities, IKEA’s most senior executives are finalizing the biggest overhaul at the Swedish-born furniture empire in over 30 years.”

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