The Automotive Focus Group (AFG) appears to be growing almost as fast as the automotive industry itself, with new members every meeting.
The event for March 2013 was a lecture/discussion on Business Process Improvement, given by two Grant Thornton personnel Carlo Principe and Jasmin Sachdev.
Carlo said at the outset that this was not a lecture on how to attract or get new staff, but rather how to keep the people you have already. With staffing levels in the auto industry approaching critical levels as new manufacturers are setting up on the Eastern Seaboard, this was a most salient lecture.
He identified several points, including Flexibility, Family picnics, Succession planning, Employee referral programs and a Hands-on management team. Application of these would help to produce employee satisfaction, and thus a lower turnover of workers.
The second half of the lecture was given by Jasmin Sachdev and addressed productivity from the existing workforce. Productivity depended upon Effectiveness, plus Efficiency and Quality, was her brief.
Process improvement she said could be seen by following the ADDIE principles. These included Analyze problems, Design solutions, Develop solutions and test, Implement solutions and train and finally Evaluate and maintain process improvement.
After the AFG lectures, most of the AFG members stayed on for lectures from David Nardone (CEO Hemaraj) and Mark Bowling (Colliers International). These two leaders in their fields brought everyone up to date as far as improving the infrastructure (roads in particular) around the Eastern Seaboard and trends in the condominium market, showing which local areas were going ahead, which were being overbuilt, and which were the best investments.
Following this, the majority then made their way to the Drift lounge in the Hilton for the Chambers networking, with AmCham, BCCT, AustCham and the South African Chambers all discussing future trends and where we will all be tomorrow.