Author: michael ventola

Twas the Week Before Christmas!

Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the plant
everyone was humming, with an audible chant;
The orders were flowing through the system with care,
In hopes that FedEx soon would be there;
The crews were nestled all snug in their “cells”,
While visions of break time arrive with the ringing of bells;
And Nancy in her ‘chair, and Jim on his stump,
Had noted our GOALS which got us all pumped,
When out in the warehouse there arose such a clatter,
Phil sprang from his cube to see what was the matter.
Away to the doors everyone flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and hid away their stash.
The LED lighting on the new factory machines
Gave the luster of success but cost some serious beans,
When, what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But a multi-arm welder, with eight tinny gears,
With a scruffy young driver, looking a bit like a sea lion,
We all knew in a moment it must be St Ryan.
More rapid than eagles he programmed the mainframe,
And he whistled, and shouted, then barked out their name;
‘Now Marky! now, Mikey! now, Joey and Finn!
On, Amada! On, Welder! On Bender let’s get Shippin!
To the top of the deck! to the top of the rack!
Now dash away! dash away! No time for a snack’
As paint dries on the cabinets that were fresh off the line,
When they meet with an obstacle, as a machine started to whine;
So up to the roof-top the workers they flew,
With the lift full of tools, and St Ryan too.
And then, in a twinkling, we heard from above,
The clanging and banging then they gave it a shove.
As we drew in our heads, and were turning around,
Down the pole St Ryan came with a bound,
He was dressed in overalls from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with grease and soot.
A bundle of tools he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a mountain man, carrying a Yak.
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as dark as a crow;
The stump of a pencil he held tight in his teeth,
and the sweat on his brow encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a chiseled face and a calming demeanor,
everyone knew our operations now run much greener.
He was lanky and wiry, a right jolly mechanic,
and we smiled when we saw him, we felt no panic;
A wink of his eye and a twist of a knob,
Soon the machines were humming and all were back on the job.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the orders; then turned with a jerk,
and laying his fingers on the keyboard once more,
typed in a command that was sent to the floor;
He sprang to his feet, to the team gave a smile,
and home they all went so says the sundial.
We heard him exclaim, ‘these machines will run alright,
‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.

How Safe are Construction Sites Really?

It was October 2, 2015 and the sun was shining bright in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida.  Construction on the 34-story luxury condo, Chateau Beach Residences, was in the final stages of transition to the owners. Workers from many trades hurriedly finalized their punch list items in order to meet the looming deadlines. Like all construction projects of this size and…

What it means to Build a Great Product

I just finished, for a second time, listening to the biography of Steve Jobs written by Walter Isaacson. It’s a wonderfully written book by a seasoned professional that tells the life story of Mr. Jobs who, in my opinion, will one day be categorized with the likes of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Leonardo Da Vinci as one of the…