ML Journal December 2021

ML Journal December 2021

Thinking Beyond Normal

Leaders need to be ready to think and act outside the normal lanes of operation and stay ahead of future threats to success, believes Lisle Corp. President, Mary Lisle Landhuis.   

Q: What is your role and focus at the company?
A: As President of Lisle Corporation and its sister company, EZ Way, Inc., my on-going focus for both companies is their short and long-term growth and health, both organically and through acquisition of new opportunities in their respective markets.

Q: What do you see as the most pressing issue facing the manufacturing industry today?
The workforce, specifically the need to attract, train, and develop talent into manufacturing and showcase the wide variety of jobs available with strong opportunities for career advancement. A great deal has already been done, but much more outreach and recruiting is needed to support future growth for all manufacturing sectors.

Q: What is the most important corporate initiative you are involved in?
As with most US manufacturers, the pandemic introduced several substantial challenges including on-going price increases, significant supply chain issues, labor shortages, increased sales demand, and the need to maintain fill rates. As a result, we’re focusing heavily on recruitment, training, employee development, dual sourcing, and increased quality measures to ensure we maintain delivery of quality products on time.

Q: What are the most important qualities that manufacturing leaders will need in the future?
Many aspects of manufacturing have changed drastically over the past few years. To be competitive and successful looking forward, leaders need to be ready to think and act outside the normal lanes of operation and stay ahead of any future threats to success. Leaders at all levels need to embed a culture of a commitment to continual improvement and a habit of always asking, “How can we get better?”

Q: What are the greatest opportunities for manufacturers over the next five years?
Well-considered adoption of Industry 4.0 concepts offers tremendous opportunity, and as a broad concept involving all aspects of an enterprise, is applicable to any organization. While the concept is far from a one-size-fits-all solution, careful analysis and planning by involved team members can produce impactful results.

Q: What is your favourite activity outside work, or the last book you read?
My husband and I enjoy any activity where we’re active and outdoors. Fortunately, Iowa offers great resources year-round to keep us busy – from hiking, biking, kayaking, and boating, to anything else we can dream up to get outside and enjoy time together.  The last book I read was “The Body”, by Bill Bryson. It’s a fascinating book about how the human body functions and is full of extraordinary facts. It may sound like a yawner, but it’s hard to put down.  M

EXECUTIVE PROFILE: Mary Lisle Landhuis
Company: Lisle Corporation
HQ: Clarinda, Iowa
People: 285 Employees
Revenues: (Privately Held)
Industry: Specialty Automotive
Tool Manufacturing

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