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August 09 www. bus- ex. com 3 EDITORIAL Editor In Chief Martin Ashcroft mashcroft@ bus- ex. com Managing Editor Bud Sadler bsadler@ bus- ex. com Assistant Editor Jaclyn Beck jbeck@ bus- ex. com DESIGN Production/ Creative Director Zachary Smith zsmith@ bus- ex. com Production Designer Katelin Abbott kabbott@ bus- ex. com PUBLISHERS Business Directors Andy Kerr Andy Turner info@ bus- ex. com BUSINESS Director of Editorial Research Scott Mason smason@ bus- ex. com Director of Sales Sean Brett sbrett@ bus- ex. com Administration & Operations Kathy Toomey ktoomey@ bus- ex. com Subscriptions info@ bus- ex. com Infinity Media LLC 100 Cummings Center Suite 243C Beverly, MA 01915 Tel: 978 232 9284 . Fax: 978 560 0999 www. bus- ex. com Businessexcellence ACHIEVING Continuous improvement, as The Beatles might have put it, is about " getting better all the time," and if there were ever a time for getting better, it's during an economic downturn. But getting better does not mean simply doing the same things better. If you will forgive another cliché, I'd like to remind readers of an aphorism that regularly does the rounds wherever businessmen get together. " If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got." There is a simple truth in this, but in a world where the rate of change continues to accelerate, it may not be as true as it once was. Even if you do things better, you may now end up with less. Ask General Motors. The best companies ask themselves not only if they can do the same things better; they ask if there is another way to do things, or another thing to do. It is through such thinking that a concept like the Toyota Production System, developed to improve the production of automobiles, has come to be adopted in sectors far removed from its initial horizons. At Horseshoe Hammond Casino, for instance ( see page 16), staff movements in the kitchen were studied and work flow improved exactly as if it were an assembly line- which, of course, it is. " Continuous improvement has allowed us to look at our business from a completely different angle," says Rick Mazer, Indiana regional president and general manager. " Sometimes the smallest change has made the biggest impact." The Port of Los Angeles ( see page 98) is another organization that is finding unorthodox ways to improve, by reducing its environmental impact while expanding its operations and creating new business opportunities. As always, this magazine is full of success stories and good business ideas- and remember, there is no copyright on ideas. Editor's letter Getting better