January 2015

When Its Smarter to Hire Consultants in Manufacturing

Its time to change, either because you need to, or you just want to. You need to reduce operating costs to free up working capital to invest in marketing. Your leading competitor just went out of business and you need to increase throughput levels to meet a rapidly expanding customer base. You're starting up a new product line and need to know the optimal manufacturing model. Your raw material costs are inflating and you need to get costs back in control to increase your profit margin. You need to know what something "should-cost" to make or buy...the list of possibilities are endless.

FOS PART II – WHATS PLANNING GOT TO DO WITH IT? THE MANUFACTURER’S PARADOX

I’ll begin this post by sharing my top 5 quotes about planning:

5. “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else” – Yogi Berra

4. “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone else planted a tree a long time ago” – Warren Buffet

3. “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining” – John F. Kennedy

2. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin

1. “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I’ll spend the first hour sharpening the axe” – Abraham Lincoln

NOW YOU SEE IT – NOW YOU DON’T: CONFRONTING MATERIAL YIELD LOSS

In a factory, you see it every day. Its on the floor next to the machines, in the trash can, in the recycling bin, and in a huge compactor out back. It’s so commonplace that everyone just steps right over it and carries on as if they don’t even see it anymore. It becomes “the way it is around here”. And every time you see it, you silently think to yourself, “I wonder how much it costs us to throw away that much material.”

Continuous Improvement Implementation Acceleration (Retainer-Based)

This service is designed for companies that are in the process of implementing a Continuous Improvement program such as Lean / Six Sigma or other who only need support accelerating the implementation. The implementation of a robust and sustaining Continuous Improvement initiative can be a rugged and uncertain terrain. Many implementations are developed and led by people who have not traveled this road but maybe once or twice and perhaps never at all.

The Manufacturing Agility Index: Measuring the Efficiency of Change

How well does your organization handle change? Is it managed deliberately or do you use a shoot first, ask questions last approach to changes? What is the level of resistance that you face for easy process changes? What about the difficult ones?

fOS Part II - Whats Planning Got to Do With It? The Manufacturer's Paradox

fOS Part II: Planning & Procurement Analysis
I'll begin this post by sharing my top 5 quotes about planning:

5. "If you don't know where you're going, you'll end up someplace else" - Yogi Berra

4. "Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone else planted a tree a long time ago" - Warren Buffet

3. "The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining" - John F. Kennedy

2. "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail" - Benjamin Franklin

Why American Companies Struggle with Lean Implementations

Its no secret that American companies have had their share of fits and stalls with the implementation of Lean Manufacturing. Why is it that some companies are able to generate so much steam and momentum with their Lean efforts while some can’t even create the slightest inertia? As a Manufacturing Efficiency expert, I’ve had the privilege to lead several Lean implementations myself and support clients who were in desperate need of a Lean initiative. Here are some of my key observations for why American companies struggle to implement Lean:

Supplier & Material Cost Reduction

Change is inevitable. The only choice we have is to proactively work to change for the better. And if you’re not actively getting better, then you only have one other way to go. Staying the same is just not a realistic expectation. This is the driving force behind the concept of Continuous Improvement. This train of logics is just as true for others in your supply chain as it is for yourself.