If your manufacturing business has ever survived a crisis — supply chain disruption, market demand fluctuation, distribution problems, or perhaps even a natural or economic catastrophe — it had an uncommon opportunity to shine through the adversity. More importantly it gives you a chance to learn from the outcomes generated by the organization’s responses to the disaster. We don’t know any that are eager to flush it all away — not just the performance gains, but the opportunity to do even more with the unexpected wisdom.
- July 29, 2020 / by Sean Lashmar
Manufacturers are always eager to balance efficiency, reputation, and the many other factors that affect overall business performance. Everyone agrees that performance improvement in manufacturing operations is one powerful tool companies leverage to achieve their strategic business objectives. Even when there’s a status quo in market conditions, regulatory requirements, and other factors, nearly every manufacturing enterprise is doing something to improve manufacturing performance. When something happens to disrupt circumstances — whether it affects just your business, many companies, or an entire group — there’s no doubt you’ll respond to your company’s best advantage. But will you also use the experience to uncover “the hidden factory,” and discover new ways to create capacity without adding equipment?
- June 10, 2020 / by Sean Lashmar
There are many well-documented benefits of digital factory and paperless quality initiatives for manufacturing plants. A paperless quality system reduces costs, facilitates faster implementation of changes, provides tighter change management control, and makes quality data available for reporting and analytics systems. Ultimately, paperless quality is already a large part of the Industry 4.0 value proposition. As technology costs continue to drop, companies are prioritizing paperless quality initiatives. However, many organizations struggle to migrate from their existing system to paperless quality in manufacturing.
- June 3, 2020 / by Aaron Muhl
A lot of companies wonder why the production schedule gets off track, and why there’s so much angst between production planners and shop floor people. “This production schedule is ridiculous! We just ran that last week! What are they thinking in the office — do they even have a clue?” Those are statements I've heard more times than I'd like to admit, and it's tough to hear. People with these (and similar) comments are clearly frustrated and fatigued by the situation; they are simply tired of it! Fortunately, there are lots of ways a manufacturer can create alignment and balance between shop floor staff and production planners.
- May 12, 2020 / by Patricia Hatem
Does your company think of production planning and scheduling as simply a plant process to convert orders into a daily manufacturing plan? If so, it might be missing out on some of the greatest opportunities to improve on-time delivery, optimize inventories, and increase profitability. Over the years I’ve observed repeatedly how data helps companies eliminate conflicts, set priorities, and bring people together around shared objectives. The longstanding plant-supply chain balancing act is a common one among manufacturers, and for the last five years I’ve had a front-line view of how world-class companies use data to overcome plant-supply chain conflicts.
- April 30, 2020 / by Aaron Muhl