To ring in the new year, here is a list of our top ten most read blog posts for 2013. If you haven’t had a chance to read them yet, these might be worth exploring further.
In today’s competitive economy, efficient productivity is everything. This blog presents numerous examples of systems and methodologies that can lead to exceptional performance on how to best weather today’s manufacturing transformation. But operational excellence requires more than better equipment and IT systems – your human capital must be carefully selected, groomed and maintained. Whip-cracking and obsessive time-and-motion studies are not likely to produce the results you want. In fact, the return on investment of implementing new machinery and systems can all be lost if your employees don’t feel like they are an important component to your company’s success.
This post suggests there are some things that can be controlled or managed, and some that can’t. To start, you need smart, ambitious employees that have a passion for what they do. The next most important step is what culture does your company have? Are risks rewarded? How safe are your decisions made to add new products or venture into new markets or geographies? This post examines how these are other variables that are not easy to change, but, can be impacted over a period of time.
GPS tracking isn’t just for shipping. It can be used in a variety of ways to track and manage inventory and Work-In-Process at a production site. Using GPS tracking, you can maintain real-time knowledge of where your inventory is both inside and outside the warehouse. You can easily locate it within the warehouse – even if it’s been moved since arrival – and can be instantly notified when it leaves and where it goes.
When trying to look for ways to improve the efficiency of your warehouse, a good plan is to understand the way that shelves and space are being utilized. This post examines how there are many ways to improve the efficiency of your warehouse, ranging from how you position each shelf, to how you utilize space through only the most effective means. Those constructing a new warehouse facility have the advantage of incorporating these concepts into the building design where an architect can consider the flow of space, how items are stored in the building and what traffic flows will occur.
This post takes a look at what it really means to perform at a level of “operational excellence”? What metrics should be measured? How much should this metric be a comparison? One way to better address this question is to establish a set of criterion as an evaluation metric. A company’s ability to score well on each attribute would suggest a high degree of operational excellence. Read this post to see what criterion might be the best to include.
If you choose to not perform a quality inspection during your production process, then some products will be shipped with defects. If this outcome is acceptable, then don’t perform a quality inspection. For the rest of us, this post takes a deeper dive into what should be considered in evaluating the need to perform quality inspections.
AGCO leveraged their next generation manufacturing execution system to support and expand their Lean program. After all, you can’t improve what you can’t measure (see related post on this topic here). Read this article to understand how this system is now being used to help make strategic production decisions, as well as to gain better visibility in order to make more informed decisions.
An effective strategy to maintaining continuous improvement is to ensure sufficient collaboration exists between product design, planning and manufacturing operations. This blog post examines how this strategy can be best executed upon with a three-platform strategy, consisting of IT platforms for managing Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) for design, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for planning and Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) for production or “building.”
There’s a lot of talk and thinking about Lean squeezing out every last penny from the manufacturing floor – down to turning off lights or reducing an arm’s movement by a single second. Being Lean, however, can have a dramatic impact on your quality performance. This blog post examines what Lean initiatives can be performed with an eye towards improving Quality.
From a manufacturing operations perspective, what can be done to ensure the needed agility exists in order to survive? Manufacturing operations typically does not control Marketing, Sales or Product Design, so has limited influence for change in these areas. However, manufacturing operations can have a substantial impact on areas such as product quality, production costs and on-time deliveries. This article takes a look at how easily can processes be changed, and the impact on agility when processes can be managed on an end-to-end perspective as a “holistic” approach to manufacturing operations management.
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