Integrative Improvement Blog

The integrative improvement blog discusses and provides commentary on the latest topics in the business performance improvement sector.

The connected workforce: it’s all about people, not technology

Collaboration has long been the lifeblood of productivity and creativity in the workplace. Yet for many manufacturing executives, connecting machines to the plant, and, in turn, the plant to the back office remains a top priority. Much less of a concern appears to be the prospect of a seamlessly connected workforce.

5 hallmarks of a smart warehouse management system

Legacy systems traditionally used for warehouse management are inefficient in the modern era — even systems as little as five years old. So if you’re considering an upgrade or want to determine if your current WMS is still fit for purpose, look out for these five must-have qualities.

Open process innovation: the uncharted path to operational excellence

Much like we tend to believe that our driving skills are above average, managers tend to believe that their organisation’s process capabilities are better than average. This cognitive bias can be a dangerous illusion. To thrive in the future, organisations should instead challenge their perceptions through open process innovation.

Microlearning: the bite-sized approach to upskilling your front line

Going digital will streamline operations and speed up production, helping you get a leg up on the competition. But in the rush to get ahead, you may inadvertently leave your front-line employees behind. Microlearning could help them develop the skills necessary to find and retrieve knowledge, as needed, in a fast-changing workplace environment.

How digital twin technology generates tangible ROI

Recently named one of Gartner’s Top 10 strategic technology trends, digital twin technology is poised to change the face of the manufacturing sector. It’ll have a significant impact on the way products are designed and maintained by making manufacturing processes more efficient and reducing throughput times.

Why leadership, and not technology, drives digital transformation

There’s no single road map for a successful digital transformation. The path is different for every company and industry. However, there must be a concerted attempt to get employee buy-in from the start. It’s therefore imperative to have leaders with the right mindset and motivation to guide the digital transformation process.

Why CI leaders must embrace new learning organisation thinking

In the world of business, learning is a conscious attempt to continuously improve work practices. But the drive to work smarter, not harder, is not a new one. In 1990, Peter Senge introduced the concept of the learning organisation. Now, almost 30 years later, a new learning organisation theory is gaining traction.

Kaizen and kaikaku – the yin and yang of smart manufacturing

In a world of constant change and disruption, how can you know when ‘improvement’ is enough or, more importantly, when it’s time to leapfrog your competitors with a radical overhaul of an activity? The world’s most successful organisations approach breakthrough improvements by developing a high-level strategy for their smart manufacturing vision.

4 must-have capabilities to win with advanced planning and scheduling

Best-in-class organisations are recognising the importance of leveraging advanced planning and scheduling (APS) solutions by using them to augment their ERP and/or MES operational systems. Indeed, APS represents a revolution compared to traditional planning systems, most notably manufacturing resource planning (MRP).

Maximise your return on assets with an integrated EAM system

In many manufacturing organisations, the EAM system (or CMMS) still exists separately from other business systems, and it’s not uncommon for different departments, such as production and maintenance, to maintain their own databases with job information. While it’s possible for manufacturers to function using disparate systems, this fragmented approach may impede downstream improvement efforts.