Forward-thinking executives around the world are increasingly viewing operational excellence (OpEx) as a key driver of top-line growth, and no longer as just a tool for incremental process improvements at operational level. They understand that OpEx project teams and processes are best placed to create disciplined frameworks to gain competitive advantage.
Integrative Improvement Blog
The integrative improvement blog discusses and provides commentary on the latest topics in the business performance improvement sector.
For an F1 pit crew, changing four tyres takes less than 15 seconds. This is living proof that changeover times can be reduced by analysing each element to see if it can be eliminated, moved, simplified or streamlined. In manufacturing maintenance, single-minute exchange of dies (SMED) can dramatically reduce the time it takes to complete equipment changeovers.
Internal supply chain alignment is just as important as cooperation with external partners for gaining competitive success and satisfied customers. From procurement to sales and operations planning (S&OP), each functional area is critical to success. But this success hinges on the level of collaboration between the respective functions.
Formulating and writing standard operating procedures can be quite a challenge, and it often takes several attempts to produce material that is truly instructive. A well-drafted SOP is not a static, one-time effort. It has life. It provides the baseline against which thoughtful and effective improvements can be planned and implemented.
Much like a product life cycle, a continuous improvement leader’s life cycle may start small, grow as the leader becomes more aligned with the organisation’s mission, and then subside somewhat as performance improvement matures. So to stay relevant in a maturing organisation, consider broadening your skill set.
Building an effective culture of continuous improvement (CI) is not just about executing a cluster of improvement projects. While it’s a good place to start to reap tangible rewards, more is required to drive sustainable results over time and embed continuous improvement in the organisation’s DNA.
Though manufacturing is the heartbeat of every industrialised nation, mass production is a complex process that requires vast amounts of energy and resources to transform raw materials into finished goods. A loss and waste analysis offers a framework with which to assess the status quo and optimise manufacturing performance.
Too often, organisations implement misunderstood CI tools and techniques through a myriad of disjointed and isolated projects, hoping for the best. While these projects may well deliver quick wins internally, they have virtually no impact on achieving sustainable transformation across the organisation. Being successful in sustaining these efforts requires careful thought about production system design.
Most asset intensive organisations recognise that efficient and effective maintenance planning and scheduling is one of those cornerstone processes that can help assure equipment reliability and assist with attaining operational excellence. Yet studies show that most companies still do not perform maintenance planning effectively.
The success of lean systems – and continuous improvement in general – relies on engaging the hands and minds of everyone in the upkeep and renewal of the system. It requires constant practice and a strong will to compete and not become complacent. The following 6 lean coaching skills will serve a dual purpose in their execution.