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.
Integrative Improvement Blog
The integrative improvement blog discusses and provides commentary on the latest topics in the business performance improvement sector.
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.
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).
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.
Over the years, organisations with legacy ERP systems have been trying to keep up with expanding global markets by continually updating and customising their on-premise systems. But, according to Gartner, these legacy systems – some as old as 20 years – are proving increasingly expensive to maintain and difficult to manage.
To meet or beat the often-changing demands of your customers consistently, you must be flexible, reliable and valuable. This is where centre-lining can help. Applied properly, centre-lining not only reduces variability in quality, it also increases machine efficiency and stabilises production.
Industry 4.0 won’t change manufacturing overnight: instead, it is likely to evolve as new technologies emerge over time. But to really future-proof your operations, you will need to look beyond traditional manufacturing execution systems (MES).
Past experience tells us that too often it was a problem, not an opportunity that brought IT and operations together. Such encounters did little to breed mutual trust and collaboration between the two teams. But the world of manufacturing is changing. And to keep up, the relationship between IT and operations must change with it.
Like the first, second, and third industrial revolutions before it, Industry 4.0 will precipitate major changes in the way products are manufactured. But it also signals an important shift in quality processes and systems from being isolated to following an integrated quality management approach.
It’s important to instil the discipline of setting aside regular quality time for learning activities at a leadership level. An ideal way to focus on the concerns and challenges of leadership is by establishing a learning community. By meeting on a regular basis, the collective intelligence and talent can then focus on resolving critical issues.