Integrative Improvement Blog

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

8 tenets of an intelligent business improvement implementation strategy

The secret to lasting business improvement success lies in the initial stages of implementation, that vital link between concept and execution. Without a good understanding and undertaking of this process, it would be nearly impossible to achieve satisfactory results in turning great concepts into real actions.

10 tell-tale signs your CI initiatives are losing steam

Like many weight-loss plans, continuous improvement initiatives often start off well, generating excitement and great progress, but all too often fail to have a lasting impact as participants gradually lose motivation and fall back into old habits. We take a look at 10 of the more familiar signs of faltering CI initiatives, as well as a solution to reverse their deterioration.

How supply chain agility can help beat the Brexit blues

It was a startling surprise and wake-up call for the global economy when UK voters decided that the country should follow the Brexit movement and terminate its membership of the EU. Like natural disasters, the Brexit event can have a destabilising effect on even the most resilient supply chains. To best manage its impact, supply chain leaders must now spread risk and increase supply chain agility.

Supply and demand: The secret to getting the balance right

A perennial problem which management thinker Peter Drucker considered one of the ‘great divides’ in management more than 40 years ago, is the disconnect between supply and demand. Surprisingly, research suggests that the divide between supply and demand is as serious a problem today as it was in his time. This post reveals the solution to this dilemma.

Five new rules for manufacturing supply chain excellence

Since Dr Eli Goldratt made the Theory of Constraints famous in the mid-80s with his business novel, The Goal, the scope of constraint-based optimisation has extended beyond the factory walls. Supply chain management has evolved into a science, and achieving end-to-end manufacturing supply chain excellence is now a top priority.

Seven ways to jump-start your approach to sales and operations planning

First emerging well over 35 years ago, sales and operations planning (S&OP) has moved from catchphrase status to mainstream adoption among the world’s large supply chain-focused organisations. This post briefly looks at seven best practices that will help you unlock the benefits of S&OP in your organisation.

Packaged food: a tried and tested recipe for increased throughput

Never before has consumer demand and expectation been as fickle as it is today, evidenced by the fast-growing movement towards ethical sourcing and sustainable manufacturing. At the same time, food manufacturers still have to handle the pressures that more traditional manufacturers face, such as the need to increase throughput, cut costs, and differentiate products from competitors.

When metrics matter – why you need visual management

Have you ever wondered why avid sports fans glance at the scoreboard every so often when all the action is clearly on the field? Because it provides unambiguous feedback about performance and answers important questions about the status of the game. And by analogy, true visual management shares real-time information and feedback about the status of your operation.

Toyota Kata: 5 questions to engage your work teams

As a manager you are the primary player on the ground that creates and perpetuates your organisation’s culture. What you say and do every day should be reinforcing the desired way of operating. So if you’re applying Toyota Kata as an improvement tool, it is critical that you are reflecting on your thinking patterns as much (or more) than you are reflecting on your improvements.

Is your organisation ready to become demand-driven?

Research conducted over the past six years indicates that organisations that have achieved demand-driven value network (DDVN) capability are able to sense market changes five times faster and align their value networks three times quicker to changes in demand. Yet why do many companies still seem to follow the traditional, cost-focused ‘push’ supply chain model?