WORLD CLASS MANUFACTURING (WCM/TPM/ME/CI/Lean etc.)
This concept nowadays goes by many names that can mean many things for different people. There are many names and acronyms of programs and concepts TPM, TQM, Lean, Six Sigma, Lean Sigma. Manufacturing Excellence, Operational Excellence, Continuous Improvement and perhaps a few others. TPM has been originally developed for continuous process industries, Lean is a concept initially associated with discrete manufacturing. We can give a separate lecture on what is what; when, where and for what purpose these concepts were developed. But for the moment we put them together into one class. This is not so much a concept, program or project, but a philosophy of running a modern manufacturing organization.
Such program is now table-stakes to be in the manufacturing game. Without it one cannot be a competitive player in today’s competitive manufacturing environment as it is otherwise impossible to keep inefficiencies (and so cost) under control.
We can help you with your Program that you already started or help you custom design one. This is what we have been doing for over 20 years. When we started we were pioneers of this concept in Central and Eastern Europe, we were introducing companies to such philosophy. Nowadays most companies has already tried such program, with various success. So these days we build on what we find, revive rather than introduce such initiatives.
There are tons of books and available materials. We can help you navigate through these ideas, tell you from our experience what usually works and what does not, and why. We can show you common mistakes and traps. What elements are quintessential and what you can let go of.. We can review what you have and/or design a structured approach for you. We can be your consultant or work with the consultants you have in place. Most importantly, we can support and grow your in-house team, share our know-how and materials and help you develop yours.
But whatever you plan to do and whatever your situation is, we will always start by emphasizing that People Matter. (TPM = Today People Matter). Effective organization is an organization of motivated, empowered, responsible, and adequately trained and skilled people.
Whatever your starting point is, as long as you are determined to continue with that direction, we can help you navigate to success.
OPERATIONAL IMPROVEMENTS – NUMBERS AND PEOPLE
Any manufacturing organization is a physical system with complex interactions. There are aspects that obey the rules of physics and can be expressed in numbers. There are also many “soft” (people related) aspects that can also significantly affect the numbers but are more challenging to measure. We always try to look at the organization as a whole, analyze and put numerical values to improvement potential, and prioritize improvement opportunities.
Some say that what is not measured cannot be improved. But do you always measure what really matters? Do you understand the numbers in your organization? Do you have a logical system of KPIs that describes your organization well? Are they cascaded down properly? Do they measure what they are supposed to? Can employees influence the KPIs ? Are you sure that the raw data is keyed-in correctly? Do you thoroughly understand the measurement systems? Does the system motivate people to take actions that are beneficial to the organization as a whole or just to their small piece (and bonus)?
Whatever we do, we recommend you start with understanding the numbers in your organization, availability and quality of raw data, their accuracy, measurement systems, and KPIs.
But at the same time, we talk to people. They have their observations, ideas, views, suggestions. Much of the improvement of their organization is in their minds, one just need to take it out. And if people are afraid to talk, that is also an important piece of information.
CREATING EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATION
What is needed to build an effective organization is a balanced step-by-step approach. In particular, in all cases, work must be done on foundations, which is often neglected. We can try to illustrate it in the form of a cascade:
An organization will not be effective in the long term in a sustainable way without effective Operations, Production and Supply Chain.
The above is not possible without effective teamwork, well-organized, clean, and safe workplace, people who solve problems and look for improvements, safety being a clear priority for everyone.
What in turn is not possible without motivated and skilled employees, clear structures, roles, and responsibilities.
And that in turn is not possible without leadership skills and the ability to manage change effectively.
MANAGEMENT BY MOTIVATION
Management by Objectives is passe’. It gives carrots to people to reach objectives that may no longer be good for the organization as a whole – they might not have been good the moment they were set, might become outdated in a few months. Many books and articles address this issue. Welcome to the new paradigm of Management by Motivation.
It is important to understand organizational climate and management styles. This gives the basis for an honest discussion about the direction of the possible changes. It is important of the organization. There are many different management and work styles work, different cultures. It is important to have clarity of where the organization is and where it wants to be. Whether the employees are engaged and motivated and what needs to be done to get there where they can be motivated and therefore productive. We emphasize clarity because it is the factor that influences the organization’s climate the most.
AUTOMATION AND ROBOTIZATION
In the past we have put a lot of focus on motivating people so they do their work effectively. But what if the work can be done by robots or automation? We live in times, where for most companies finding more p
In the past, we have focused on motivating people, so they can do their work effectively. But what if the work can be done by robots? We live in times, where for most companies finding more people to hire is a key barrier to growth. While at first it is natural to look at robots as job thieves – like ancient Brits looked at James Watt’s steam machines – almost everybody realizes that the machines take the job nobody wants and frees people to carry on with more meaningful tasks, so everybody benefits in the long run.
We suggest reviewing what tasks can be robotized at the moment and automating what tasks can be possible and feasible in foreseeable future.
UNDERSTANDING SUSTAINABILITY AND ENVIRONMENT
We strive to help clients understand the impact of what they do. To show iDo you understand the full impact of what you do on the environment? Probably not. Nobody fully does. Our civilization is only now beginning to understand the influence of our actions on the environment. We can help you see a bigger picture of the environmental aspects and furnish it with some rough numbers. It may turn out that your impact is low and that it can become your marketing leverage. Or you may be realizing the scale of the impact and so you can look for ways to lower it.
We have experience in expansion of your business– brownfield and greenfield, merger and acquisition, new products. We can help you your operations outside of your home country.
We can help you review your strategy, run scenario analysis, prepare with feasibility studies and business cases. We can help you better understand the country you plan to enter, the related costs, taxes, and other issues that may influence your business. Last but not least its cultural aspects. There are countries that we know pretty well and have good local contacts (the Netherlands, Brazil, Colombia, or South Africa). Still, most importantly, we know what needs to be done to understand any given country.
We can help you choose a location for your plant, set up project structures, define the approach to recruiting and training people. Point your attention to things that you may not have thought of before – things you do not know that you do not know.
Do you understand the climate in your organization? Do your managers know their leadership styles? Are your employees motivated? How does that impact the effectiveness of your operation? Over the years, we have learned and confirmed, over and over again, that people are the key. The level of their involvement and motivation is key to the long-term effectiveness of your operations. Top management cannot directly control all costs, all details, but they can create a climate where empowered and motivated employees at all levels will take care of waste, losses, and inefficiencies and will constantly strive to improve operations
We can help you review your HR systems, climate, and management styles as good HR is the foundation of every effective organization.
MAINTENANCE STRATEGY AND PRACTICES
We can help you review and design your maintenance approach. This can be done as part of the WCM/TPM Program, in parallel, or in a “stand-alone” way.
SUPPLY CHAIN ALIGNMENT
We can review processes within the Supply Chain including Demand Forecasting, Sales & Operations Planning, Strategic Inventory Management, logistics, warehousing, procurement and a general lowering of company operational costs.
We can review your procurement department and sourcing practices. There may or may not be some savings there. Most often, there are opportunities. Purchasing is no longer a simple trade-off between quality and price. Very often, the best quality is affordable at the best price.
ANYTHING ON YOUR MIND, BUT NOT ON OUR LIST?
We have a proven track record of doing very well things that we have not done before. We are very effective when tackling new and complex challenges. We are pioneers and innovators by nature and so always design a unique approach rather than using repeatable “copy and paste” solutions. We can help you with lots of other interesting things.