Archives for the ‘Continuous Improvement’ Category

You Need Lean Maintenance to Make Lean Manufacturing Succeed!

Written by Lawrence Bouvier, CMRP
Vice President – Fuss & O’Neill Manufacturing Solutions

Is equipment downtime holding you back from achieving Lean Manufacturing success?

We all have heard of the seven wastes addressed in Lean Manufacturing, but did you ever consider that if you applied similar principles to equipment health, you’d want a discipline to create Lean Maintenance?

Overproduction, Inventory and Waiting are three of the seven lean wastes that can come as a result of equipment failures.  A good maintenance process will keep these to minimum levels.  So, how can we achieve this?  The only way is to minimize the amount of maintenance and repair that we perform on machines!

Going Beyond Customer Satisfaction: Measuring Customer Loyalty

Written by Steve Schiera, IMEC Regional Manager

Net Promoter Score (NPS) can be a valuable tool for measuring customer satisfaction, increasing customer lifetime value and reducing customer turnover. The happier your customers are the more referrals you will get and the more successful and profitable your business will be.

Because loyalty is so important to profitable growth, measuring and managing it makes good sense.  The saying “What gets measured gets done” is extremely relevant with customer satisfaction.  Many organizations have no method to obtain this critical information and many existing customer survey approaches have not proven to be very effective. Their complexity makes it difficult to get responses from your customers and they often generate flawed results.

By substituting a single question for the complex black box of the typical customer satisfaction survey, companies can actually put results to use and focus on the task of stimulating growth.

10 Suggestions for Facility Layout

Written by Scott Czysz, IMEC Technical Specialist

Facility Layout

“10 Commandments of Facility Layout” has more punch, but when it comes to facility layout, very little is written in stone. Compromise is needed almost every step of the way; this does not mean there should not be a structured approach to facility layout and design. In fact, a structured approach is even more important when there is so much uncertainty and compromise.

The suggestions below are written with factory layout in mind – moving to a new facility, or rearranging your existing facility.  Many of these suggestions can also apply to smaller scale department or cell layout, office layout, or even the layout of your dream home or home workshop.

10 Myths about Training Within Industry Job Instruction

Training Within IndustryWritten by Mary Hallock, IMEC Technical Specialist and TWI Certified Trainer

Training Within Industry (TWI) is a proven job training methodology that has been implemented successfully by companies for decades. Given the challenges of today’s skills gap, it is critical to have systematic approaches to train and retrain staff. Yet, we hear plenty of myths about TWI… allow me to help dispel the myths and set you on a path to TWI success.

Update on OSHA’s Recordkeeping Rule

OSHA Recordkeeping Postponement

The electronic posting requirement for injury and illness logs has been delayed. The following is a quote from the OSHA website: “OSHA is not accepting electronic submissions of injury and illness logs at this time, and intends to propose extending the July 1, 2017 date by which certain employers are required to submit the information from their completed 2016 Form 300A electronically. Updates will be posted to this webpage when they are available.”

Process Maps: Building block basics for your business

Written by Gretchen Clifton, IMEC Technical Specialist

The new ISO 9001:2015 standard places more emphasis on understanding our processes; how they impact our business from an individual process standpoint as well as how they integrate with other processes. The key to success is creating processes that are efficient and effective, integrate well with others for a cohesive flow from start to finish, and ultimately, provide the results we need.

Many companies have a high level process map that fulfills the requirements of ISO or TS, or perhaps as an outcome of a value stream mapping activity. They created it, but has it really been used for anything?

Tri-State Manufacturing Conference Focuses on Manufacturing Success

manufacturing conference

The first Tri-State Manufacturing Conference for Illinois, Iowa and Missouri will take place March 15 to help companies of all sizes learn more about emerging trends in the new era of manufacturing.

The event will take place at John Wood Community College in Quincy, Illinois, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Key educational, business and economic development partners from three states have joined forces to create the conference to help regional manufacturers develop employees, processes and technology to grow business and expand into new markets.

New OSHA injury and illness reporting coming soon

OSHA has issued new reporting standards that will take effect in 2017. For those familiar with the 300, 300A and 301 forms that have been in place for many years, you will now be required to file some or all of those forms electronically. Learn more by visiting the OSHA webpage on the recordkeeping changes: https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/finalrule/index.html.

Are you complying to federal rule on Preventive Control for food production?

Preventive control qualified individualIt’s no surprise the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has inflicted more stringent controls on U.S. food and related manufacturers; and we should find comfort in the changes. But how are you, the manufacturer, addressing the preventive control requirements for your organization?

Are your Accounting Practices Value-Added?

An example of how an accounting approach may hinder continuous improvement efforts

The Accounting concept of Standard Costing was developed in the 1920’s, and its application has remained fairly constant.  Manufacturing was noted for minimal product variation (“You can buy a Model T in any color, as long as it’s black”) and long production runs creating lots of inventory whose financial value had to be estimated. Lean principles have changed the manufacturing world significantly, with shorter set-up times and significantly less inventory.  Meanwhile, Accounting still spends time analyzing and understanding labor, material and overhead variances; often generating thousands of related transactions and accrual entries.  In the Lean world, these are Non Value-Added activities; the customer is not willing to pay more for our cost variance analysis excellence.

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