Operational excellence

  • The Cost of a Lean Failure

    I sometimes call this short term gain, long term pain. In common with other posts to protect the guilty I will use an anonymised case study to make the point. My example is an FMCG company that sells to the end consumer through distributors.  The business has grown steadily over the past few years and the […]
  • How Good is your Costing System?

    Paul Brown of the ICE Partnership proposes a tool to help improve your costing system and its visibility in your manufacturing business. The market determines price but your costs are all about you. Your costs are built up from material, labour and various overhead allocations. The market will determine your margin! The process described here […]
  • WIP = Lead Time x Throughput

    Why Work in Progress kills your lead time and productivity Every factory needs work in progress to keep running effectively but at a recent seminar my colleague from ICE Sean Meeghan & I spent some time discussing its effects on factory performance. There is a maxim borrowed from queuing theory that the more people in […]
  • Painting by numbers

    I was asked by a client to have a look at their production process.  The main problem seemed to be that the paint shop was a bottleneck and at busy times they struggled to get the throughput they needed. The current state process map was interesting: The paint system had a 12 hour curing time […]
  • Long Train Running

    Or, how to do a pull system in a small batch, high variety environment. I’ve been working late, but before I go home I nip down to the shop floor for a quick look.  As I walk into the machine shop I come across Tim, the QA manager, standing to one side with a vacant […]
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