Think. Plan. Do. Measure what gets done.
When it comes to manufacturing, most shop supervisors and plant manager consider this as a statement they can relate to.
Think about what you are going to do.
Plan for it.
Measure what gets done.
While there is plenty of technology readily available for the “doing” and the “measuring”, what about the “thinking” and “planning”? What are the opportunities that exist to improve these two important components of manufacturing?
Every year manufacturers make significant investments into “doing”. They replace machines, upgrade parts, and hire more employees.
For “measuring”, they make investments in ERP systems and machine monitoring technology.
These purchases make sense because manufacturers realize the importance of making data driven decisions and that they can’t improve what they don’t measure.
With all these different types of investments, many systems are still failing to deliver on the benefits and advantages they offer, resulting, in many cases, in a limited return on investment.
How can this be?
We have discovered that it is often caused by one of two beliefs:
- The thinking and planning has already been done
- It is someone else’s responsibility to do the actual thinking and planning
Many manufacturers have modeling and planning tools in place, but they are limited to select process or select individuals.
But efficiency and effectiveness are not the same thing, and to run a plant effectively, you need everyone to think and plan.
If you run a part on the wrong machine while running that machine efficiently, you are really just wasting time efficiently. And, if one final assembly requires 20 individual pieces to be machined and 19 of them are done in time, you are not 95% on time, you are 100% late.
Manufacturers may be sensitive to these kinds of conditions, but yet they continue to experience them routinely.
Because they make it only one or two peoples’ responsibility to think and plan, when in fact it should be a responsibility shared by many more.
Plant level software solutions need to do more than schedule production or monitor machines; it needs to engage everyone involved in the “Think. Plan. Do. Measure what gets done.” process.