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Insights and Publications

Ensuring Strategy is Properly Executed: 4 Ways to Ensure Execution Effectiveness in Your Operations

Creating strong and effective strategy is challenging to say the least. Much literature, academic research, and industrial resources have been invested in creating sound strategy for Firms and their operations.…

Prioritizing the Steps in the Lean Journey

It has become increasingly important to show rapid results along the Lean Journey. While this is critical to maintain support of senior management, it is also important to establish a…

Five Steps to Improved Manufacturing Quality

  Good managers seek to contain costs in the manufacturing environment. There is no better cost to eliminate than the cost of poor quality.  Scrap material and lost labor hours…

Cost Deployment: Seven Steps Toward Better Process Understanding and World Class Manufacturing

  Manufacturers are increasingly rethinking their business philosophies to make sure they prevent waste and financial loss within operations and contribute to maximizing profits of the company. These philosophies bring…

Developing a Vision for Your Operations: 7 Steps to See Where You’re Headed

  When engaged in strategic business planning, development of a corporate vision is a mandatory first step. This process is no less valid for Operations strategy.  Without an adequate vision…

5 Factors that can Ensure A Successful Start to the Lean Journey

  Significant effort and dollars are invested in lean initiatives each year in manufacturing plants across the United States. These investments can yield significant production and profitability games if done…

8 Steps to Proper Operational Process Change

  There has been much discussion about continuous improvement, Kaizen, and Operational Excellence pursuits in Operations Management. Many times, the topic of process improvement is discussed while neglecting the more…

Shifting Your Organization to a Process Mindset in 3 Simple Steps

  For effective and robust manufacturing within a plant, a proper process orientation and mindset must be developed and maintained. In order to create this orientation, three simple steps can…

Transition-Ready Management: Three Keys to Robust Operational Strength

  In order to survive the loss of key employees, whether anticipated or not, an organization must work to maintain a state of readiness. By focusing on three areas of…

Quantifying Lean Benefits: 5 Steps to Better Process-Cost Understanding

  It is imperative to predict or at least know the quantified financial benefit of the Lean Journey. Often, firms can show improvement in terms of cycle times and setup…

Four Pitfalls to Achieving Operational Excellence

  Over the past several years, with downsizing operational staff and fluctuating demand, operations managers have been left to improve profitability by pursuing operational excellence (OpEx) strategies. Over this period,…

Operational Consolidation – Three Factors to Consider

  During the Great Recession, Operations Executives learned to do more with less…far more with far less. Positions were redefined, tasks were consolidated, and organizational learning was improved.  In general,…

Five Steps to Making Performance Improvement Stick

Much time has been spent determining the best ways to drive teams to make improvement suggestions, identifying the best tools and tricks to identify changes, and to ultimately rewarding employees…

Operations Strategy Check-up: Five Key Questions to Ask for Maximum Business Performance

It seems that no time is convenient to pause the action and review strategy. When you’re in the thick of the battle to produce a product on-time, under budget, with…

Four Trends Driving the Resurgence in American-based Manufacturing

The economic analysis performed a decade ago by manufacturing executives must now be re-examined. For a time, it was fashionable to outsource manufacturing operations. Later, outsourcing to specialized firms wasn’t…

Five Keys to Effective Operational Problem-Solving

Develop successful and permanent resolutions for sustainable results. When solving problems within operations, it’s possible to do so partially and to have said problem manifest itself again and again with…

Take 5: Review your Operations for a Great New Year

Own the results and then determine a strategy for 2013 By taking time to review your Naughty and Nice list for 2012, you can significantly improve your operations -- and…

Four Human Resource Factors to Consider on the Lean Six Sigma Journey

Ignore these and risk compromising your improvement efforts. When we think of Lean Six Sigma implementations, we typically first consider process flow, value streams and opportunities for significant financial improvement.…

Five Rules for Selecting the Best KPIs to Drive Operational Improvement

The key to success is selecting KPIs that will deliver long-term value to the organization. There’s no question that key performance indicators (KPIs) are needed to help drive operational improvements.…

Material Management in a High-Mix Production Environment: Four Questions that Identify a Lean Operation

With better management of materials, it is possible to show significant cost reduction, enhance delivery schedules and increase customer satisfaction. A manufacturer who manufactures specialized machines for the automotive industry…

Six Easy Criteria for Targeting a Good Process

All too often, manufacturing executives mistake a sequence of activities to be a process. That’s simply not the case. Whether we’re practicing Lean or Six Sigma, what we’re really targeting…

Top Tips for Managing Lean and the Economic Upturn

In the upturn, just like the downturn, we need to do more with even less resources. Lean is a tool for increased efficiency and doing more with less use type…

Lean is About People, Not Tools

What companies fail to learn is that, for their lean journey to be successful, they must not only deploy knowledge of Lean tools, but entirely change the culture of their…

Viewpoint: Manufacturing: Offshore Out; Lean In

When companies opt to implement lean manufacturing techniques correctly they achieve necessary cost improvements and optimize productivity all while maintaining operational control that only on-shore, in-sourced production offers. Don't be…