http://www.endeavormgmt.com
February 20, 2017 John McKeever

Manufacturing Operational Performance

Manufacturing Operational Performance

 

Improve Manufacturing Operational Performance

Improve the utilization of all resources (people/ assets / time) to deliver lower cost and higher quality products, services to your customers in the shortest time possible. Ensure that consistency of approach is paramount:  your processes form your business.  We help you simplify and connect those processes.

The interrelationships of all your functions and your supply chain – not only your shop operations – affects your ability to manufacture profitably with minimal changes and interruptions. This elimination of waste translates into less cost, faster output, lower inventory, higher profits and more repeat orders.

Endeavor Management uses proven assessment tools and industry expertise to layout your processes and team interactions for manufacturing operational performance. We offer a wide range of operation and manufacturing consulting services, focusing on machining, fabrication and assembly businesses. We work with Corporate leadership /Equity Partners as well as front line -management and operations associates.

Our industry experience ranges from fluid power to power generation to oil and gas to aerospace to electronics assembly.

We have worked extensively in all operations with a vigilant eye towards health and safety as well as throughput and profitability for manufacturing operational performance.
• Business Strategy and Planning: From Research through Full Presentation ready Plans
• Plant Assessments for Optimization or Due Diligence
• Supply Chain Optimization
• Critical Metric Determination / Training / Rigor

1. SAFETY in Your Business

The health and safety, of all employees and those who interact with your organization such as customers and suppliers, should always be a core principle. An effective safety program will lead to higher morale when it is evident ownership/management has prioritized the well-being of the team and their respective families. Leadership in this area is imperative and the desire by all is for safety to become part of the culture. It should also be recognized acting and thinking safety first, is a continuous process. It should be part of a daily drumbeat for the entire organization just as any other important aspect of your business.

As you might expect there are many other benefits to your business as a result of appropriate safety policies and programs. Many organizations are required to maintain adherence to industry and or federal regulations when it comes to work environments and safety results. The right program will keep you in compliance. Key customers can have certain expectations for suppliers in the area of safety for new and on-going business. You want the next order so the right training and results are critical. With an effective program, areas such as manpower capacity planning is considerably more predictable, related operational cost are minimized, and insurance experience rates are more favorable to your business. Finally, by advocating and clearly supporting a safety culture for your business, the organization’s reputation with employees, customers and the community as a whole is favorably recognized.

By working with our team, you will be able to gain insight and knowledge into multiple decades of experience in the area of leading organizations focused on safety as a priority. We can quickly assess your present program, identify gaps and provide direction on next steps. Besides outlining needed policies and programs, areas touched on are responsibility, accountability, housekeeping, safety teams, incident tracking, root cause analysis and corrective action processes. There are many facets to creating a culture of safety including a clear overall plan, education, work practices and consistent emphasis with follow up by management.

2. Materials Management

An effective materials management program is essential to a customer responsive and financially successful business. Proper policies and procedures are important for efficient inventory planning and execution of production plans, for both internal value added processes and external supplier provided products and services. In addition, an organization should have an effective ERP (enterprise resource planning) software/tool to enhance visibility, promote speed of decision and maximize financial performance. With a robust materials management approach, organizations can realize many benefits such as outstanding customer service levels, lower product cost, optimal supply chain and greater cash flow as a result of higher inventory turns.

By working with our team, your materials management program can be quickly assessed, areas of opportunity determined and action plans generated which best serve your organization. We will focus on areas such as inventory accuracy, bill of material structures, lead-time offsets, make or buy decision making, material traceability and procurement execution to name a few. An effective program will need organizational discipline and the commitment of management/ownership. With the assistance of our team, your materials management program can be a tremendous asset to your business.

3. Human Capital Management

One of the most significant challenges facing all businesses today is the availability assimilation training and retention of talented and engaged employees. As we know all too well, our businesses are only as good as the people we employ. While standardization and leaning or process can minimize the impact of variation in our workforce, educated and engaged employees are “where the rubber meets the road”! They not only man the lines, they help us drive improvements, innovate new and improved products and represent us every day in the eyes of the customer.

It’s obvious that our capacity and quality is hinged on this employee team. The first step in attracting employees is to have a positive and visible image as a company to them. Tools such as the internet and social media can help broadcast an image and show our Mission, but our existing workforce is their most powerful tool in that regard. How do they view working in the business? Are they a promoter or a detractor? So understanding our teams attitudes (and addressing them where required) is vial.

Accurate job descriptions, clear roles and responsibilities and a thorough understanding of the “customer / supplier relationship” both internally and externally not only will improve employee attitudes, they are key to a well-functioning operation.
Sourcing employees can take place through the normal recruiting and job board methods and also through solid relations with Veterans organizations, Tech Schools and Universities and of course traditional media.

Once an employee is engaged with your company, the on-boarding, training (OJT , classroom and web-based) and communication of clear goals, expectations and measures is paramount. An enthusiastic new-hire can quickly turn sour if any of the above is treated in a cursory fashion.

We at Endeavor can help in all these regards as well ensuring your supervisory staff is equipped with the training and tools to effectively deal with all employee issues. Our Org Development team can also assist with state of the art HR systems and offerings to ensure that your business is a top-performer.

4. Employee Engagement

At the heart of any ongoing enterprise or improvement activity is the clear and unambiguous communication of the organizations goals to all the stakeholders. In order to be effective it’s important that the audience’s perspective is understood, the message is relatable (“what’s in it for me”), clear expectations are set and ongoing status / updates are given.

Management needs to ensure that all are aligned to our goals. In simple terms, this means line of sight” connection from every task to the top level objectives. Our goal is to ensure that every employee knows the goals and how he or she impacts them. These goals are the KPI’s (key process indicators) of the enterprise.

Once understood, ownership and commitment by employees can be gained, nurtured and reinforced on a daily basis.

This employee buy-in is reinforced through effective two-way communications in an open and transparent atmosphere. Many vehicles are employed to do this, including frequent and honest direct communication between supervisor and employee, amongst team members and in all-hands management reviews.

These interactions will provide not only updates, but suggestions for improved processes and procedures. In order to secure and cement this dialogue, speed of response is paramount. Without it, all stakeholders will quickly lose trust.

Regarding the shop floor or functional areas such as drafting, engineering or even sales, cross -functional support teams aligned to the objectives and support the process ‘doers’ are very effective. These teams have the responsibility to ensure all information, materials, tools, etc. are available on time to ensure meeting the daily goals. We encourage and design visual controls for both goal setting and achievement accounting.

In order to make this happen Endeavor trains your teams in simple yet effective “FRONT LINE CONTROL” methodologies that link to visual communication. Our mantra is ‘every day lost is one never recovered’ so we stress daily rigor in this practice.

These ‘scoreboards’ allow the team to always know where they stand and establishes the link between daily activities and Business objectives.

Lastly, an engaged workforce is an effective workforce that becomes your best marketing / sales tool. “Switched-on” and enthusiastic employees not only drive improvement internally, the project confidence and trust to your customers.

At Endeavor we’ve helped many companies (from billion dollar global players to small fabricating shops) with both employee engagement and general communications. We can quickly formulate a plan, train and help drive implementation for immediate benefit. We’ve got a great story to tell…let us share it with you.

5. Operational Standardization

In order to be a reliable and cost effective manufacturer, standardization, or PREDICTABILITY of every part of the business process is paramount. Variation is the “root of evil” in a production environment.

If you consider quality metrics for example, high performance cannot be attained without clear and well defined specifications. Once these are agreed upon, the customer’s perception of quality is your ability to meet those specs 100% of the time. Consistency of product or service deliverables is what he expects and is paying for. Without standards both in spec and process execution, this goal becomes futile. Also consider that the customer may not remember all the good service you’ve provided, he will definitely recall the times you’ve let him down (inconsistency).

Standardization allows us to quickly analyze problems and defects in that we are dealing from a known baseline vs. a “moving target”. It’s value is also seen in tooling standards, fixturing, routings, drawing numbering systems, BOMs, and CNC programs and the like.

We help you to remove all the sources of variation to allow your business to perform perfectly on every order, every customer interface, every part, and every delivery. Less variation equals less rework which equals higher margins!

6. Operational Capacity Planning

Many businesses today experience “feast or famine” swings in demand on their production resources. Additionally, the ability ( or inability) to properly and accurately understand the true capacity of the operation coupled with product mix issues, employee effectiveness, equipment downtime, supplier reliability, and the pressures of cost controls all add up to tremendous headaches (or worse!) for the manufacturers we’ve known.

Of course, understanding all these factors and being able to convert it to meaningful information has a direct impact on delivery performance, effective utilization of resources, and longer term business planning. Of course, market intelligence plays a major role, but without accurate capacity planning, how does one make rational decisions concerning capital investment, inventory investment / timing and the like? Simple answer: you can’t!

We will help you first set work standards for your products in a base measure that makes sense for your business. It could be hours, gallons of product, linear feet of product produced etc. We aim to be directionally correct, not necessarily precise to third decimal place. (Based on your business and needs this can be modified) The using Industrial Engineering rigor, we’ll design estimating and capacity planning tools around those standards. We can now convert demand for product to load on the various operations. By testing our model; we’ll determine how much adjustment is required.

Lastly, we’ll help you understand the impact of Shift Patterns, cross training, overtime effectiveness, support functions, and help you build in rational contingency planning.

At Endeavor we’ve seen many manufacturing operations who are experiencing problems and concerns like yours. We can quickly help you make reliable promises to customers at a cost you can afford. MOST IMPORTANTLY, WE CAN HELP YOU FIND CAPACITY IN YOUR EXISTING SHOP FOR NO ADDITIONAL CAPITAL COST.

7. Product Engineering Processes

Engineering processes, either in a contract manufacturer or in an OEM for a vital backbone establish connection to customer requirements, clear and consistent standards, validating procedures, product cost breakdown structures, allow for accurate inventory planning and communication of change. Additionally, if these processes are not well executed, inaccurate quotes can be generated causing erosion (or total loss) of margins. Lastly, the standards establish interrelate to the business capability / capacity needs in the form of equipment, manpower, supply base, required certifications, and facilities.

When considering engineering standards, we need to think through the entire specification process. In other words, how do we structure New Product Introduction? How do we ascertain the commercial and technical viability throughput the process to ensure we are not “chasing good money after bad”? Here, a stage-gate approval process is appropriate.

Once developed, or in the case of a contract manufacturer, how is estimating performed? Are systems and standards in place? Drawing / Bill of Materials [BOM’s] systems and revision control must be maintained for quality as well as cost containment. We have tools and techniques to bring to bear, again, “right sized” for your business.

Management of Change or “revision directive” systems are paramount, and must address how to request, approve, and the issue an ECN (engineering change notice). We have seen many companies that execute well to this point that fail to communicate to all affected functions the impact / actions required for change. These failures result in wasted labor, scrapped parts, stranded inventory, and missed deliveries. All of them equal cost without return!

In summary, we have lived the Engineering function, both from the “supplier side” and the internal customer view point. We have helped clients through issues and concerns like yours. We have the knowledge, tools and drive to help you quickly make the improvements your business needs.

8. Quality Assurance and Control

An effective quality program is essential to the success of any business. It is a given and expected by any potential client that the level of quality with regards to products supplied or workmanship provided, meets or exceeds requirements. Customers come to rely or trust specifications will be adhered to by the partners they choose to work with. Products and Services provided have to be correct given safety, environmental and performance concerns.

It is critical to fully understand customer desires and industry regulations so they can be properly interpreted and communicated to the organization for execution. A robust quality assurance and control program is essential in effectively making this transition. A key consideration to note is the reputation of any organization can be impacted negatively if the products or services provided are below standard. Everyone in the organization must be properly trained and expected to follow agreed upon procedures which have a direct impact on quality levels. Lastly, with an effective program clear benefits can be realized such as consistent customer service levels and minimal cost when it comes to product warranty and operational inefficiencies.

By working with our team, your quality program can be quickly assessed, a gap analysis generated for clear understanding and a detailed next steps plan established. Some of the key areas to focus on are engineering documentation, management reporting, cost of non-conformance, defect reporting, root cause analysis and finally corrective action. In addition, our team is capable of reviewing internal manufacturing operations as well as overall supplier performance. There are many aspects to developing an effective quality assurance and control program. It important management commitment and active engagement are clearly evident in developing a quality culture in your business.

9. Factory Shop Floor Optimization

Effective Shop Floor goal setting, disciplines /controls, and communications form the foundation of profitable operations in any manufacturing business. This basic building block starts with every employee understanding the Company mission, goals, key measures and how he / she contributes in a “line of sight” fashion to those objectives.

By first communicating the objectives and then through systematic alignment of all resources, improvements (and sustainability) in Safety performance, throughput, and operating costs will be realized.

While many companies today will jump right to software solutions, the key to Shop Floor Optimization is with getting the basics right. Understanding the rigor required and making part of the daily habits of all in the team is key. Once this is done, ERP, or MRP can be implemented.

We start with training your leadership team to set goals, and the SUPPORT the operations with all the tools and materials required on daily basis to achieve the required outcomes. We stress simple, low cost systems to set and monitor activity, while implementing effective communications by all on the team. These communications are summarized daily for all to see, in real time.

This “daily bread” rigor is an essential foundation to all actions that follow.

Our team will also help you optimize maintenance programs, lean out your process for shorter cycle and lower costs by evaluating and helping you eliminate all unneeded actions to achieve balanced flow with minimal defects.

We’ll help you quickly map your key processes, set simple yet effective procedures where appropriate and provide coaching on cross-training, skills enhancement and the like.
Our offering is simple yet effective and “right sized” to your operation. With the use of established tools tailored to your business we will help you standardize your processes and realize substantial benefits that you will see immediately.

10. Addressable Markets

Manufacturers today face a number of obstacles to sustainability and growth. The reality of offshore lower cost completion, the volatility of given markets (such as oil and gas equipment), the challenge of newly emerging product and processing technologies all equate to not just obstacles, but opportunities. As a wise man once said, it’s all about how you look at it!

Despite being business people, we are first human beings. And as such we tend to gravitate towards our comfort zones and be reluctant to change. Granted some are less adverse that others but by-and-large our nature is to stick with what we know.

That being said, given all the challenges above, it’s imperative to expand our thinking and actions. In order to grow revenue and / or market share, a number of primary actions should be set in motion.

Have you taken on an objective SWOT (strengths / weakness / opportunities / threats analysis) of your business? Of your competitors? Have you thought through how your particular core competency could be adapted to other markets? Should it be readjusted to the present (perhaps) shrinking market? What is your business differentiator? Can you articulate your unique “value proposition” that will resonate with new customers?

We’ll help you through these questions using classic tools and Endeavor’s Growth Playbook to allow you to grow in existing markets, tap into new industries for your business, and set a strategy / road map for execution all from the perspective of profitable manufacturing. We can also connect you with Private Equity funding if required.

Again like all our offerings, it is simple cost effective and “right sized” to your operation. Don’t let inertia stand in the way of growing your business!

• Rapid Plant Assessment
• Front Line Control / Visual Management Development and Staff Training
• Roles / Responsibility Mapping
• Team Development, Assessment and Coaching
• Process / Value Stream Mapping
• LEAN Plant layout for Flow
• Machine Tool Capability Assessment
• CAPEX Optimization
• 6 Sigma Training
• Supply Chain Optimization
• Logistics Streamlining
• Growth Playbook
• Pro Forma Business Plans

Manufacturing Operational Performance

Improve Manufacturing Operational Performance Improve the utilization of all resources (people/ assets / time) to deliver lower cost and higher
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