Since many manufacturers operate without an ERP system, the answer to this question is obviously, No, an ERP system is not as necessary as digestion. However, they do seem to be a common evolutionary path for many manufacturers, and recently a morning was well-spent exploring ERP implementation at a SIG in Windsor.
At the December SIG in Windsor, held at Stratus Plastics International, local manufacturers met to talk about enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Those in the room were at different stages of their ERP implementation. Some had had a fully functioning ERP for many years, others were well into the pilot stage, and others were still in early stages of their implementation.
We were able to draw several insights from our conversation. The first is that an ERP system requires the total…
What do you have in your plant to instantly identify product flow, operations standards, schedules, or problems?
The answer, of course, is visual controls. With effective visual controls problems get solved sooner, success builds on success, and you instill pride in your workers for hitting goals or even for seeing the amount of work that they’ve done.
EMC members from Windsor, Essex, Chatham, and Kent gathered at CenterLine in Windsor for a roundtable discussion on visual controls. Centerline talked about their new initiatives in huddle boards and other members spoke about (among other things) their…
We teach young children the difference between telling and tattling. A Ministry of Labour inspector can teach us similar lessons.
For example, at our June SIG, Ministry of Labour inspector Chris Vasey suggested that employers call a Ministry of Labour inspector to come and issue a ticket to an employee! (Of course, the employer should have all their ducks in a row and have made sure it did everything possible to encourage the employee to comply with the safety procedures, including telling them the fine amounts for non-compliant behaviours!) Non-compliant employees will cost you down the line and the employer will be on…
What if someone told you they had a way to increase recruitment and retention, increase employee engagement, increase sustainability, increase health and safety, decrease disability claims, decrease grievances, and decrease absenteeism?
What if they told you that if you didn’t do whatever it was they were talking about, you could risk legal liability?
That’s quite a carrot, isn’t it? And the stick is nothing to sneeze at, either!
What we’re talking about, of course, is employee mental health. While it’s true that today the risk of legal liability is unclear, the Mental Health Commission of Canada has the following to say about the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace released in…
What you know depends a lot on who you know, and groundbreaking innovation occurs on the fringes of your knowledge and network. How do you find your way to that space?
The other day I was talking to one of our members. He told me that the first time he went to SIG event was last year. He said that after he left the event, he was not impressed by the SIG. He was skeptical about the entire idea of Strategic Interest Group Events. I was a little taken aback, because he had just delivered a wonderful best-practice sharing presentation. He had said several times during his presentation that something he was now doing was something that he had heard about at a…
Managing your culture requires long-term focus and innovation.
Near the start of the new millennium, GreenField Specialty Alcohols began a formal process to influence work culture, which they call Performa. The idea is to get all employees involved in working toward one common theme, with a new theme developed each year. The themes are designed to closely tie in to the mission and values of GreenField.
The 2016 Performa theme was called “Find your bubble wrap!” and related to the tribulations experienced by GreenField’s plant manager when he tried to find…
EMC members gathered to talk about WSIB Workwell Audits, Core and Advantage Safety Group programs, and legal safety requirements. The session was facilitated by Kelly Killby, EMC Staff Support for our Safety Group program.
It all starts with the laws protecting workers. The goal, of course, is a safe workplace where everyone punches out as healthy as when they punched in. Ministry of Labour inspectors enforce the laws, and Workwell audits help (since failing an initial Workwell audit has the positive effect of providing you with areas to improve and giving you three months to improve them before there are negative consequences). However, the WSIB offers another tool: voluntary participation in a Safety Group…
Are WSIB’s carrots and sticks enough to encourage supervisor and management support for WSIB procedures?
Like any insurer, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is interested in reducing the amount of money it spends on claims, and has developed a number of programs to develop safer work environment. Workwell, the Small Business Health and Safety Programs, and safety groups such as the one managed by EMC are examples. They all include financial incentives, and can loosely be described as the WSIB's carrots.
In the last year of the last millennium, Windsor businesses had front-row seats for a…
At Schukra, small pieces of cardstock wield impressive powers.
The second session of the October SIG was jam packed with information as participants were given a crash overview of the Schukra Production System (SPS) before learning in more detail about their current kanban and pull system. This was followed by a plant tour so we could see the pull system in action.
One of the goals of SPS (as for its forefather, the Toyota Production System) is to design processes for mentally challenging and physically safe work. The keys are tapping into operator…
Reducing overhead is a countercyclical activity in some firms, imposed by customers in other firms, and for lean companies, often a late station on the lean journey.
All of the members who joined us for our SIG on Overhead Reduction have been in situations where overhead reduction is a primary and urgent concern, but all were currently in the position of expanding their operations. As one member wryly remarked, “When sales offset overhead during an expansion, overhead is not discussed.” The most attention that is paid is to make sure that the overhead percentages stay in the target range.
Inquisitive customers can raise the heat in some industries,…
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