As we look to improve productivity, it’s important to understand what the customer expects, the pain points they experience and how business excellence is achieved quickly. Tim McEwen on Wavez led this discussion at a recent PEI event hosted by StandardAero.
How can manufacturers increase productivity?
Productivity is not to be confused with production efficiency, but an organizational alignment of strategy, process and people management.
It goes without saying that there must be a clear focus on what the customer wants and what makes them want ‘your’ product. To achieve that, participants shared what some of the pain points are and certainly these are relatable to most:
- Product Development – not fast enough
- Recruitment / resources
- Business Strategy – Alignment
- Cost creep – margin erosion
- Competition – smaller players or foreign players
- Inventory Management
Proceeding with Improvement:
With a strategic approach to identifying and analyzing improvement projects (DMAIC), understanding where to use the tools of Lean and Six Sigma, and daily management techniques, the improvement rate will be accelerated.
For the purpose of this discussion, and because we are looking at quick improvement, Tim focused on the accelerated improvement workshop (project). The duration is about 10 weeks and utilizes daily management tools such as Visual Management - management by walking around, hosting huddles and encouraging "just-do-it". Suggested steps over the 10 weeks include:
- Charter the project
- Lay out the Plan
- Provide any necessary training to the team members
- Execute the event
- Conduct Coaching
- Do follow up actions and controls
- Formal close out
Tim’s discussion was presented in a very basic, yet thorough format and resonated well with participants allowing them to walk away with the foundational pieces for a plan or strategy towards change. His contribution towards this event was appreciated and we look forward to similar events in other regions in the Fall.
As always, thank you to the folks at StandAero for welcoming participants to their facility!