Reinventing Manufacturing 



8. Define product/process relationships, avoid functional "silos"

Try to disregard the existing organization structure when developing the ideal process. Look at the objectives that need to be accomplished, the processes that are needed to support it, and finally, at the resources (including organi­zation) needed to accomplish them.

9. Set a hierarchy of customer, product, process, function, activity

Figure 1 depicts some important relationships.




Customer —

*- Customer












Time Compression











10. Compress time

Faster is almost always better, if it's done right. More speed means more cycles, which means more output per unit time, faster turnaround, which usually improves service and re­duces costs. Simply trying to speed up the existing process, however, might actually increase costs, and cause quality problems. This is why "old school" people usually tell you that it will cost more, hurt other priorities, or reduce quality if your request to do something faster is granted.

11. Eliminate bottlenecks

Find the slowest activity in a process. Speed it up. This speeds up the entire process and is usually the cheapest way to do it.

12. Reduce number of steps, complexity, levels, people

The more moving parts that anything—a machine, system, process has, the more it costs, the more that can go wrong, and the longer it takes. Reduce number of steps, opera­tions, people, parts, and improve performance.

13. Reduce defects

Most processes take much longer and cost more due to defects and exception handling. Defects are the worst form of waste. They usually force more expensive exception activities to correct them, slow down cycle times, rob capacity, and force increased capital investment (for inven­tory, space, equipment, working capital). It has been said that defects cause 5 to 10 times their apparent costs.

14. Increase flexibility

Being adaptable to change enables introduction of new products, services, processes, schedules. Try to envision the parameters of possible change when designing the process. Increase flexibility by using adaptable people, training them, and designing processes to accommodate future change.


15. Empower people, but with strong leadership, clear mission and beliefs

Empower doesn't mean to abdicate management leader­ship, but to provide to employees the direction, skills, authority, and tools they need to accept as much delegated responsibility as possible. However, even in this era of oncoming "self directed work teams", there is still a very great need for leadership. A lot of it needs to come from management, as well as other team members. One cannot overemphasize the value of enthusiastic, strong, informed leadership to energize a reengineering effort. People tend to respond quite positively to this.

To be Continued


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