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Reinventing Manufacturing 


PART IV. 

 

16. Make education a way of life

There are just so many new things to learn- social, techni­cal, philosophical, specific details, that a significant por­tion of employee time needs to be dedicated to education and training. This is not just an expense if used wisely, but an excellent investment in the company's future. There needs to be an overall education plan. Employees need to be tasked with education objectives, and tested for im­provements. When you send someone to a 3 day seminar on set-up reduction, jointly develop objectives, in advance, for this investment in time and money. This is not a 3 day paid vacation. Debrief the employee afterward- make sure the company gets a return on this investment. If not, learn why. Employees who consistently fail to deliver results here may cease to be candidates for upcoming educational opportunities.

17. "System" consists of missions, leadership, goals, objectives, metrics, policies, procedures, education, training, organization, personnel, tools—not primarily a computer project

Address all of the system ingredients shown above to reengineer a business system, and its processes.

18. "Ownership" is important

It's better to have even a mediocre approach that has consensus and support than the best idea in the world that no one likes or understands. The first will at least work in a mediocre fashion.

Build ownership by involving people in the new approach so that their intelligence and egos become intertwined with it. For example, a defense contractor client working on reengineering processes involved a government auditor in the design. He became really attached to the new approach and looked upon it with favor, which didn't hurt our client a bit.

We've noticed that after repeated exposure to a good concept, coupled with involvement, people tend to take more ownership of a process. Reinforce this with praise and other rewards.

Approaches

19. Focus on eliminating non-value-added activities/ assets/costs

Eliminate waste in the company. Cut back on non-produc­tive assets. Use Shingo's "7 Wastes of Production" as a tool to help identify waste. Waste is anything that is not abso­lutely essential to design, produce, and get the product / service to the customer. Employ some of the various analy­sis techniques to help identify waste and weigh improve­ment priorities.

20. Use simple approaches, not complex sophistication

There are already dozens of new, complex methodologies, software packages, etc., purporting to be "magic bullets" to reengineer your company. Most of them are too compli­cated, and will generate more money for their purveyors than for you. Don't spend more time learning and wrestling with the tools than solving business problems. Be espe­cially wary of complex matrices and mathematical models. Don't get much more complex than a moderate Quality Function Deployment (QFD) matrix.

The key is to understand the requirements of the process, and what is wrong with the existing process, and what tools/resources are available/needed to do the job. Then, design/improve the new/revised process.

To be Continued


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