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Quick Response Logistics

Auditing Manufacturing Systems 



How to Streamline the Process?

A process is streamlined by understanding, documenting and then simplifying the process. Challenge the process and "think outside the traditional box." Differentiate be­tween an activity and a result. The implementation steps are:

1. Understand what the customers want from the process and what end results are to be accomplished. Deter­mine how progress will be measured. Define the expec­tations, constraints, and deliverables.

2. Analyze the current process. Flow chart, map, and document the process. Identify the process steps, time, deliverables, ownership, and paperwork required to support the process. Identify the required activity: move, storage, inspection, setup/changeover, queue (wait) time, receiving, handling or producing. Identify exchanges, and controls. Identify the expected results the process is to accomplish. Establish a baseline for measuring performance and productivity improve­ments. Identify current problems and the root causes of the problems.

3. Define the output, objectives and deliverables ex­pected.

4. Redesign or reengineer the process. List the new objectives of the process. Identify the resources re­quired to reengineer. Focus on eliminating non-value-adding activities and unnecessary costs. Simplify com­plex decisions, steps, and functions. Set performance standards. Minimize the "white space" between proc­ess steps. Eliminate paperwork, steps and activities-

-don't just automate the process. Review if the pro­cesses or steps are needed. Don't reengineer a process or step that is not needed. It is a waste of time and money.

5. Identify other changes required. What must go right to make this process more productive? What obstacles exist that will keep us from accomplishing our process objectives? Document the changes to the organization, measures, empowerment, information and technolo­gies that are required. Secure approval for these changes before implementing the process changes.


Use the Quality Improvement Process (QIP) steps. They are:

1. Identify the customers (internal and external).

2. Identify the customer's needs.

3. Focus on the critical needs.

4. Document the process "as it is" and compare it to the process "as it should be."

5. Identify problems.

6. Investigate the problems.

7. Analyze the root causes of the problems.

8. Identify solutions.

9. Select solutions.

10. Solve the problems.

11. Confirm results. Congratulate, recognize and reward (nonfinancially).

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thinking outside the box


12. Repeat the cycle.

Useful problem-solving tools that should be used in the 12-step QIP process are: brainstorming, flowcharting, Pareto analysis, check sheet, run charts, histograms, cause and effect diagrams, control charts and nominal group tech­nique.

What Are the Benefits?

The benefits and payoffs of MRP II reengineering exist in four broad categories:

1. Improvements in profits, resulting in increased sales.

2. Better control of working assets, resulting in a reduc­tion of excess raw material, WIP and finished goods' inventory carrying costs.

3. Lower inventory carrying costs and improved business practices mean less cost and fewer expenses.

4. Cash flow improvement.

Combining these four benefits will enable your company to reach the goals set for Return on Net Assets (RONA), net sales, contribution margin, reduction of fixed & variable cost, operating income, and higher customer & employee satisfaction. What is keeping your company from reengineering the MRP II business management pro­cesses, achieving these desired business results, and mak­ing your company a flexible competitor? Nothing but desire and commitment! Seize the opportunity. There are only three constraints—time, people and money. Why not take the time and your talented people and invest the money to significantly improve your company's business manage­ment processes? As the commercial says, "Just Do It!" You will love the results!

About the Author

John Civerolo is President of J. J. Civerolo, Inc. and is a senior partner at Partners for Excellence, a consul ting firm

specializing in consulting and education for Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP II) implementations while inte­grating the Total Quality Management (TQM), Distribu­tion Requirements Planning (DRP), Continuous Improve­ment (JIT), and People Involvement & Empowerment philosophies in a variety of manufacturing companies throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Ger­many. He has been an active user, educator, and consultant for over twenty-six years. Previously, he was Vice Presi­dent of R.D. Garwood, Inc., for ten years and was associ­ated with Oliver Wight Companies for five years.

John was Director of Management Information Services, Internal MRP II Consultant, and Materials Manager at Sunbell Corporation in New Mexico. While there, he co-chaired the MRP II Task Force that helped Sunbell progress from a Class D user to a Class A MRP II user. Since leaving Sunbell in 1980, John has helped many companies achieve the same kind of success.

John holds a Bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of New Mexico. He is a frequent speaker at professional society dinner meetings, APICS conferences, and universities. He has been Vice President of Education for the Albuquerque chapter of APICS.

John is the author of several widely read articles including:

— "Sales & Operations Planning Starter Kit" - coauthor

— "People Empowerment - How to Guarantee Success"

— "On-Time New Product Development - Fact or Fic­tion?"

— "Beware! Cycle Counting can be Hazardous to Inven­tory Record Accuracy"

— "Unloading the Overloaded Master Production Sched­ule"

— "MRP II & JIT Make a Tough, Competitive Combina­tion."

— "Demand Pull: What are the Prerequisites for Suc­cess?"

— "Listening—A Tough Competitive Weapon."

John is known as an industry leader in his field working with companies from entrepreneurial startups to Fortune 500 companies such as Mark IV, Dayco/Anchor Swan, Eastman Kodak, Eli Lilly, General Signal, Trane, Interbake Foods, and Reynolds.


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