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
3. Define the output, objectives and
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
-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.
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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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
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" -
— "People Empowerment - How to Guarantee Success"
— "On-Time New Product Development - Fact or
— "Beware! Cycle Counting can be Hazardous to
Inventory Record Accuracy"
— "Unloading the Overloaded Master Production
— "MRP II & JIT Make a Tough, Competitive
— "Demand Pull: What are the Prerequisites for
— "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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