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Lean. A lean enterprise views itself as part of an extended value chain, focusing on the elimination of waste between you and your suppliers, as well as you and your customers. Lean has its origins in the teaching and writings of TQM and JIT, which espouse the idea of “delighting the customer through a continuous stream of value-adding activities.” Specifically, it is an extension of the phrase “world class” as defined by Richard Schonberger: "… adhering to the highest standards of business performance as measured by the customer.”
We can facilitate and mentor your organization as it begins the lean journey working to develop strategic plans, training requirements and assisting with the application of tools such as kaizen, 5S, pull, standard work and TPM.
The philosophy of Six Sigma recognizes that there is a direct correlation between the number of product defects, wasted operating costs and the level of customer satisfaction. With Six Sigma, the common measurement index is defects per unit and can include anything from a component, piece of material or line of code to an administrative form, time frame or distance.1 Six Sigma emphasizes identifying and avoiding variation. The use of Six Sigma changes the discussion of quality from one where quality levels are measured in percentages (parts per hundred) to a discussion of parts per million or even parts per billion.2
We can work with your organization as it begins the Six Sigma journey working to develop strategic plans and training requirements and assisting with the application of Six Sigma tools to improving your processes.
1 Mikel J. Harry, “Six Sigma: A Breakthrough Strategy for Profitability,” Quality Progress, May, 1998.
2 Thomas Pyzdek, The Complete Guide to the CQE, Quality Publishing, Tucson, AZ.
Lean Six Sigma.
Lean Six Sigma is a business improvement methodology that maximizes shareholder value by achieving the fastest rate of improvement in customer satisfaction, cost, quality, process speed and invested capital. The fusion of lean and Six Sigma improvement methods is required because:
Lean cannot bring a process under statistical control.
Six Sigma alone cannot dramatically improve process speed or reduce invested capital.
Both enable the reduction of the cost of complexity.
Ironically, Six Sigma and lean have often been regarded as rival initiatives. Lean enthusiasts note that Six Sigma pays little attention to anything related to speed and flow, while Six Sigma supporters point out that lean fails to address key concepts like customer needs and variation. Both sides are right. Yet these arguments are more often used to advocate choosing one over the other, rather than to support the more logical conclusion that we blend lean and Six Sigma.
We can work with your organization as it begins the lean Six Sigma journey working to develop strategic plans and training requirements and assisting with the application of lean and Six Sigma tools to improving your operations.
Methods and Standards.
Work measurement is performed to develop the standard time to perform operations. Time standards have traditionally been defined as the time required by a typical operator, working at a normal pace, to perform a specified task using a prescribed method, with personal, fatigue and delay time allowed. Prior to the application of this allowance these times are generally referred to as normal times. A key part of the definition is the phrase relating to prescribed method. Work standards measure the time required to perform defined tasks correctly. An essential part of having fair standards is the definition of the work method. Once established the standards must continually be monitored and re-engineered when the work method changes.
We can assist your organization in developing effective work methods as well as determining the time standards for the work. Traditional stopwatch studies along with predetermined time systems and standard data systems can be implemented.
Facilities Layout and Design.
The fundamental integration phase in the design of productive systems is the layout of production facilities. A working definition of layout may be given as the arrangement of machinery and flow of materials from one facility to another, which minimizes material handling costs while considering any physical restrictions on such arrangement.
Usually this layout design is either on considerations of machine-time cost and product availability, thereby making the production system product-focused, or on considerations of quality and flexibility, thereby making the production system process-focused. It is natural that while product-focused systems are better off with a “line layout” dictated by available technologies and prevailing job designs, process-focused systems, which are more concerned with job organization, opt for a ‘functional layout’.3
It is costly to arrange plant departments and the productive facilities in them. If the arrangement is a poor one, management will be faced with persistent costly inefficiencies or an expensive rearrangement. The first installation must be a good one to minimize such later cost decisions. In many respects plant layout is an art, much of which has successfully resisted attempts to make the approach scientific. The ideal facilities layout should minimize costs – total or long-term costs of plant operation. This includes not only the obvious costs affected by the layout, such as material handling, but a very large number of cost considerations more likely to be neglected.
The ideal facilities layout should minimize costs – total or long term costs of plant operation. This includes not only the obvious costs affected by the layout, such as materials handling, but a very large number of cost considerations more likely to be neglected.
Layouts must be designed to accommodate changes in the business environment. Included in the considerations are the following:
Addition of new product.
Change in product demand.
Replacement of obsolete equipment.
Methods revision and cost reduction.
We will assist your organization in either designing a layout for a new facility or updating an existing facility.
3 Khoshnevisan, Optimal Plant Layout Design for Process-focused Systems.
Project management is a carefully planned and organized effort to accomplish a specific, usually one-time effort, for example, implementing a new computer system. Project management includes developing a project plan, which includes defining project goals and objectives, specifying tasks or how goals will be achieved, what resources are needed and associating budgets and timelines for completion. It also includes implementing the project plan, along with careful controls to stay on the "critical path," that is, to ensure the plan is being managed according to plan. Project management usually follows major phases.
We can assist you in developing a project plan and managing that plan to conclusion.
Change management is a structured approach for ensuring that changes are thoroughly and smoothly implemented, and that the lasting benefits of change are achieved. The focus is on the wider impacts of change, particularly on people and how they, as individuals and teams, move from the current situation to the new one. The change in question could range from a simple process change, to major changes in policy or strategy needed if the organization is to achieve its potential.
We can work with your team to assure minimal disruptions by developing strategies and implementation plans for handling the new way of doing business.
A production control system is concerned with planning and controlling all aspects of manufacturing, including materials, scheduling machines and people, as well as coordinating suppliers and customers. An effective production control system is critical to the success of any company. Closely related is the ability to manage inventory throughout the supply chain.
We can assist you in the development and maintenance of systems to assist with these functions.
A quality system is the system that an organization uses to manage the quality of their services or products. Quality management systems are only one type of management system; other examples include financial management systems, safety management systems and environmental management systems. The official definition of a quality system from ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is “the management system used to direct and control an organization with regard to quality.” But that's a bit of a mouthful and not overly clear (as with many of their definitions). Think of it as the system that your company uses to plan, create, develop, make and/or deliver your services or products. For a service business, it's the system you use to provide those services. If you sell or distribute products that other people build/make/create, then it's the system you use to get, store, sell and deliver or install them.
We can assist in the development of quality systems that will meet the requirements of any of the commonly used quality management system standards, including ISO 9000 and AS 9000.
Simply put, ergonomics is the science that studies how to best make the work environment fit the worker. The goal of ergonomics in the office is to help prevent injury and increase comfort and productivity. To do this, ergonomists call upon the principles of engineering, biology, architecture, physiology and psychology in designing and optimizing work systems and environments. Studies have shown that ergonomic improvements result in productivity increases, dramatic increases in worker satisfaction and a significant decrease in workplace injuries.
We can assist your organization by providing everything from an ergonomics assessment to assisting with the design of ergonomically sound workplaces.
Engineering analytics is the process of leveraging data into actionable insights. These strategies are applicable to a wide range of applications including customer segmentation for better resource utilization, improved performance tracking for diagnosis and maintenance, classification strategies for improved inventory management, better use of sales data for increased revenues and customer satisfaction and better forecasts.
We will work with you to understand the concepts and apply the principles as your organization uses big data to focus your business strategy.
Simulation is an extremely valuable tool being used more and more in industry and government to assist in the design, creation and evaluation of complex systems. This course will equip you to assist in the design of large-scale systems, evaluate alternate courses of action and improve the efficiency of your manufacturing or service center.
We will work with you to identify the best simulation systems that will meet your needs and help you to implement the initial projects.