As consultants, we once helped a manufacturing plant director discover how we could save $20 million from his costs in the coming year. His response? “I don’t want $20 million. I only need $3 million to meet my objectives. Why would I contribute more than that?”...
You have probably found yourself in this meeting before - the emergency, all-hands-on-deck sit in scheduled to solve the new, big problem. It could be about people, customers, sales, a technical or quality issue--it doesn’t matter. Your group spends the first 10 minutes excitedly proposing solutions to the problem. These solutions are great, creative ideas that have sprung to mind.
The term ‘benchmark’ originates from surveyors marking a stone to act as a consistent reference point for where to place their equipment with each visit to a site. In life and work we now use benchmarks all the time as consistent reference points to measure performance against...
Earlier this year, Justin Trudeau and the federal Liberal government announced their intention to implement a Canada wide Carbon tax in the coming years, to the tune of $50/tonne at its peak. The reaction to this announcement was mixed, with recognizable names on either side of the debate.
“There’s no such thing as a stupid question”. You have probably heard that sentence before, maybe from a teacher or professor, encouraging you to raise your hand and participate in class. The concept of asking “stupid questions” doesn’t always resonate outside of the classroom.
A waste reduction team I recently worked on achieved 160% of its annualized savings goal yet saw the largest problem reoccur one morning six weeks later. The problem, a product spacing issue, caused a significant percentage of the product to be wasted, but on the other side of the plant from the solution.
Have you ever felt guilty after a particularly overindulgent meal? Although it is quite normal for people to feel as though they have betrayed their bodies, one meal alone will not cause significant weight gain.
20 years ago continuous improvement (or CI) was but a blip on the management radar compared to the pillar of operations lore that it represents today. Most industrial and manufacturing organizations have since adopted some form of CI and, in parallel, the professional services marketplace for all things CI (training, certification, direct facilitation, organizational development, etc.) has ballooned, stratified and, in many domains, commoditized.
In today’s manufacturing world we’ve become focused on collecting and analyzing data - creating pivot charts and paretos, moving data into buckets, rearranging so that it can tell us how our process is performing. Although good for initial prioritization, taking this analysis too far can get us into trouble because it distracts us from getting on the floor and starting the actual problem solving needed to improve.
After both players have made their second move in a chess game there are over 72 thousand possible positions the game could be in. After 3 moves there are 9 million. After 4 moves, 318 million and so on.