How Quick Fix Routines Support Continuous Improvement

Standard work is the foundation for continuous improvement. It is important for tasks to be completed in the same way by all involved in the manufacturing process, and for this standard method be improved over time. The approach can be applied to various manufacturing job functions, from plant operation through to maintenance tasks, and ultimately Read more about How Quick Fix Routines Support Continuous Improvement[…]

Inside VWG’s Manufacturing Cost Reduction Programme

Cost leaders enjoy competitive advantage. That is always true. But if ever there was a time to focus on cost reduction, it is now. A conflagration of negative economic factors, exacerbated by the recent ratings downgrade, is going to place extreme pressure on disposable income, dampening demand. The simultaneous upward pressure on input costs is Read more about Inside VWG’s Manufacturing Cost Reduction Programme[…]

An Innovative Service Guaranteed to deliver Sustainable Energy Cost Reductions

Energy costs are significant in most manufacturing facilities and large commercial undertakings, but tend to take a back seat to other operational priorities such as plant reliability, product quality, safety, throughput and cost management. Most organisations do not have dedicated energy management personnel, and also cannot be sure of the returns achievable through investment in Read more about An Innovative Service Guaranteed to deliver Sustainable Energy Cost Reductions[…]

Why Only Teaching Shop Floor Staff “How” Things Are Done is Not Enough

Where manufacturing processes require manual intervention, it is vital that the operators of those processes do so consistently. This means that all operators should follow the same procedure. It is also important that the procedures being followed lead to the best results, and are hence reflective of “best operating practice”. Achieving best practice requires subject Read more about Why Only Teaching Shop Floor Staff “How” Things Are Done is Not Enough[…]

Why High-Performance Manufacturers Create Their Own Problems

Organisations that have got continuous improvement right encourage every employee to challenge themselves in improving performance, as individuals and in teams. Using the basic tools of PDCA, these organisations are constantly learning at every level, disseminating and exchanging these learnings and incorporating them into standardised work practices. All of these efforts are in pursuit of Read more about Why High-Performance Manufacturers Create Their Own Problems[…]

Common Barriers to Low-Cost Manufacturing

Becoming a cost leader is a natural source of competitive advantage for manufacturers. Lower costs assist commodity producers to undercut their competition on price, while for branded product manufacturers with leverage over price, lower costs can significantly increase margins. Low-cost producers enjoy better cash flows than their more wasteful competitors. Assuming that a business is Read more about Common Barriers to Low-Cost Manufacturing[…]

Problem Solving: Simple Route to World Beating Performance

Continuous improvement is only possible within a framework comprising the systematic measurement of performance and the establishment and facilitation of structured processes to close the gaps between achieved performance and performance targets. Problem solving offers this to any organisation willing to make the necessary investments in competence acquisition and resolute enough to drive required changes Read more about Problem Solving: Simple Route to World Beating Performance[…]

Keys to Manufacturing Cost Reduction

Manufacturing businesses incur a wide range of costs. As with any business, there are many fixed costs associated with manufacturing, such as salaries, maintenance, rent and the like. If you really want to sustainably reduce the cost of your manufacturing operations however, the costs you need to be focusing on are variable costs. In this Read more about Keys to Manufacturing Cost Reduction[…]

Can Manufacturers Maximise Energy Efficiency Through Operational Excellence Alone?

The notion of operational excellence in manufacturing has been around for decades. Manufacturing managers face extreme challenges as they try to balance a range of often conflicting objectives. These include producing product reliably, meeting quality standards, operating safely, minimising costs, maintaining a heathy, motivated and skilled workforce, social objectives and now environmental objectives. In trying Read more about Can Manufacturers Maximise Energy Efficiency Through Operational Excellence Alone?[…]

Key Steps to Sustainable Resource Efficiency Performance

Low-cost manufacturers are not the ones with the lowest staff complements, but those who manage their variable costs effectively. The efficient use of raw materials, energy and water and the minimisation of waste are the hallmarks of cost leaders in the manufacturing sector. The issues are very complex and unless you attack this challenge in Read more about Key Steps to Sustainable Resource Efficiency Performance[…]