Can you afford not having a Continual Improvement Process (CIP) in today’s economy? Effective CIP projects more than pay for themselves with high Returns on Investment (ROIs). The Six Sigma DMAIC process is the roadmap for savings. Projects using 6 sigma methodologies pay for themselves. This is the time to double up, and select high impact projects, assign Black Belt resources, and get started.Read More
During my thirty years of coaching and implementing Business Process Improvement (BPI), I’ve heard a lot of comments from clients within various industries about the improvement process in general. Most clients laud the economic advantages, but across the board, the most common misconception is “That doesn’t apply to us. Our business is different.” My response is usually (in your best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice) “Stop your whining!” Ok. I don’t really say that. That would tend to lose the business. So my actual response is “Really?”Read More
Recent incidents like the earthquake-tsunami in Japan, terrorist attacks and other natural disasters have shaken many business owners and executives into facing the fact that their business world is at risk every day. As of this writing, some business units in Japan have not regained their full operations from the March 11, 2011 disaster (over four months!). Customers are demanding that their suppliers maintain the ability to provide products and services in the event of a disaster. Some even require that a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) be submitted and maintained by all suppliers. In the future it will be difficult to win new business without a comprehensive BCP.Read More
Many organizations possess a false sense of security by merely backing up their files. They feel that this is all that is needed in order to recover their operations in the event of a disaster like Hurricane Sandy. This recent event in the northeast has demonstrated that much more is needed.Read More
A fire ensued at a client’s key supplier located in Latin America. This facility was the sole producer of one type of consumer product that was sold in North America. The building and all production/packaging machines were destroyed, thus shutting down production for this product. Eventually I was called in to work on the restoration efforts, which involved removing the tooling, preparing it for shipment to the manufacturer for inspection/possible refurbishment, management of the refurbishment efforts, tooling/process re-qualification and production start-up at three alternate facilities located in three countries on another continent. Both the client and this supplier were without a BCP, which caused them to suffer significant financial loss. Due to the lack of a BCP, the time to decide, act and recover took much longer than necessary.Read More
During an ISO 9001 implementation engagement, I began creating process maps for my client’s key processes in order to help them understand the interrelationship of their processes. These exercises uncovered a significant duplication of effort that resulted in wasted labor, increased inventory and vital space not being available for assembly operations. It became apparent that both the material control and purchasing functions assessed the inventory levels upon receipt of a sales order. The purchasing department placed a purchase order for the required raw materials. The material control department also issued a duplicate purchase requisition resulting in double orders being placed for a very expensive raw material with a limited shelf life.Read More
Cross border projects are usually remotely managed, involve less developed organizations and diverse cultures. These factors add complexity and are more challenging to business professionals than purely domestic projects.Read More
The rewards for undertaking a supplier development initiative are well worth the effort. For example, some of the benefits of an effective supply chain development program include:
- Sourcing cycle time reduced by 25-30 percent
- Time-to-market reduced by 20 percent
- Costs lowered by 25-50 percent
- Improved quality, reliability, and manufacturability of products and services
- Increased responsiveness to customer needs and market dynamics
- Improved collaboration and knowledge sharing
Do you remember when you first got involved in quality management system auditing? Maybe your organization was getting ready for its first certification audit, or maybe you were sent to training to become an internal auditor while still fairly new to the company. Your business may have been heavily invested in making sure the quality management system was in top shape, and it was easy to get attention for changes that needed to be made.Read More
Last week in part one of the three-part article series, Six Tips for Effective Internal Audit Program Management: Part 1 of 3, I discussed the importance of clarifying purpose and maintaining resources. If you haven’t done so already, you can read it here.
In the second blog post, I’m going to discuss the importance of strengthening your auditors and using consistent methods to keep an effective audit program as your management system matures.Read More
Two weeks ago I published the first article of this three-part series, Six Tips for Effective Internal Audit Program Management, in which I covered the importance of clarifying purpose and maintaining resources.
Last week I published part two which covers the importance of strengthening your auditors and using consistent methods to keep an effective audit program as your management system.
In this blog post, I reveal tips 5 and 6 to managing an effective internal audit program – scheduling audits to address business needs and improving your program through internal customer feedback.Read More
I was recently reminded of something that I think we are all generally aware of:
No Rule Is Universal
Ironically, maybe ONE rule actually IS universal, and it’s that none are!! No rule is Universal because all rules need to be applied against a specific situation and the context of that situation may alter or invalidate how the rule applies. All rules need that context in order to be applied properly and we need to understand the context in which we will apply a rule before attempting to apply it.Read More
In Agile software development people are not interchangeable cogs where anyone can be swapped in and out on a regular basis; people are your greatest asset.
It’s preferable to have a collocated team of highly motivated individuals who are working together on a daily basis to create something great. But sometimes business needs dictate that the team cannot be fully collocated and you need to work with offshore resources. While not ideal, keep in mind that you can make offshoring effective, but you need to work at it.Read More