With over 200 survey responses for the co-sponsored LNS Research-MESA Metrics That Matter research study, we have been digging into the results to determine what drove the greatest manufacturing performance improvements in 2013. The preliminary analyses have been insightful, and, as always, we’re excited to share the data with you.
Like any industry, manufacturing requires effective leading and lagging indicators to benchmark, understand, and predict performance. These measurements are the lifeblood of continuous improvement professionals. Without them, it would be very difficult to validate past efforts and trends, and even more challenging to plan for and anticipate future events.
Whether it’s for comparing the effectiveness of product lines or business units within your company, or the effectiveness of your company against close competitors, benchmarking is a vital continuous improvement tool. And although it’s safe to say that the average executive understands the benefits of benchmarking performance, that doesn’t necessarily mean his or her company has ever participated in such an initiative.
Over the past six weeks, we’ve learned a lot about what challenges manufacturers face in measuring and optimizing business performance. And we’ve gained valuable insight into which metrics, technologies, and processes are driving the most value for organizations today. We’d like to thank everyone who has given us their thoughts and opinions so far through participating in the Metrics that Matter survey.
If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes an entire organization to raise an operational metric. As a leader, there’s no doubt you spend a lot of time thinking about goals and how to achieve them. Though, whether your focus is on profitability, energy or manufacturing efficiency, product quality, or customer service, the reality is that those high-level objectives are only attainable when everyone in the company is doing their part.
In our most recent Manufacturing Operations Management Survey over 87% of companies have instituted some type of Operational Excellence or Continuous Improvement initiative. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for there to be difficulty in determining whether or not progress is being made toward those initiatives. So what’s one major thing standing between you and your Operational Excellence targets? There’s a good chance it’s an effective metrics program.
Periodically, new technologies are developed that rapidly become pervasive because of the compelling benefits they offer, and as they mature they drive the price/performance ratios to be enticing for companies looking to improve the bottom line.
Earlier this year at the North American MESA International conference, LNS Research co-hosted a session that included many lively discussions on the disconnects that exist between business executives and the business metrics on which they naturally focus. The discussions also touched on any linkages that exist with the detailed metrics used by the people managing their production operations.
Last week, after ThomasNet's R.P. Siegel quoted an LNS Research blog post in his article, "Is OEE An Effective Metric for Assessing Industrial Production?" we decided to ask our followers on Twitter for their thoughts on the topic. The tweet sparked an engaged debate on the utility as well as shortcomings of the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) metric.
When it comes to metrics, it’s often said that what gets measured gets done. Part of this is human nature. Everyone has more piled on their plate than ever, and many workers find themselves constantly re-prioritizing their work activities. Therefore, metrics that have the attention of business and manufacturing leaders tend to be those that get measured and improved upon by their employee teams.