On April 16, 2014, LNS Research and MESA International held a webcast event entitled, “2013-2014 Manufacturing Metrics that Really Matter.” By the end of the event, we had received a barrage of questions from attendees, many of which couldn’t be addressed live due to time. In this post, we’ll address the top 10 questions that were asked.
Embarking and accelerating on a continuous improvement journey toward improved manufacturing performance is becoming increasingly important these days, as the shifts around global supply and demand, heightened customer expectations, and exciting newtechnological capabilities have created an atmosphere where manufacturing excellence is required to lead, or even maintain your spot within your industry, regardless of what that industry might be.
With today’s global economy only becoming more competitive, it’s no surprise that everybody in the manufacturing environment is talking about continuous improvement. Proven leaders understand that if you’re not moving forward, making year-over-year gains in key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics, then you’re destined to face some serious challenges down the road.
As a plant manager, you’re responsible for the day-to-day management and coordination of production, logistics, and maintenance in your assigned facility. Your position is one that’s hands-on and focuses on using all the resources at your disposal to maximize production accuracy and profitability while ensuring worker safety and government compliance in a particular unit of the manufacturing organization.
It’s the paradox of choice—the presence of too many options can make effective decision making more difficult. This isn’t just the case of a restaurant patron confronted with an extensive dinner menu or an online shopper perusing Amazon, it applies to manufacturers as well.
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.