Category Archives: OE

Operational Efficeincy is a pre-requesite of success, it is a price of being in the game, a means to the end. However, OE is not strategy, a mistake many people make. This category contains thouights that relate to the impr0opvement of operational and manufacturing efficiency, and contains thoughts on Lean, 6 Sigma, Kaizen, and many other tools and techniques, and their application to continuous improvement.

To collaborate or not to collaborate

It seems that everywhere there is a drive to collaborate, without any real regard to the challenges of collaboration, the behavioral and cultural changes necessary for success. Collaboration has become an end in itself, rather than a strategy that has … Continue reading

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Rule of three

For a long time as a consultant, who has done a fair but of sales training in a B2B environment, I have fallen back on a foundation proposition made up of three parts. When planning a sales strategy to sell … Continue reading

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One at a time.

Scientific method calls for experimentation where you vary one variable at a time, observe the effect, making further changes only after consideration of the cause and effect relationships in the first experiment are understood. Unfortunately, this is the opposite approach … Continue reading

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Henry was not the first.

It is generally accepted that Henry Ford was the first to automate production along a line, dramatically increasing productivity and reducing costs as a result. Not the case. There were remarkable instances of mass production much earlier, the most interesting … Continue reading

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Machine utilisation & efficiency, only half the story.

  Machine utilisation and machine efficiency are probably the most commonly used KPI’s used to measure the performance of factory management. Both serve a purpose, but they do not by any means describe the “whole”. The factor that completes the … Continue reading

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Breadth of kaizen

Over many years, the best marketers I have come across have been trained as scientists, in a wide range of disciplines, many had no formal marketing training. Took me a long time to figure it out, the scientifically trained people … Continue reading

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If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it. Right?

It is a truism that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Largely those who have practiced measuring and then managing for improvement have done well, Toyota with their TPS have taken over the world auto industry, and … Continue reading

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The hardest bit

Yesterday, I wrote about the process jig-saw that supports an implemented ERP system as it works to drive efficiency, but deliberately left out the hardest bit. The most challenging changes necessary to make an ERP implementation deliver the value promised are the behavioural … Continue reading

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Sales & Operational Planning processes summarised

Talking to a client last week about his S&OP processes, (or lack of them despite the software) I realised that we were both using English, but were talking a different language. This is often a challenge in S&OP implementations, and … Continue reading

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Demand chains as the competitive differentiator.

We can learn a lot about supply chain management from successful retailers. To be successful, generally they have identified their logistics chains as a key source of competitive advantage and they work on it. Their business model depends on having … Continue reading

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The organisation pyramid.

Organisation charts almost always depict organisations as an equalateral triangle. It is a simple change in perspective, to see it with a third dimension, like the Egyptian pyramid. Suddenly, it is clear that the guts of the organization are largely hidden … Continue reading

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The risk & return of IT

One of my clients is currently undergoing a risk management exercise, pretty ordinary, albeit important stuff. List all the conceivable risks, rate their probability of occurrence, consider the impact if they occurred, and the consider the costs of mitigation. From … Continue reading

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Intellectual capital and return on assets.

Return on Asset calculations as a realistic basis of performance measurement for many firms is rapidly going out the window. On one hand we do the financial calculations, based on the accounting notion of tangible assets in the business, whilst … Continue reading

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Effective Project management needs Information flows as well as work flows.

Standard project management tools are designed to manage a sequential series of activities typified by a building project. They do this very well, as the work flows are dependent on the completion of previous work that is done to well … Continue reading

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Working Capital Productivity

Operational management is becoming harder pressed to find reductions in the working capital required to keep the operations running, with the constant option of outsourcing, “off-shoring”, consolidation, and so on as the price of not running hard enough. Working capital … Continue reading

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Working Capital Productivity, transaction costs and Demand chains

I recently wrote about the productivity of working capital, and my view that the productivity of the capital was a revised calculation that all businesses should consider. Clearly, the best way to increase the productivity of the capital required to run … Continue reading

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Conformance and change

Most efforts to improve Operational Efficiency  (OE) have at their core the elimination of variation in a process. It starts by setting standards, measuring the variations, and then progressively eliminating the causes of the variations, until you have a repeatable … Continue reading

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