NW Analytics Blog

Something Integrated This Way Comes

During our last webinar, Transform Manufacturing Operations – A Conversation with Charlie Gifford, one participant asked “How does a small single factory manufacturer take advantage of MOM (Manufacturing Operations Management) without spending millions?”

Given the number of systems used for basic operations functions and the high probability those systems are not all based on a single set of operations definitions such as...

The Illustrated MOM – the Path to Operations Excellence

The need for corporate-wide operations excellence has become well established but the evolution of support manufacturing operations systems lags the requirement. A common operations story is trying to manage a plant and a company’s supply chain with a disjointed collection of legacy departmental IT systems. While each disparate system once made sense, operations demands over the last 15 years increasingly replaced the focus of departmental solutions with an evolving plant-wide Manufacturing Execution System (MES). Moving beyond basic material resource planning of the 1990s, MES focused on...

Grow Into Production Process Management

During our recent web conversation Michael McClellan argued that the Production Process Management (PPM) model leads to the best use of manufacturing collaboration and intelligence. The process centric perspective tracks both how the business is managed and how production is accomplished. He defines PPM as a framework of process centric best practices used for corporate governance.

In this strategy enterprise thinking and IT governance evolve from application and data centric to process centric. Ideally, one could deploy a clean sheet approach and create the manufacturing IT...

Collaboration Fundamentals

Collaboration is in the air.

The recent industry magazine site featured the article, Are “Black Swans” Colliding with your Global Supply Chain? which stated:

 “Effective collaboration remains the cornerstone of successful relationships, especially in today’s global and outsourced environment. …It also means engaging suppliers who are willing to share information about the product on-demand, to support efficiencies and effectiveness across the product lifecycle.”

The author’s checklist shows that a supply chain is a supply chain, regardless of the...

The Evolution from Clipboard to Manufacturing Intelligence

Today’s marketplace competitive? Only in the most Darwinian sense of red in tooth and claw. Customer demands continue to escalate and competitors become more aggressive. How does operational management adapt to meet competition while laying the foundations for continued performance improvement?

Consider a few decades ago when paleo-quality engineers emerged from the primordial operational ooze, clipboard in hand, to manually capture and analyze quality and operational metrics. Conversion of the data into usable information was slow and often incomplete. Most often only limited...

Making Sustainable Improvement Work

Manufacturing is a long-term play. Systems are targeted not for the day or week, but rather for years or decades. Therefore, system development and improvement programs are long-lived as well.

What are the secrets of sustainable system improvement?

Mark Gavoor in his recent webinar The Right Data at the Right Place at the Right Time defined sustainable system improvement as:

Sustainable Improvement = Metrics + Lean + Process

Where the individual parameters are:

  • Metrics – Select the...

Rising From Small-time Player to Global Contender

The global marketplace is intensely competitive and winning manufacturers must bring their “A” game. Unfortunately, many still depend on immature ad-hoc operational management systems which cripple their ability to quickly respond to and take advantage of market demands.

Organizations such as ISA and MESA have taken this challenge and developed the models leading manufacturers use to improve manufacturing operations performance. The result: the ISA-95 standard is now the accepted roadmap for designing and implementing world class manufacturing systems. The associated Maturity Models...

A Tale of Two Cultures

Manufacturing and supply chain management needs all the help it can get to keep an edge in today’s competitive market. A few percentage points difference in performance makes a huge difference in market share and profitability.

While it is often easy enough to review current best practices in manufacturing intelligence systems and choose the options that will make the difference in corporate performance, getting project sign off and budget approval from management can be an entirely different matter.

Much of that challenge comes from communication problems between two...

Supply Chain is Not Just Logistics Anymore

Like any other corporate process, supply chain management needs to incorporate more than its core operational functions to deliver world class results. Superior performers also integrate continuous improvement into their supply chain implementations to deliver the critical difference in performance.

The secret to dependable, long-term supply chain performance is to implement a sustainable improvement program, also known as Supply Chain Physics.

...

Sustainable Manufacturing Intelligence

No company undertakes significant management initiatives such as MI with the plan to quickly throw it away. After all, running a program up the flag pole is not a generally accepted manufacturing system evaluation procedure. Such initiatives consume too much time, effort and money and generate too much operational disruption to be needlessly repeated.

However, many initiatives and their IT support systems fade away too quickly because they just never develop enough operational traction within the organization to maintain their momentum.

A common plot line in these stories is...

“NWA Support delivers me advice from a knowledgeable human being that really understands the issues I'm experiencing.”

Mike Puhl, Corporate Senior Process Engineer, Saint-Gobain Containers

Subscribe to NWA