Improvements: What does it mean to you?

Improvement, is an important concept when you consider that if we don’t continually improve, we become stagnant and loose our edge in the manufacturing industry.  Improvement is what has brought us from the horse and buggy to the electric car, from candles to state of the art LED lighting.  If we don’t continually improve, we slowly die.  What does improvement mean to your organization?  From top floor to shop floor and across all functions you should get some consistent responses.  How do we measure improvement?  2 key questions will help us quantify it- what is it we are trying to improve and by how much? If you can’t answer these clearly and concisely you’re a candidate for confusion and chaos.  No doubt every organization supports continuous improvement.  It’s hard to argue with the concept, but the hard work is in the execution.  So in custom manufacturing, how do we define improvement?  Efficiency, and Effectiveness.

Efficiency is about getting the job done quickly.  For example, how fast can you cut, bend, machine, assemble, weld etc. It’s easy to narrowly focus on this alone, but an even more critical component is effectiveness, getting the job done right the first time.

Remember the 3 R’s:

Right product

Right time

Right amount of effort.

Understanding and implementing checks and balances on these important items can save your business time and money.

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