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The methods for optimizing operational business processes are like a ocean of possibilities, but also the pitfalls in the use and implementation.
At first glance, the methods are unmanageable and for managers without profound knowledge of the methods, it is simply impossible to choose the right methods for process optimization and much more complicated to introduce it successfully.
In this area, many business consultants are to go with advice and assistance if the necessary expertise is not available within the company or just to receive food for thought for internal optimization.
The main methods I would like to see in this article is now here.
One of the most important topics in optimization of workplace, but hardly implemented because the knowledge and willingness to implement is often lacking.
Process chains are found everywhere in the company, the best known being the material flow optimization. Almost every thing for companies who has ever thought about made as the material flow can be optimized.
The aim here is to minimize transportation and inventory. The best known method for measuring the improvement success is the value Stream Map (VSM). Here all process steps with standard times, storage times and transport times are analyzed and the total time from arrival at the receiving to shipping the finished goods warehouse measured. On this basis the total time is called Lead Time and describes the time required to manufacture a product.
In addition to the material flow but there is a much more important Operational run time is forgotten in most cases: the flow of information!
In the information flow analysis methods swimlane or process chain analysis are used. The internal information flow is the flow of material in the administrative area. From customer to shipping the processes to be optimized, the waiting time of the clients is minimized build without unnecessary stocks and thus tying up capital that must be purchased on the capital market.
It is equally important that the internal processes are optimized so that there are no frictional losses and at the same time as resources are employed optimally and thus contributing to the overall employee satisfaction. Another effect of the information flow optimization is the “silo breaking”. Instead of thinking in departments that employees think in process flows and their optimization, interfaces are clearly defined and optimized. You will be amazed how easy it is daily business for such optimization.
Lean management is one of the currently most used words in process optimization and is seen in the management as a modern tool for process optimization. In fact you can with the lean management tools easily achieve improvements in the double-digit range in cost of production.
The concept of lean manufacturing starts in 1930, years when Toyota focus on the holistic duction process rather than individual machines to optimize. In 1950, Toyota to introduce begun due to the pressure of competition from the United States, seriously consistently lean production.
The triumph of the worlds largest and most successful car manufacturer in the world at that time started. This fact also shows that there is a method of last century, the not quite at the height of the technically feasible in some approaches. Who wants to take a front seat in the future must intelligently combine the Lean model using modern methods to the competition may still be a step ahead.
Sometimes the approach of the paper is based visualization represented in the consulting industry yet. This approach is essentially based on the idea that the reports are physically permanently exhibited visible and previously better understood from the previous manual processing once by the lecturer.
The idea is understandable but not very realistic. Often, these notices are hopelessly outdated since the update service due to the high workload does not work.
Modern methods rely on screen systems that will automatically bring up to date, bring problem areas automatically forward and give them the correct representation for each level. The knowledge of the processes and their current status is ensured by a control center function and daily team meetings in which the current state is reported and results of the previous day are presented.
The most important part in the introduction of lean management Lean workshops are at all levels in which a portion or a task is optimized. These workshops can under constant change of the viewing angle to be continued as long as desired and then serve simultaneously to the continuous improvement system.
The Lean philosophy consists essentially of the following components together:
5s (method for workplace organization)
7 Wastes (to minimize losses – transportation, inventory, handling, waiting time, process complexity, over-production, quality, some knowledge is named as 8th element.
Pull systems (eg Kanban to minimize the intermediate warehouses and waiting times on the machines)
Process chain analysis (also VSM – Value Stream Map, swimlane and Process Map)
Kaizen (continuous improvement)
SMED (Method for reducing the setup change-related downtime)
Visual Management (Unique markings of any kind in operation)
Holistic goal of Lean Management is the output maximization while minimizing expenditure.
Kaizen is a management concept from Japan (“Kai” = change, “Zen” = for the better). Known Methods are CIP (Continuous Improvement Process) and the suggestion scheme, which also serves to motivate staff.
The PDCA scheme can be used for continuous improvement when it is placed as described in this blog under “Problem Solving in step 1” and lived.
As the name already suggests Kaizen methods are not unique, for example, performed in project form but are integrated into the company’s philosophy and are subject as part of the daily routine of a continuous processing.
Kaizen is also part of the Lean Production Toolbox.
With the introduction of Kaizen methods is to make sure that these are easy to handle and are not unnecessarily generate a lot of effort, since these methods were included as a standard work in all Operating Activities with. Regular campaigns are needed to keep the system running on. KPI’s, the number and success measure the continuous improvement process to help define the right time for necessary campaigns.
While measures to improve their own work environment are mostly self-perpetuating, improvements need to be especially rewarded in other areas with special incentives and employee participation programs in order to achieve the desired results.
TQM (Total Quality Management) is a method of management with the goal of continuous and sustainable improvement of processes and process skills.
This method with a focus on production quality and delivery reliability in the company. This method was developed in the 1940s in the US after this method has initially received little attention it has been applied in the automotive industry in Japan and developed.
Best known is the ISO 9000 series, which was developed with the aim to make businesses with quality management systems to measure and certify. In the 1990s this was particularly the automotive industry driven above all by Ford with the QS 9000 and VDA with the series 6.1 these were then combined later to ISO / TS 16949 and represent the current standard in the automotive industry.
At this point I would like to comment briefly on 6-Sigma, whose contents are covered in ISO TS series in Chapter 8. The aim here is to make the business processes efficient and controllable. An error Share (products outside the tolerance) of less than 0.00035% is the object of this method.
This method of specialists in quality management which evaluate and assess the results in production followers SPC control charts as well as necessary measures to improve is applied initiate.
The introduction of autonomous work groups offer employees the opportunity, in engineering units (workcell) independently in the sense of “group work” to act and decide. This leads to more independence and accelerated the internal business processes considerably since the communication detour in many cases the disciplinary superiors void, in particular during night shifts and weekend groups can alone decide what will proceed to continue to keep the operation at faults running ,
Furthermore, the cross-functional cooperation is strengthened, thus supporting the holistic optimization of business processes.
It is important in this context, that are the necessary tools and skills of the group actually provided.
This type of job Enrichments and job Enlargements also having a detectable extremely stimulating effect on employee satisfaction.
Process optimization is a long term goal, you immediately start off!
The diversity of methods and the complex matter and often very theoretical approaches of the methods hardly give a useful method appear fully and comprehensively introduce the company. Rather, it is a smart strategy to focus on the weaknesses in the company and are gradually applied in accordance with the methods with the greatest savings to the extent such resources are available.
My personal experience in setting priorities:
1) High quality – you should still have deficits you should hurry competitors in developed sites are here already at a high level.
2) emissions – the right amount at the right time, usually already part of internal optimizations. But still has considerable potential, particularly in the planning processes.
3) Process optimization – avoiding internal losses. There is in most companies still the greatest potential. High-wage locations will be able to survive in the long term only with extremely optimized internal structures and processes.
Depending on where you will be using your company currently your strategy for further development and optimization set different focus.