Operations Article

Doug Surrett’s picture

By: Doug Surrett

The importance of supply chain solutions relative to a company’s efforts to maintain and improve quality are almost impossible to underplay. When enacting quality improvement programs, any company would do well to examine its supply chain model and processes as a fundamental means of improving quality with suppliers, partners, and customers.

MIT Sloan School of Management’s picture

By: MIT Sloan School of Management

Traditional corporate hierarchies tend to rely on static design. There’s the CEO at the top, followed by directors and managers. Red tape and inefficient processes can bog down decisions. 

Knowledge at Wharton’s picture

By: Knowledge at Wharton

Volatile markets, challenging consumer demands, and the technological disruptions resulting from digitization and Industry 4.0 are producing unprecedented rates of change. In response, companies have worked to increase organizational agility, hoping to foster innovation and shorten go-to-market cycles. Yet organizational experiences and sociological conditioning often impede true agility.

Ryan E. Day’s picture

By: Ryan E. Day

You run a manufacturing business, so you know how it goes. The cost of doing business and manufacturing product never decreases. You know that your revenue must increase just to keep up. You also know that merely maintaining your revenue status quo will only ensure you get your lunch eaten by inflation. Or by your competition. If you aren’t growing your profits, you aren’t just standing still—you’re going backward. There is no such thing as “flat growth.” If your company’s revenue is not increasing year over year; it’s dying a slow death.

Grant Nadell’s picture

By: Grant Nadell

Boeing is demanding its suppliers reduce their prices by 10 percent, according to a February 2018 article published in Bloomberg Businessweek. It’s a hard pill for many to swallow, given that that these cuts are on top of the roughly 15-percent cuts demanded in 2012, when the company launched its Partnering for Success program.

Mark Rosenthal’s picture

By: Mark Rosenthal

A couple of weeks ago I posed the question, “Are you overproducing improvements?” and compared a typical improvement “blitz” with a large monument machine that produces in large batches.

I’d like to dive a little deeper into some of the paradoxes and implications of 1:1 flow of anything, improvements included.

Evan McLaughlin’s picture

By: Evan McLaughlin

As the vice president of quality for a $1.5 billion-dollar industrial corporation, Hermann Miskelly is responsible for leading its continuous improvement effort. Now in his 10th year of a lean Six Sigma deployment, he has overseen the execution of more than 4,000 major improvement projects and another 6,000 small improvement projects. Here are three key insights he shared about managing continuous improvement projects, with the help of Companion by Minitab®.

Mary Hallock’s picture

By: Mary Hallock

In lean we talk about “seeing the waste” and using visual tools. Many of us who use these terms  have had a lot of training in engineering, manufacturing, and other highly technical areas. However, the skills needed to “see” problems may lie more firmly in the study of art.

Ruth P. Stevens’s picture

By: Ruth P. Stevens

In business-to-business (B2B) direct marketing, I’m often asked about what kind of response rates to expect about the most productive media channels, the best lists, the best time to conduct a campaign, the most effective qualification questions. I always answer the same way, much to the frustration of my listener: “It depends.”

 But when the subject of the best offer comes up, I don’t have to hedge: “It’s information.”

Protolabs’s picture

By: Protolabs

Technology giant HP has developed and launched multi-jet fusion (MJF), an industrial-grade 3D printing technology that quickly and accurately produces functional prototypes and end-use parts for a variety of applications. Protolabs served as one of several test sites for this additive manufacturing process because of its experience in industrial 3D printing, and recently added HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 printers to its suite of manufacturing tools.

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