Is Your Manufacturing Operation Performing as Well as it Could?
Most of the manufacturing organizations we have talked with know they have improvement potential. Admittedly, most seem to struggle with making the necessary changes in the primary areas that influence performance and cost.
By looking at new ways to improve manufacturing productivity, business process efficiency, automation and digital transformation manufacturers globally are seeing dramatic improvements in their competitiveness, gross profit, cash flow and net profit.
What is the biggest obstacle to achieving dramatic improvements?
Fear of change is the biggest roadblock to operational excellence.
- Sometimes you just need to take a leap of faith when it comes to change
- Setting clear goals and objectives before you start will help motivate employees
- Realizing that internalizing the program start-up responsibility is always harder than to engage an external professional firm
Fear of Change: Dr. Deming spoke often about the role fear plays in damaging a company’s effort to improve. If there is a culture of fear, then it is likely the workers will be hesitant to try something different and therefore nothing will improve. However, evidence repeatedly shows that those businesses that do the best with their improvement efforts have a workforce that has been empowered to make changes and through positive experiences, learned to embrace it.
In these cultures, managers also become progressive enablers for the employees, rather than “traditional” managers that may not entrust their employees with improvement goals and responsibility. In these environments a manager’s leadership skills and business knowledge become an even greater asset shared throughout the company. It’s a win-win for everyone that successfully breaks the mold that fear creates.
Clear Goals & Objectives: What gets measured gets done! If only it was as easy as it sounds, but the truth is that without setting clear goals and objectives we could be measuring the wrong things. And without establishing the priority for achieving them, your organization will be wasting considerable time and energy working in an uncoordinated effort toward the wrong end point. With a clear list of goals and a prioritized list of objectives in hand, your team can begin developing the plans to achieve those objectives that will kick-off programs that drive real continuous improvement.
This simple, but important decree will ensure that:
- People and teams are working on the right activities
- The effectiveness of each change can be easily measured
- Employees are aligned and the conflict or confusion created by the “wrong” metrics is avoided
- You understand the value your technology platform plays in the overall success of your programs
Internalizing the program start up: Change is not simple and becomes far more difficult when it involves a change in company culture. Skilled and knowledgeable facilitators can effectively help cross-departmental core teams develop more efficient processes while bringing visibility to an improved work environment.
History and experience have proven that once people see how their own lives will be easier and more fulfilling, they will rapidly become excited about change. But it is also recognized that the highest level of success achieved in continuous improvement efforts are found in those situations whereby companies understand the challenge and bring in professional facilitators to get a jump-start on moving the program forward.
Simply stated, all continuous improvement projects stand a better chance for success when:
- Fear to change is replaced by targeted improvements
- Objectives are clear and goals are defined, priorities are established, and responsibilities are communicated
- Improvements are approached with the aid of a skilled facilitator, knowledgeable in the various improvement techniques of DiSC Organizational Change, Lean, Six Sigma, TOC, and Digital Transformation
When these factors are soundly in place, it is then and only then that the benefits of change are understood, and the improvements gained are effectively sustained.
High performing companies are digitally transforming three key areas of their enterprise: customer experience, operational processes, and business models. Achieving the highest level of efficiency possible in today’s digital transformation era requires a clear understanding and appreciation for the Internet of things (IoT), Smart Manufacturing, and process automation.
The 5 digital transformation pillars consist of the following:
- Vision & strategy
- Customer experience
- Employee experience
- Cultural change
- Digital connectivity
Need help or advice?
Contact us to speak to one of our Certified DiSC Change Management specialists, Lean Certified Continuous Improvement Experts, or Operational Excellence consultants about Synergy’s Organizational Change Management, Continuous Improvement and Digital Transformation programs for Manufacturers and Distributors.