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Showing posts from May, 2012

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Smartspeed Consulting Limited
Taking the frustration out of on time delivery.


Using Takt Time to Drive Improvement

Takt time (or cycle time) is a term that is very rarely understood outside of engineering circles, but can apply to different businesses who need to improve their business processes. The reason for writing this post is to help people who approach their business improvement with no real objectives other than to be better than they currently are.

When continuous improvement approaches are used in isolation there is sometimes a lack of understanding about how good  an improvement needs to be in order to serve the business from the perspective of profit and customer service. Sometimes we pat ourselves on the back when we make improvements, but the improvement might not go far enough.

Calculating takt time is a simple approach that divides the amount of demand into the available time. For example, if you need to handle three enquiries every hour, then that means that the task (nominally) should be designed to be no longer than 20 minutes. Obviously this example assumes that there is nothi…

Your Business' Operational Brand

When we decide to make improvements to our business, the number of options available to us can seem overwhelming. Anyone who has looked into the Lean Transformation toolbox will remember how they felt when they first saw the full range of methods and techniques. However, there is a very simple way of deciding which tools will work best and that is to ask yourself whether the way your business operates lives up to the brand you have designed for it and the image you wish to project to your customers. To put this into perspective let me tell you briefly about some work I did with one of my clients. They were under pressure from their customers to improve their performance, particularly with respect to on time deliveries, and were about to embark in some Value Stream Mapping activities. At the point that I came to support the business there was already a long shopping list of methods, problems and potential improvements available for review. The problem was that after some analysis they…

Dubious Data and OTIF

Having good data that is clean (complete and accurate) is essential in order to make appropriate decisions, especially in the quest for 100% on time delivery performance. A lot of the data that is used nowadays is driven through ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) type systems, and the quality and consistency of the entries made determines the effectiveness of the information coming out from that system.

The reason for writing this particular blog entry is that I see many businesses chasing their tails to make improvements, whether from a lean or a delivery perspective, only to find out that their improvements are in vain. In many cases it's not that the improvement wasn't a good idea, it's just that the improvement wasn't required as they have been led on a wild goose chase thanks to some bad data being used to drive decision making.

As boring as it may sound, having the necessary checks and balances within your business means more than just checking the that shop floo…