5 min read

The Benefits of Data Collection for Manufacturing Companies

By Matthew Babich on Jan 14, 2022 1:45:37 PM

Imagine yourself sitting at a table, attempting to complete a puzzle blindfolded. Without the use of your eyes, you find your hands scrambling around the table, hopelessly feeling edges and shoving pieces together at random. With the use of your eyes, the information needed to complete the task efficiently is clear, like where the colors match and where they don’t.

Topics: Digital Manufacturing Operational Excellence
6 min read

Pull Production Systems: Push vs Pull, Types, and Tools

By Steven Calhoun on Jan 12, 2022 3:34:10 PM

Stacking inventory as a buffer is a common practice, but it often goes too far. In the worst cases, businesses produce everything ahead of time and then hope to sell it all, only to find that engineering made an urgent modification to the product or that the forecasts were way off.

Topics: Lean Methodology Operational Excellence
6 min read

Visual Management in Manufacturing and Logistics

By Steven Calhoun on Dec 30, 2021 10:45:00 AM

There are likely many times you’ve encountered problems that arose from something being unclear. Communication is key, as the saying goes. That’s where visual management comes in.

Topics: Lean Methodology Operational Excellence
6 min read

Best Warehouse Management Systems 2021

By Steven Calhoun on Nov 3, 2021 1:00:00 PM

When your warehouse is buzzing and nobody has much time to stop and analyze the situation, you need a way to quickly see where everything is and then direct the work to get it done. That’s where warehouse management systems come in.

Topics: Operational Excellence
3 min read

Process Lead Time and Little’s Law

By Steven Calhoun on Oct 29, 2021 10:07:03 AM

Perhaps you’ve heard of process lead time, a common metric in manufacturing that gives you an idea of how long you’ll have to wait on a widget if you start working on it right now. But you might not know that it’s closely related to a queue theory concept called Little’s Law.

Topics: Lean Methodology Operational Excellence
3 min read

The 80/20 Rule for Operational Improvements in Manufacturing

By Steven Calhoun on Oct 22, 2021 9:40:00 AM

It’s important to know which actions will drive results, especially when there’s so much noise. Being able to narrow down your to-do list to what matters is a crucial skill for doing work that matters in today’s world.

Topics: Operational Excellence
6 min read

Production Leveling vs Agile Manufacturing

By Steven Calhoun on Oct 13, 2021 10:00:00 AM

You need to meet customer demands, but you also have to plan your production properly to make sure you’re working profitably. This is a tall task, and luckily, people in your shoes have already tried many approaches to solving this problem.

Topics: Operational Excellence
4 min read

Improving Lead Times with On-Demand Labor

By Steven Calhoun on Oct 6, 2021 9:16:00 AM

As an operations leader in today’s hypercompetitive landscape, you’re always on the lookout for ways to reduce lead times to better satisfy internal stakeholders and, ultimately, delight the customer. In a volatile time with so many supply chain disruptions, the companies able to put products on shelves and in carts are the ones that get orders.

Topics: On-Demand Labor Operational Excellence
4 min read

Three Human Barriers to Labor Digitization and How to Promote Buy-in

By Seth Canner on Oct 1, 2021 2:00:00 PM

As a company decision-maker, you know that continuous improvement is critical to competing, and digitization is all but required to win in today’s market. However, stakeholders don’t always agree on the best way forward. Often the introduction of any new technology to your long-standing operations is a battle, and buy-in at all levels is necessary to maximize value creation.

Topics: Digital Manufacturing Operational Excellence
3 min read

Lean Six Sigma for Manufacturing

By Steven Calhoun on Oct 1, 2021 10:43:19 AM

There’s a good reason you hear about Lean, Six Sigma, and probably Lean Six Sigma all the time as a manufacturing leader. It’s a powerful way to manage your production, and so contagious that proud practitioners of this method often include their certification next to their names like doctors or lawyers.

Topics: Lean Methodology Operational Excellence