Mighty Muscled Manufacturers

In our earlier article ‘Tackle Tough Times’, we had discussed about factors pulling organizations down and the need to steer clear of it during tough times. We had several encouraging views as well as requests to share insights on how to build muscles and might for world class manufacturing set ups.

Like in any road expedition, a solid 4 X 4 transmission comes handy to maneuver daunting twists and tricky turns; similarly the ‘4 X 4’ formula for manufacturing organizations helps them to see through the uncertain and dynamic scenarios in today’s world.

The first 4 elements of the ‘4 X 4’ formula form the foundation or the pre-requisite for building muscles.

Basic Stability of 4Ms:

Assign the right Man (person) with right attitude for the job: Operator qualification and awareness of potential for waste stands critical. Taking responsibility for seeking solutions is another enabler, which cannot be ignored.

Appropriate Machine for the job, both in capacity and capabilities: Equipment health is an important aspect of Asset Management.  As per the studies, basic steps of cleaning, oiling, tightening and inspection (COTI) can avoid 80% of the breakdowns and stoppages.

Adequate supply of the correct Material: On time availability of the materials, raw materials or consumables, as per the standards is essential to sustain the service or manufacturing process.

Standardized work Methods: Sequence of the steps used in the work must allow for the most efficient practice. Another aspect to be considered is the physical setup of the work area; whether a desk or a factory workstation, it should maximize the flow evenly with minimum disruption and adequate communication.

The next 4 elements of the ‘4 X 4’ formula constitute the actual training for the organization to be followed rigorously to build strong muscular structure which is fit and agile.

Material Velocity is indication of health of any manufacturing organization, whether discrete manufacturing or process industry. Higher material velocity ratio is sign of higher throughput leading to better inventory turns! One needs to work on the obstructions to material flow and attack the pockets of work-in-process stocks.

As the expectations of customers grow day by day, we are in an era where Quality of products and services is an order qualifier and not order winner. Needless to say, high quality standard is a mere hygiene factor with byproducts like less rework, and higher productivity.

The next two factors focus more on the people issues

Employee Involvement is a great way to generate new ideas and harness the energy and commitment of any organization’s greatest asset — its people. Initiatives with joint employee-management committees play a pivotal role in the muscle building efforts. Time and again, top leaders across the globe have been talking about it and challenges faced due to lack of employee engagement and involvement.

Designing and offering all your products and services with customer (internal or external) in mind, and exceeding his / her expectations should be the aim of any organization, which is real Customer Centricity. It is the most important exercise to build muscle!

Considering these 8 aspects and working on it diligently, any organization can reach the stature of being world class. Let us not get overwhelmed by all different tools, concepts and philosophies rampant in the industry; but organizations which keep these fundamental axioms in mind, shall prosper and progress. As they say, “Only the legs that run are those that really have muscles”, it is important to practice these exercises in order to build muscles!

Contributed by:  Faber Aakash Borse

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