SMED explained while doing laundry – Part one

SMED is a systematic approach to quick changeovers in order to minimize machine downtime. >Lisez-moi en français To explain what SMED is good for to non-specialists discovering it, I use the laundry example. Let’s imagine the mundane washing machine is a very precious resource and it should wash (add value) as much as possible in … Continue reading SMED explained while doing laundry – Part one

The downsides of customer satisfaction surveys

Customer satisfaction is the holy grail every company is looking for. In the desperate search to please their customers they multiply polls and inquiries in order to get the important insights first hand. Doing so, they overlook a possible serious “negative branch” * bothering the customers they so desperately want to please. *a negative branch … Continue reading The downsides of customer satisfaction surveys

Management attention as a constraint – Part 1

A system’s constraint, the limiting factor that is an obstacle to getting more Goal units* from the system, can be pretty difficult to identify (hence the success of my post on the topic: How to identify a constraint?!). *”Goal units” can be money, profit, services to citizens, number of patients treated, free meals served, or whatever … Continue reading Management attention as a constraint – Part 1

How to identify the constraint of a system? Part 4

Since the publishing of early books on Theory of Constraints, the world grew more complex and the system’s constraint got more and more elusive. Globalization and extended supply chains give a constraint opportunity to settle literally anywhere in the world and extend its nature. It can be a physical transformation process in a supplier’s facility, … Continue reading How to identify the constraint of a system? Part 4

The fallacy of maturity assessments

Maturity assessments are a kind of qualitative audit during which the current “maturity” of an organization is compared to a maturity reference model and ranked accordingly to its score. As explained in the wikipedia article about maturity model (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maturity_model), the implementation is either top-down or bottom-up, but from my experience it is mostly top-down. The … Continue reading The fallacy of maturity assessments

When facing a choice, get clarity with the change matrix

The change matrix is primarily a tool to explain why people seem to resist change, but it can be used to make a decision when the appeal of the proposed change is facing some doubts about losing more than gaining. Doing the exercise of filling the matrix should help getting clarity about the plusses and … Continue reading When facing a choice, get clarity with the change matrix

OEE Rescue: OEE is composite and does not tell much per se

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is probably the most widespread and well-known among KPIs in industry, which does not mean that everyone likes it. OEE rescue is a series of posts that aim to balance the love-hate comments about this KPI as well as debunking some myths and misconceptions. In this post: OEE is composite and … Continue reading OEE Rescue: OEE is composite and does not tell much per se

When enough is… enough

This is a behavior I’ve noticed quite often in food industry, in chemical or pharmaceutical plants: cleaning and sanitation processes (mainly their duration) are extended beyond the standard procedures at the expense of costs and production capacity. Fear of harming In the regulatory-constraint industries like food, chemical or pharma, people on shopfloor are trained and … Continue reading When enough is… enough