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Auburn Technical Assistance Center (ATAC)

AME's Workshop - 12 steps to Manufacturng Excellence

Tuesday I attended Larry Fast’s, Pathways to Manufacturing Excellence, Lean workshop titled “How to Achieve and Sustain Manufacturing Excellence”
He started addressing reasons continuous improvement initiatives fail -

•Flavor of the month •Event focus – Short term & unsustainable
•Lack of a Production System Perspective

•Lack of top management support – They don’t understand
•Leadership turnover
•Don’t see quick results/ financial – Programs Don’t deliver
•Mis-Alignment
•No burning platform – sense of urgency
•Purpose & vision not considered

He referenced “Competing through Manufacturing”, Wheelwright & Hayes, HBR Jan 1985 – A timeless article which defined the 4 stages of Manufacturing’s Strategic Role – To summarize the four stages: Stage 1 – Firefighting & damage control reacting to poor metrics, underperforming; Stage 2 – Investment in capital – Lagging metrics – As good as the competitors –Stage 3 – have strategy & master plan – data analysis with scientific problem solving – better metrics & better results; Stage 4 – plants are a big reason why we got the business – manufacturing is the core with others functions supporting the manufacturing process - globally competitive and delivering world-class results
Larry’s 12 principles is a proven process in that has yielded numerous award winning operations as well as saved other plants from closure all across North America.
A. Strategy - Best at what our CUSTOMERS want
B. Path – 12 principles the start with US - LEADERSHIP
Build Infrastructure/Culture/Basic Discipline; Buildup phase from Good to Great
1. Safety
2. 5S
3. Disciplined use of FORMAL AUTHORIZED System
4. TPM
Achieve Stability – Key Process & Result Metrics
5. Process Capability Measured on Key Processes
6. Quality at the Process
7. On Time Delivery
8. Pervasive Visual Management
Improvement – Achieve Excellence
9. Continuous Improvement
10. Communication Plan
11. Purposeful Training Plan
12. Operator Led Process Control
C. Toolset – Lean six sigma – expertise on data/problem solving NOT the mission
D. Culture – Operator lead process control – engagement
Larry concluded with presenting one of his most important tools - his comprehensive audit for Manufacturing Excellence with the cautionary point that most Plant managers don’t understand the need & level of detail required to be successful. Excellent AME Workshop which I would highly recommend.

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