“Prove it!” That was the mandate given to a manager at a local factory. He left that meeting and picked up the phone and started looking for a custom software vendor. That’s where Scenario 77 comes in.
After an initial Discovery meeting, it became clear that this factory ran off of a “gut feeling” and was not being driven by cold, hard objective numbers. Like many complex manufacturing processes this client wasn’t getting their customers’ shipments out the door on-time as often as they should. They would often incur holding fees from their shipping carriers or take a hit from their customers due to partially fulfilled shipments.
They were making changes to their internal processes and it “felt” like they were making improvements but they couldn’t really quantify it. The manager tasked with improving on-time deliveries had requested additional head count to expand on some continuous improvement initiatives but was having a hard time getting approvals simply because he couldn’t prove that his initiatives were having a meaningful impact.
This customer was using RFID gates for tracking the movement of components and finished goods throughout the plant however no one was really looking at the data that was being captured. There was an interface that they could use but it was not very intuitive for the average user and required a lot of massaging of the data to be useful.
Scenario 77 came in and developed a couple of different systems for extracting shipping windows and retrieving the movement tracking data.
The Shipping Window application gave them a very easy to understand and widely distributed way of visualizing their on-time and complete deliveries on a daily basis as well as trending over time. More importantly, they could actually see if they were making improvements.
The Movement Tracking application gave them visibility into how their components and finished goods were moving throughout the plant (and across buildings). This gave them a way to analyze what went wrong as they looked at the details of a missed or partial shipment.
With these new applications and processes in place the manager could now “Prove It.” As an added bonus, this client knew certain types of shipments were more time-consuming and believed they’d allocated an appropriate amount of fulfillment time. However the data did not support their decision. These time-consuming jobs were considerably more time-consuming than they had previously realized. They now had the confidence that they were addressing the correct problems and not just hoping and praying.
The take away
Most businesses that Scenario 77 engages with have a really good gut feeling for where the problems exist within their organizations. However very few can actual quantify and visualize their problems. And more importantly, very few can objectively measure the improvements they are making.
If you are looking to gain confidence in your continuous improvement projects give Scenario 77 a call. We like to start with a no-charge, Discovery meeting where we want to understand your goals, your requirements and the expected results.