The Five Means to Manufacturing EfficiencyAugust 15, 2016
Functional excellence is not enough to be competitive in today’s manufacturing landscape.
Efficiency is the means of building profitable, competitive and sustainable businesses. But creating and sustaining manufacturing efficiencies face a variety of external challenges, from fierce competition and more-demanding customers, to increasing raw material costs, to diminishing manufacturing expertise, as well as the organizational, cultural, and process change management issues that inevitably arise with any business initiative.
These are not new challenges. However, their intensity – as well as depth and breadth – have rapidly and significantly increased over the years. Manufacturing companies ignoring these challenges do so at their peril. They may be out of business.
Previous approaches to production management focused on localized optimizations. Today’s manufacturing excellence focuses on a more holistic approach. Companies must strike a balance between five critical corporate components, what we call the 5M’s of Efficiency:
– Man: Great people make great products. Implementing best practices in manpower management helps increase the efficiency of a company’s workforce.
– Material: Attention to the quality, cleanliness, performance, and environmental aspects of materials helps increase the overall efficiency of any company’s manufacturing processes.
– Machine: Design, installation, and maintenance of durable, reliable, precise, and flexible machine tools reduces waste, saves money, and creates higher quality products.
– Methods: Implementing the latest strategies in production management – from tooling inventory management to green manufacturing, combined with time-tested best practices – helps create a lean, efficient production environment.
– Money: Comprehensive data collection and statistical analysis of the machines on the manufacturing floor – and, for global enterprises, across multiple facilities – provides the necessary metrics to optimize plant efficiency and keep those machines performing at peak capacity. Money is a good proxy for those metrics.
The 5M’s concept is more than machines and more than information technology. The 5M’s prepare businesses for the appropriate application of technology for efficiency, effectively and, ultimately, competitiveness and profitability.