Additive Manufacturing and UK Competitiveness

A year ago the Department of Education published an important report on 3D printers in schools and their potential uses in the curriculum. The aim was to find out whether this technology offered new opportunities for the teaching of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Improvements in this area are important in terms of increasing… Read more »

Turning Loss into Cost

Paul Hardiman, TPM consultant manager at Industry Forum explores how organisations can control their losses and even turn them into profits by learning how to use value analysis/value engineering (VA/VE) and industrial symbiosis. Whether an organisation uses lean principles or other tools like Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) to drive improvement, it is important for an… Read more »

New Product Introduction: the route to success

Innovation has been climbing corporate agendas for some while. Bigger firms are these days being warned that they face the threat of a smaller firm coming up with a disruptive innovation that may well weaken their competitive position and may even result in their demise. This kind of disruptive innovation will be equally serious for… Read more »

What is Autonomous Maintenance?

When companies begin to implement Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) they often start by piloting Autonomous Maintenance (AM).  This is understandable as AM is one of the key distinguishing features of TPM and also one of the most important activities when understood correctly.  To understand AM correctly it needs to be seen as an improvement activity… Read more »

How Automotive has been leading productivity improvement in the UK

We are used to the idea that the UK economy has exhibited a ‘productivity puzzle’ since the crisis of 2008 – with employment remaining strong while output has been weak. The trend in business investment which has failed to recover from the 2008 crash has helped reinforce the ‘productivity puzzle’ image. ONS have just published… Read more »

The tension between risk and quality management

The tension between risk management and quality management is very much alive at the moment. It has been reported that too often senior managers fail to set project budgets at a level consistent with the necessary standards of quality, cost and delivery with the inevitable result that too many projects are at risk and fail on… Read more »

The impact of supply chain innovation on UK manufacturers

The strength of the UK manufacturing recovery has started to register on a global scale according to a new survey of global manufacturing leaders by Deloitte. These leaders are looking to the US, China and the UK as the principal growth markets in the next two years. The UK has a limited number of indigenous… Read more »

Enduring Leadership

We all no doubt have our favourite leader whether that be a historical character- Wellington; from politics-Mandela; from the caring services-Florence Nightingale; from sport-Alex Ferguson; etc. Getting behind the perception of any particular leader, particularly in today’s media dominated environment is quite difficult, and one wonders whether the characteristics, traits and behaviours of successful leaders… Read more »

Lean Management, Operational Excellence and High Performance Working

A major business survey published last year found that employers in the UK are reducing training on teamwork and problem solving and putting more pressure on individuals to work harder. Does this mean that the lean approach has been exhausted and no longer offers a competitive payoff to firms? Powerful evidence to the contrary has… Read more »