Is your vision statement just window dressing?

I never truly understood how important a clearly explained vision statement is to the success of an organisation, until I recently came across two very different cases. Like many managers, I thought that vison statements were the icing on the corporate cake. A set of clever words designed by expensive, external consultants to make the… Read more »

The answer to the ultimate question!

What is the best approach to improvement? Only a slightly simpler question than “What is the meaning of life, the universe and everything?” There are many well-known practitioners and writers publishing their findings and recommended approaches. And of course, a number of people branding their approaches as the ultimate solution. However, this week I read… Read more »

Is Value Stream Mapping relevant in our digital world?

For many years we have been successfully using VSM to help us plan how our businesses will operate in the future. Many of us will have started around 2003, using Learning to See by John Shook and Mike Rother. But is the mapping tool becoming obsolete in the world of virtual and augmented reality? Mapping… Read more »

Nail waste elimination to maximise your improvement programmes

When I first learned about the 7 Wastes (some 20 odd years ago!), it was a light bulb moment. The root of every single improvement method was revealed. You will probably have noticed how most of these blogs mention waste somewhere. But it’s one thing to be able to recite the wastes and another to be… Read more »

Progress with UK Manufacturing

Rebalancing the UK economy following the crash of 2008 is widely understood as a desirable national goal. The recent progress of UK manufacturing can be assessed via the Annual Business Survey data which Office for National Statistics (ONS) have just released covering the period from 2008 to 2014. It shows that manufacturing gross value added (GVA) increased by £7.8bn… Read more »

Seduced by Digital Technologies, but do they eliminate waste?

Will deploying digital technologies boost your productivity, QCD performance and global competitiveness? This is the message we get from all the promotional information. But as with any new system or equipment, we need to evaluate the pros and cons before rushing in to purchase. To really improve performance and bottom line we need to ensure… Read more »

Supply Chain Risk Management

Risk management is part of the portfolio of most firms. For example, contracts are always instruments to share risk between the parties. Or again, risk management should shape audit strategy and be the bedrock of health and safety practices. Product design includes risk management methods such as failure mode effect analysis (FMEA) which is a core tool… Read more »

3 Game Changing Technologies in New Product Introduction

In Digital Manufacturing I mentioned that the time for NPI is being reduced, thanks to the use of technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and 3D printing. While these methods may have been considered too expensive, the development of the cloud and Internet of Things is making them readily accessible, even for… Read more »

What does Digital Manufacturing really mean?

How will it re-shape our business and daily lives? The best description I have found is this. “The creation of a digital thread that seamlessly ties together the flow of information from design through manufacturing to end consumers, including the full life cycle of the product.” Digital manufacturing is not just machines talking to machines… Read more »