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Category: Manufacturing

Supply Chain News: A List of the Eight Deadly Sins for Manufacturers


Good Advice for Getting the Basics Right

July 13, 2021
SCDigest Editorial Staff

Earlier this year, consultants David Philippi and Joe Hahn from Strategex wrote a guest column on the site of the Manufacturing Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) on “The Eight Deadly Sins of Manufacturing.”

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There are a number of KPIs to consider, a number to consider, including lead time, quality, cycle time, quote time, response time to customer issues and several more.

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It was an interesting piece worth summarizing for SCDigest readers. With that intro, here are the eight deadly sins.

1. Failing to Prioritize Safety, Quality, Delivery, and Cost (SQDC) – In That Order: “Get safety right, then we can work on quality. Get quality right, and then we can work on delivery. Do all of that, and THEN (and only then) we can attack cost,” the authors say.

2. Having a Bloated Product Line/Way Too Much Product Variation: “An overly complex product line is almost always a root cause for companies with manufacturing problems – especially for companies overly focused on revenue, not profit,” the authors note. They add that companies should gain an understanding of what products are strategic and profitable, then simplify and standardize from there.

3. Mixing Long-Run Production with Short-Run Production: The authors say world-class manufacturers have a key advantage: They don't do changeovers very often. They set up their production to make standard products and "standard configurations" in long runs, and then they just let it run. When custom products must be made, they should be manufactured in a special, short run area that never touches any aspect of the long run line.

4. Poor Measurement - The Wrong KPIs, Too Few of Them, or Too Many: The authors say that companies should focus on the measures that matter. Usually, that means just three to five Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) per area.

They suggest a number to consider, including lead time, quality, cycle time, quote time, response time to customer issues and several more.

5. Poor Visual Management: “If you can walk the floor and get all the information you need about the shop status (without talking to anyone, merely by looking at boards and lights, at a glance, at a distance), you have excellent visual management. If not, you don't; and you'll pay the price for that sin eventually,” the authors say.

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6. No Daily Management Meetings: You don’t need long meetings, the authors say. It just involves “getting key people together, once per day, for 20 minutes maximum without PowerPoint or chairs. All you need is one central SQDC board focused on key customers and key orders, key facts about key metrics, and "to do" items written on post-it notes that stay on the board until reported on and removed at the next daily management meeting.”

7. No Postmortems: The authors says manufacturers should schedule post-mortems in advance of a process, project, or campaign ending. They can be about any major issue (e.g., large opportunities, major investments, KPIs) or anything that is not right for your top customers. No one likes to review things that didn’t go well, but it is key to success.

8. No Build Plan: The authors write that “A common statement we've all used is "plan your work, then work your plan." That's really all a build plan is about. It's the discipline to detach yourself from the daily whirlwind and put a game plan together.”

They add that “A proper manufacturing plan or build plan ensures the appropriate and processes are in place to meet sales goals.”

So there you have it – a very good list. The full article, with more detail, can be found here from MAPI.

What are your thoughts on these 8 deadly sins? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.


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