Manufacturing Effectiveness 1: Introduction

In my last two posts ‘Change Is…5’ & ‘Change Is…6’ (featured on my profile) I talked about the difference between good and excellent. In my MBA thesis 17 years ago I tackled the subject of what makes a good manufacturing organisation. I’d spent my first six years as an Air Force engineering officer and the next 13 as a prod/ops manager in automotive, electronics and capital equipment OEMs. Over those years I came to the conclusion that most companies didn’t know how they’d succeeded or why they were now failing. Other than the all embracing Toyota Production System I still think that today.

What I tried to do in 2004/5 was to map out what an effective manufacturing company (good as opposed to excellent – prev two posts refer) looks like by giving word pictures of the parts of the system I called the ‘Manufacturing Mechanism’. I based the model on Michael Porter’s seminal strategic management concept of the ‘Value Chain’; and I took the perspective of the shop-floor because it seemed to me that whatever issues the company as a whole had were shown up ‘on the big screen’ of the shop-floor.

These next few posts comprise the essence of ‘The University of Strathclyde Graduate School of Business MBA Project entitled “Analysing Manufacturing Effectiveness: A Holistic Approach to Manufacturing Based On A Perspective From The Shop-Floor”, by Philip Simister, year of completion 2005’ – delivered in digestible chunks. Only the top level word picture is included and I include non of the detailed questions and answer elements; and to be easily accessible it covers the main argument without caveats and without reference to the critical role of supporting functions.

Categories: Good Manufacturing