Guest Blog Part 3: Listen to the Process

Through this guest blog series, my intent is to share some of my experiences implementing supplier quality and Lean manufacturing initiatives by focusing on eKanban systems. My first post offered advice for planning an eKanban rollout (advice that could be applied across any Lean manufacturing project). In my second installment, I reviewed strategies for rolling out an eKanban project that have proven successful for me. In this final entry, my

How the Internet of Things Can Shorten Lead Times

A new study in Modern Materials Handling reports that 86% of industrial organizations are currently adopting IoT (Internet of Things) solutions, and 84% believe those solutions are very or extremely effective. Manufacturers lagged behind the industrial segment as a whole, with only 77% of manufacturers implementing IoT in their facilities. So, what is holding manufacturers back? Anecdotally, I can share that many of the manufacturers I talk to intend to

Time to Revisit Your Constraints

    We talk a lot about constraints management in our work with customers who are implementing Demand-Driven Manufacturing (DDM) in their facilities. That’s because constraints management is fundamental for synchronizing the pace of production and keeping the demand (orders) flowing throughout the shop floor. But, our focus is naturally on physical constraints, e.g., that piece of equipment or workstation that is preventing you from delivering on time or offering

How the Internet of Things Can Help You Lower Inventory Levels

McKinsey Global Institute predicts the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will have an economic impact of up to $11 billion by 2025. As much as $3.7 billion of that is expected to come from manufacturing improvements in things like operations management and predictive maintenance. The word seems to have gotten out. In a 2016 study conducted by Morgan Stanley and Automation World, 70% of respondents said it was important for

FAQ: Can I Use Demand-Driven Manufacturing in a Make-to-Stock Environment?

Demand-Driven Manufacturing seems like it was made for Make/Assemble-to-Order and Engineer-to-Order environments. It’s true that Demand-Driven Manufacturing can be beneficial for manufacturers who already produce goods based on customer demand because it improves their responsiveness to customers and lowers lead and cycle times. Demand-Driven Manufacturing is a method of manufacturing where production is based on actual customer orders (demand) rather than a forecast. But what about Make-to-Stock environments? These manufacturers

5 Keys to Manufacturing Transformation

Almost every manufacturer we talk to these days is in the process of implementing (or planning to implement) some sort of change in the way they approach operations: Theory of Constraints (TOC), Lean, Six Sigma, just to name a few. Our focus on demand-driven manufacturing tools and applications has given us a front-row seat to their efforts. Related post: Is Demand Manufacturing Lean? While the devil may be in the