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    Where to Start Your Lean Journey  There’s one sure-fire way to tell when someone has lived in Minneapolis long enough to be called a Minnesotan. No, it doesn’t involve rooting for the Vikings, though that helps. It’s when they can find their way around The Mall of America without a directory. Built in 1992, The Mall of America still ranks as the largest in the US with more

Efficiency vs. Productivity: Metrics that Matter…Until They Don’t

Measure efficiency and productivity against your REAL goal I keep seeing the word efficiency in the manufacturing media.  For someone who is a Constraints Management person, this is the equivalent of saying “Ni” to the Knights Who Say Ni (Monty Python reference, okay?) or like scratching your fingernails across a blackboard.  It is one of those words that I think we should remove from the English language. When we look

It’s Time: Manufacturers Need to Cut Ties with MRP and Spreadsheets

A few years ago, Aberdeen Group did a study that showed that 63% of “best in class” manufacturers still used spreadsheets for planning. With percentages this high, it’s probably safe to say that there is a lack of trust in planning tools like ERP and MRP even in the best-run companies. Of course, spreadsheets come with their own set of issues. You may have a certain amount of confidence in

Manufacturing Metrics that Actually Matter (The Ones We Rely On)

Part one of a multi-part series to help you measure your production efforts wisely LNS Research blogger Mark Davidson said, “When it comes to metrics, it’s often said that what gets measured gets done.” I have found this to be true when working with many different manufacturers. Mark also writes: “Metrics that have the attention of business and manufacturing leaders tend to be those that get measured and improved upon

The Future of the Organization is On Your Shoulders

  Imagine this: You’re in a high-level planning meeting with senior leadership, when the CEO and CFO issue a clear mandate: Get inventory levels under control. The VP of Sales, never being one to hold back an opinion, steps in to argue that the organization needs to become more competitive if it’s to survive. Right now, your promised lead times are the longest in the industry – even longer considering

POV: 3 Ways Layered Technology Differs from the ERP Add-On

  Most manufacturers have, at one time or another, deployed an “ERP add-on.” These are the bits and pieces of functionality sold through third parties that round out the capabilities of an ERP system. Common ERP add-ons can include core functionality like Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) and Supply Chain Planning (SCP), but for major ERP systems, there are dozens if not hundreds of add-ons available. Because add-ons are such