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STRATEGIC PLANNING | BUDGET thoughts starters ... (part 1)

As fall approaches many organizations begin the planning process for the coming year. Typically part of the planning process involves implementing some Process Improvements so we decided to share some methodologies and the typical benefits that can be achieved ...


Hit the pause button on your operation and conduct a Value Stream Mapping exercise. Typical Value Stream Mapping defines "value add" from "non-value add" through the eyes of inventory. While this can be good it tends to not look at the "value add" and "non-value add" through the eyes of communication and information flow.

In addition to identifying and prioritizing opportunities you want to identify the cadence of your business operations ... hourly, daily, weekly and define a new cadence to improve velocity.

A side benefit from doing a mapping exercise is that it allows you to reset your datum within operations since often additional tasks and requirements creep into our everyday operations where we are not obtaining additional compensation ... remember, Value Add is only those tasks that our customer is willing to pay for.

For extra impact, the use of "outside eyes" will highlight additional opportunities with them asking all of the supposedly dumb questions and drilling into the response of "we have always done it that way".

This is not a board room exercise and must be completed by walking the flow of your value stream while collecting data and developing your map.

Opportunities identified can range from 10's of thousand to millions of dollars.


We all know the rules of effective meetings but how well are they practiced? Start on time, have an agenda, end on time with a call to action.

Over the years we have refined this methodology with the pillars of

precision speaking and generous listening. These stand-up meeting

can be completed within 3 minutes and cover the topics of Health,

Safety & Environmental, Quality, Production and Continuous


In addition to a typical 20-30% productivity improvement organizations report quicker resolution to nagging issues and a decrease of internal e-mail traffic by 30-40%. This methodology enhances employee engagement, improves communication and increases accountability. Finally, this a great way for employees and team to reflect on what made for a successful day through their Key Performance Indicators.


Started as Total Predictive Maintenance the Total Productive Maintenance to today as Total Productive Management.

Initially, the methodology was to increase the emotional attachment of the operator to his machine and providing early detection of potential problems. Works amazing with equipment ... but then we found in labour-intensive operations this tool worked well to ensure the sustainability of 5S, insuring that operating supplies were maintained at appropriate levels. So these days we use this methodology in office environments and even cafeterias.

You should see a dramatic improvement in the reduction of unscheduled downtime whether through equipment breakdowns or employees wandering and searching for supplies.

Most employees want a clear and clean work area at the conclusion of their shift ... which only defers the start-up of the next shift. I am a proponent of leaving the process "wet" so we can immediately see product produced by the incoming shift eliminating wandering and initial idle time.


Get over it ... customers will not pay for set-ups. Look at the time spent conducting set-ups and plan to cut them in half ... then look at the capacity you have created for additional business. Working on machine set-ups is fairly easy and techniques are well documented ... but there are hidden set-ups. Look in your office environment ... every time a person switches tasks they are in essence doing a set-up ... but even within a task there are several set-ups. Last week we watched an employee enter an order and I stopped counting at 30 screen changes they had to navigate through.


We do more than just blog. We're active Lean practitioners who would love to help you achieve your productivity goals.

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