Figure 3: No single approach to operational improvement appears to be more prevalent, or more readily lead to tangible results than other approaches.
While there is no sure-fire formula, the study indicated there are comparatively few differentiators that seem to consistently characterize the most successful companies. The four major themes to emerge from our study best capture the learnings at a high level:'
- 1. Drive efforts from an overall business strategy
2. Use metrics to tie efforts to the strategy and track progress
3. Structure the program so that people at all levels have a meaningful role
4. Understand and use the right approach to address your unique goals and challenges.
None of these are easy to achieve, but you have to know where you need to go in order to get there, and our study helps light the path.
About the Authors: Gerry Mendelbaum is a principal with Archstone Consulting. He has more than 25 years of manufacturing industry and consulting experience focusing on improving operations and reducing costs for companies in a wide range of industries. David Wireman is a principal in Archstone Consulting's Operations practice and leads the "Operational Advantage" Program service offering. David has over 15 years of experience working with manufacturing companies to help them improve their operations. www.archstoneconsulting.com.