The purpose of any process or operation in your firm should be to maximize the value added to the end-product. To improve the value-add, it becomes essential to map and redesign your processes, both the operations in your shop and the external operations, such as where you purchase your materials and supplies to how the finished product and materials is delivered. The act of redesigning a process means more than just rearranging a location or a task. It is about taking a broader look at the operation and thinking outside the box.
Because processes are every part of your firm, any changes to how your team thinks of how you operate will, inevitably, touch all roles and staff. It starts with clearer messaging and goal-setting from leadership, moves through managers working as coaches for their staff, to finally staff as crucial parts of the machine.
All your processes are a group of tasks that are made up by suppliers, inputs, outputs, customers, and documentation. Processes that perform well will all feature the following characteristics:
Your processes are affected by it’s characteristics but also by the capabilities of your firm and the level at which they are operating:
|Leadership||Leaders support operational innovation||Awareness |
|Culture||Values teamwork, accountability, customer focus, and change||Teamwork |
Positive about change
|Expertise||Skilled and able to create processes||People |
|Governance||Has the methodologies to manage complex initiatives and projects||Process driven |
The 5 enterprise capabilities levels are:
By knowing the capabilities and the levels, you can assign any one process to an easy-to-use table that will help you better view which processes need to be targeted first.
Delivering sustainable, high-level results only happens when you have the capabilities and enable those processes to achieve those results. By creating a supportive corporate culture, you can encourage your teams to decide and design processes that will excel.
To ensure your redesign is properly implemented, you have to:
When improving a process, you have to look at the complete item with the goal of adding value, or removing non-value-add actions, and not just a singular task or as a separate action. All the steps of the process should be looked at to ensure you can maximize the innovation and excellence. This can also let you look at the entire operation and how it could be improved or replaced completely by disruptive new methodologies or technologies.
The first step in changing the process is to build the business process map, so you can know all the important parts of the process, such as the inputs, outputs, customers, and suppliers. By having the process laid out and documented, you can begin to:
How a process is designed will determine how well it performs. You have to account for the staff that must perform a task, how the task is performed, the order of tasks, the location, the circumstances of the task, the data created by the task and how precise the product of the task must be. All of these steps can be adjusted or managed with the proper methodology.
In the end, the process should be designed to ensure that all steps taken add value to the final product.
The implementation of a new process or tool has to be measured. You need to know where you are coming up short and if the new way of doing things is actually improving over time and if it will exceed the previous status quo. However, new or redesigned processes will often overlap multiple functions in your organization and replace previous metrics, job roles, or departmental hierarchies. To ensure you can see how well the new process is working, your executive leadership team needs to be involved. Because most operations cross departmental boundaries, the only way to ensure success is to have those that can cross those boundaries freely to have the freedom to measure and adjust a process.
As stated above, you must ensure that all the staff at your firm understand the process. Added benefits are seen by those firms that also ensure that external entities that would impact the process (such as suppliers, shippers, and customers) also have an understanding of how they fit into the process.
One of the most useful methods available to operation management is PDCA or Kaizen. A simple cycle of constant positive improvement that requires reviewing the process in development, planning for and effecting changes within it, while constantly monitoring the process to ensure the changes are having the desired positive change.
Operation management is not just limited to the processes on the shop floor. All parts of a successful manufactory should be looked at regularly for ways to improve them, such as sales, finance, shipping, and procurement. The path to improving operations must start with improving your front-line workers by educating them and empowering them to make better decisions that focuses on the added value of the outcome and rewards those that help make that change. Empowering employees also requires managers as coaches, accountability, teamwork, and a focus on the value delivered to the customer. This sometimes requires that you redefine a role or its responsibilities while using technology to help disseminate relevant data across multiple departments.
One of the most sought-after tools to help improve in all areas of a manufactory is a state-of-the-art Manufacturing ERPII, MERP. This is an ERP built by manufacturers for manufacturers that is backed up by an implementation team that has decades of experience implementing their solution in a shop and can be on hand to help you review and improve your processes wherever possible.
For more information about how OnRamp ERP software can add value to your business fill in the contact form below. A member of our support team will contact you within 1 business day to discuss any questions you have.