Our Services – Operational Improvement / Operational Excellence

Operational Improvement & Excellence

Why pursue Operational Improvement and strive for Operational Excellence?

It is impossible to accurately estimate the value of the effort an organisation invests in strategic marketing. Gross margin is the primary driver for recovering this investment.

Our experience is that the first and second line Supervisors who directly influence the cost of production (and hence gross margin) are seldom given adequate tools to ensure that they will be effective and successful in their role.

Our Capabilities

  • Operational efficiency analyses
  • Plant maintenance efficiency analyses
  • Asset Management review
  • Reliability assessment
  • Performance management
  • Supervisory effectiveness
  • Activity observation / Time and motion analyses
  • Productivity assessment
  • Shift structure and work volume analyses
  • Management operational system analysis / implementation
  • Continuous improvement.

The Tools we use

  • Supervisory and work flow observational analyses,
  • Management control system techniques and tools.

Our Approach

Role of the Supervisor

No matter how good the business strategy, or how well communicated it is, the ‘rubber hits the road’ at the business process level. The role of the Supervisor is to ensure that the correct mix of process inputs is used and that the output meets a predefined specification of cost, quality and service. And any chance of attaining Operational Excellence must rely on the Supervisor being capable of controlling this as proactively as possible.

The Problem: Supervisors Don’t Supervise

It is unusual to find a Supervisor who has been taught how to supervise. They are often promoted from the shop floor because they were an excellent operator, assuming that because they were a good worker they’ll be a good Supervisor. But when the pressure comes on these operators fall back on their operational skills and start working in the very business process they are supposed to be supervising. The result is often poor service, excessive cost, frustrated staff and increased risk. The very Role who is most capable of driving Operational Improvement is not doing so.

The ‘Management Process’

While a business process will differ by company and department, the Management Process remains the same for all companies, all processes, and the Supervisor is an instrumental part of the management team.

‘Scheduling’ links the Business & the Management processes together. Scheduling is the formal trigger for the business process and is therefore the trigger that will cause costs to be incurred and revenue to be generated. Scheduling will happen anyway, whether it is formalised or not, but when it is ‘informal’ there is no guarantee that the process will achieve any of its intended SLAs, KPIs, goals or objectives.

Our experience is that Balanced Scorecard-type projects focus on Forecasting, Measuring and Reporting and skip Scheduling, therefore breaking the link between the business process and the ‘Management Process’.

The only difference between Managers and Supervisors is the time horizon they are managing. For Supervisors the horizon is normally 1 day or less. Managing such a short period of time requires adherence to the principle of ‘Short Interval Control’.

Short Interval Control (SIC)

‘Short Interval Control’ is measuring the process at a suitable time interval that allows the Supervisor to take action on any operational variance before the variance causes customer promises to be broken and/or increased operational costs, as shown in the line graph diagram on this page. This is the heart of a culture of Operational Excellence.

Short Interval Control for Effective Supervision

We use specifically designed tools and techniques to harness the concept of Short Interval Control in a way that empowers the Supervisor to take charge of their operation, and thus maximise the chances of achieving their performance objectives in the pursuit of Operational Excellence. We can;

  • Train your Supervisors in the principles of Short Interval Control,
  • Work with the Supervisors to build and implement suitable tools and techniques, that foster a culture of Operational Improvement and Operational Excellence,
  • Mentor the Supervisors and their team to assist them through the change journey.

Some Recent Examples

A few of our clients who have recently undertaken Operational Improvement and Operational Excellence work with us:

NML Logo
Water Corporation WA
Ceva Logistics
Bluescope Steel
ASQ Logo
Hydro Aluminium
Scouts Australia (NSW)
sydney markets limited
BHP Billiton

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