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How Mature Is Your Manufacturing Operation?

by Ryan Gamble


Posted on January 15th, 2017



Organizational maturity is a critical growth challenge for Middle Market Manufacturers (MMM), and is often ignored. The different organization maturity models – each with their own nomenclature, characteristics and stages - creates confusion and a willingness to ignore it as a strategic imperative. However, once an MMM puts emphasis on increasing organizational maturity, they can improve in the following ways:

  • Improve Costs. Better controls, strategic allocations.
  • Increased Productivity. Less time wasted in inefficient processes.
  • Better Quality of Information. One information source of trusted data.

The old adage is applicable: “You can’t improve what you can’t measure.” Driving organizational maturity requires the right metrics, in order to develop and implement an effective improvement plan.

So what is a good measure of maturity levels? First, break it down by people, process, technology and measurement. Here is one of many example outlines for doing this:

Note that in more mature organizations, the people are engaged, the processes are understood and drive improvement, and data is used to drive decisions.

Once MMMs have determined where they are in the maturity levels, they often struggle to make the leap to the next level– typically constrained by budget. Finding cost effective ways to automate processes and collect data – especially on the production floor is a strategic first step.

Two specific needs are process control, and automation of data collection. First, an IT-based enterprise manufacturing execution system providing real-time product, resource and performance traceability is needed to bring the people, processes and technology to the next levels. Second, a powerful, intuitive, real-time yield management system that enables quick identification of root cause and areas for improvement, through graphical trend analysis, statistical process control, and failure analysis will bring people, processes, and measurement together for data-driven decisions.

Finding the right products supporting the move up to more mature organization levels is critical. Especially for MMMs that are looking to increase their competitiveness through organizational maturity using cost-effective automation and data collection tools.

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