June 2011 Posts

Perfect Harmony Across Your Global Organization

When you think of harmony, you’re more likely to think of a group of people singing in perfect key together than a global organization working in total agreement. Just like in singing, not all people are singing the same notes, but the notes that they do sing are in perfect alignment and compatibility with the others. That’s what global harmonization is – alignment of business processes and data for global standardization and enforcement. It’s not performing identically, but in a way that complements performances of others.

The Benefits of Global Harmonization are many, including:

  • Global consistency
  • Business process improvement
  • More operational control
  • Leverage best-practices for success
  • Enterprise visibility
  • IT cost-savings

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Monitoring Supplier Performance throughout the Product Life Cycle

Knowing your suppliers is as important as knowing the resources themselves. If you have a product defect, it doesn’t matter if it was a supplier’s fault or your own – the only thing the public will see and react to is your product and brand. Ouch. It pays to keep a tight control on supplier management.

The first step in understanding suppliers is through an evaluation and acceptance process. What are their business systems? Are they financially stable? What does Dunn & Bradstreet have to say about them? What percent of their sales is the product or resource you need? If it’s not substantial, will that affect the quality? (more…)

Little Things Mean a Lot

Skinny jeans, 100-calorie snacks, smart cars – everyone is focused on smaller and leaner. So why not manufacturing? Research has shown that almost all activities in manufacturing fail to add value to a product. Nielsen Research reports that a minute of downtime can cost a manufacturer more than $20,000! A MINUTE! Success lies in efficiencies. It’s about being lean.

Lean principles have been with us for a while in quality and manufacturing. You’re probably familiar with Six Sigma, TQM, Kaizan, etc. Lean is about getting the right things in the right place at the right time and always looking for continuous improvement. It can apply to processes throughout the value chain. (more…)