September '15

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112 • RV PRO • SEPTEMBER 2015 rv-pro.com T his article is directed primarily to those manufacturing managers, plant man- agers, company owners, or vice presidents who want more. You want more products produced each day, more products shipped, more profit, more effi- ciency, more capacity, more productivity, more floor space, more people, more inventory, more time, more temps, more shifts, more ______? (You fill in the blank.) These are common wants that most manufac- turers share worldwide. Depending upon how expe- rienced you are, or how sophisticated your company's data collection and reporting systems are, some of these wants may be legitimate. Or, they could be perceived needs based on unknown problems. If the improper wants/ needs are fulfilled, they could actually become expensive Band-Aids, concealing the actual underlying problems that may, in reality, be unknown or unclear to you and your team. Many times, the true manufacturing problems are indeed hidden from view due to the manager's constant familiarity with their processes, or lack of experience/ training in the principles of problem identification and process improvement. Sometimes the real issues may be intentionally unacknowledged simply due to the fear that any change will mess up what operations they have going on now. But hope- fully, at some point, someone will admit that you have problems that need to be fixed. Problems Manifest in Many Forms These problems may manifest themselves in any number of ways as touched on above, such as: • A rise in overall costs (or a reduction in profits) as seen in the financial reports from accounting. Fixing Manufacturing Problem Unknown Outside help in the form of engineers from sister facilities, contractors, temps and consulting companies can help manufacturers turn around their underperforming operations. WAYNE RUSSELL is the president of Wayne Russell & Associates LLC, a Tennessee-based manufacturing productivity consulting firm specializing in operations improvement, waste elimination, cost reduction, facility layout and flow, Lean implementation, line balancing, methods and bottlenecks. Visit www.wraconsulting. com or call 615-708-1224 for more information. When a problem is identified in the manufacturing process, it's important to be proactive and address it quickly.

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