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The Science of Manufacturing | OEEsystems

Last time, in the first article of our Science of Manufacturing Series, Andrew Rice, OpEx OEE Specialist, outlined several areas of potential transformative business impact and summarised how to evaluate them.

In this, our second article, Arthur Stone, Managing Director & CEO, discusses the futility and resultant disillusionment that occurs from focusing on the “wrong” problem reminding us, once again, of the importance of Principle #1 – Focus on Business Impact.

By working on the right things, through identifying and addressing the real opportunities that exist, significant business impacts can be achieved in your manufacturing processes.


The First Pillar of the Science of Manufacturing

Nothing is more likely to disillusion and dis-incentivise a production team than the feeling of futility by working on projects that do not deliver results. In many manufacturing plants it is not uncommon for Project Teams to be diligently working on business issues, attempting to deliver business improvements while forgetting that critical business impact. How often have we seen Project Teams declare victory on a project while the Production Teams struggle to see the effect of this completed project in their production performance? The first pillar of the Science of Manufacturing is to Focus on Business Impact.

The Science of Manufacturing OEE Guide | OEEsystems

Defining the “Right Problem” 

The initial step in approaching any business improvement opportunity is to define the problem we are attempting to solve. A critical element of problem definition is understanding the essential linkage between the problem and the impact on the business. Without an accurate understanding of business impact it is all too easy to address problems which, when solved, are unlikely to deliver any significant business benefit. The decision to deploy resources to address a particular problem can often be based on personal choice, popular opinion or random selection! Tackling a problem without understanding and quantifying the real business impact is fraught with risk for all involved. All too often it is easy to find ourselves working on the “wrong problems”. Solving problems that do not deliver business impact is frustrating for everyone, a waste of the Project Team’s time, and a demoralising exercise for all involved.

Our Smart Factory Software, PerformOEE™ accurately highlights the true root causes of losses in the production process and allows us to accurately pinpoint and quantify the impact to the business. This allows us to prioritise the deployment of resources to particular problems and fully understand the investment we can make in solving a problem and the true value of resolution. Not only that, PerformOEE™ Smart Factory Software tracks the impact of the resolution of the problem as it is deployed, and confirms (or otherwise) that the expected impact has been delivered in production.

PerformOEE - Smart Factory OEE Software

“The primary reasons for choosing to work with OEEsystems was the powerful, graphically-rich software, PerformOEE™ combined with the impressive expertise and track-record of their Operational Improvement Consultants and Technical Team.” Muller Wiseman Dairies, Bridgewater, UK

Secondary Problems 

It is not uncommon for an improvement project to deliver an impact, but not at the level that was initially expected. Sometimes secondary problems, which were hidden, or masked, by the main issue can reduce the impact of solving the original problem. PerformOEE™ Smart Factory Software accurately demonstrates the actual effect of resolving the problem and uncovers any secondary or hidden issues that reduce the impact of removing the original problem. This allows the teams to address these secondary hidden problems and deliver the full business impact.

PerformOEE™ Smart Factory Software eliminates the guesswork in identifying and prioritising improvement projects for the business and avoids the debates as to whether or not a result has been achieved.

A white jigsaw with the word solution on it

Delivering projects that have a demonstrated Business Impact serves to reinforce enthusiasm and further engagement of the project teams. We’ve all heard the old adages “success breeds success” and “everyone loves a winner” – these sentiments equally apply in encouraging the teams to continue to deliver successful business improvement activities, even when the problem-solving activities are difficult and time-consuming. The reward for all the effort is a real, demonstrated, business impact which can be seen in the business KPI’s and in the PerformOEE™ Business Reports.

Remembering to focus on real Business Impact is the initial step in our Science of Manufacturing journey.

About the Author

Arthur Stone | CEO OEEsystems


CEO, OEEsystems International, OEEsystems International

As Chief Executive Officer of OEEsystems International, Arthur Stone delivers Smart Factory OEE software and expertise to the world’s most progressive manufacturing companies. Combining decades of experience in both the Manufacturing and Engineering Sector with his OpEx OEE expertise, Arthur drives OEEsystem’s vision for helping the manufacturing community increase output, reduce costs and drive continuous improvement. Currently Arthur is helping manufacturers understand that a Smart Factory OEE project can also support their Industry 4.0 and IoT strategies. Having successfully shared his insights and enhanced performance improvements across a wide range of industries within the Manufacturing Sector, Arthur has helped customers develop a pragmatic approach to exploit Industry 4.0 opportunities and to implement practical solutions to deliver real, sustained business benefits.

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