If you can perfect Continuous Improvement, it can play a crucial role in your manufacturing success. Let’s find out more.
Continuous Improvement (or CI) has long been a business strategy manufacturing companies use to gain an edge over their competitors. It is defined as an ongoing drive to increase efficiency and sustainability while streamlining workflows.
In recent years, manufacturing companies have boosted CI results (which may have been dwindling) by incorporating digital strategies based on data analysis. For example, when you use your data in the right way, you can identify and eliminate bottlenecks that hold back production.
In this article, we’ll look at different Continuous Improvement approaches and share some best practices. Let’s get started.
4 Continuous Improvement frameworks
Several business experts have laid down frameworks for achieving success with CI. You can take these approaches and adapt them to suit your business. Alternatively, you can attack CI yourself. Here are four of the most popular Continuous Improvement methodologies:
- BPM - Business process optimisation. When you optimise the way your business runs, ensuring everything is as efficient as possible, you reduce lost time, rework and waste.
- Six Sigma - This well-known business framework (popularised by General Electric in the US) aims to grow consistency and eliminate defects by minimising variability in manufacturing processes. In the digital age, it can increase efficiency and accuracy, lowering operational costs and boosting cash flow.
- TQM - A people-focused framework that ensures all employees in the organisation are committed to high standards and pull in the same direction.
- Lean Management - Similar to Six Sigma, Lean is all about eliminating the unnecessary from a business. It helps you make the most of what you have, including your people, materials, technology and time.
Continuous Improvement best practices
Whichever methodology or methodologies you choose to follow, here are some tips for CI success:
- Formulate short and long-term CI goals and communicate them to your team. For example, reducing defects. A focused plan helps everyone pull in the same direction
- Seek and act upon feedback from your team about how you can improve things. Even the most minor changes could lead to significant benefits
- Work on the most critical and realistic ideas first. If it’s not vital to your business, make it a long-term goal rather than a priority
Introducing PTC ThingWorx
Many companies are missing out on benefits from the Continuous Improvement drives because they’re not getting the right insights. If you don’t have the information, you can’t act on it.
More than half of manufacturing leaders are looking to improve Continuous Improvement by incorporating real-time data that shows the root cause of issues and enables faster corrections. If you’re one of these leaders, ThingWorx by PTC is the Digital Performance Management platform for you.
ThingWorx can help you:
- Discover the bottlenecks where you lost the most time in your production process
- Identify how proposed improvements will boost results in the unit, line, facility and network
- Increase employee engagement by making performance data more visible
- Make your people more accountable
- Boost transparency to all stakeholders