Increase Process Productivity

Increase your process productivity to go to the core of where a great many profit improvement opportunities lie in waiting for your to release it.

process productivity

Every company has its own share of opportunities, problems, issues, and frustrations, which point to where profits lie in waiting. 

Broadly, Process productivity improvement categories include: 

1.    Cost Saving

Where the case for profit is focused on reducing bottom-line costs within the process, that are directly attributable to Profit and Loss account cost indicators.

2.    Efficiency Improvement

The case for this type of profit is based around process improvement, linked to either cycle time improvement or reductions in process variation which ultimately leads to increased right first time Fields. 

3.    Revenue / Sales Growth

The case for this profit is focused around significant shifts in sales growth based on improving product and service to the customer.

4.    Cash Generation

 The case for these projects revolves around the increase of working capital in the business.

General Guidelines for Profit opportunity Selection

  • Profits can be either operations or services.
  • If you already know how to improve the profits, then just go fix it without much discussion.
  • All profit opportunities need to be approached from the perspective of understanding the variation in process inputs, controlling them, and eliminating the defects.
  • General profit opportunity statements start with:
  1. Reduce expenses at…
  2. Reduce scrap…
  3. Reduce downtimes… or increase uptimes…
  4. Reduce rework…
  5. Increase throughput at…
  6. Reduce quality defects…

4 Steps to IdentifyingProcess Productivity Improvement Opportunities

To identify the hidden dollars in your processes ask the following questions: 

Process Productivity Opportunities – Category 1: Reduction of Cost / Defects

  • Are there any occurrences of high volumes of rework and/or defects? 
  • Are their areas of high cost in the business?
  • Have there been any failures besides the preferred specifications? 
  • Does the given process possess a high degree of variation? 
  • Would any scientific adjustments to the process result in forceful changes or cost reduction? 
  • Does the process have any residual scrap? 
  • Which inputs need to be managed for producing an unfailing output? 

Process Productivity Opportunities – Category 2: Reduction of Cycle Time

  • Is the resultant production of the process below the one expected? 
  • Do any of the processes depend on multiple hand-offs between the individuals? 
  • Is the process being delayed because of machine/computer downtime? 
  • Does the process require a lot of overtime?

Process Productivity Opportunities – Category 3: Reduction of Resource Consumption

  • Does the process need more workers for doing the job? 
  • Does the process undergo a high variation in the consumption of material? 
  • After identification, project information is reviewed in a standardised quad chart format that is presented to the steering committee.

Process Productivity Opportunities – Category 4: Understanding Process Variation Idea Sources

  • How much variation is there in your incoming materials and/or process parameters and how does this affect your output?
  • Where do you need the input controlled to always have a good output?
  • Can you scientifically adjust your process to compensate for changing material, weather, etc.?
  • Can your team help your supplier do a project to control the incoming product where you need it?
  • Does understanding your inputs allow you to produce a good part using less material?

Finding Process Productivity Improvements External, Internal & Capacity Areas

External Defects

  • Customer
  • Audits (customer, regulatory or internal) discovering non-compliance issues
  • Any out of specification (customer, regulatory or internal) output
  • Any inspection process in your organization
  • Anything you cover for by having a guy in the customer’s plant, office or facility

Internal Defects 

  • Financial statements, Scorecards, KPI etc.
  • Any scrap produced by your processes
  • Any item reworked in a process (sales contracts, invoices, surgeries, software, etc.)
  • Any process with high variation in the product output
  • Any process with high variation in the material consumption
  • Any process with many “hand-offs” between individuals or business groups 

Efficiency/Capacity Issues

  • Financial statements, Scorecards, KPI etc.
  • Processes producing less than expected
  • Processes requiring overtime not requested by a customer
  • Processes requiring cycle times in excess of expectations
  • Processes with computer/machine downtime
  • Processes requiring expedited shipping and associated costs due to delayed output production
  • Any process that has added labour to make the required cycle

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