Executive Blog

New Year New Business Changes
Things are definitely different and big changes are in the air. But do not despair We are about to close the book on 2019 and open up on 2020. Somehow, the symmetry of the number gives it a special feel. Indeed, all of us are quite aware that these are “special” times and just about anything seems possible; both good and bad. But life goes on and our species continues to be challenged by our own complexities. The following is a list of what a recent survey elicited from a random group of business leaders on what was felt to be the main concerns in order of priority.   Political changes   2020 promises to be an exciting year in global politics, from the impact of Brexit to the United States presidential potential impeachment and election in November. An uncertain political climate can often impact business, as it can lead…
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Monti Packs a Big Punch with Protein Bar Packaging Overhaul
Situation A manufacturer for protein bar packaging recently moved relocated from a 50,000 square foot operation facility to a new 350,000-square-foot operation facility. This resulted in an assembly line production change where stand-up assembly packaging lines were converted to brand new automated packaging lines. In addition, there was a folding carton redesign where the Straight Tuck End folding cartons were replaced by new Top Kliklok folding cartons. The manufacturer also transitioned to and needed to integrate a new international packaging equipment supplier. Finally, the company needed a new documentation system for more accurate data collection and organization from start to finish.  The manufacturing company hired MetaExpert Kier-Monti, a packaging engineering expert with ample experience to design, measure, analyze, improve, and control the entire packaging process from location A to location B.  Actions Over the course of an 18-month contract, Kier-Monti took the following actions and strategies to evaluate and retool…
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Cross-Functional Disconnect and Order-to-Delivery
Situation MetaExpert Kellen was brought on board to lead a study that focused on lean policy deployment and order-to-delivery (OTD) improvement. According to MetaExpert Kellen, current state analysis determined that there was:  no visual management no leader standard work no cross-functional communication or collaboration no daily metrics tracked or reviewed no daily structured problem solving no cross-functional training or knowledge understanding across departments or production floor processing capabilities In addition, product sales had increased by 35% with no capacity planning or production availability preparation.  Actions MetaExpert Kellen leveraged his expertise in process improvement strategies to get the company back on track. He was able to: achieve lean policy deployment implementation,  complete and develop cross-functional training  Develop and utilize plant capacity model to align sales team with operations available capacity and capabilities develop and improve router instructions for the scheduler to properly utilize plant equipment capabilities and capacity Results/ROI MetaExpert Kellen’s…
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Given the Washington Circus and the global confusion, it’s safe to say that macro risk is on the rise. From Artificial Intelligence to Global Warming, there are few who doubt that civilizations around the world may be rushing toward an inflection point in history. Hopefully, it won’t be a zero-sum situation. But, one never knows. As individuals, as well as corporations and institutions, we all need to be thinking about risk mitigation So, what should CEOs be doing to help mitigate the growing uncertainties of our time? Identify the “Killer Risks” While there is a universe of risks out there, it is important to prioritize those with the greatest impact. There are specific industry risks as well as “macro” risks (War, economic depression, Hyperinflation, global health epidemics, and all the other dystopic events). While industry risks are a normal part of doing business, myopia can be dangerous. While most of…
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Vincent Steers Vehicle Manufacturer in Right Direction with VPS
Situation A luxury vehicle manufacturer in China was seeking to apply the value-added production system (VPS) rule and method as the company’s sister plant in Europe. The target group of trainees was area managers and section leaders who are responsible for more than 600 people across multiple plant locations. The vehicle manufacturer’s goal was to address the process issues at the lowest level in the organization with the end result being the shop floor employees taking the initiative to improve process performance. Actions MetaExpert Vincent conducted more than 800 hours of in-person, classroom training on the VPS subject as well as on-site improvement coaching at the vehicle manufacturer’s facilities across China. Vincent meticulously trained and coached the area managers and section leaders of each plant. He mentored the managers and section leaders on the following skills and principles: Transfer the eye of waste Layout improvement  Use of support chain  Standard…
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Process mapping forms the basis of how business gets done on a daily basis as well as how the consumer-facing experience reflects those processes. Indeed, for a process to be a positive experience, it should be well-defined from beginning to end; and it all starts with mapping, refining, and codification.  Define the Sequence. For a task to be done efficiently and consistently, each step needs to be defined in a sequence of events that results in a defined goal. Mapping is the organization of how to arrive at a specific goal. Be it just starting your day on the “right foot,” or getting to the moon, it takes a schema of events that creates a chain of planned actions that reach a goal. There can be any number of schemas to reach the same goal. Mapping is the act of choosing the best path to a goal. The Critical Path.…
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Changing the World One Process Improvement at a Time
Ron Emery is a Continuous Improvement Consultant, Author, and Entrepreneur, and we’re proud to have him on our team of MetaExperts. Ron was recently highlighted on Supply Chain Game Changer as a leader in the supply chain process improvement industry. One of the things that make Ron unique is his background. Ron has traveled the world doing what he loves. “I have flown over four million miles, been on every continent but Antarctica, stayed in a hotel nearly 3500 nights. So, I guess that qualifies me as a “road warrior” but it really has been a fun ride and fun life.” He went from permanent roles as VP of Supply Chain to VP of Operations to consulting to owning and operating his own business. Although he is a leading expert in process improvement, he doesn’t hold a degree in Industrial Engineering like many of his contemporaries. Ron holds a liberal…
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Process Improvement - Construction Heavy Duty Equipment Company
Situation MetaExpert Brunno employed his process improvement acumen to aid a construction heavy duty equipment company with inefficiencies in their paint shop production. The paint shop was experiencing a period of growth and needed to adjust operations to accommodate the increase in daily production with limited time and the existing shop-floor team. High level of diversity for the parts painted, using two colors. Actions Brunno carefully observed the paint shop process and initiated the following actions to increase productivity: Reorganized layout of paint equipment.Studied the best way to paint the parts in the paint booth, looking to match the color, the size, and the time spent to paint any one part. Mapped the flux of parts throughout the shift and streamlined their sequence. Brokedown paint sequence and elaborated on the process sheet.Trained the paint shop operators regarding the new process. Increased shift by 1 hour to reach the production goals without hiring additional…
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Alignment Process Mapping
Alignment diagrams by themselves do much more than present a linear flow of activities. Buried in the process are various levels of analysis and strategies. Indeed, Aligned process mapping defines the “engineered customer and company experience.” The company wants its customers to have a great experience to the point that they will recommend the company to friends and acquaintances. With the power of social media, complete strangers can gain important insights and referrals from others. This fact can be a double-edged sword because bad experiences are also prone to revelation to the general populace of potential customers. Benefit 1. Empathy Analyzing processes, what they are supposed to do requires an examination of the human reactions along the chain of events. At each touchpoint are human beings (although this is changing for the worse, in my opinion.) For example, technology is supposed to speed things up and improve communication processes. Enter…
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Manufacturing Plant
Situation A manufacturing plant was suffering from excessively high in-process scrap rates (6.8%) in the zinc smelting department. Although the raw material could be re-melted and salvaged, the labor costs were excessive and on-time product deliveries were at stake.  Actions To remedy the inefficiencies in the manufacturing process, the company called on MetaExpert Michael. Micheal led the company through analysis. They studied the data and found that the root cause of the problem was with two-part numbers coming from two die-cast machines.  Furthermore, Michael studied the parts and his efforts and attention to detail in the manufacturing processes led to the discovery that the tools used were not properly vented. This caused porosity in the parts which resulted in the high in-process scrap rates. Results MetaExpert Michael’s experience in manufacturing processes and keen eye led to both tools being repaired at a cost of less than $15,000 each. The root…
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