Process Improvement in a Down Economy

Many business leaders fail to see the opportunities that an economic downturn provides.  To take advantage of opportunities you first need to make a rapid assessment of your vulnerabilities and then move quickly to minimize them.  Advantage can be gained by using process improvement tools to increase profitability and competitiveness:

  1. Drive out waste through Lean Sigma operations
    Tools: value stream mapping, line balancing, kaizen to reduce direct and overhead labor
  2. Customer Collaboration
    Tools: customer segmentation, goal alignment, cycle time reduction, product line rationalization
  3. Supplier Optimization
    Tools: supplier & material consolidation, lead time reduction, product design-to-cost
  4. Accelerate cash flow and aggressively manage working capital
    Tools: inventory reduction, excess/slow moving/obsolete inventory analysis, safety stock tuning, cycle time reduction to reduce WIP, receivables and payables management
  5. Increase Capacity
    Tools: overall equipment effectiveness, theory of constraints, quick changeover, product family turnover analysis
  6. Product Redesign
    Tools: component substitution, design for six sigma, design for manufacturability, value engineering