How Much Are You Leaving On The Table?

A worldwide study reveals that many companies will leave potential productivity gains on the table. Will you?


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Proudfoot Consulting recently released its 2008 Global Productivity Report—an annual study of sectors that includes automotive, energy, mining and general manufacturing. Much of the 88-page study, which you can download, is founded on feedback from more than 1,200 managers in 12 countries. The managers were queried about current productivity levels, potential for productivity gains and barriers to improving productivity.

Among other findings, this year’s report reveals that managers around the world believe they have the potential to boost productivity by an average of 14 percent next year. However, they will likely leave 30 percent of that possible productivity on the table. Managers in the United States say they will lose out on nearly half of their potential productivity gains.

If you similarly feel your shop will fall short on its potential for improved productivity, then you’re likely ratcheting-up your efforts to improve the efficiency of your current processes. The fundamental way this happens is by identifying and eliminating waste, which is the prime goal of lean manufacturing. If that’s what you’re looking to accomplish, I suggest visiting our Lean Manufacturing Zone. There you’ll find a collection of stories that reveal how other shops have implemented lean techniques such as 5S organization, value stream mapping and visual workplace initiatives to reduce waste.

Here are a few stories that I think you will find particularly helpful:

• This Shop Really Shines...And Sorts, Simplifies, Standardizes And Sustains—The 5S principles proved to be a powerful prelude and prerequisite to lean manufacturing at this aerospace job shop.

• Lean Manufacturing For The Job Shop—Lean practices are not just for predictable production. Here are the common-sense ways a low-volume job shop has moved toward leaner processes.

• Picture-Perfect Manufacturing—Value stream mapping is a graphical tool that this contract manufacturer uses to create a production process with little waste.

• Lean From The Get-Go—This shop was lean from day one. Its visual management tools form its lean manufacturing foundation.

Our Lean Manufacturing Zone is one of more than two dozen knowledge centers covering specific machining and manufacturing topics. You can find them listed down the left side of our home page at www.mmsonline.com. We established these zones to make it more efficient for you to find the important information you need on your journey to boost productivity.