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Current Quarter:  Q3-2018


Record-able OHSA Events this Quarter

For the week of:  Sept 17, 2018


Client Identified Events this Quarter

Sometimes the Squeaky Wheel Doesn't Get the Grease


Sometimes Data alone is just not enough. 


You need to take a stand.


Check out this story about a site where our supervisor made a stand in order to get the support he needed to fix the root cause.  


A 100% reduction, that's Impact!

A neat story from one of our clients., that I think illustrates the point beautifully that sometimes data alone isn’t enough, sometimes it requires taking a stand to make a change happen.


At this parts manufacturer, we manage all their lubrication systems.

And with over 150 hydraulic systems alone, this facility generates hundreds of data points each day.  


One of the many tools we use to help prioritize what all that data is telling us is something called Consumption Alerts.  


Their job is to highlight and identify changes in how much oil a machine is consuming.  


Their job is to help shine a very bright light on the machines that are:

1) Starting to consume more and more oil

2) The machines that are At the greatest risk of running dry and impacting  plant OEE

3) The machines that are requiring the most attention due to increased inspection frequencies and top-ups.


But even with the very best alerts, it can seem like noise to a maintenance department that is working hard to keep their core processes up and running.  


Getting their attention is tough.  


So when the rate of consumption of a specific machine crossed new alert thresholds, our site supervisor knew he had to somehow escalate the issue.  


He didn’t want this data, this information to be lost within all the other pieces of performance data being fed to the maintenance department on a regular basis, so he decided he needed to take a stand.   


By Camping out in the maintenance managers office until he was assigned the necessary maintenance resources,  he was able to communicate the importance of repairing this non-core aspect of the operation.   


Now fortunately he had a good relationship with the maintenance manager, fortunately he had credibility by only using this strategy for high priority events, and fortunately it only required ½ hour to identify and make the repairs, but since making that stand, not a single drop of oil has been added to the system.    


The data was there, it was at the top of the list, but until something occurred that broke the pattern, this leak would have continued to worsen.  

Fortunately what broke the pattern was a proactive event, the stand.  


Too often change only occurs following a reactive event, a major failure that would have resulted in a production interruption and major equipment rebuild.  


So my question to you is, where in your plant do you need to take a stand.  What process do you know is broken, but will be ignored until there is a major issue or event where its the root cause? 


The rewards of letting data vs events drive your actions are immeasurable, but  it requires rigor, it requires discipline and it requires courage. 


It requires taking a stand.

World Class Manufacturers Don't Rely on Opinion

Opinion is dangerous.  Opinion leads to non value add activities.  It leads to waste and wasteful activity.  It leaves the facility vulnerable to quality problems putting the people and process at risk of an un-managed event.  


I was visiting a plant this week that was struggling to consistently meet its quality spec.  When we talked about their investigation process it became obvious that opinion not data was driving their decision making.   


Opinion from operations, opinion from quality, opinion from maintenance, opinion from management. 


Everyone had an opinion, the problem is, no one had data.   


So what was decided?


They decided to address the problem by adding a step to the process. 


Adding a final stage that was meant to address the thing that was causing the part to fail its quality check.  


Now sometimes in the complete absence of data, you are left with only one option, your very best guess. 


Everyone shares their opinion, you look for what sounds the most reasonable, has the most consensus and you implement.  


Unfortunately, guesses stack upon one another. 


They build over time and they create a culture of opinion instead of a culture of data and continual improvement. 


World class companies drive opinion based decision making out of their plant.  


They focus on building the systems necessary to identify, collect and interpret the metrics and analytics necessary to make decisions based on KPI’s not opinion. 


True Data driven decision making is tough, it requires discipline, robust systems and relentless interpretation of the data, but it’s the only way to drive continual improvement and the systematic elimination of waste and wasteful activity. 


If opinion and things like time based PM’s drives your culture and your activity, the good news is there’s a step change opportunity available to improve both your OEE and your profitability.  


The bad news is it requires a change in culture which can be a daunting task. 


If culture change is what you’re  after, if you’re frustrated that opinion is driving costs and activity at your plant, then message me and we can start a conversation on how we can help shift the culture at your facility. 

Can you Outsource 6 Pack Abs?

If you could outsource 6 pack abs, would you?


Seriously if you get someone to do your sit-ups for you.


Eat the right food for you, wake up at 5 AM and run 7 miles for you and you got to keep the Abs that eventually appeared under your shirt, would you do it?

I think most people would, as illustrated by the quick fix billion dollar Protein shake, home gym markets.  


The problem is these promises of easy Abs don't work without serious long term behavior change.


What does this have to do with Parts Manufacturers?  


Well many plants try to address problems with shiny new objects, short term solutions that don't address the real root cause.  


In most cases it's behavior change that needs to happen, not the latest  Widget.


What behavior change am i talking about?  Data Driven decision making.  


Its about managing the lead metrics that influence the result you are looking to change.  

True Plan-Do-Check-Act process management, where data and analytics are used to control the process and identify continual improvement.  


Can you outsource 6-pack abs?  No.


But you can outsource the non-core processes that are impacting your OEE and introducing waste and wasteful activity to your manufacturing process.  


We would love to show you how.


How much Reactive Maintenance is Too Much?

How much reactive maintenance is too much?


This may sound sacrilegious, but every plant should have a certain amount of reactive maintenance.


There are just some processes that are OK to fail and then fix. 


But good Reactive maintenance is a decision not an accident.


It needs to satisfy the three rules included in the video.

 When those those 3 rules are true, then it probably makes sense to let that process fail.


The problem is, most processes in a parts manufacturing plant don’t satisfy these three rules.


For most processes, consequence of failure can hurt their OEE, it can put the people and manufacturing process at risk.  


It hurts the cost per part.


So back to the original question, how much reactive maintenance is too much? Well as soon as your team is reacting to a failure that doesn’t meet the 3 rules outlined in the video it’s too much.


Now the good news is there is a way out, but it requires you to think about your people and your processes a little bit differently.  



If you are interested in re-thinking how your maintenance department’s time is being spent, write “Reactive” in the comments below and we will send you a tool to help re-assess how they are spending their time and the results you are getting.

Note: Please fill out the fields marked with an asterisk.

The Skills Gap is hurting your OEE and profitability.

The Skills Gap is hurting your OEE and profitability.  


The competition for skilled trades and maintenance staff is fierce in manufacturing plants today.  


And that shortage in available skills requires plants to re-think how they are allocating these limited resources.


Limited resources leads to more reactive maintenance, hurts plant efficiency and drives costs up.  


When caught in a reactive cycle, the plant never gets a chance to get ahead and implement the sustainable improvement necessary to stay competitive.


There's no time left to build, implement, manage and maintain the proactive systems necessary to control the process variability that leads to events, failures and waste.  


We've put together a simplified tool to help re-think how you are allocating your skilled resources.


Its based on categorizing and then profiling the 4 types of tasks we need our skilled trades engaged in each day.  


If you are interested in getting  copy of this tool, please leave the phrase "Skills Gap" in the comments below.

Note: Please fill out the fields marked with an asterisk.

Trust but Verify....because without data trust is just an opinion

Trust but Verify, because without data, trust is just an opinion


In the mid 80's when working to reduce tensions during the Cold War, Ronald Reagan famously coined the phrase "Trust but Verify"


Its often referenced when outcome is essential and matters more than the relationship itself


How does this relate to manufacturing?


Well, parts manufacturers should only be using suppliers they trust but verification that the product/service meets specific quality standards over time is essential


The potential impact of an out-of-specification product introduced to the manufacturing process can be significant


And therefore the verification step in the process is an essential aspect for manufacturers looking to reach and achieve World Class performance targets


Without a robust verification process, often the root cause to a quality or HS&E related event is never determined since the out-of-specification product is never detected, and never adjusted for


Help us all understand the impact of out-of-specification products being introduced into the manufacturing process


Can you think of a time where a product supplied by a 3rd party, a trusted supplier, ended up creating a significant event or quality spill at your facility? Leave your story in the comments below


How to get from good to great!

Crazy Busy, or Productive Busy? And how do you move from one to the other?

Focus on Executing the Process, Because Focusing on one result alone can miss the point

You Know, Sometimes you really should sweat the small stuff

Our World Class Process Audit is designed to identify the small stuff and put the sustainable systems in place to keep those things in control so the big things don't happen and waste and wasteful activity is minimized.  If your interested in learning more about our WCPA, following the link.

World Class Performance Audit