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deal with the changes taking place in the market place. This is fundamental to understandingof a responsive Production System.Translation of above fundamentals into shop floor (production area) language means that aProduction System must process only those work orders that are required by the market, andmust not process, those not required. Producing what is not required NOW, instead of producing what is required NOW, only delays the response time of what is needed in the
market. Given the short „window of time‟ of operati
ons (one lead time), it demands fromProduction, a behaviour to avoid wasting its capacity by not processing what is not required.This also avoids chaos that could otherwise further slow down its response time.However, with time, the
urgency of the market changes and so, the completeProduction System must be aligned to buffer and/or steer itself with specific changes. Inorder to achieve such flexibility, the system must operate with a single priority system andavoid creating local optima that might otherwise, prevent the organization from respondingfaster to urgencies, and prevent it from making the difference in the marketplace. A prioritysystem that helps in meeting a distinctive promise (e.g. due date, availability etc.) made tocustomers, is a good priority system.Of course, a smart Production System must operate with minimum urgencies, thoughurgencies due to statistical fluctuations and sometimes due to Murphy and Black Swan Effectcannot be avoided.As Production is aligned in the direction of changes in the market, it would reach a level of effectiveness, beyond which a
effort to seek
in the performance, isneeded. Lean, Six Sigma, TQM, 5S, SPC, Kanban, SMED, Poka Yoke, Agile Manufacturing,MRP, ERP, Digitization, Automation, Outsourcing, Vendor Managed Inventory etc. providespecific tools and techniques to improve Production System. All of these and many moretools have delivered excellent results to organizations across the world, across industries.However,
with such a mind boggling number of tools and techniques available acrossdisciplines, an organization must know, which tool must be applied for what purpose and when.
It also means that organizations need a methodology that allows them to naturallyidentify suitable tools necessary for carrying out improvements, it is ready to take on.
Apparent Complexity in Improving Production System
Consider a Production System, where manufacturing has over 500 resources and over 2500employees. It is normal for executives to know and be impressed by one of severalimprovement techniques; and start an implementation initiative in the organization. Forexample, improving performance of a production system may mean, crashing setup time, stoptime and process time in manufacturing.Going
with Adam Smith‟s golden rule,
“A system is sum of parts, and therefore, improving
all parts improves
the complete system”,
one tries to deploy the technique across 500resources. Doing so, in fact, becomes overwhelming in terms of effort, time and resources tobring the change. It becomes daunting. And at the end of prolonged implementation exercise,