Lead times

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I am working for an appeal manufacturing company and the customers are
pushing us to reduce lead times and increase flexibility. Does any one
have as idea as to how we can approach this. I can give you specific
details if need.

Thanks in advance.

Re: Lead times
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I think Scott Adams has covered this in detail (:

Short-term, there's not much that can be done.  Long
term, building the disciple and documentation system
for efficient design reuse will help.  I was about to
make a joke about "firing all the slow engineers and
obstructionist managers", but I won't.






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Yeah, bring in a consultant (hint, hint)... :O)



Re: Lead times


My best advice is to apply Goldratt's Theory of Constraints.   Visit -  =
The Improvement Guru

-- Bill Buck


  > Karl Hemilton wrote:
  > > I am working for an appeal manufacturing company and the customers =
are
  > > pushing us to reduce lead times and increase flexibility. Does any =
one
  > > have as idea as to how we can approach this. I can give you =
specific
  > > details if need.
  >
  > I think Scott Adams has covered this in detail (:

  Yeah, bring in a consultant (hint, hint)... :O)



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Yes, details would help a lot! The more, the better. First off, define
"appeal manufacturing" or clear up the typo.

What are the ten things that take the longest to complete?

Why not just increase the amount of inventory you have on hand?

Oh, Jesus. I just noticed that this is cross-posted all over the place to
technical groups. You ought to post this to the business groups, like
misc.business.moderated.

Mike



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Sorry guys. It should be apparel manufacturing.

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                      ^^^^^^ apparel?
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I think this is where a system analyst earns his keep.  How about
forming a focus group of key players of each department that is affected
from sales through shipping.  Brainstorm to determine what specifically
the market wants and how you can provide it.  You might end up with a
premium fast track system along side the existing one for a while (or
forever).

Thad

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In order to reduce lead times you need to look at several things on the shop
floor and the process ahead of it that takes the orders.
Map out the entire process from the time the customer calls in the order to
the time the order leaves the building and arrives at the customers
location. Mark down every step along the way and assign a time value to each
step. Get your total amount of time

Follow an order around from start to finish. Map out how far each order
takes from raw material to finished product. Assign a value in feet for each
step. Get your total amount of travel

Map out the actual amount of time that is spent actually spent adding value
to the garment. That would be things like sewing, cutting, dying etc. The
difference between the total amount of time between order taking and
delivery and the amount of time actually spent changing the garment from raw
material is the non value added time. You will likely find out that the
amount of time actually spent on value added is no where near the amount of
total time spent. The non value added time is where you need to start
reducing.


In a lot of cases you will find low hanging fruit where you can take out
time. Orders that remain in someones inbox is one. Duplication of steps is
another one. Product that travels from one side of the building to the other
and back again is waste and increases lead time. See if you can move
equipment closer to one another.

I could go on forever but you get the idea.
Reduce waste of transportation
Reduce the amount of time it takes to change over a machine to run another
order.
Eliminate redundant steps
Etc.
Increasing inventory is not the answer. That increases your costs and leaves
you open for waste of product that suddenly no one wants to order or it gets
ruined.
Tools for reducing non value added steps or functions are the Kaizen
process, value stream mapping, autonomous maintenance, changeover reduction,
etc. At all times involve the production worker. They know where the waste
is.

I used to run the continuous improvement dept at the auto parts plant that I
worked at. It is amazing on the improvements that can be gained with a
minimum of time and money.

Use your brains before you open your wallet.




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There is no quick fix for this.  It is primarily a cultural and
organisational thing.  Tell me more about the current process and maybe i
can make some usful suggestions.

Ian


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HIre a consultant.... that really is the brunt of it. If you ever have
to ask "how do I reduce lead times" you know you are in trouble. There
are about a million and one reasons why you have slow lead times. And
a billion and one possible solutions that may or may not work.

If you cant afford a consultant you need to document your ENTIRE
process and all the sub-processes and pre-processes and look for
problems. you also need a really good knowledge of organisational
structure and process planning and operations research. .... Hire a
consultant (They are worth their weight in gold if you can find the
right one)

BTW i am not a consutant. I am a regular old mechanical engineer.

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i

Just print up some business cards that say "consultant" on them. That's how
I got started. ;O)



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