Your business needs

Most organisations only focus on plant capacity when the external demand is close to or exceeds our supply capability. Hopefully the lead time to install and start-up additional capacity is short because the window of opportunity is small; customers don’t hang around once they sense that the supply is short/constricted – they start to look for other sources of supply.

Most facilities operate at a fraction of the asset utilization to which they are entitled (if the process worked as it was designed). In many cases capital investment in new equipment is justified not because the process entitlement has been reached but because the status quo has effectively been defined as the practical maximum. This is true for almost all industrial plants.

Now what could you do with this untapped capacity that could be freed up? Ideally sell more. Great– but not always possible. But then the extra capacity could be used to lower inventory; it could reduce customer lead times and, if all else fails, it could reduce costs! And if this hidden capacity does not require any investment, then why not release it immediately? Increasing asset utilization can always make money for the company. It should be job#1 for every manufacturing team. If your manufacturing team spends most of its time troubleshooting and fighting fires, then they have not been working on free capacity creation. If this reflects your reality read on…

Our answer

R&G has developed a manufacturing operating system called Stable Ops that is specifically focused on stabilizing the core production process and thereby creating additional ‘free’ capacity. Stable Ops is more than a methodology or an improvement toolkit – it is an operating system that defines and controls all the technical parameters and organisational behaviours that are essential to running a reliable plant with predictable output. Stable Ops is a proven methodology that was developed within GE for which R&G has a worldwide IP license. This technology is universally applicable – both in industrial production and assembly processes as well as transactional back room operations.

It is particularly powerful where more output is required. Typically, Stable Ops can facilitate a 20-30% increase in output for essentially zero investment and in a timeframe substantially quicker than solutions requiring investment. Equally important is the fact that the plant with Stable Ops produces more output but with better quality, lower costs, and less environmental impact. The consequences of unstable ops have been eliminated! With investment solutions, these secondary benefits are probably not going to materialize because the instabilities still exist.

If more output is not immediately required, Stable Ops can be used to reduce lead-times and stabilize the plant output resulting in a significant improvement in service level to customers. In any Demand Pulse implementation where manufacturing was unreliable/late with their production, we would advocate transitioning to a Stable Ops operating system.