Operational Excellence: Are CMs Ready to Embrace Project Management?

Operational Excellence: Are CMs Ready to Embrace Project Management?

Project management is a fundamental function in many industries. Large-scale projects require a team of project managers, functional leaders, and subject-matter experts to deliver the project on schedule, within budget, and within the scope of the project requirements. In manufacturing, many projects are launched via the umbrella of Six Sigma, Kaizen, 5s, and other continuous improvement programs. However, many contract manufacturing organizations are hesitant to employ project managers or apply project management methodologies across the business due to the perception of high overhead costs and administrative burdens that project management could bring to the operations.

This column introduces a recommended approach to project management in a contract manufacturing environment. Project management does not have to be complex, nor costly; on the contrary, project management can help create a culture of operational efficiency, enhanced customer engagement, and employee self-accountability and enable data-driven decision-making.

Operational Challenges in Manufacturing

Project management can address operational challenges manufacturing companies face. Here are 14 operational challenges that were identified by a recent survey:

  1. Improving internal production processes
  2. Strengthening customer relationships
  3. Finding enough people with the right skills and talent
  4. Increasing labor productivity
  5. Increasing demand responsiveness
  6. Maximizing capacity and asset utilization
  7. Meeting customer demands for product customization
  8. Achieving annual cost reductions
  9. Improving product and service quality
  10. Responding to customer requests for quotes and proposals
  11. Improving labor flexibility
  12. Enhancing supply chain collaboration
  13. Optimizing supply chain performance
  14. Faster and more frequent new product releases and launches

These challenges resonate with every manufacturing organization. Project management provides the methodology to make improvements to successfully meet objectives presented by these challenges.

The Project Management Institute

Project management has matured over the last three decades into a well-recognized function embraced by many organizations. The Project Management Institute, a global nonprofit professional organization for project management, provides a wealth of information about project management. In addition, there are many books, associations, and consulting organizations that provide expert knowledge on project management.

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2019

Operational Excellence: Are CMs Ready to Embrace Project Management?

11-29-2019

This column introduces a recommended approach to project management in a contract manufacturing environment. Project management does not have to be complex, nor costly; on the contrary, project management can help create a culture of operational efficiency, enhanced customer engagement, and employee self-accountability and enable data-driven decision-making.

View Story

Operational Excellence: Transform Your Operations With Nadcap

09-11-2019

Obtaining Nadcap certification can be an overwhelming endeavor for suppliers that don’t have proper guidance. In this column, Alfred Macha provides guidelines that companies have used in the past to successfully achieve Nadcap accreditation.

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Operational Excellence: Becoming the Preferred Supplier, Phase 3—Re-engineer Your Quality System

08-26-2019

The final phase of becoming a preferred supplier is to apply a business process re-engineer approach to your quality system. Before you start with this phase, the company should have implemented Phase 1 and Phase 2, which are focused on changing its leadership mentality to embrace LEAN Six Sigma and the pillars of operational excellence. It’s paramount to have the right mindset before you re-engineer your quality system.

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Operational Excellence: Becoming the Preferred Supplier, Phase 3—Re-engineer Your Quality System

08-05-2019

The final phase of becoming a preferred supplier is to apply a business process re-engineer approach to your quality system. Before you start with this phase, the company should have implemented Phase 1 and Phase 2, which are focused on changing its leadership mentality to embrace LEAN Six Sigma and the pillars of operational excellence. It's paramount to have the right mindset before you re-engineer your quality system.

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Operational Excellence: Becoming the Preferred Supplier, Phase 2—The Six Pillars

07-26-2019

Your Lean Six Sigma program needs to be rightly sized to your organization’s structure for it to be sustainable. The second phase involves establishing the six pillars of operational effectiveness. Attaining quality systems certification to a base standard of ISO 9001 or industry specific QMS standard for medical devices, automotive, telecommunications, or aerospace will provide you a solid foundation to your operations.

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Operational Excellence: Becoming the Preferred Supplier, Phase 1—Transform Your Company's Culture With Lean Sigma

06-25-2019

In the first part of this column series about becoming a preferred supplier to your customers, Alfred Macha provides the fundamental concepts to transform your company's culture with Lean Sigma. The approach introduced in this column can be adopted by any manufacturing organization. Read on.

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Process Validation Can Lead to Higher Performance Levels

05-21-2019

In this first column from Alfred Macha, which appears in the May issue of SMT007 Magazine, the author provides a practical guideline on how to effectively implement a sustainable process validation program for contract manufacturers.

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