Ultra has been teaming with a precision manufacturer and strategic supplier of precision machined parts and mechanical sub-assemblies. We’ve been enjoying the partnership, as we move the company through the ERP education phase. This phase involves educating the business team in best practices to drive the business process improvements project.
Teaching our client teams “what is possible” is an important step required before developing the ‘future state” of a business process improvements project, and builds the foundation for an effective ERP selection project.
Even before any identification of ERP systems or vendors, we help our clients uncover waste and broaden the team’s perspective on what’s possible in terms of proven best practices in your business process improvements project.
To that end, we use a powerful tool we have developed called an “Opportunity Matrix” which helps sharpen focus on any problem areas.
Opportunities for Improvement
Ultra’s Opportunity Matrix identifies process waste and bottlenecks, listing out the areas by priority with suggested improvements to reduce waste and remove bottlenecks.
The matrix flags immediate, short term and long term improvement areas. The matrix also lists and prioritizes action items, assigns ownership of project phases, and tracks completion of the projects.
By working through an opportunity matrix custom targeted to this precision manufacture, we help reveal key areas of waste, and what specific opportunities could be used to address the waste — even before new technology is evaluated and implemented.
Your Business Process Improvements Project
As an example of how this process can help your business process improvement project, our team worked through an opportunity matrix for the precision manufacturer recently revealed that inefficiencies resided in the areas of Receiving, Quality Control and Shipping.
We worked with key business users and department management, looking at the value of each process, assessing if there was any waste. We looked for redundancies in the process, in the data, and data entry versus other processes in the company.
By working through Ultra’s business process improvements project process, we identified specific bottlenecks and waste in key areas such as queue times for first-piece and final inspection. We were then able to conduct a root cause analysis, which revealed the root of the waste. Finally, we were able to suggest and prioritize immediate solutions to reduce idle time and improve the overall process.
What’s key is that the business process review was able to address the areas the company could put into action immediately to make them more effective, even before a new ERP system is evaluated.
ERP systems play a role in performance improvement goals, from automating record-keeping to streamlining business processes.
Yet this brief example makes the case that your business process improvements project doesn’t have to wait for ERP selection.
Our team has experience guiding BPI initiatives and is available to help your organization. To learn more, download an informative white paper entitled “A Roadmap for Business Process Improvement.”