obstacles of opportunity

I cannot count how many times a “new” process was started to improve something and was abruptly stopped. The usual reason involves something to the effect of “too many problems.” So the idea then becomes the sacrifice and the process abandoned.

If you take a second to step back, consider the opportunity that was presented to you. The process that was set to improve may have uncovered a problem that was already there. Take the time to solve the

problem; and if you solve that issue would the process be better overall? Consider an inventory reduction

plan that eliminated inventory (which is tied up cash flow).

When you lowered the inventory, you discover that parts were not available when they were needed. Sure, it would be easy to raise the safety stock (minimal inventory to keep production rolling or whatever process going), it would solve the problem.

Is the issues really the absence of inventory or that your flow is off? Maybe if you would dig deeper into the problem it would be observed that the part is actually on hand – but the receiving department only delivers once a day. Would it be beneficial to have multiple daily deliveries? Ask questions.

Get your shovel and start to dig. Quitting at the first sign of a problem will not lead to process improvement but will certainly keep the status-quot alive. If we are not improving our process we are falling behind; our competitors know that and are seizing the opportunity!

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