OpEx Solutions

'There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently
that which should not be done at all'.

—Peter F. Drucker.





Rapid Ramp-up Essentials 



And it’s off! The economy seems like it’s going to take off in 2017 with an unheard-of velocity!

The signs are in the news — Dow Jones breaking records, U.S.-based companies deciding to keep their manufacturing in the country, deregulation promises for the energy industry, OPEC lowering production to raise oil prices…and more. BUT, is your company poised to ramp up rapidly with the economy or your industry? When well planned, four major factors, fundamental to Lean and operational excellence, could make the difference in whether you lead the pack or stay behind.

The four factors are stable and capable:

  • People
  • Equipment
  • Supply
  • Processes

Many organizations have been forced to lay off employees that are vital to their business. Workers with core competencies are the key to being able to come up to speed in a hurry. They have the knowledge, experience and work skills to get you up and running lickety-split. 

If you have idled some of your equipment and tools, were shut-down procedures followed and has it been maintained and ready for rapid restart? Equipment reliability is crucial to speeding up and then being able to sustain operations productivity.

Many links in supply chains have lowered their inventory to bare-bones levels to conserve cash during the downturn. This, in turn, means that the supply chain has to get their operations they have to get their operations up to speed to be able to provide a steady, reliable stream of product to their customers.

To tie all three factors together, we need stable and capable standard methods and processes which are especially crucial while ramping up with new employees and restarting idled equipment and suppliers.

What to Do
From our experience, there are five things that will help you with a rapid ramp up:

  1. Strategize ramp up considering all four factors
  2. Verify processes and train existing employees
  3. Ready equipment by engaging existing employees (TPM)
  4. Resist influx of new hires to avoid the learning curve and instability
  5. Cascade ramp-up strategy to suppliers and their suppliers


Late Strategic Planning Affects Execution


Twenty leaders from eight organizations, members of the CenTex OpEx Consortium, met at two sessions in Houston and Austin, Texas, to discuss the best practices, pitfalls and outcomes of strategic planning and execution in preparation for 2017.

While many of the leaders indicated that late completion and release of strategic plans affected their 2016 execution, most of them — over 50%, were planning to complete their 2017 strategic planning process and start execution by late February or later.

It is interesting to note that many of them are starting the annual strategic planning earlier each year; however, not releasing them earlier. This is a double whammy for EXECUTION when the execution period is shortened by a late start and an early close.

Two ideas surfaced to overcome the issue:

  • Need for a structured process that is facilitated more
  • Balance between a good finish and a running start of the next year


OpEx Solutions is an organization that helps identify strategic areas for improvement and provides effective high-value, low-cost solutions, training, and project management to drive significant productivity improvement through the use of operational excellence tools and systems in most manufacturing and service industries.

With a variety of offerings to choose from, we're confident of working with your organization to find and define your own way through:

  • Executive Coaching
  • World-class Training
  • Dedicated Workshops
  • Knowledge Network
  • Project Management

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us.

Find out more About Us, then look at our Stategy to make your possibilities a reality.


Ask the Expert!

For free email business advice, send your questions, comments or ideas to mnazareth@opexsolutions.org. For issues that are of particular interest to the the community, we may publish (with your permission) your questions along with our answers on this web site.

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