OpEx Solutions

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

—Peter F. Drucker.

Leading Metrics & FMEA Enable Proactive CI 

by Martin Nazareth, OpEx Solutions


As metrics drive desired behavior and, in turn, desired results, we had yet another panel discussion on performance metrics at the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) Annual Conference in Montreal, Canada. The panel discussion was well attended with panelists and audience from several organizations like John Deere, Boeing, Hershey, MD Anderson, Agco, Saudi Aramco and Convergent Results. While most of the discussions we have had on performance metrics have stressed the key performance indices, balancing and the vital few, this session was unique in that the discussion mainly emphasized leading metrics. Not just the leading one step prior to the point of identifying the cause for failure or success, but also to the point of preventing the cause for failure.

The example discussed was that near safety misses are often measured as leading indicators for controlling the lost time incident rate (LTIR). However, the discussion was that near misses is not good enough as a metric and that we need  metrics that are more proactive — not just measuring the failure rate or the cause for the failure, but to prevent the cause itself. So, for this example, the more proactive metric would measure the behavior, or causes, for the near misses.

The discussion continued on how, then, can the more proactive factors be determined. These factors help measure the failure or success rate, causes for failure and prevention of the causes of failure. The representative from MD Anderson indicated that they use the FMEA (Failure Modes and Effects Analysis) to identify the factors, and to determine the desired controls to measure. FMEAs and process control Plans (PCP) are widely used in the defense and auto industries to identify key factors and to control the factors. It was nice to see that the medical industry is also starting to use this approach.


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Toyota Hosts Visual Management CenTex Consortium Event 

Visual Management was the topic of the May 19th, 2014 CenTex OpEx Consortium Benchmarking Event at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc. in San Antonio. Twenty eight participants from eight organizations participated in the event that was comprised of a riding tour of the manufacturing facilities and a presentation from Toyota on how they implement visual management techniques. This was followed by a Q&A and a participative session on positives seen and opportunities.              

This is one in a series of Learning Sessions hosted by Toyota for the CenTex OpEx Consortium members.




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