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 “What must we be especially good at? Cost, quality, delivery, reliability, flexibility, capacity, or low investment?”, define priorities and remember that competitive advantage comes from simplicity, repeatability, experience and consistency of processes.

Research your operations, analyze and validate your manufacturing processes and do it in a structured manner. Stop doing the same… that will give you the same results!

Let’s start with the basic definitions:

Operations research is defined as the scientific process of transforming data into insights to making better decisions, is aimed to maximize (of profit, performance, quality or yield) and minimize (of loss, risk, waste, or cost), always in a systemic way.

Analytics is the application of scientific & mathematical methods to the study & analysis of problems involving complex systems.

Process analysis is the action of conducting a review and gaining an understanding of business processes.

Process validation is the analysis of data gathered throughout the design and manufacturing of a product in order to confirm that the process can reliably output products of a determined standard.

Now let’s break down the subject matter:

Know your product. Design, Materials, Tolerances, Processes and Tools.

Understand your market and volumes.

Scrutinize your processes:

  • Operation Purpose.
  • Manufacturing sequence.
  • Sourcing and logistics.
  • Plant Layout.
  • Operation Method, repeatability, demand, variability, waste and loss control.

Think on how to adapt your infrastructure.

Develop the human capital: Needs of company, needs of functions and needs of individuals,

Concentrate expertise and promote superior performance.

What really matters is the Why. With all these, you should now have a good idea of “why we are doing what we are doing” and be able to start implementing any manufacturing lean six-sigma methodology.

Now that you know your why’s let´s review the how’s

Remember that “Where there are no standards there can be no kaizen.” You want to meet the standards and fulfill your performance expectations, then start taking the next steps:

Have a passionate executive to champion the efforts.

Select a multidisciplinary team from experience and enthusiastic people.

Seek perfection in following the rules, procedures, and standards that are already in place.

From your current state brainstorm a vision of lean state clearly defining value.

Do VSM, Material and information flows, start with Factory level (door to door) and progress your way to Process level (cell or production line) and Extended level (enterprise) based on what is actually happening on the shop floor and looking for where the value is.

Start breaking organizational silos

Apply 5Ss everywhere!…


Great!…. guess what… You already started your lean endeavor, now keep learning, training and applying all those lean valuable tools. This is just the beginning of a non-ever ending journey!

you want me to lend a hand, give me a call or send me an email!


Want to keep learning…here are some good readings: