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How much latent capacity is in your business?

3 minutes read · 17th June 2021

Author: Andy Redfern, Partner

How much latent capacity is in your business?

Do you know how much more manufacturing capacity can be released from your business?

Do you know how much more manufacturing capacity can be released from your business? A well-executed Opportunity Assessment will typically find 30% to 50% free output.

As seasoned business executives, we know there is improvement potential in our operations and it is tied to constraints often characterized as being one of:

  • Technical Constraint
  • Organizational Constraint
  • Mindset Constraint

How do we inspire those working on the process to look anew and challenge these constraints?

Benchmarking won’t work as we are likely to be best in class already or sufficiently unique that comparisons are not meaningful.

Performance metrics should show improvement potential but often fail as the underlying assumptions mask opportunity for example: a lack of ambition when challenging the potential bottleneck speed or losses deemed to be outside our direct control are ignored in the metric. This can quickly result in a performance metric that provides us with a comfortable reassurance we are already at full performance.

It is quite common for senior executives to be presented with a limited selection of improvement options based on Capital Expenditure or changes to product mix.

Back to the question in the title, how can we increase manufacturing capacity? There are some key steps that underpin the success of a Chartwell Opportunity Analysis:

  1. Carefully select a facilitator who is incentivized to find opportunity, will respect the concerns of the local team and has the technical expertise so as not to be intimidated by the current process problems and limitations.
  2. Choose an improvement methodology that exposes as much opportunity as possible, we recommend ‘Zero Loss Analysis.’
  3. Rigorously and rationally measure and prioritize each opportunity.
  4. Go deep on the top losses, look closely at the process and aim to show more depth of understanding of the opportunities than the local team have as yet found for themselves, this is where you will gain credibility and bring the team onside. More new information will be learned from 3 hours standing on the production line than 3 days in a meeting room.
  5. Seek alignment with the key stakeholders on what is possible while leading with a mindset of openness to potential.
  6. Find the underlying reasons why this opportunity was hidden, this will help you understand a deeper truth about the organization.

The process is not complex, though good execution is the difference between standing still and unlocking 30% improvement in 4 months without CAPEX. Give it a go, or if you must have this improvement in short order, let us show your team how to do it.