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Continuous Improvement Process (CIP or CI) is a management process whereby delivery (customer valued) processes are constantly evaluated and improved in the light of their efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility.
Some see it as a meta-process for most management systems (Business Process Management, Quality Management, Project Management). Deming saw it as part of the 'system' whereby feedback from the process and customer were evaluated against organisational goals. The fact that it can be called a management process does not mean that it needs to be executed by 'management' merely that it makes decisions about the implementation of the delivery process and the design of the delivery process itself.
Some successful implementations use the approach known as Kaizen (the translation of kai (“change”) zen (“good”) is “improvement”). This method became famous by the book of Masaaki Imai “Kaizen: The Key to Japan's Competitive Success.”
The core principle of CIP is the (self) reflection of processes (Feedback). The purpose of CIP is the identification, reduction, and elimination of suboptimal processes (Efficiency). The emphasis of CIP is on incremental, continuous steps, avoiding quantum leaps (Evolution).
The elements above are more tactical elements of CIP, the more strategic elements include deciding how to increase the value of the delivery process output to the customer (Effectiveness) and how much flexibility is valuable in the process to meet changing needs.
Also known as Management by Policy or Strategy Deployment. A means by which goals are established and measures are created to ensure progress toward those goals. HP keeps activities at all levels of the company aligned with its overarching strategic plans.
HP typically begins with the "visioning process" which addresses the key questions:
HP then systematically explodes the whats, whos and hows throughout the entire organisation.
Lean is a methodology that focuses on improving workflow, eliminating waste and delivering value. The concept of Lean is not restricted to manufacturing and applies to the whole enterprise, including the supply chain, the new product development process and the provision of service.
In the book, 'Lean Thinking', five Lean Principles are defined:
Operational Excellence (OpEx) is a philosophy of leadership, teamwork and problem solving resulting in continuous improvement throughout the organisation by focusing on the needs of the customer, empowering employees, and optimising existing activities in the process.
Operational Excellence's values lie within Safety, Quality, Productivity, Human Development, Cost, and Implementation of OE.
Operational Excellence stresses the need to continually improve by promoting a stronger teamwork atmosphere. Safety and quality improvements for employees and customers lead towards becoming a better enterprise.
A four step problem-solving process typically used in business process improvement.
Senior management should use the visioning process in the context of its Business Plan. HP translates the Business Plans to action plans, meaningful to all levels of the organisation.
Answer the whats, hows, and whos for the total number of tiers for your organisation; remember, the fewer the number of tiers, the better. Also, this is the time to bring management together and provide them with a basic understanding of HP mechanics.
On a periodic basis, review the measurements and note what you´ve learned that can help in the future.
Make the necessary adjustments to plans and priorities in order to ensure the success of the strategy breakthroughs.
A method of levelling production at the final assembly line that makes just-in-time production possible. This involves averaging both the volume and sequence of different model types on a mixed-model production line. Often referred to as ‘Production Smoothing’
Quality management can be considered to have three main components:
Aassurance and failure testing in design and production of products or services, to meet or exceed customer requirements.
Planned and systematic production processes that provide confidence in a product's suitability for its intended purpose.
Product improvement, process improvement and people based improvement.
Quality management is focused not only on product quality, but also the means to achieve it. Quality management therefore uses quality assurance and control of processes as well as products to achieve more consistent quality.
Six Sigma at many organisations simply means a measure of quality that strives for near perfection. Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects (driving towards six standard deviations between the mean and the nearest specification limit) in any process - from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service.
The statistical representation of Six Sigma describes quantitatively how a process is performing. To achieve Six Sigma, a process must not produce more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. A Six Sigma defect is defined as anything outside of customer specifications. A Six Sigma opportunity is then the total quantity of chances for a defect. Process sigma can easily be calculated using a Six Sigma calculator.
The fundamental objective of the Six Sigma methodology is the implementation of a measurement-based strategy that focuses on process improvement and variation reduction through the application of Six Sigma improvement projects. This is accomplished through the use of two Six Sigma sub-methodologies: DMAIC and DMADV. The Six Sigma DMAIC process (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) is an improvement system for existing processes falling below specification and looking for incremental improvement.
The Six Sigma DMADV process (define, measure, analyze, design, verify) is an improvement system used to develop new processes or products at Six Sigma quality levels. It can also be employed if a current process requires more than just incremental improvement.
Both Six Sigma processes are executed by Six Sigma Green Belts and Six Sigma Black Belts, and are overseen by Six Sigma Master Black Belts.
A supply chain is a system of organisations, people, technology, activities, information and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer. Supply chain activities transform natural resources, raw materials and components into a finished product that is delivered to the end customer. In sophisticated supply chain systems, used products may re-enter the supply chain at any point where residual value is recyclable. Supply chains link value chains.
An illustration of a company's supply chain; the arrows stand for supplier-relationship management, internal SCM and customer-relationship management. A typical supply chain begins with ecological and biological regulation of natural resources, followed by the human extraction of raw material, and includes several production links (e.g., component construction, assembly, and merging) before moving on to several layers of storage facilities of ever-decreasing size and ever more remote geographical locations, and finally reaching the consumer.
Many of the exchanges encountered in the supply chain will therefore be between different companies that will seek to maximize their revenue within their sphere of interest, but may have little or no knowledge or interest in the remaining players in the supply chain.
Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the management of a network of interconnected businesses involved in the ultimate provision of product and service required by end customers (Harland, 1996). Supply Chain Management spans all movement and storage of raw materials, work-in-process inventory, and finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption (supply chain).
Another definition is provided by the APICS Dictionary when it defines SCM as the "design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of supply chain activities with the objective of creating net value, building a competitive infrastructure, leveraging worldwide logistics, synchronizing supply with demand, and measuring performance globally."