The Hiring Zone:
Another Customer Survey?
How do you measure customer satisfaction? Do you rely on your P&L, sales perception of your performance, the lost deal, the next order, the no-bid deal, your Google or Yelp score, or all of the above? Maybe the number of followers on your Facebook page? Do you wait for someone to complain or...
Estimating Truss Labor Using Board Footage Versus Proper Man-Minute Time Standards
For many years, I have been beating the drum that board footage (BF) is an imperfect unit measurement that our industry should abandon. The better alternative is the proven method of time estimations which uses man-minutes (MM). Man-minutes are derived from time-in-motion practices that have...
How the DMAIC Process Can Improve Design Time
As a follow up to our last article, How the DMAIC Process Helps Sustain Achievements and Drive Continuous Improvements, below is another example and case study based on the need to reduce design cycle time. After setting the parameters, I will outline the DMAIC Lean method and demonstrate how...
Sample Standards of Performance: Production Manager/Supervisor
My last article, “Standards of Performance for Smarties,” talked about writing Standards of Performance (SOP). Although an SOP uses a job description for guidance, it’s actually a performance measurement document that identifies the employee’s expected level of...
Using the DMAIC Lean Method to Accomplish Improvement and Take the First Steps to New Goals
We’re now at the point where everyone is on board with the idea of change. Management and staff have indicated a willingness to take steps to improve. So how do we proceed?
What processes learned from Lean Manufacturing can we use to make progress?
As discussed last month in the 5th...
Standards of Performance – for Smarties
Writing Standards of Performance (SOP) isn’t like writing a job description, but a job description should be used for guidance. SOP is a performance measurement document that identifies the employee’s expected level of performance. When you have a realistic SOP, your employee and...
So You and Your Company are Ready to Accomplish New Goals and Take the First Steps to Improve
As the owner of your company, you have outlined new goals to improve and grow your company. You have reached consensus; each staff member understands your vision and that change will bring mutual benefits. Key management has committed to the changes required to move forward. You have committed...
Measure and Pay for Performance
A funny thing happened after Toll Brothers erected this “Board Foot Display” in their wall panel plant. Toll workers didn’t complain. In fact, they actually asked for digital readouts at their individual work stations. Hats off to Keith Fell, Toll’s Director of...
Production Scheduling Problems?
There is nothing like the scheduling of orders to bring out the worst in people. Timely delivery of orders naturally creates a division between salespeople on one side of the issue and production on the other. Management normally plays the role of referee, with a tendency to favor the...
Houlihan, Efficiency, Lean, & the 5M’s
How can we measure and improve employee productivity? It’s a common question now, one that I am often asked within the Component and LBM industry, but that wasn’t always the case. We’ve come a long way and learned a lot!
Back in 1911, mechanical engineer Frederick W. Taylor,...