Topic: Manufacturing Transformation

Being Dr. Dolittle: Smart Manufacturing is a mindset

Let’s say you’ve had your dog Woofgang for quite a while. You probably know how to interpret what Woofy is saying. His behavior tells you if his water bowl is empty, it’s time to go outside, or it’s been too long since the last run. But sometimes you fail in your interpretation, there’s a communication breakdown, and you come upon the unhappy result on your new Persian carpet. Uh oh! Read More

Are You an Authority on Dumb Manufacturing?

This article was originally published on IndustryWeek’s IdeaXchange blog, December 1st 2016. Change is always met with resistance. And some groups or industries resist more than others. Manufacturers, on the whole, have been slow to embrace smart manufacturing. When an industry is based on heavy investment in capital equipment, it’s not only more difficult to change, it builds a culture of higher resistance to change. If you’re reading this, I expect Read More

How to implement a successful MES, #3 of 4

Below, here they are again – the 9 building blocks to implementing a successful MES. The first post focused on defining business scope; the second covered steps 2 and 3:  assessing MES readiness and documenting as-is operations. Today we’ll be talking about steps 4, 5, and 6: identifying pain points, assessing fitment and … past the tipping point here … creating a to-be vision and roadmap. Define and agree to Read More

How to implement a successful MES, #2 of 4

Assessing MES Readiness To refresh your memory, following are the 9 building blocks that we’ll discuss in this series. The first post focused on defining business scope. Today’s will cover steps 2 and 3:  Assessing MES readiness and documenting as-is operations. Define and agree to business scope Assessing MES readiness Documenting current (as-is) operations Identifying pain points and improvement areas Assessing MES fitment Creating “to-be” vision and roadmap Quantifying the Read More

Factora wins 2015 Premier Foods Supplier Excellence Award

I’m tremendously proud to announce that Factora has been awarded with the 2015 Premier Foods Supplier Excellence Award for Decreased Costs. Journey to world class manufacturing: Premier Foods We won out over 1,200 other suppliers to win this award. Today I’d like to share with you not only my thoughts on this achievement, but those of the leaders on the Factora and Premier teams… Looking back, the tipping point came Read More

The Worst Advice I’ve Ever Heard about Manufacturing Execution Systems

This blog has been written by a Factora Senior MES Consultant. I’ve been in the Systems Integration field for a couple of decades now and I’ve had the pleasure of running across some really bad advice. Sometimes even career-stunting bad advice! Following, the worst of the worst. Don’t let the shining star of your career be tarnished by following these ideas! Creating documentation is a waste of time. Sounds like Read More

Synergy and a rebounding marketplace lead to 56% revenue growth

The results are in from our first full year of business. They confirm our predictions and our hopes: 2014 revenue was 56% higher than the combined sales of our two founding companies. For those of you new to us, Factora was created by the merger of STICorp and SlimSoft in 2013. We’re a global provider of MES [Manufacturing Execution System] solutions. By empowering people on the shop floor with actionable Read More

Make it ugly: creating a compelling case for change

Exposing problems gets attention.  And what gets attention gets resolved. Yet this is a difficult practice to implement in the workplace. To start, what is our natural reaction when we discover a problem? Maybe it will go away by itself? Uh oh … this is embarrassing. If I report this, people will think that I am not working hard enough. In a class by itself is a well-known reaction of Read More

The Power of 1% – Where’s Your 1%?

Recently I attended the GE-IP User Summit in Orlando. There was a whole lot of buzz about the Industrial Internet and the Power of 1%. The idea behind the Power of 1% is simple. Yet, as the name implies, very powerful indeed. Take any industry. Improve its efficiency by just 1%, reduce its energy consumption by just 1%, or increase its output by just 1%. And you’ll be talking about Read More

No unplanned downtime – new concept or old?

Seven whole years since the last gathering of like minds! That was my thought as I signed in at the GE Intelligent Platforms User Summit 2014 in October. I was excited about reconnecting with customers and colleagues, and hearing the latest ideas. The first thing I noticed was that the hunger for something new was palpable in the air. All the attendees, surfacing from the doldrums of the last recession, Read More