Topic: Simple Solutions

Prepare for the unthinkable – two steps to stop knowledge loss

Everyone has subject matter experts Every business has their subject matter experts (SME). These experts gain their knowledge through years of projects and assignments, through the succession of successes and failures we call experience. We lean on these experts to help us through tricky problems. And that leaning is a source of pride for the experts and a source of inspiration for their junior employees. But! It is an ancient, Read More

Managing the risk of cultural resistance to change

Over the course of my career, I’ve had the opportunity to live and work in a few different countries. I’ve experienced culture shock first-hand, all over the globe. It struck me recently that people in businesses can experience culture shock without ever getting on a plane. When relocating from division to division – when they’re part of a merger – and most common of all, when there’s a major change 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

Six hidden ways that variability kills your bottom line

Everyone knows variability is to be avoided. But too often manufacturers say: “My waste is very low. Everything passes the lab tests. So my process is under control.” It’s not that simple. Process variability that wreaks havoc on your bottom line can be surprisingly well hidden. The flipside is that going after this variability will add plenty to your profitability. Here are six hidden ways that variability may be sabotaging Read More

Feelings or facts? You can only control what you measure.

  Once during a plant visit a young process engineer said to me: “When things go right, I do not know why. And when things go wrong, I do not know why.” No surprise, the plant manager glared at him. Yet the engineer was only being honest. The fact is that most shop floor operators optimize on feelings, not facts. They really don’t have much of a choice. Their only Read More

7 Quick Tips to Drive Buy-in to your MES Initiative (Hint: start with the plant floor!)

Go-live is fast approaching for your MES initiative. Right now you’re sitting back, reflecting on the meetings, decisions and actions of the past few months. Trying to decide if you and your team have done everything possible to achieve a smooth and successful start-up. The answer to your question is heavily dependent on how much involvement you’ve solicited from the Plant Floor. Too often, management initiatives are driven from the Read More