The secret to improving operations is …

by

By Dr Lisa Lang

… changing your patterns.

The patterns — including our policies, procedures and measures — we use to run our machine shops / job shops are perfectly getting us the results we are currently getting.

So if we want to improve, we have to change our patterns. We have to change what and how we do things.

No big surprise there. The challenge is to what? And how do we know that the new patterns will actually lead to better results. If the results we get from trying new things are just different (not better) or worse, we have just wasted a lot of time and maybe money.

So how do we go about changing our patterns so that we actually IMPROVE operations?

Here are some recommendations:
· Follow a successful process.
· Get a BIG win, FAST.
· Measure the right things.

Follow a Successful Process

Follow a NEW pattern that others have had BIG success with.

You’ve heard that if you want to be successful, hang out with and do what successful people do. That’s probably one of the reasons you might be a NTMA (National Tool and Machining Association) member. NTMA members tend to be the successful shops. The shops who are struggling do not have the time or money to be a member.

What have some of your very successful NTMA members have been doing? – they have been implementing a proven process — the Velocity Scheduling System (VSS).

The VSS Coaching Program is a pattern disruptor.

And some people describe it as counter intuitive. But the key is that it’s been done before, it’s been proven to work in over 20+ highly custom job shops and machine shops. You don’t have to travel undiscovered territories or take any risks.

We tell you exactly what to do and in what order to do it. And, we stick around long enough to answer all your questions and help you to apply it to your situation.

Butch said that the VSS Coaching Program was the only thing they have tried that actually worked.
The only thing that everybody got behind.

And only thing that didn’t just become the flavor of the month.
You can listen to what Butch had to say here:

Get a BIG win, FAST

Getting a big win, fast, is paramount for switching and sticking to a new pattern.

Have you ever gone on a diet but didn’t lose even 1 pound in the first week? Did you stick to the diet? If you’re like me you didn’t. We like to see results. We like to know that what we’re doing is making a difference.

So in order to successfully adapt a new pattern, we need to see a big win. And the faster, the better. In fact, the faster the win the more buy-in we seem to get.

One VSS Coaching Program client sent me this picture after only 5 days of starting the Velocity Scheduling System.

Theory of Constraints Results

Theory of Constraints Results

Now those are fast results! On day one there is a slight uptick, but on day 2 they have a huge jump in performance.

And just so you don’t think that this was some easy case, some shop that doesn’t have much complexity – let me explain what they do. They machine and then assemble HUGE machines. The lead-time on one of their machines when they started was over 6 months.

Can you imagine the excitement? Can you imagine how bought in everyone is? And, can you imagine the improvement in cash flow?

Measure the Right Things

Now we need to make sure that the new pattern is, in fact, better. In the Velocity Scheduling System we measure:

-Throughput $ completed each day. Throughput = Sales – Truly Variable Costs where TVC are raw materials, outside services, and sale commissions for most shops.

-Velocity of each job.

-Due date performance of the order.

-Throughput / Operating Expenses. Throughput divided by Operation Expenses is another way of asking: Are we adding Throughput $ at a faster rate than we are adding operating expense? Or, are we getting more done with the same people and resources?

Ok, now that you have changed your pattern and achieved IMPROVED results, the next thing to do is to make sure you can identify when THIS pattern needs to be updated or changed. Otherwise you have just stagnated on a higher level. And while it’s a more profitable level, it’s still stagnation.

The way we do that in the VSS is through our Process Of On-Going Improvement (POOGI). Every time a job goes into the red zone, we find out why. Over time we collect the whys and then tackle the most frequent reason for going into the red zone.

This ensures that we:
1) Don’t revert back to old patterns
2) We continuously improve and update our current pattern (don’t stagnate)
3) That we focus our limited resources on the 1 thing that can make the biggest difference

So if you’re ready for a new pattern, a more profitable pattern, then you may be ready to join our next Velocity Scheduling System Coaching Program. Registration is at www.VelocitySchedulingSystem.com.  If we are not currently taking registrations you can add yourself to the waiting list.

But, patterns are like security blankets …

… so this program isn’t for everyone. Only sign up if you’re ready to do some pattern busting in YOUR job shop! We’ve had a 100% success rate, and I don’t want to jeopardize it with someone wanting an intellectual exercise or who’s not really ready to change.

This may be the last one we can do this year because Westinghouse has signed on to have us work with their machine shop vendors.

To find out more, go to www.VelocitySchedulingSystem.com. There you can sign up, read FAQs, and get more testimonials.

Wishing You Success

“Dr Lisa” Lang

P.S. Go visit www.VelocitySchedulingSystem.com NOW and read the whole page. Listen/read all the testimonials. And don’t wait to sign up, do it now!

P.P.S Or, you can just stand firm and cling to your current patterns – but to keep your sanity, don’t expect IMPROVED results.

Please leave a comment (click the comment link under the title above) and let me know what you think about this post!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

keith garrison

on the video for paramount machne you show some part of a schedule on Butch’ screen. Does this system include software?
Regards,
Keith

Reply

theoryofconstraints

Hi Keith,
What you’re seeing is the Excel template (filled with Butch’s data) that IS INCLUDED in the Velocity Scheduling System Coaching Program. We use Excel and/or your current ERP to aid with the Detailed Planning part of the Velocity Scheduling System.

And, we are working on software that would interface w/ your ERP or quoting system to make the detailed planning easier than it would be in Excel. When/if we are successful at creating software that meets my requirements (simple and easier than Excel) it will be made available to those companies that have completed the Velocity Scheduling System Coaching Program for a nominal fee.

That being said, software is NOT necessary and by itself will do nothing. The key is to change how you think. If you first change how you think (your patterns) then the right software can make life a little easier.

Thanks for the question!
Dr Lisa

Reply

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