Operational Excellence: Update Your Business Contingency Plan

With the unprecedented events associated with COVID-19, companies are facing worst-case scenarios and looking at ways to manage work stoppage or limited production for essential manufacturing needs. This column provides a practical guideline to create or update your business contingency plan to help you manage your business during a crisis situation.

An effective business contingency plan consists of two categories: business continuity and disaster recovery. Business continuity provides you a structure to identify critical functions in the organization required to execute your business plan over time. On the other hand, a disaster recovery plan is a process to help your organization navigate adverse situations to help your business stay afloat.

Business Continuity
Business continuity consists of seven essential elements in a manufacturing organization.

1. Governance: Define the roles and responsibilities of executive leadership. Define a back-up plan in case you have departures of leaders in the organization.

2. Personnel: Define talent acquisition and development of employees. The objective is to retain top performers and continuously develop skills in the workforce.

3. Manufacturing Facilities: This section covers many areas within manufacturing operations. At a minimum, identify all key equipment and back-up plans in case of malfunction and requirements to continue to have utilities, equipment maintenance, compliance with regulations, and security to support operations.

4. Technology Roadmap: Define current and future process capabilities. Identify the direction that the organization plans to take to sustain or increase revenue based on competitive technological advantages. Consider including the protection of intellectual property.

To read this entire column, which appeared in the May 2020 issue of SMT007 Magazine, click here.

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2020

Operational Excellence: Update Your Business Contingency Plan

05-26-2020

With the unprecedented events with COVID-19, companies are facing worst-case scenarios and looking at ways to manage work stoppage or limited production for essential manufacturing needs. Alfred Macha provides a practical guideline to create or update your business contingency plan to help you manage your business during a crisis situation.

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Operational Excellence: The Gemba Transformation of Manufacturing With AI

04-24-2020

Operational excellence managers have been leading organizations’ transformation with Lean Six Sigma methods for the past two decades. Alfred Macha looks at how AI can redefine gemba to accelerate changes in your operations, including covering the fundamentals of Lean and how traditional gemba works and introducing ideas on how AI can enhance improvements.

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Operational Excellence: Hiring and Retaining Top Employees

02-12-2020

The economy is booming, and this presents challenges for manufacturing organizations. Your top-performing employees are prime targets for competitors that are not only willing to offer a higher wage but can also offer a more attractive work environment and career growth path. Alfred Macha shares a strategic approach to hire top talent and retain your best employees.

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Operational Excellence: Take Your CAPA to the Next Level With 8D

01-29-2020

Quality professionals understand that the strength of an organization’s quality system can be determined by reviewing the corrective and preventive action (CAPA) system that has been established. ISO auditors and regulatory inspectors will assess an organization’s CAPA to evaluate the effectiveness of the quality system. Customers often use the mechanism of a corrective action request (CAR), which is part of the CAPA system, as the mechanism to request for a supplier to address a recurring quality issue. Alfred Macha explains.

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2019

Operational Excellence: Are CMs Ready to Embrace Project Management?

11-29-2019

Project management does not have to be complex, nor costly; on the contrary, project management can help create a culture of operational efficiency, enhanced customer engagement, and employee self-accountability and enable data-driven decision-making. Alfred Macha introduces a recommended approach to project management in a contract manufacturing environment.

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Operational Excellence: Transform Your Operations With Nadcap

09-11-2019

Obtaining Nadcap certification can be an overwhelming endeavor for suppliers that don’t have proper guidance. In this column, Alfred Macha provides guidelines that companies have used in the past to successfully achieve Nadcap accreditation.

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Operational Excellence: Becoming the Preferred Supplier, Phase 3—Re-engineer Your Quality System

08-26-2019

The final phase of becoming a preferred supplier is to apply a business process re-engineer approach to your quality system. Before you start with this phase, the company should have implemented Phase 1 and Phase 2, which are focused on changing its leadership mentality to embrace LEAN Six Sigma and the pillars of operational excellence. It’s paramount to have the right mindset before you re-engineer your quality system.

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Operational Excellence: Becoming the Preferred Supplier, Phase 3—Re-engineer Your Quality System

08-05-2019

The final phase of becoming a preferred supplier is to apply a business process re-engineer approach to your quality system. Before you start with this phase, the company should have implemented Phase 1 and Phase 2, which are focused on changing its leadership mentality to embrace LEAN Six Sigma and the pillars of operational excellence. It's paramount to have the right mindset before you re-engineer your quality system.

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Operational Excellence: Becoming the Preferred Supplier, Phase 2—The Six Pillars

07-26-2019

Your Lean Six Sigma program needs to be rightly sized to your organization’s structure for it to be sustainable. The second phase involves establishing the six pillars of operational effectiveness. Attaining quality systems certification to a base standard of ISO 9001 or industry specific QMS standard for medical devices, automotive, telecommunications, or aerospace will provide you a solid foundation to your operations.

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Operational Excellence: Becoming the Preferred Supplier, Phase 1—Transform Your Company's Culture With Lean Sigma

06-25-2019

In the first part of this column series about becoming a preferred supplier to your customers, Alfred Macha provides the fundamental concepts to transform your company's culture with Lean Sigma. The approach introduced in this column can be adopted by any manufacturing organization. Read on.

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Process Validation Can Lead to Higher Performance Levels

05-21-2019

In this first column from Alfred Macha, which appears in the May issue of SMT007 Magazine, the author provides a practical guideline on how to effectively implement a sustainable process validation program for contract manufacturers.

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