Learning Modules

Learning Modules that make up Job Shop 360

  1. How to cut lead time
  2. Using feedback to drive continuous improvement
  3. Managing the quoting process
  4. Pre-Production
  5. Scheduling and capacity management
  6. Improving performance on the shop floor

Bonus:  Overall management of the job shop business process

Learning Module 1.How to cut lead time: This learning module has the advantage of killing two birds with one stone.  On the one hand it enables you to identify delays in your quotes to cash business process, and on the other it reveals where you can streamline that process.  It also shows a way to gain widespread employee involvement as they participate in the process. Once you have the right concepts and tools, it’s easy to do and yields large paybacks. For example, a successful effort to reduce the amount of time customers must wait to have their needs met will increase sales, reduce costs, improve margins, accelerate cash flow, and increase effective production capacity all at the same time. If you are looking for a powerful strategy for growth and profitability, then you must exploit speed as a competitive advantage!  Satisfying your customers’ needs more quickly by cutting your lead time is the golden road to profit improvement.

It is easy to do, can be done in increments, and has a high payback.  Cutting lead time is an essential element in your competitive strategy.

Learning Module 2.Constructing feedback loops to drive continuous improvement: One of the most valuable tools ownership and management can have is performance feedback. In Job Shop 360, this comes in the form of a Weekly Performance Report (WPR) which provides a total picture of current performance across the entire job shop business process. It also trends these metrics on a week by week basis to produce graphs and trends. A number of shop-specific metrics are recommended, including comparing plan to actual results on a job by job basis.  A method for measuring lead time reduction is explained.  Areas of your business where feedback is especially valuable are described.

Learning Module 3.Managing the quoting process

How to Quoting: Estimating costs and determining pricing are at the heart of job shop profitability.  This leaning module will show you how to set up and mine a quote data base, the importance of rapid responses to RFQs, what to do when you misquote; how to track and measure performance, and how to increase your hit rate to generate more business.  Separating estimating costs and pricing gives you greater flexibility in pricing leading to winning more orders.

Learning Module 4.Getting pre-production under control: Pre-production refers to those activities that must be completed between winning and order and releasing it to the floor for production.  This includes such things as engineering, purchasing materials, routing, quality checks, production planning, scheduling, and specialized training. One problem is these functions are scattered in the organization and are not organized in a “Pre-Production Department.”   This is an area with extensive delays.  This learning module will show you tools to use to coordinate these activities, as well as the fallacy of releasing orders to the floor before all pre-production activities are completed.

Learning Module 5.Scheduling and capacity management: Judging by the number of people who complain about it, scheduling must be one of the most difficult problems most shops face.  There are a number of reasons for this, from customers changing requirements and dates, to quoting too short lead times, to emergency orders, to a failure to manage capacity.  Schedule changes add costs but these costs are hidden. There is no cost item on your income statement that says “Cost of Rescheduling Orders in Production.” This module will show you the need to link sales to production, as well as understanding and managing capacity to avoid the problem of over selling capacity.  It also addresses out of control scheduling and shows how to reduce disruptions and rescheduling jobs in production.

Learning Module 6.Improving performance on the shop floor: One key to improving performance on the floor is not to overload it. Another is to make sure a production order is complete before releasing it to the floor.  This includes all pre-production activities.  If you oversell your capacity which means you have more work to do than time to do it, you will start juggling orders in production.  Changes in customer order priorities are very expensive in any shop, and mostly invisible.
Improving performance on the shop floor means less in-process time, less rework, and improved productivity.  It expands on the basic law of manufacturing: “the more time a job is on the floor, the more it costs to get it out the door.”  This learning module illustrates different types of waste in these areas and how to combat them.  Rework is the most expensive form of waste in any shop.  Metrics are tied to the Weekly Performance Report.

Bonus Module Overall management of the job shop business process:

The key to upping your game is to understand and manage the quotes to cash business process (horizontally) rather than trying to manage an organization chart model (vertically).  This learning module shows you how to achieve on-time and on-budget results consistently. This increases your shops reliability and makes it more attractive for customers to do business with you. It also shows the benefits of recognizing your shop as a service business that makes things as opposed to a manufacturing business.


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