How Do I Implement an Operations Performance System?

“How Do I Implement an Operations Performance System?”

A Brief Overview on Getting Started with the Milliken Performance System

Continuous improvement is an ongoing journey. Once the decision has been made that you’re going to create a measurable, process-oriented way of working in your organization, the feeling of being overwhelmed might soon set in. Instead of tackling all the issues at once, however, plan on making improvements step-by-step. Build upon each successful change. These incremental improvements will yield much more in the long run than a short-term blitz.

We set targets and goals for the model machine or manufacturing process, and then we implement the pillars. By focusing on optimizing one machine, your team can then replicate the ideal improvement process for that equipment on a roll-out schedule. The new knowledge and skills your team acquires during this stage also begins to change your associates into active problem solvers: While working on the pillars, they are also learning the methodology.

Selecting which machine or process will be the “model” begins in the master planning phase. Your senior leadership team will also work together to identify the critical goals and key metrics that will signify success. Other topics that should be covered during the master planning process include:

  • Understanding your company’s current competitive positioning
  • Creating a future vision of the company: what will look like and perform in 5 years? In 10 years?
  • Identifying the Key Performance Indicators to will measure progress
  • Creating objectives that can be easily understood by everyone in the organization
  • Explaining the “Why” behind the company’s need to improve
  • Selecting plants for the first phase of the Milliken Performance System (MPS) implementation

After the master planning process is complete, next comes the zero-loss analysis. This financial tool doesn’t focus on traditional budgets but tries to reduce categories of waste. Potential plant-level savings are uncovered by eliminating common problems such as:

  • Machine downtime
  • Quality rejects
  • Employee injuries
  • Rework time

Once the problems are identified, a dollar figure is applied to each category. Select your model machine based on your zero-loss analysis, but one that is also highly visible, critical to overall plant performance, and most in need of improvement. As improvement progresses in your zero-loss categories, new projects can be selected by updating the analysis.

Initial improvements can be seen with modest gains of around five to 10 percent among most metrics. As the Milliken Performance System expands to include the entire company in the second and third year of implementation, executives report dramatic improvements due to cumulative benefits. Instead of constantly battling the same problems over and over again, employees begin eliminating those problems and optimizing their work. Continuously improving their processes becomes their daily task. It becomes your operating system—your path to improved safety, quality, and production.

To speak with a Performance Solutions Practitioner about how we can implement a performance system in your plant, contact us today.