Process improvement has been around for centuries. I laugh as I see the fads come and go with different names and hoopla yet the fundamentals remain the same. What is process improvement if not just in time, lean, Toyota production system, TQM, demand driven MRP?…..and the list goes on. How do we stimulate ideas that will help our companies?

  • ASK – It’s always prudent to start by asking your employees, peers and managers. It’s an often overlooked secret to rapid cost savings and revenue generation ideas.
  • Read – Read the latest industry magazines, the newspaper, blogs, newsletters (of course Profit through People!) etc. You’ll be surprised what ideas can apply to your situation.
  • Listen – Slightly different than asking is to listen. Instead of talking, listen to your colleagues with an ear towards interesting ideas. Asking clarifying questions during conversations can be revealing.
  • Network – There are countless industry, geography and topic-related events and groups. For example, my APICS (Association of Operations Management) chapter hosts events on manufacturing and distribution topic areas. Industry groups such as aerospace and defense have numerous events. Attend, ask, listen, network and learn.

  • Social media – There is also an overwhelming amount of information available on social media. Join a Linked In group and ask how to leverage your ERP system to become more efficient etc.