Linking product design with production in order to improve the quality of the resultant and reducing the time-to-market is the main purpose of introducing the mentioned concept in the organization. It encompasses the use of technologies that are very useful in determining how the required product is to be made.
The final outcome of this latest concept is more effectively planned and managed production system that gets culminated into improved production efficiency. But improving production competence requires an explained description of comprehensive production objectives with an appropriate implementation strategy and an apt closed-loop control for their attainment. A potential solution is the use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These are quantifiable metrics that reflect the critical success factors of any organization. KPIs are used to develop a balanced scorecard (BSC). BSC classifies various KPIs in different perspectives thereby providing a more clear vision and mission to the organization.
Based on explicitly pre-defined measures, KPIs act as high level snapshots of an organization. Usually, KPIs are classified into four perspectives- Financial, Customer, Internal Processes and Innovation. % savings in manufacturing and management costs, % increase in the revenues generated, etc. are included in the financial perspective. For customer perspective, indicators may be number of customers' complaints, number of on-time deliveries, and many such. Indicators such as % reduction in scraps/wasstes and % decrease in the machine idle time are included in the internal processes perspective. Innovation can be judged by number of technical training sessions, statistical process control tools, etc.
Challenges form a major part of every. Those organizations which overpower them survive in this highly aggressive and bloodthirsty business environment whereas those that resist these challenges are themselves weeded out by the incessantly emerging business world. In this respect, manufacturing companies are not an exception. These companies have to face certain tribulations that limit their escalation and development. Continuous arrival of new technology forms the most problematic area. This is because the technology being used by such companies becomes obsolete in just few years and they have to rebuild their entire technological structure. Unremitting changes in the customers' requirements is another such problem that needs to be solved out effectively. Product life cycle management, maintaining continuity and effectiveness of the operations are some other challenges faced by manufacturing companies. To counter such challenges and problems, companies are opting for manufacturing process management- a st rat
egy that synchronizes and improves the official communication between engineering and production department. But this concept alone is not sufficient to meet the challenges of manufacturing companies. An enhanced and more improved performance measurement tool is required for this purpose.
Defining KPIs is a pre-requisite to achieve the goals set by the company and in facing the challenges. Representing a true base of a system, KPIs provide a consistent view of the monitored processes, thereby providing a platform for the continuous improvement of the system.
Although manufacturing process management acts as a keystone for achieving a mutual and contemporaneous product life cycle management strategy, but without a proper direction this concept cannot generate the expected results. For this purpose, KPIs can be a valuable and effectual approach. Once these two approaches are synchronized, the results will be outstandingly and unexpectedly great and beneficial.
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