Unlocking Efficiencies:Measuring Performance KPIs

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Unlocking Efficiencies: Measuring Performance KPIs With Visual Management Tools
Manufacturers often have a sense that there are inefficiencies on the plant floor, but find difficulty identifying them . They are correct—inefficient processes and waste happen every day in every plant around the world . In fact, the “hidden factory1” phenomenon indicates losses due to workarounds, rework and inefficient changeover procedures can be as much as 40 percent of total company effort .
The strategic principles and practices of lean manufacturing used by many organizations help improve inefficient processes to drive productivity and rise above the competition . A variety of lean philosophies exist, such as Kaizen, Six Sigma, total quality management and continuous improvement . Despite varying concepts, each practice uses KPIs to analyze and optimize manufacturing processes .
KPIs are top-level metrics that measure the use of facilities, time, material and personnel for manufacturing and process operations . KPIs set expectations and show gaps between actual and ideal performance targets at both the plant floor level and the organizational level . They can also measure the positive or negative effect of deviation from the norm and communicate success or failure of processes .
To make this data actionable, KPIs must be communicated in an understandable and meaningful way to production floor personnel and their supervisors—ideally in real-time .
Measuring and displaying KPIs in the work environment produces immediate gains in operator performance .2 The performance improvement links to employee awareness, pride and competitiveness .
Integrating a KPI tracking program with visual management tools has the power to shift individual and organizational behaviors . With accurate, real-time visibility into production processes and inefficiencies, manufacturers can transition from the dreaded “do more with less” mentality to a more positive “do the right thing with the right amount” outlook .

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About Red Lion Controls
As global experts in communication, monitoring and control for industrial automation and networking, Red Lion has been delivering innovative solutions for over forty years. Our automation, Ethernet and cellular M2M technology enables companies worldwide to gain real-time data visibility that drives productivity. Product brands include Red Lion, N-Tron and Sixnet. With headquarters in York, Pennsylvania, the company has offices across the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe. Red Lion is part of Spectris plc, the productivity-enhancing instrumentation and controls company.

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