Staying On Course With Key Metrics

If I asked you the shortest distance between two points, of course you’d answer: A straight line. Absolutely correct in geometry class; however, real life rarely mimics textbook theory. If you want to get where you want to go, you need to be making constant course corrections. Knowing which corrections to make gets you from point A to point B faster.

Consider the Apollo missions to the moon. Blasting off from Earth, landing on the moon, taking the lunar rover for a spin and returning safely to Earth again was really nothing short of an engineering marvel. However, during the flight from Earth to the moon, the rocket was only on course two to three percent of the time. That means it was off course for 97 to 98 percent of the time. It’s hard to believe that the astronauts ever made it there and back if they were only on course for about 5,000 miles of a roughly 230,000 mile trip. How’d they manage it? Constant course corrections.

Similarly, the Navy’s Nimitz-class super carriers, the largest ships in the world at almost 1,100 feet in length, are constantly making minuscule course corrections to get where they need to go. It is simply impossible to make a 90-degree turn with something so massive. In order to move efficiently, the crew makes slight adjustments constantly.

Constant course corrections let you successfully make an incredible journey or maneuver something massive. View your plant operations the same way. Your throughput processes, from the time your phone rings with an order until the product is shipped out the loading dock door, probably feel a lot like that trip to the moon. The order has to pass through various departments and is probably touched by numerous people and pieces of equipment along the way with a lot of room for things to go wrong. Only careful monitoring and slight corrections keep it on course and moving efficiently. Without those, it’s going to crash and burn.

Depending on complexity, your plant and processes may be a lot like that aircraft carrier – too big to move on a dime. While we may like to think behemoths can be nimble, it’s often not reality. It takes time to re-direct them and short-notice changes are typically unsuccessful. Plus, a tight turn on a big ship may send some folks overboard. Successful and efficient navigation requires you to look far ahead and adjust accordingly. Successful and efficient navigation boosts your bottom line.

Constantly observing and monitoring your key metrics lets you make the needed course corrections. Houston control constantly monitored every move of the Apollo rockets, and there’s always a team of sailors on the bridge. You can efficiently and effectively achieve the same thing to keep your operation on course and moving in the right direction. At MPower, we specialize in monitoring and measuring and will work with you to determine which metrics you need to monitor for “constant course correction” to keep your enterprise moving toward a healthy bottom line.

Contact MPower to find out how we can help you improve your manufacturing efficiency. We can get you where you need to go whether you're steering a behemoth or shooting for the stars.