Closing the Perception Gap | Benchmarking Manufacturing Performance
Nearly every manufacturing company uses key performance metrics (KPIs), but few manufacturers really understand how these metrics relate to each other. Understanding the interactions between metrics and their associated effects can lead to a better understanding of what drives sustainable improvement. Most of the time, plants and companies sense that there is room for improvement, but determining a set of actionable diagnostic metrics is more elusive. What is a reasonable expectation for the improvement effort? Operational silos, confidentiality, competitive advantage strategies, and differing manufacturing approaches cause manufacturing professionals to resist looking outside their own plant for additional insight.
For many companies, benchmarking manufacturing performance in relation to actual practices has been key to driving and sustaining higher performance levels. When enterprises benchmark manufacturing performance and examine corresponding strategies of best-in-class performers (lines, plants, and even other companies), they close the gap between today's performance and what could be. Benchmarking activities can be as simple as comparing shifts, lines and product categories. But when the benchmarking effort spans entire plants throughout the enterprise, and leverages insight from across the manufacturing community, there is a shift in perception about what is realistic and possible.