Improving Productivity in Manufacturing

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FROM: George Washburn

SUBJECT: Annual Productivity Plan

The Plasit-brack product line is an important part of our business and with your qualifications, I am looking for some good things to happen with these products.

I am announcing the annual productivity plan and goal, which is for EMC to improve productivity this year by 5% overall. I am asking each manager to develop a productivity plan for their areas. This plan is to identify areas of productivity, the productivity measurements, and provide a plan for how the productivity will be accomplished.

I want you to consider using this multi-factor productivity measure: (Total Production of Plasti-bracks) / (Total Paid Labor Hours). Using the most recent data available, this Productivity Measure is 332.73 pcs produced per paid people hours, for Plasti-Brack. You can review the detailed data to see how I determined this measurement. A 5% increase translates to 349.37 pcs/pd ppl hr.

You can plan on a 3% to 5% increase in demand for the next year.

Here is the data that has been collected and analyzed for the Productivity Index for Plasti-Brack (click here.) Note that there is a lot of Non-Production time – I am sure we can eliminate some of this and convert it into productive use.

Given this overall productivity measure and the 5% goal, you should consider your next steps. First, do an assessment of the current situation. Then determine other subordinate productivity indices or factors that will be measured in your area of responsibility. What are the main issues and concerns about improving productivity this year? What are some of the possible processes that should be considered for process re-engineering or “lean” analysis? What improvements are you planning on making, and how will these make the 5% productivity goal?

Please do this analysis for your area. You should consult with the production managers as necessary. I want a report that provides an assessment of productivity measures and process improvement issues for the Plasti-brack product line and related production processes. Your report should include the following sections: Review of the Current Situation, Goals & Objectives, Action Plans, and Explanation/Justification.

Since you are new here at EMC, I am asking that your report also include another section that provides a review of the Plasti-brack processes including a process chart of one of the representative products. I think this will be helpful to you in getting an understanding of the processes.

I will be looking for your report in the next several weeks. Thank you. ~GW

PS – I know you are new to EMC and you may not be familiar with how we write reports. So I have attached a copy of a blank report template that I would like you to use: Report Template (click here.)

And I also have attached a copy of a report that was done a while back by Manny Jones. It is a report providing a plan to solve a big problem we were having in the Zinc Die Cast Machine Group. It is not about productivity, so you will need to taylor your report with appropriate content that I am looking for. Manny’s Report (click here).


Analyze the processes that are used to produce the Plasti-brack product line. Determine appropriate productivity measures and then develop a productivity & process improvement plan. Justify your plan. Write a report to the VP of Operations.

Assignment Expectations
•Use the information provided in the Background readings. It is not necessary to do any additional research.
•Review the information about the Excellent Manufacturing Company and become familiar with the products and processes
•Analyze the processes and determine productivity measures for the various processes.
•Determine a plan for improving productivity via process improvement and lean thinking.
•Justify your plan based on the concepts of process improvement.

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