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USGNN Original StoryIn a Down Year, an Expert Explains How to Improve Processes
July 13, 2009

Glass manufacturers, fabricators and contract glaziers always should be looking for ways to improve processes, but one expert recently said now is a crucial time to evaluate processes.

"Let's use this year to make our processes better so when the market picks back up we'll be ready [and more efficient]," said William Tallman, president, William H. Tallman and Associates, who works with companies in various industries to improve their processes. Tallman spoke to a group of industry representatives earlier this year about how to do just that. He said the models companies utilize today are not working well and provided a few specific steps companies can take to improve their processes.

Following are a few of Tallman's strategies that companies can employ:

  • Prepare a process map/flow chart of the process. Does each step add value? Is the customer willing to pay for it?
  • Develop accurate up-to-date forecasts.
  • Make sure your ERP system has a robust supply-chain model. "If you don't have one you need to get one," says Tallman.
  • Implement a lead time reduction program. "Lead times are killing the industry as I see it," he adds.
  • Implement an inventory turnover improvement program (build to order). "My suggestion is that we all have too much excess inventory. We have it 'just in case.'"
  • Train employees yearly. "Provide 60 hours of training per year per person." Implement a performance-based lean and green initiative.
  • Think long-term, not short. "For the short term we may need to lose money for a quarter or two but we need to stay in business," says Tallman.
  • Evaluate vendors. Investigate your vendor/supplier database. "Reduce the number to three [per component]. That way, if one fails you have a backup for that product," he adds.

CLICK HERE for Tallman's full PowerPoint presentation.

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