Production Scheduling: Release the Thoroughbred in your Shop

Manufacturing and thoroughbred race horses - what do they have in common? During a tour of the Kentucky Derby Museum a couple of years ago, I learned that many of the fastest thoroughbred race horses have what are considered to be abnormally large hearts. Secretariat, the famous 1973 Triple Crown winner, who won the last of the three races in Belmont by an astonishing 31 lengths, had a 22 lb heart! – more than twice the size of an average horse’s 9 lb heart.

Studies have shown that over 50% of a thoroughbred’s body mass is muscle. This high ratio means that the muscular system’s energetic capacity far exceeds the cardiovascular system’s ability to deliver oxygen to support it.

Systems capacity exceeding the ability to deliver – sound familiar?

As a Manufacturing professional, don’t you believe – don’t you know – that your company’s energetic production capacity far exceeds your company’s current ability to deliver its lifeblood where and when it’s needed?

George Plossl was one of the “Fathers of MRP” back in the 1960’s and ‘70’s who coined the “First Law of Manufacturing” (See George Plossl, Orlicky’s Material Requirements Planning, 2nd edition, McGraw-Hill, New York, N.Y., 1994, p. 4.) which states that, “All benefits [in a manufacturing company] _will be directly proportional to the speed of flow of information and materials._” The manufacturing production shop floor is the heart of your company; information and materials are its lifeblood.

“All benefits will be directly proportional to the speed of flow of information and materials.”

How do you strengthen your company’s heart? How can you make it bigger? How can you remove the impediments that slow or block the flow of your company’s lifeblood? How do you get your company’s heart to deliver relevant information and the right materials to the parts of the organization where and when they’re needed most?

Knowing the answers to these questions will dramatically improve the speed of flow of your company’s lifeblood and provide all the benefits – better on-time delivery to your customers, shorter lead-times, higher customer satisfaction levels – as promised by Mr. Plossl over 50 years ago.

Release the thoroughbred you always knew your manufacturing company could be.



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