Should we move back to manufacturing?

By |2020-03-19T22:48:23+00:00October 13th, 2012|

Most countries go through a development cycle from Agriculture to Manufacturing and then on to Services. However many services are labour intensive ... and therefore dramatic productivity gains are difficult Productivity in manufacturing industry can be transformed using technology and automation. Does,this mean that those countries that have moved through manufacturing to services (UK?) are at a disadvantage in the productivity race?

Productivity Conundrum

By |2020-03-19T22:48:23+00:00October 6th, 2012|

The Guardian (UK newspaper) this week raised the question of how the UK has managed to create jobs whilst GDP is falling. It suggests that the answer must be that the productivity of the workforce is falling ... so we need more of them. However, employment figures often lead or lag on economic performance. An

Its a Learning Problem

By |2020-03-19T22:48:23+00:00September 29th, 2012|

Behind many productivity problems is a learning problem. It is astonishing how often employees are poorly trained ... and in many cases, completely untrained, to do the job they are supposed to do. We then blame 'poor performance' ... and of course it is poor performance ... on behalf of the management team who should have provided

Small is beautiful

By |2020-03-19T22:48:23+00:00September 22nd, 2012|

In 2007, the state of Iowa in the USA hired Mike Rohlf, a black belt in Six Sigma, to apply 'Lean' to the various processes and procedures of state government. Mike is still there ... appropriately as a 'one man band' (very lean). For each project, Mike works with volunteers from different areas within the

Spend wisely

By |2020-03-19T22:48:23+00:00September 15th, 2012|

A recent report from IDC Manufacturing Insights suggests that the IT spend in Indian manufacturing organisations will double by 2016. Will this give them a rise in productivity? Almost certainly.  Not necessarily as a direct result .... but anyone making big investments in IT is likely to be looking at other aspects of the business.

They’re not to blame

By |2020-03-19T22:48:23+00:00September 8th, 2012|

I'm writing this in Pakistan ... whilst taking a look at some aspects of Pakistan's horticultural sector. If you take a look at 'the figures' they suggest that this sector is quite 'inefficient', yet when I walk round farms, farmers and their labourers are working very hard. Of course - I hear you shout -

… and Jerk

By |2020-03-19T22:48:23+00:00September 8th, 2012|

Did you see what I did there.  Possibly too clever for my own good but I carried on the title of this post from the title of my last one. How often have you felt like a jerk ... in your professional life I mean. If you reply 'never', then firstly I probably wouldn't believe


By |2020-03-19T22:48:23+00:00September 1st, 2012|

Anyone who has practiced 5S will know the value of tidiness and cleanliness. Yet, all too often we see dirty, untidy workplaces ... creating inefficiency. Wherever you see untidiness, think "This is costing me money" and you might start to think differently.

Where are you?

By |2020-03-19T22:48:23+00:00August 18th, 2012|

Imagine for a moment that you are in charge of the country. Your country needs you to increase its competitiveness… you know the best way to do this is to improve its productivity. Of course, what you might do will depend very much on the country you are in charge of … its current economy,

Less is sometimes more

By |2020-03-19T22:48:23+00:00August 11th, 2012|

Sometimes we want output to go down .. sometimes we even want people doing as little work as possible. Think of maintenance engineers ... we want them efficiently and effectively involved in preventative maintenance. We want them sat down the rest of the time (if there is any 'rest of the time') .. we don't

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