Hudson can help
Proven continuous improvement methodology
Alignment with management
We typically begin our work with a relatively brief walk-through of the business with the management team. We want to know the objectives of management as they relate to the effort, and we need to understand the strategic plan for the business going forward. We also want to understand management’s view of how the business works. This will become a reference point for the investigations we do with the operations-level folks.
Types of projects
Depending on management’s direction, sometimes our continuous improvement work is focused on one or two specific functions. Hudson has hands-on experience with a wide range of operations functions, so, whether it is inventory management, quotes and orders, planning and scheduling, or a host of other key business functions, Hudson can help from a position of expertise and experience.
On projects with a broader scope, Hudson will look across the organization as a whole. Hudson’s experience as senior management in organizations like yours means that we understand the challenges in aligning processes and procedures across the organization. We know that changes in Department A don’t just affect Department B; they actually have the potential to affect diverse functions across different parts of the organization.
Business process review
Regardless of the project’s scope, Hudson typically proceeds to a business process review. Unlike some folks in our line of work, we do not employ a one-size fits all approach to this. The intention of this phase of work is to examine what people are doing at all points in the business process chain under examination. We have developed some very effective methods for doing this.
Value stream map
One of the best ways for us to quickly understand your business is through the development of a value-stream map. We have developed some proprietary methods related to the way we conduct value stream mapping. We believe that the construction of the value-stream template (the vertical and horizontal axes that bound the map) is a critical part of the value stream process, and we devote serious attention to constructing it correctly.
Again, many folks adopt a one-size fits all attitude to this. We do not. We will develop and settle on a particular value-stream template only after appropriate discussions with your key people.
A basic understanding of the business process under investigation, leading to the right template for the value-stream map, is a key part of a successful value-stream mapping effort. Because the Hudson value stream mapping is guided by an experienced operations professional that has run businesses just like yours, all this work comes together quickly to move the project forward.
While value-stream mapping exercises are powerful tools for continuous improvement projects, there are other important methods as well. Depending on the project, we sometimes find it incredibly productive to spend time with folks right at their desks and in front of their computers. We have found that the more intimate setting and the proximity to and availability of daily activities and resources often yield powerful insights into the way things are done.
Hudson’s proprietary activities in this area have to do with the “power questions” we ask during the business process review process. These are questions that have been developed to pierce the usual veil that is hung over the way things are really done in your organization. The goal of the power questions is to produce those “Ah ha!” moments where breakthroughs take place and opportunities for significant improvement are uncovered.
If you have been through a business process review exercise before, you will quickly recognize the difference between a value stream mapping done by a green, recent business school grad versus one run by Hudson’s folks who have experience running businesses like yours. The experience and know-how come through right away, and the overall encounter is a dynamic, dare we say fun, journey into the heart of your business.
Business process improvements
As a result of the review of your business processes, Hudson will make recommendations that are designed to improve your business. These will not be a boiler-plate series of bullet-points. Rather, we will provide you an analysis that is written specifically for your business based on the investigative work we conduct together.
Our recommendations may include changes to business processes, additions or improvements to reports and/or other tools, the development of new tools (these could be tools on the shop floor or office-resident tools), adjustments to communications methods, or any other ideas that will help you meet your strategic goals. Importantly, we will also advise you on the metrics you can use to make sure the business process improvements you put in place stay in place.
Continuous improvement capabilities
CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT METHODS
Lean Six Sigma
DRIVE| ICOR | CEDAC
Lean Business Processes
Value Stream Mapping
Statistical Process Control
Ishikawa | Pareto | Force Field
To find out how we can begin working together on your next continuous improvement project,
please contact our managing partner, John Bohrman, today at: