Martin Reeves, Kevin Whitaker

In the current model of corporate capitalism, each company is treated as an economic island to be optimized individually. While this simplifies management and accountability, it masks the extent of economic and social interdependence between different stakeholders. In contrast, resilience is a property of systems: an individual company’s resilience means little if its supply base, customer base, or the social systems upon which it depends … [ Read more ]

How to Win Against Counterfeiters

Online fakers are coming after everybody—but even the small and scrappy can fight back.

Building an R&D Strategy for Modern Times

The age of the insular R&D organization is over. To serve as a company’s innovation engine, R&D strategy needs to be equipped for today’s fast-moving world.

An End-to-End Perspective on Field Service Optimization

Optimizing service after the sale in the world of physical goods can have a significant impact on reducing field service costs.

Make vs. Buy Revisited

Make or buy? To answer this classic manufacturing question, leading companies avoid the temptation to “feed the beast.” Instead, they focus on their core competencies and keep their long-term strategies in mind.

Making Supplier Relationships Work

Kearney offers nine ways to interact with suppliers, identifying formulas that characterize true supplier relationship management.

5 Steps to Get a Handle on Operations in Times of Crisis

Jaume Ribera breaks down the life cycle of a crisis into five stages and explores the challenges and opportunities each stage presents.

Randy Lim, Jean-Benoît Grégoire Rousseau, and Brooke Weddle

Some organizations worry that fostering innovation might jeopardize safety by introducing change, which many see as a source of risk. Our results, however, highlight the significance of line ownership: in our experience, one of the most effective bulwarks against accidents is the use of “near miss” programs, which encourage employees to identify hazardous situations and propose solutions before safety is jeopardized. Engaging employees in the … [ Read more ]

Technology + Operations: A Flywheel for Performance Improvement

New automation techniques can provide the first step toward continuous, tech-enabled redesign of critical operations—forming an intuitive ops-to-tech cycle in which tech improves ops, and vice versa.

Performance Management: Why Keeping Score Is So Important, and So Hard

The elements of a good performance-management system are simple, but integrating them into a business’s fundamental operating system is more difficult than it seems.

Seven Rules for Spinning Analytics Straw into Golden Results

While IoT-enabled advanced analytics could be worth trillions to manufacturers, turning insights into outcomes requires more than just the right technology.

Ops 4.0: Fueling the Next 20 Percent Productivity Rise with Digital Analytics

Business needs to raise productivity more than ever. Thanks to innovations in digitization and analytics, four new methodologies can yield the productivity breakthroughs organizations need.

Six Steps to Superior Product Prototyping: Lessons from an Apple and Oculus Engineer

Caitlin Kalinowski is a master of the prototyping process, with a deep understanding of where, when and how changes should be slotted in, from the first iteration to the last. It’s made her a highly sought-after engineer in Silicon Valley. In this exclusive interview, Kalinowski discusses how and why you must define your non-negotiables before starting to build prototypes. She dives deep on specific approaches … [ Read more ]

Bill Aulet

Culture eats strategy for breakfast, operational excellence for lunch, and everything else for dinner.

Marc Onetto

Humans are extremely creative and flexible. The challenge of course is that sometimes they are tired or angry, and they make mistakes. From a Six Sigma perspective, all humans are considered to be at about a Three Sigma level, meaning that they perform a task with about 93 percent accuracy and 7 percent defects. Autonomation helps human beings perform tasks in a defect-free and safe … [ Read more ]

Marc de Jong, Nathan Marston, Erik Roth

Some ideas, such as luxury goods and many smartphone apps, are destined for niche markets. Others, like social networks, work at global scale. Explicitly considering the appropriate magnitude and reach of a given idea is important to ensuring that the right resources and risks are involved in pursuing it. The seemingly safer option of scaling up over time can be a death sentence. Resources and … [ Read more ]

Pascal Visée

Functional silos almost assure suboptimal outcomes. Most business processes cross functional boundaries. One example is order to cash: sales receives an order, logistics undertakes fulfillment, and finance handles invoicing and cash. Managing a process through separate silos almost guarantees complexity. It creates internal inconsistencies and punishes the customer with foreseeable mistakes. There are exceptions, of course. One is the supply chain, which in many multinational … [ Read more ]

More from Less: Making Resources More Productive

For industrial manufacturers, resources remain a huge financial and managerial cost. A change in perspective can lead to real breakthroughs in reducing resource consumption.

Weak Links in the Chain

Flexible, adaptive supply chain management is an overlooked but vital component of a company’s overall innovation strategy.