While some industries are experiencing an economic boom, others are confronted with a standstill. Staufen consultants Christian Schurr and Thomas Müller advise to use the crisis and to now prepare for the post-crisis phase. In the following interview they summarize which measures executives and specialists could take, in order to switch from “lock-down” to “ramp-up” mode after the crisis.
What do production experts and leaders have to expect after the crisis? What challenges does this industry have to face and what chances arise?
Now is the time to decide if the company is experiencing an economic boom or a standstill. Companies that are currently experiencing a standstill will need to focus on their operational businesses after the first measures, such as the implementation of shorter working hours and measures for safeguarding liquidity, have been taken. The focus lays on stabilizing processes and the supply chain. Backlogs occur in the production due to the production stops caused by the crisis. It will be a challenge for many companies to deliver goods on time to their customers by taking into account the current backlogs. That is why it will be the goal to eliminate these backlogs as fast and flexible as possible.
However, we must not lose sight of the up-coming opportunities. Now is the time to, for example, take back critical and important supply chains into one’s own production in a cost-neutral manner. This allows companies to act more independently from suppliers and supply chains.
Why is it important, especially now during the corona crisis, to master the topic of lean and efficient manufacturing?
In order to resolve the current backlog in a flexible and fast manner, short lead times, as well as capacity increases for machines and systems, are needed. Despite this backlog, improving their own processes, increasing process stability, and reducing interfaces will make it permanently easier for companies to deliver goods to their customers on time. The market is going to be defined by shorter lead times, higher quality, and cheaper prices.
Which companies and experts would most profit from further development of their knowledgebase in the area of “lean manufacturing”?
Manufacturing experts and executives, who are ready to or would like to dedicate themselves to the topic of lean production.
What advice would you give sector and management experts from manufacturing?
We advise you to use this crisis as an opportunity. To further develop oneself and especially the organization, and to start thinking about where there is a need for action in one’s own processes. In the manufacturing industry there are clear opportunities to emerge stronger from this crisis
Christian Schurr | Project Manager
Christian Schurr has been working for the Staufen AG as a Project Manager in the lean manufacturing industry since 2017. He applies his expertise in lean standards and methods in numerous process-oriented projects in the fields of factory structure and factory design as well as work system design. He also uses his long-term management experience for the advanced training to lead teams with Shop Floor Management.
Thomas Müller | Consultant
Thomas Müller is a Consultant in the operational excellence industry for the Staufen AG. He mainly works on value stream optimization projects in the manufacturing and assembly industries. These include the reduction of plant downtime through structured introduction of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), technology optimization in the metal and plastics industry (reduction of cycle time), and the execution of value stream analysis and design among others.