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Sound The New-Order Alarm!!!

With help from Kurt B. Carr Visual Manufacturing can help you tame the new-order fire drill.

Anybody who has ever worked for a company that sells customized products knows the new-order fire drill. The alarm sounds when sales takes the order. Suddenly paper is flying through the air as files are generated, routing slips and sign-off sheets slither across desks and everyone engages in a good old-fashioned panic. Files disappear and magically reappear in the strangest places.

Then the all of the files, routing slips and all the other sheets of paper get swallowed by the Engineering Department and disappear for three or four weeks; only to reappear when it is nearly too late to order material and make parts.

“The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was”
-- Walt West

Yes, I know that this is the way that it has always been done, but that doesn’t mean that it is the way that you always have to do it. Manufacturing customized products is hard enough without all of the problems that most companies create for themselves.

I work with my customers to achieve low-touch flow of orders from sales to manufacturing whenever possible. Obviously, that is not always going to be possible, engineering is going to have to be involved in making customizations to some orders and purchasing is going to have to work the long-lead-time items on some orders. But you will be surprised at how many orders can be taken totally off of their desks in most organizations.

The key is to accept the idea that while everything that you sell is different, some things are more different than others. It is the "more different" things that you want to draw the attention and effort of your key people.

In most companies a large (and increasing) percentage of orders don’t really require that much special attention to be processed. It has been my experience that even in the most custom-thinking organizations I can get general agreement to that statement within a couple of meetings. The trick, of course, is to identify which orders can just be processed and which need special attention.

There is, not surprisingly, no set answer to that question, but there are some good techniques that can be facilitated by Visual Enterprise that will allow your company to find the right answers. Among these techniques are:

  • Product Thinking and Model Development
  • Engineering Effort Reduction
  • Use of standard drawing packages on the shop floor.
  • Elimination of CYA measures like sign-off sheets for order acceptance.
  • Incorporation of simple checklists (The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right From ) for handling high-risk order acceptance scenarios.
  • Streamlined order tracking techniques.
  • Conscientious reduction of order processing lead-time.
  • Elimination of job-based purchasing except for specialized long-lead-time items.

Over the years I have helped my customers tame the fire drill. I am Kurt B. Carr and I have years of experience in teaching companies how to use Visual Enterprise as a tool to operate effectively and achieve success. Call (941.776.3830) or email me today to learn how you can prevent order fires.

I can help...

  Carr Enterprises is not affiliated with Infor Global Solutions.

Quotes on these pages are for illustrative and entertainment purposes only and are used under the fair-use doctorine of U.S. Copyright law. Absolutely no endorsement of Carr Enterprises services should be implied from use of the quote.

This page contains affiliate links to Amazon product pages. If you click on one of those linksand purchase the item from they will pay me a small amount of money (woohoo!). I just thought that you should know. -- Kurt
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Contact Kurt Carr at:   or:    941.776.3830