20% More Profit – For Free

April 25, 2013   Blog

The Modern Machine Shop magazine’s 2012 “Top Shop” survey results indicated that the median point of “other” machine shops (approximately the bottom 90% of shops sending in >350 surveys) was at a financial performance level seventy six percent below the TS median point for profit per machine.  Couple this with the information that TS are 150% more likely to apply Theory Of Constraints TOC methodology in their business/operating decisions and that TS are data driven.   Why is this an advantage?

One big reason for the TS competitive advantage could be in the data collection and analysis of true OEE by product at each machine in their product flow-lines.  This provides the actual throughput minutes per machine by product and allows an analysis similar to the “Bob’s Bolt Company” (pgs. 250 -260 of “The Constraints Management Handbook” by Cox and Spencer, St. Lucie Press/APICS series, Boca Raton, FL.) The example provides the necessary financial and operating information and examines a Line of Business with 4 products being produced by a series of 3 work stations. (A matrix of 12 ‘throughput minutes required by work station’ data points.)

It goes through the details of determining the best weekly product mix selection based on Market Demand using 1.) Traditional Cost Accounting using Product Profit, 2.) Traditional Cost Accounting using Contribution per Direct Labor Hour, and 3.) Theory Of Constraints and Exploiting the Systems Constraint(s).  The example results were $1508 profit for both methods 1 and 2, however method 3 resulted in $2265 profit, a 50% increase in profits and a different product mix selection!  Perhaps the data points were biased to favor the theme of the book?

To determine the strength of using the TOC approach, the author of this article took the 12 input data points and randomly applied them to the four product flow-lines 25 times and repeated the analysis of the three approaches for each new configuration.  The results were quite enlightening.

In every case, the TOC approach results either equaled the better of the other 2 approaches or exceeded both approaches (12 out of 25 times).  And the average profit using the TOC approach was twenty percent higher for the 25 investigations.

Perhaps you are not doing shop floor auto-data collection and using TOC as an advantage which means you are probably miss-using your existing assets (people, machines, materials) and unknowingly selecting the wrong weekly product mix?

 – Robert Hansen

Author OEE: A Powerful Production/Maintenance Tool for Increased Profits

R.C. Hansen Consulting, LLC.