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The Factory Physics Blog

A Wall Street Journal article, For a More Productive Workforce, Scientific Know-How Helps , Lauren Weber, June 28, 2017, describes a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research. "Companies with a higher proportion of scientists and engineers are more productive than their peers, even... Read more
A major aerospace company trains over 400 line and management employees to advance existing programs The case study is of a major aerospace company whose repair and overhaul (R&O) business generates over a hundred million dollars in revenue each year. Executives in the R&O business have... Read more
An article recently recirculated on Linkedin described the secret to forecasting as: " the best way to improve your forecasting is to reduce your forecasting. " The article also provided a picture of some sort of martial arts contest and stated " it’s perhaps the humility of Japanese culture that... Read more
Companies pursue supply chain speed as a competitive advantage but often wreak havoc. Instant communication and voracious data transfer can easily overwhelm today’s managers. Trying to manage with speed is like texting while driving—you know it’s dangerous but there’s a strong urge to respond while... Read more
We first met Norbert Majerus at one of our Factory Physics seminars in Tampa in 2005. He was just beginning his Lean journey at Goodyear. As Norbert relates it, "When I was asked to take a shot at developing a lean product development process at Goodyear, I started going to conferences, read books... Read more
Industry surveys are everywhere. The term "alternative facts" has recently come under scrutiny and provides good insight into much of the value of industry surveys. To quote Mary Norris' recent article in The New Yorker , "They do not have actual existence. Alternative facts are delusions." The... Read more
There is a crisis in the management of mega projects. Companies spend billions of dollars on energy and civil construction projects which are chronically late and over budget . Fortunately, the visionary leaders of the Project Production Institute are applying the principles of operations science... Read more
How often do your meetings end in applause? Ever been in a bad meeting? Far too many people have. There are innumerable articles about time wasted in meetings. So why do people continue to have meetings? There must be something of value that occurs in meetings. Turns out that meetings are a service... Read more
Employee capacity planning directly affects employee morale and performance. Many companies do capacity planning and staffing using a "seat of the pants" approach and their productivity suffers. Unfortunately, the relationship between employee utilization and work variability is not well understood... Read more
“The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.” – William Osler Performance improvement strategies that focus on value-added activities have been popular for at least a couple of decades. Executives, managers and workers alike appreciate the simple idea of eliminating waste... Read more
“Cost Accounting is enemy number one of productivity.” – Eliyahu Goldratt "First I kept the cost accountants out of my plants, but I found this was not the solution…It wasn’t the cost accountants that were the problem, but all these ideas about the efficiency of an operation.” –Taiichi Ono The... Read more
The answer from Jean-Pierre Goulet, “It’s easy, we used Factory Physics science to achieve the goal!” This case study is about a manufacturer of kitchen cabinets (we'll call them "Cabinets Inc."). Their annual sales average US $3M. Their earnings before taxes for their last 3 years were, 1.2% to 1... Read more
A March 10, 2016 article in the Wall Street Journal was headlined, Americans Rank Last in Problem-Solving With Technology . The problem is not a lack of technology. The problem is that Americans don’t consider basic skills such as math and science as necessary to their success. This problem is... Read more
The astronaut in the picture is where he or she is (and successfully back from there) because of thorough application of many branches of science. Science is the process of making an observation or a hypothesis about the behavior of nature and then relentlessly testing that observation to see if it... Read more
Published on Linkedin February 9, 2016 Vince Lombardi once said, "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” Managers often forget the first sentence of that quote and, with guns and slogans blazing, attack the second sentence's objective with gusto. This is... Read more
There are many ways to fail at inventory optimization but we list three primary causes and welcome your ideas and comments. 1) People don't understand basic inventory concepts. This problem is rampant in industry. Even many of the purported "expert" organizations offer advice that is wrong or... Read more
We see a tremendous amount of diverted and diffused effort on inventory optimization at companies. So what is inventory optimization? All executives want optimal inventory—check that, some execs just want less inventory which can be decidedly sub-optimal. Often execs say they want optimal inventory... Read more
Welcome to the Factory Physics blog. We are providing this blog as a forum for questions, comments and discussion. To start with, we provide a link to our most recent white paper on practical inventory optimization considerations for executives. Our latest white paper addresses two very common... Read more