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Leading continuous improvement in torque, tension and machining inventory management

Continuous improvement is easier said than done, but all forward-thinking businesses have a strategy in place to improve efficiencies in processes, products and services. Sometimes a positive change will happen all at once, but more often incremental improvement is a more realistic target.  

At the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games every competitor and country aimed for incremental improvements on performance, points and medal tally.

During four years of training, the athletes worked with their coaches to ensure world-class checks on diet, physique, workouts, competition strategies and equipment. The aim was to make them leaner, faster and stronger to secure a place in the team and ultimately a place on the winners’ podium.

Two top performing nations highlighted the difference process improvements and enhanced technology can make. Despite each team having fewer competitors, the Netherlands and Norway both won more medals in 2018 than in 2014.

The use of some marginal improvements were even said to give too great a competitive advantage, including Team GB’s skeleton suits.

At Hydratight, we can look to sectors, including sport, automotive and other industry companies as we strive to continuously improve. Businesses across industries must create mutual value for customers and their own company to maintain competitiveness. This can only be done through awareness of best practice and finding margins, much like Olympians.

One area where companies can demonstrate year-on-year positive change is during the annual inventory audit. Whatever your business or expertise, the ideal outcome would be for physical stock checks and the data stored on technology based systems to align 100%. In reality, there can be inaccuracies, but it is about managing what you measure and reducing inefficiencies incrementally.

For those responsible for inventory management the aim is to not only make certain that the physical records match up as best as possible with the computerized system, but also to share with the wider business the importance of accuracy in stock levels and communicate the benefits through useful data education strategies. Successful process checks on correct part numbers can be directly linked to faster turn-around requests for products or tooling. 

Hydratight recently completed stock checks in 11 locations across the USA, using a mixture of people-led and technology-led techniques. Our realistic aim is to see positive differences in processes every time.

The entire process is part of Hydratight’s Lean Enterprise Across Disciplines (LEAD) system to help continuous improvement, deliver greater accuracy and improve value for customers globally.

Just like new exercise regimes, nutrition plans and technically advanced sports equipment used by the world’s best Olympians, we will continue to trial new solutions for inventory management to achieve greater accuracy and achieve gold status.