3 reasons why you need a [your firm-name here] Production System

Do you need a company-specific Production System (XPS) to boost your operational improvement? Yes you do. Here are three reasons why:

#1 XPS is a never-ending strategic programme, not a project

In difference from your earlier attempts with all kinds of temporary and probably non-sustained improvement projects such as kaizen, lean, six sigma, business-process-reengineering, quality circles, and world-class-manufacturing to mention a few, a company-specific Production System is by default designed to last. By naming the improvement initiative with the firm’s name, top-management signals that it is a strategic program that will not be put to rest. XPS is not something “new”; it builds on all the already available concepts out there. But it is a new and different way of approaching the essential need for long-term persistence of “lean & co”.

#2 XPS is more tailored to the specific needs of the firm than other off-the-shelf improvement philosophies

The X in XPS means that the key principles in your XPS are indeed your principles. They are chosen because your firm believes they are more suitable for your firm. They can be your firm’s age-old operating principles or very well be mutations of principles from any other improvement philosophy out there. Given that you design it properly you get the best of the best for you. Toyota Production System is the perfect example; it is good for many but tailored only to Toyota. Learn from it, but don’t copy it.

#3 XPS increases your firm’s competitiveness by providing a common improvement language

XPS brings along a common and unified improvement language across all sites in a large firm. Multinational corporations can take advantage of an easier knowledge transfer between plants all over the world. A common language and the use of similar terms counter fights confusion and misunderstandings. As business gets globalized and competition increases, you need a XPS to keep up with or hopefully beat your competitors. It does not give an instant competitive advantage, but not having one gives you an instant disadvantage. Look around you; I’m positive that some of your competitors have started walking down the XPS road already… But don’t panic; it’s all in the X.

Good luck with your XPS efforts.

These 3 reasons for an XPS first appeared in an industry journal: Netland and Andersen (2011) Bedriftsspesifikke produksjonssystemer – XPS: Kontinuerlig forbedring satt i system. Logistikk & Ledelse. Oslo, Norway, Hjemmet Mortensen Fagmedia AS: 26-30. [in Norwegian]