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Make Your Morning Meeting Work Harder

These tips can help your daily status check highlight areas of concern in the supply chain and address problems that affect operational efficiency.

A daily meeting helps ensure nearly real-time problem solving and encourages team members to work together, says Mark Hamel, author of the Kaizen Event Fieldbook and founder of the Gemba Tales blog.

To keep the team engaged, stand around visual displays of critical performance metrics for no more than about 15 minutes each day. Leaders should educate team members about the what, how and why of the metrics so the team can compare daily or weekly trend data against unambiguous targets.

Together, leaders and employees who rigorously practice the improvement cycle--defining problems, identifying root causes, formulating and executing countermeasures, and validating their effectiveness--should be able to keep problems from recurring.

Morning Meetings and the Supply Chain

Depending upon which departments and job functions are represented, the metrics below, from the Supply Chain Council's supply-chain operations reference model, might appear on the agenda:

  • Customer service, including on-time delivery rates; the number of orders, items and length of time on backorder; and the line-item return rate, such as mistakes in orders and product defects.
  • Operations, including cycle time from order to delivery or within a particular process or department; planned and actual production rates and order pick rates; production in process waiting for parts or materials; incoming materials or parts defect rates; and premium freight charges.
  • Purchasing, including days of supply on hand and any expected shortages, and supply interruption threats such as weather-related delays, possible strikes at supplier locations, etc.
  • Sales, operations planning and marketing, including forecast accuracy for unplanned, expedited or emergency jobs, and expected demand changes such as new sales promotions, potential new or lost customers and demand changes in customers' markets.

"When executed effectively, the meetings will drive organizational alignment, engagement, learning and problem-solving," Hamel says.


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