Do you have any performance metrics that track how well your processing operation is doing? What do you measure? Production volume? Scrap rate? Machinery uptime? I know a very smart blown-film processor who 20 years ago told me his most important metric was pounds per square foot of manufacturing space. Maybe that metric—unique at the time, I think—has since been copied by other processors.
If you have no such way of measuring just what’s going on in your plant, may I respectfully suggest you get one? The processing market is getting more and more competitive, and if you can do something to make your business more efficient, it could make the difference between landing that big contract or seeing a competitor—domestic or overseas—nab it.
And if you do have such metrics and take them seriously, may I suggest that you participate in Plastics Technology’s second-annual World Class Processors survey. Survey participants will have access to the data we collect and can see how they stack up against the competition. The inaugural survey was conducted last year, and the results were published as our January 2016 cover story. We plan to publish the results of this study early next year.
Survey participation last year was excellent, but the more people who take the 30-45 minutes to contribute to this effort, the more credible the results become.
By now you should have received an email with a link to the online survey. If you have not clicked on that link and filled out the study, I urge you do so. If you cannot track down the email or don’t remember receiving it, you can shoot me an email and I’ll send you the link. Or simply go here. You don’t even have to identify yourself if you don’t want to. (Although if you’re that good, why not? Your individual company data will not be shared with anyone—only the averages. But only those who do identify themselves can be listed among the firms identified by the survey as qualifying for the “World Class” title.)
The survey is comprised of approximately 40 general questions, plus some process-specific queries. The questions are broken into four main categories:
• Profile information: Covers key plant characteristics, including processes employed, materials run, markets served, and machinery footprint. Process-specific questions will assess capabilities in injection molding, extrusion, thermoforming, and blow molding.
• Operational metrics: Questions address performance measures including scrap rate, setup time, machine utilization, on-time delivery, and more.
• Processing/business strategies and performance: Plant certifications, quality programs, marketing, process and production monitoring, and more
• Human resources: Total number of employees, wage rates, benefits, training, and more are examined.
So please take a few moments and let us know how you’re doing … and find out how you measure up against the rest of the pack.