Manufacturing critical-path time (MCT) may be a measure of “true” manufacturing lead-time. it’s defined as:
Not treated as a “hot” job by being given priority to the detriment of other work already within the schedule.
Not fulfilled through the utilization of pre-built, pre-positioned WIP or finished product inventory.
It is sensible to think that the longer it takes to deliver an order, the more the potential for waste reduction. It is also appropriate that a replacement metric for lean involves “time” since this has always been at the basis of the Toyota Production System, which is from where lean was derived. The question that arises in people’s minds, “Is there a requirement to propose a replacement metric for lead-time?”
Lead-time discussions could appear to be a discussion on the 10th floor of the Tower of Babel. Individual perspectives cause different takes on what lead-time implies. as an example, when marketing personnel is asked by customers to quote lead-times, what’s the idea of their quote? is that the lead-time number they supply in any way associated with the “physics of the factory” or is it more associated with what the marketing rep thinks it must be to get the order? On the opposite hand, a quote that included an MCT value is quite definitive and is predicated on actual capability.
The very core reason for the addition of a lead-time metric to lean could be best explained by asking the question, “How the status of a company’s lean-ness could be quantified?” the answer to that question is currently not a straightforward one, which leads manufacturers to the question of “when and how will we get there?”.
Manufacturing critical-path time answers this question to the next generation lean metric. The shorter your MCT, the leaner you’re. “Build-to-demand” could also be a term often characterized as describing order fulfillment “nirvana”, i.e., having the power to satisfy an order without pre-built inventory or other kinds of waste. If a job’s MCT is shorter, the closer a manufacturer is to being build-to-demand capable.
Next generation lean metrics should open the door to new, simpler strategies for lean implementation. Manufacturing critical-path time does just that. MCT reduction potential may be a good way to prioritize available lean activities. The activities to be done first are the activities that provide a chance for the reduction of your “true” lead-time.
1) Isolated events seem to be Lean activities of today. As such, it are often difficult to consolidate the impacts of individual lean activities to A level that gets them recognition at the chief level. Reduction of MCT as an overriding lean strategy prioritizes manufacturing improvement activities that will most impact order fulfillment capability. I guarantee that if you’ll tell the executives of your company that your work has maintained or increased company “customer fill rates” at the same time to grab the customer’s attention try reducing necessary levels of pre-built, pre-positioned finished goods inventory, you’ll have their
2) Lead-times can represent a competitive advantage. If you’re ready to guarantee better support of customer unanticipated demand/unforecast orders than your competitors, you’ll increase your success at getting and retaining customers. Having a lean metric that’s a measure of this competitive capability will only raise the extent of appreciation of lean throughout both your internal organization and your potential customer base.
In closing, a justification has been laid out of the necessity for MCT (“true” lead-time) as a replacement lean metric and stated that this metric will deliver increased lean—what I call “next generation lean”—impact. this is often a reasonably bold thing to try to to . within subsequent blog I’ll review documented results of firms applying MCT reduction to internal operations also as original equipment manufacturers who have applied it within the management of their supply chain which give strong support for this assertion.