Process Improvement Blog

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Looking for ways for your organization to increase productivity and trim budgets? You’ve come to the right place.

DocuPhase’s “Business Process Automation” blog will provide valuable insight into how your company can benefit from implementing document management and workflow automation into existing processes.

How to Keep Audit Fees at a Minimum and Increase Record Compliance

November 11, 2015

There's a big scary word in the accounting world, that usually results in allocating resources and lost time - audit.

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iDatix is now DocuPhase - A New Generation of Document Management and Process Automation Software

October 13, 2015

CLEARWATER, Fla., Oct. 12, 2015 -- After reviewing months of market feedback and working though the design iterations, iDatix has released the most recent version of their signature document management and workflow automation software.

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Reducing Paper Statements Can Save Banks a Bundle Annually

April 16, 2015

Of all the benefits that digital technology can offer, an uncluttered lifestyle is topping the list. Instead of amassing record collections or stacks of CDs, we download hundred-song playlists to a pocket-sized digital device. Roomfuls of patient records, student data - entire libraries in fact, can now be accessed quickly and securely, in just a few clicks. Not only is digital information...

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Secrets to Bringing In Larger Clients to Your Financial Institution

February 11, 2015

Whether in the world of hedge funds and large returns, or traditional banking options, the most important part of any financial institution is the return.

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Productivity Problem Solved

April 27, 2014

The Toronto Globe and Mail covered the BCG report on global manufacturing competitiveness, bemoaning the fact that Canadian manufacturing is lagging, especially behind its North American neighbors. The big issue, they point out, is productivity. Canadian productivity measures are just as screwed up as American measurements with the economists not knowing the difference between productivity and...

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The Chinese Jig Is Up

April 25, 2014

There is an interesting – but not too surprising to me or just about anyone else who understands manufacturing in reality, rather than as something that can be completely described in a standard cost calculation – study from the Boston Consulting Group about the shifting and current costs of global manufacturing. Among its conclusions:

The gap between China and the U.S. in overall manufacturing...

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Nike: People are people no matter where they work

April 23, 2014

An interview with Nike founder and chairman Phil Knight relates the story of his son’s tragic scuba diving death and Knight’s reaction. “Knight and his wife, Penny, were devastated. In a note to his staff, Knight told them that instead of sending him condolences, they should make a point of spending more time with their own families.” Obviously the reaction of a caring, compassionate man, and a...

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Value in Plain Vanilla

April 08, 2014

I firmly believe that just about everything is better when chipotle is involved, but apparently that puts me in a distinct minority. That conclusion is based largely on the fact that the most popular flavor of ice creamvanilla. It seemsat least to their palate.

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You Can't Improve If You Think You Are Perfect

April 08, 2014

Let’s suppose I am a bit of an amateur mechanic and I like to take care of my own car repairs to the extent that I can. Now let’s suppose the water pump on my Buick goes out on a sunny Spring Saturday morning. (Yes, I own a GM product. As much as I admire the manufacturing and business models at Toyota, Honda and especially Subaru, and as much GM bashing as I do in the blog, I unapologetically...

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180° Wrong Assumptions

April 03, 2014

It’s hard to understand how people can quite often look at a situation and come to a conclusion that is not just wrong but 180° wrong – the utter and complete opposite conclusion that straight logic would dictate. Yet is happens, and it happens so often that the inane, wrong conclusion very often becomes accepted as correct and assumed by others to be correct without question.

Case in point: “...

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The high cost of cheap labor

April 02, 2014

In an amazing, but not really very surprising, article in the Economist we learn that the big companies are boosting headquarters staff – “Some 44% of the firms had increased the headcount at HQ, whereas only 28% trimmed.”

Why? “Globalisation meant that the mother ship had more far-flung operations to oversee; new digital technology made it easier, in theory, to centralise control and oversight;...

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Working outside in rather than inside out

March 31, 2014

Perhaps one of the most inane – but very typical – aspects of the business process in manufacturers is the construction of the supply chain from the inside out. Three times in the last week – count ‘em – three for three – I visited a manufacturing company with (1) problems delivering in the time frame customers want; (2) lots of inventory but rarely the right inventory; and (3) a supply chain...

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You can't compete with a DIRTTbag

March 26, 2014

I came across a company called DIRTT some time back and keep coming back to them for the simple reason that they seem to be the ultimate example of just what a lean company can be. There are lots of reasons to be impressed with them from their culture (DIRTT stands for Do It Right This Time and they call themselves and their employees Dirttbags - no job titles), flat organizational structure,...

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The money people have a hard time focusing

March 24, 2014

Deutsch Welle reports that Siemens outbid Caterpillar and GE and won the contract to build 32 locomotives for the first European-style high speed rail trains in the United States. The bidding wasn’t particularly close – Siemens came in at $226 million, while the Americans came in at $260 million.

This isn’t the only bad news for Cat and GE lately.

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One more post about value

March 12, 2014

So many manufacturing folks honestly believe their own silly rationalizations about being very, very different, rendering lessons to be learned from other manufacturers irrelevant to their situation, that any hope of learning from retailers like Safeway is a long shot, at best … but let’s give it a shot anyway.

BusinessWeek explains “Why Safeway Needs a Future With Fewer Groceries.” Grocery chain...

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A Wasted Gathering of Foxes

March 09, 2014

Nothing wrong with people getting together and kicking around ideas. The trouble seems to come when such an idea swapping session hasn’t really explored the old ideas – especially the big ideas that have proven to be good ones. An old Greek poet Archilochus is noted for having said, "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” Lean was a good idea – a very, very good idea,...

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Who Needs Kollidge Anyway?

March 04, 2014

The results of an interesting poll from the folks at Gallup came out a few days ago. Seems that, while 80% of the folks out there think where someone went to school is important, only 46% of the leaders who actually hire college graduates think it is. In fact, only 9% of them rated it “Highly important”. Similar results when it comes to your college major: 47% of the population at arge think it...

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Follow the Flour

March 02, 2014

I love it when a story proves my point – not all my points, mind you. It disproves all of the badmouthing I have done to investment bankers and venture capitalists whose usual mode of operations is to suck the hard earned value someone has created out of the business and leave the stakeholders high and dry. Not these guys, however. “’We don’t want to turn around stuff and fire a bunch of people....

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3D Can't Turn Sow's Ear Into a Purse

February 28, 2014

I get a lot of questions from manufacturing leaders about 3D printing: Is it really a long term threat to their business? Should they be investing time, money and resources in it to get out near the head of the curve? Will it redefine manufacturing in general and their industry in particular? My answer: Have your R&D people keep an eye on it and perhaps it will some day be a cost effective...

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Kaizen won't get you there

February 23, 2014

Now don’t get me wrong. I am all in when it comes to continuous improvement – kaizen – the fact is it isn’t enough and most companies cannot possibly kaizen their way to excellence. Usually a few major things just need to be completely blown up and replaced, and there is nothing incremental, small or continuous about it.

Sometimes kaizen just won’t get the job done and kaikaku – radical,...

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Winning requires flawless execution on the front lines

February 19, 2014

There is a lot Canada has to offer but of all of their assets I am inclined to believe Tim Horton’s is at the top of the list – my list anyway. For those too far from the border to know about Tim’s it is a first class coffee and donut joint. As they expand into the USA, and US companies move into their home turf the competition is fierce and Tim’s has held up but taken their share of the lumps....

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The curious events in Chattanooga

February 15, 2014

Folks who work in factories, as a rule, are not stupid. Just about every one of them I have met – and I have met thousands of them – understand that profits are a good thing and continuing, growing profits are not only good for the owners, but a necessity to keep things going. They also understand that management people want to make good money (just like they do) and they are aware of the fact...

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Avoiding Scattershot Management

February 10, 2014

In Toyota Kata Mike Rother wrote, “When we hunt for wastes or opportunities to improve and make a list of action items, we are focusing on the question, ‘What can we do to improve?’ That question is actually too easy, and it automatically leads us to lists and a scattershot approach. The more focused question is, ‘What do we need to do to improve this process?’ Admittedly, this is a more...

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Plan - Sit - Check - Act Won't Cut It

January 31, 2014

In his book “Ackoff’s F/laws The Cake” Russell Ackoff writes, “Organizations fail more often because of what they have not done than because of what they have done.” The reason: “Since errors of commission are the only type of mistake accounted for, a security-seeking manager’s optimal strategy is to avoid such errors by doing as little as possible, including nothing. The most successful...

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What's the problem?

January 30, 2014

A wrong solution to the right problem is generally better than the right solution to the wrong problem. [One] usually gets feedback that enables one to correct wrong solutions, but not wrong problems. Wrong problems are perpetuated by right solutions to them.”

-Russell Ackoff

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