Question #5: What is the future-state of your business?

May 9, 2016 by ESPI

The last step before the software review and selection is to define how your business will run in the future. Having a cross-functional team comprised of Decision Makers, Business Process Owners (BPO), Subject Matter Experts (SME) and your external consultant will facilitate this forward-looking discussion.


During this process you will have an opportunity to identify which of the “As-Is” processes are truly adding value and which are not. You should eliminate the non-value items from the future-state plans. Again, this is an important place to understand and integrate what your customers are asking for. Integrating the “voice-of-the-customer” in your business processes now can give you a competitive advantage moving forward.
Once you have a proposed future-state document, have everyone, including the company’s leadership, approve the future-state document to confirm all stakeholders are 100% committed to implementing a better system.
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Vendor Selection

May 9, 2016 by ESPI

After answering questions #1-5, you are now ready to identify & select the right system. Here are the next series of steps:


  • Develop a detailed RFP outlining your business, your processes and your plans.
  • Begin with selecting 5 to 6 vendors and provide each with the same RFP.
  • Select vendors that have strong financial standing and are investing an adequate amount of money into research and development to continue upgrading their products.
  • Based on their responses to the RFP, select 2 or 3 for on-site demonstrations. The on-site demonstration should not be just a sales pitch. It should be a customized demonstration of a ‘day-in-the-life’ of your business using their system. Because of the “As-Is” analysis and future-state exercises, you have provided the information they need to create the demo.
  • During the demonstration you should use common quantitative evaluation criteria to score and rank the capabilities of one vendor against the other.


After the demonstrations, follow up with the vendors and clarify your questions and any doubts about their ability to meet your needs. Once you are satisfied they can meet your needs, ask for references and site visits to check-out installations that are similar to your situation.
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Set Up Reduction

April 19, 2016 by ESPI

In this series we will discuss Set Up Reduction in a Four (4) Stage Method.  Starting with the underlying concept and moving to Stage 1 – Identify, Stage 2 – Reduce and Convert, Stage 3 – Streamline, Stage 4 – Optimize.



Set up Reduction is defined as: Quick Changeover Time.  That is the time between the last good piece of one production run and the first good piece of the production run after the changeover.

Set up Reduction is a Lean Manufacturing tool that supports manufacturing products after a customer order is received.  It eliminates or reduces non-value added activities in all types of process setups to quickly change from one product to another. This will lead to reduction in batch sizes and shorten lead times eliminating the expense of excess inventory.


  • More frequent changes
  • Smaller batches
  • Lower inventory
  • Better quality
  • Less waste
  • More Flexibility
  • Improved teamwork
  • Less STRESS!!!



The goal of Set Up Reduction is for reducing waste in a manufacturing process. The idea is to analyze and provide a more rapid and efficient way of changing a manufacturing process from running the current product to running the next product. This rapid changeover is key to reducing production lot sizes and thereby improving flow.  This is largely achieved by first classifying each setup step as either Internal or External (Internal steps are those done while the process is inactive and External steps are done while the process is operating).  Next is to convert the Internal steps to External steps. If we want to reduce the time the process is non-operational, we need to reduce the time associated with the process being inactive. The quickest way to achieve this is to do as many of these steps as we can while the process is operational.



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What you need to ask before you buy.

April 19, 2016 by ESPI

At the time of final negotiations, run down this list before completing the transaction:


  • Confirm pricing to be certain all software costs, licenses, installation, training and any other miscellaneous fees are included.
  • Ask for a concrete schedule for installation and implementation – don’t compromise on the delivery!
  • Request details about who the vendor will be assigning to your project. Insist on qualified and experienced software consultants who have the capacity to see your project through to completion.
  • Confirm that the vendor will work hand-in hand with external consultants. Having 3rd party oversight can expedite implementation and ensure a smooth transition.

Organizations need to understand that a new system is not a silver bullet, but it is a critical piece of infrastructure supporting your business. With careful planning and due diligence, you will find a system that fits your business objectives, allows for flexibility and meet your strategic goals to fuel your growth.

Join us next week as we start a NEW series
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