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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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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Stage 1 – IDENTIFY

April 19, 2016 by ESPI

Stage 1 – IDENTIFY

With any process analysis, the first step is to observe. All elements of the changeover need to be observed and recorded. This allows a baseline to be established so that the level of improvement can be determined and also provides the raw information that will be utilized -during the process.


The best technique to use at this stage is video recording. Staff usually has no problems with being videotaped while they perform a set-up provided the importance and process of set-up time reduction has been properly explained. The video will allow the set-up to be replayed as many times as is necessary to analyze and improve the process.


Stage 1 Tools

  • Video Recording Device
  • Stopwatch
  • Set Up Reduction Worksheet
  • Area Layout Map

The Setup Reduction Worksheet is used to document the events performed during the setup. The worksheet provides a time stamp for each event during the setup and is used to identify internal and external events.




The Area Layout Map allows you to make a spaghetti diagram creating a visual map of the actual flow.  This is to be used in conjunction with the Setup Reduction Worksheet.



  • Record the processes on the Setup Reduction Worksheet and ask questions if not clear on the activity.
  • Start at the beginning of the first process. Use directional arrows for the routes that are traced on the Area Layout Map. Record all steps and elapsed times on the Setup Reduction Worksheet.
  • Do not leave out any flow movement even if the paper becomes cluttered and difficult to follow. This will most likely indicate areas of opportunity.
  • Record the amount of time within each activity.
  • Show the areas where materials and tools are stopped, staged, held, inspected and picked up. Look for point-of-use opportunities for materials, tools, and paperwork.
  • Record the names of those involved, dates, times, and other relevant information.
  • Calculate the distance, times, shift, starts, stops, to provide baseline performance.
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Happy Thanksgiving

April 19, 2016 by ESPI


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