Monday, October 4, 2010

Every post I am writing here is always based on the recent experience and happenings, which literally affects me. I worked in the mold making industry for about five years .The Mold making industry is big, wide & diversified. In my understanding the business and operation factors in MMI, varies from company to company, Region to region, country to country, market to market and Time to time. I cannot simply comment on its systems and its business ethics in depth. But I felt one delicate & generic area that has to be restructured in its operation methods is the “Micro Management”.

Certainly a question should arise here why & why now?

Manufacturing becomes very challenging in today’s global economy, and the competition to the business can come from any part in the world.After the Recession in 2008, the mold fabricators developed new strategies like outsourcing work packages, renting resources, reducing raw material usages, captive tool rooms, strategic partnerships etc. Thus the contribution of every element in the industry decides the success in the real world of business.
I am not good in management, even I can say, I am very poor in it, but I am a common engineer who look, compare & execute all the industrial activities in the way of engineering. In that way I am trying to share my ideas, experience, beliefs, and knowledge to restructure the micromanagement of MMI. “Micro management”; here it means the direct management of peoples or Work, either in a particular department or in a particular operational level. For small and midsized (SME’s) Mold manufacturer’s we can directly take top management into account. I tried to break into different topics rather than discussing with paragraphs.

Resource utilization & management
It’s very well known that the mold fabrication needs expert skilled and experienced resources. In my view, Rather than hiring expert recourses for big prices, potential resources can be hired and utilized in all the industrial activities. By approaching correct merit rating, a resource can be easily identified and used in the cross functional activities too. For regular activities the workforce can be hired in contract basics for time being. Most of all the reinforcement of outsourcing and renting could be a better strategy in present situation.

Effective Communication and Data management

In mold fabrication business, Technology is not at all a challenge. The challenge really lies in proving the tool, in accordance to the specifications, in the right time by following the work flow with proper communication systems. Till date the technologies like CIM, LEAN, Network System Management, Concurrent engineering are not, seems to be significant for MMI or it’s quite tough to use it in the exigencies of this business. But some good techniques (customized for this business) are available in the market for affordable prices and by introducing these administrative approaches the utilization of resources will get increase in better level.

A matrix reporting system may help the fabricators who have extended supports in offshore, to improve the quality in deliverables and to improve human relationship in various levels

Systems & Quality of work
In Process approach, ISO says “the quality of the product will be good if the process is good.” How system can be defined for MMI’s? A system should be defined in such a way to interact with the company’s constituent elements of operations for the higher degree of success in the long run. I believe that, business will not be so good if the system is copied from other company. Because the constituent elements are purely depends on the business principles of that particular company. The business process re-engineering techniques can be introduced, and the system for that particular company can be concretely identified to reduce abortions.

Quality: Above all the business and economic factors. QUALITY is the Key element to survive in the world of business. The perception of quality differs with business to business in MMI. In general, the management must have a distinctive approach on its business principles, to maintain the quality in all the engineering departments.

Real time process monitoring and control systems
The recent developments in the production technologies brought the plastic parts into miniaturization, precise, complex functional and more aesthetic to meet various industrial requirements. Some of the MMI in developed countries are trying to place themselves in the geographies of developing nations to meet the global competition in both high level and low level divisions. Manufacturers are dying hard to make everything possible by reducing their production cycle .This begs the situation to control the entire system by synchronizing the data with the help of IT and network techniques .And I believe this will become very much mandatory to this business in future.

Team collaboration & participation
How many mold makers know about the difficulties in Mold designing and how many designers know what will be the physical work for a simple re-issue? Hardly 20%! I believe it will be even less.People are thinking the balanced work flow is not seems to be possible in the practical business. No it’s not like that, it’s very much practical.(especially for midsized MMI).To co-ordinate peoples from start to end ensure the consistent work flow in the interfaces. It’s not just courtesy to make peoples to participate in the project life-cycle it’s a technique of cost reduction when we look closer .

Safety working environment
Health and safety should be one of the primary goals of a company. MMI will not experience with major safety and health hazardous issues when we see it in generic. Most common happenings are in handling materials, Machinery related, Exposure to noise, improper ventilation, slipping, eye injuries, struck with drills ,ergonomics etc. These also can be avoided by introduction of safety systems and training. And this not only benefits the employees, but also the company in bottom line

Respecting People
Mutual Respect & Understandings ", it may sound funny for those who are following the X theory. I believe most of the SME’s of MMI are following the X theory. Even in Big MMI also, the X theory is followed in some other form if we see in a micro manner. 

The manners of approaching people have been changed and the evidence is all around us. Respecting people with determination become a responsibility for Leaders now-a-days. After all I believe this business is highly supported by human relationships and understandings with shared determination of responsibility.

References: Mold making,, IDE-JETRO, Industrial Production Engineering by R.s Khrumi,

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