Industrial Management - January/February 2010

Contributors in this issue IM magazine - January/February 2010

By Eileen Berman
In the aftermath of a down economy, people are crying out for leadership to help face the problems in every sphere of our lives. By taking time to vocalize and reflect on how to improve themselves, managers can become true leaders and inspire confidence for their employees.

Modeling Systems by Nature
By David Schwager and Brian Kleiner
Modeling techniques that take their inspiration from nature may seem esoteric, but they have value for managers facing certain types of problems. Managers who need to optimize forecasting, scheduling and routing should investigate the use of these techniques to produce near-optimum results with better speed and accuracy than using intuition and linear models.

Synchronized Execution for Speedy Projects
By Sanjeev Gupta
Projects are essential to economic growth and development, but, too often, poor execution derails good project management. In the case of large infrastructure projects, poor execution delays the realization of returns and increases project costs. By improving project execution, manufacturers that work on multiple projects simultaneously can expand capacity and work on additional projects with the same resources. Speedy execution can be a competitive advantage in today’s era of killer competition.

Process Mining for Organizational Agility
By Mathias Kirchmer, Francisco Gutiérrez and Sigifredo Laengle
Industrial engineers have the tools to discover the model behind a process based on information technology, and they can explain the determinants of that process’ performance level. These methods are known as process mining. Learn how a Chilean company named Spevi applied process mining to implement a continuous improvement cycle that increased its organizational flexibility and strengthened its sustainability in a highly competitive and continuously changing business environment.

A Quick Response to Office Management
By Rajan Suri
Manufacturing organizations usually try to figure out ways to improve efficiency by making changes on the shop floor. However, office operations in manufacturing companies provide significant opportunities to improve productivity and reduce costs. This article describes these improvement opportunities and explains how to form quick-response office cells that can allow companies to slash lead-time, cut costs and gain competitive advantage.