Why Industrial Metal Cutting Companies Should Line Up Day-to-Day Operations with Business Strategy

February 1, 2015 / , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When it comes to industrial metal cutting, there are a host of functional strategies companies can use to get the most out of their equipment and tooling. Day-to-day activities such as constant coolant checks, proper speed and feed rates, and strategic blade choice are well-known best practices among industrial metal-cutting companies looking to prolong blade life and reduce downtime.

However, operations managers need to be sure they don’t stop there. In today’s competitive marketplace, managers need to make higher level business decisions that strategically position their operations to address changing market demands. As this article from Chron explains, the goal is to line up long-term strategic goals with day-to-day operational decisions. Unfortunately, the Chron author says, many companies fail to do both:

“In some instances, companies are very good at articulating or designing a strategic plan but fail to execute a short-term operational plan, which comprises the toolkit required to achieve the strategic plan. Likewise, having short-term plans without a long-term strategy results in a lack of direction or focus as to the corporate vision and values of the company. By combining these two planning components, a company is able to set a general path based on company values, goals and objectives, while having the ability to adapt to changing environments.”

As the article explains, it is critical for today’s managers to coordinate operational short-term plans that are effective in achieving the overall strategy set forth in the business plan. For instance, if the goal is continuous improvement, then make sure your metrics, your daily practices, and communication with your team all point to that overall strategy. Here are two examples of what that looks like:

Of course, these are just two examples. If the goal is to decrease costs, operational strategies such as quarterly preventative maintenance checks can play a huge role in reducing maintenance expenses and costly breakdowns. If the goal is to increase productivity, perhaps regular brainstorming meetings with operators would be useful. Or if the goal is to keep quality high, ongoing training can help reduce instances of rework, according to LIT’s benchmark study.

The point is that instead of simply implanting a series of best practices, managers need to be strategic, especially in the way they run the day-to-day operations. As the Chron article stresses, every operational decision should be made with the larger company goal in mind.