October 13 2017

Improving Management Practices for Capital Region Manufacturers

CEG and Fuzehub to launch webinar on “Making Management Work”

New York’s manufacturing sector is lagging behind a majority of states when it comes to utilizing management systems, which take lean business practices to the next level by ensuring maximum value and creation and thorough alignment with organizational strategic objectives.

With a recent study showing New York State manufacturers rank 48th for management and organizational practices, the Center for Economic Growth’s Business Growth Solutions (BGS) unit and Fuzehub are teaming up to develop the region’s first management systems webinar for manufacturers.

Management and Organizational Practices Survey

The U.S. Census Bureau’s Management and Organizational Practices Survey (MOPS) found that plants in the South and Midwest have adopted more structured practices than those in the Northeast and West. The study was conducted by researchers at Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the London School of Economics, who scored manufacturers’ management based on their responses to 16 questions included in the Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Manufacturers. Scores ranged from zero for the least structured management practices to one for the most structured.

Out of the 50 states, Mississippi had the nation’s highest structured management score (0.596) and New Jersey had the lowest (0.480). New York’s score was 0.510. The adoption of structured management practices was most prevalent among the paper and chemical manufacturing industries, which have a strong presence in the Capital Region.

Another factor influencing the adoption of structured management systems was employment size, with larger manufacturing establishments having the most structured management systems. For example, establishments employing more than 2,500 workers ranked first (0.764) and those employing five to nine workers ranking last (0.410). In 2015, 89.2 percent of New York’s 15,963 manufacturing establishments had fewer than 50 employees. In contrast, 77.3 percent of Mississippi’s 2,117 manufacturing establishments had fewer than 50 employees, according to a CEG analysis of U.S. Census Bureau County Business Patterns data.

Lean Management Systems Workshop

CEG is a regional technology center under the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, which is facilitated by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and New York Empire State Development Division of Science, Technology and innovation. In this capacity, BGS has provided dozens of Capital Region manufacturers training in Lean Enterprise and Six Sigma methodologies. The webinar will be hosted by Fuzehub, a statewide MEP center, and developed by BGS Technology Services Project Director Tom Bell in collaboration with Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Keyte Group and the Dallas-based Strategy Science.

The webinar will take manufacturers’ understanding of lean practices to the next level. Lean business practices utilize tools and techniques (5S, kaizen, value stream mapping) to establish an organized, clean, and continuously improving workplace where targets are efficiently met. In contrast, lean management systems marry these performance concerns with strategic priorities over growth, profit, production speed, quality and customer value. In other words, lean business practices focus on doing work for the customer, such as making a product, while lean management systems expands that focus to all internally supporting activities.

Manufacturers’ responses to the MOPS questionnaire highlight key problems that will be addressed in the webinar. For example:

29 percent of manufacturers reported fixing production problems but lacking a continuous improvement process to anticipate such problems in advance.

46 percent of manufacturers reported not using display boards that remind shop floor workers of production processes and goals.

81 percent of manufacturers have managers who review key performance indicators less than weekly.

33 percent of manufacturers reported needing more than normal or extraordinary effort to achieve targets.

The “Making Management Work” webinar will be open to the public on January 23 at 1:00pm. This workshop will cover the general principles and strategies behind lean management systems. There will also be a two-day private session held at a sponsoring company’s facility. Register here for the event.


Companies interested in the “Making Management Work” webinar should contact BGS Project Director for Technology Services Tom Bell at tomb@ceg.org or 518-465-8975 X242; or Fuzehub Marketing Director Elizabeth Glassanos Rivera at 518-620-7728 or bethglassanos@fuzehub.com.


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