Step 3 of 3 – Manage Your Production
(Get the Good Tonnes Out – Step 3 of 3)
Managing a well-functioning metals production is maybe far from the efforts required to bring it there but, nevertheless, it requires systematic and active work to make sure it stays in shape.
This post focuses on the third step out of three in our series Get the Good Tonnes Out; Manage your production. If you feel you are yet not there, maybe you would be better off to first read the posts “Understand Your Production (part 1 of 3)” and “Take Control over Your Production (part 2 of 3)”.
If not, then obviously you have already completed your first cycle of building a production system that supplys good tonnes out the gate on a regular schedule. Having said that I am sure you have stopped the ship from sinking, but is it still leaking? Do you have this feeling that we are yet not there, we could do much better?
Do not worry, just take another turn and do what you did last time; this is an iterative process that never stops and it gets easier for every cycle. Every now and then your ship might hit a rock not visible on the radar and more serious damage needs repair. No sweat, your system still works.
Remember that you are now starting from a much higher level and the principles are set. Only on rare occasions those fundamentals needs revision. These second and beyond iterations will be more of tuning of setting and/or re-definitions whenever necessary.
Your are now finding yourself in more of a managing stage and should shift your focus slightly; please pay attention to the following:
Operations vs Strategy
Distinguish between operations and strategy. Not only by definition, but also in your work schedule. Set aside time at least twice a year, or when big changes are expected ahead, to reflect in-depth over strategic issues and then make sure to involve new input and foreseen future changes, e.g. new investments and market demands. Then make sure that the strategic objectives are reflected in most decisions taken during the coming year.
Continue to build systems instead of falling back into solving problems. Systems built should support the production strategies with an objective to make the production leaner with higher stability. Remember that as production develops, problem and focus areas shift. Thus, support systems and information flows should be designed to capture critical data and make evaluation and follow-up easy regardless of present focus.
Your most valuable asset
Continue to work with your crew – they are your most valuable asset and will make miracles if all pulling your way. Do not go back in hiding behind office desks and a pile of excuses; work with what you got and you will be fine. Then make the strategic calls when times come.
I hope you have enjoyed our series on metals production and found some valuable tips and tricks. Please contact me directly at marten(at)metsol.se if you have any comments or questions.
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Thank you for reading! /mg