Top 5 World Class Manufacturing (WCM) Implementation Challenges

Imagine it is 9 AM on Monday morning and you enter your workplace with a large smile on your face, large at least for a Monday morning! It is the first of implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM) Methodology within your company. It is an exciting effort towards reducing waste, improving safety and quality performance which will eventually lead to happier internal and external customers. However, with new and exciting changes there are also potential challenges along the way. The following are the top five issues manufacturing companies face during the implementation of World Class Manufacturing.

1. Lack of Resources

As manufacturing companies move towards more effective management systems, such as World Class Manufacturing (WCM), there is a need for many more resources to support the implementation. Initial WCM implementation can be extremely labor intensive demanding additional work effort and commitment from the employees to support the training, implementation and sustainability of the system. Also, in order for the program to be sustainable, companies have to implement standards and processes. Although, over a period of time as the companies start to realize the benefits of the system the resource requirement is reduced however it is often challenging to support the system implementation up to that stage.

2. Lack of Understanding

Although manufacturing may hold a large plethora of labor force, unfortunately not many people are experts or even aware of the process. Due to the implementation process being so new and holding no prior experience, many people are still foreign to the application of standardized approach. Although some may be aware of the idea of this system, everyone is either aware of the systematic approach or the application process. Without the right guidance and knowledge of the product, the implementation of the methodology to be proven to be very difficult. Lack of proper process and system knowledge can lead to complications through the implementation stages.

3. Leadership Mindset

Due to the system not having the proper experience nor portraying the definite results, it may be hard for leadership to communicate the importance of the process within the company. It is important for the company’s management to be able to convey to their team that the new implementation of World Class Manufacturing (WCM) with not affect them or the company’s success in a negative manner. Since the employees have a management team which they look up to for guidance, it is important that the leadership has a positive outlook on the new implementation and create excitement and motivation for the company to work together with a vision for the betterment of the company.

4. Company State

Aside from enforcing the process and encouraging others to work towards a goal it is important to get out of the firefighting phase. In other words, rather than just making efforts towards the implementation process, it is important to have a culture shift in the company mindset to address root causes rather than problem symptoms. Many times, companies will enforce new strategies without having a game plan for the subsequent issues which may arise. It is ironic how spending resources on addressing the problem symptom can lead to waste and re-occurrence of the same issue in future.. Although, getting the root cause of a problem may take some time there are significant long term benefits and a much better return on investment (ROI).

5. Legacy Systems

Lastly, the biggest issue that occurs is adapting to the change. Enforcing change can be tough and it often receives resistance from various company stakeholders. Implementation of World Class Manufacturing (WCM) is a huge change for a company and without the willingness to adapt and embrace the new changes it can be a very difficult transition. Since the implementation of these methodologies involve many factors and people, it can be hard to have buy in from everyone. Also, because there is not enough experienced results of the implementation, the process is slow, but proven to be effective and these things makes others more hesitant to lean towards these methodologies. Remember, change takes time, but can bring positive results if given the chance!

Conclusion

Manufacturing is on the rise and is progressing everyday, one step at a time. New companies and new aspects of manufacturing calls for a new methodologies. World Class Manufacturing (WCM) methodology is on the rise and is being adopted by various global manufacturing organizations. These issues may seem scary or overwhelming at first causing challenges and constraints, however the results of WCM are positive and helps achieve the company greater success in the long term. Always remember initially it might take you a step back, soon it will take you four steps forward!

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