Hitchhiking and 2020

This post was supposed to be about why the SMLC initiatives might deliver a step change in manufacturing productivity when past efforts have fallen short but that will have to wait until the next post.   This post will instead deal with my conversation yesterday with Manufacturing 2020’s predecessor blog Hitchhiking Through Manufacturing author, Charlie Gifford.  Charlie and I have known each other for about twenty years.  For those that haven’t met or worked with Charlie he is one of the leading experts on MES and factory OEE.  After discussing diving and other personal interests we discussed my previous post on why we seem to struggle to move MES and operational efficiency projects forward.  We both agreed that as analysts & consultants the most frustrating aspect of our jobs is working with clients to develop a strong justification for a project only to see it stall.  

So I am soliciting feedback from all of the end users in the blogosphere as to why with very strong justifications projects around MES and OEE improvement wither on the vine - why can’t they get past the planning stage?  Is it because, despite strong payback, that capital is just too scarce?  Is it because the perceived risks of failure are too high?  Is it because of a fear that technology will not deliver the promised benefits?

There seems to be a lot of research about what constitutes best practice, what are the benefits, and who are the solution providers but very little as to why we seem to be stuck in a rut.  Charlie and I really want to know - What will it take for manufacturers to follow through with execution once they have justification?

Dan Miklovic is blogger contributor for Control's blog Manufacturing 2010. You can email him at danmiklovic@gmail.com or check out his Google+ profile.