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Manufacturing Improvement / Opportunity Assessments

Understanding Improvement Opportunity

A good plan is one of the key ingredients to a successful improvement programme. However, before we can begin to build the plan, there are 3 key elements of understanding required:


1. Improvement Opportunity Value – by assessing current performance against perfection in each area. Understand the achievable best in class benchmarks for the technologies used. Compare current to achievable, and identify the 12 month and 3 year realisable opportunities for each area or type of improvement. Understand the benefit from deploying capital equipment fixes v non-capital improvement activity. (See the Opportunity Matrix).


2. The Type of Losses – by taking the improvement opportunities in Pareto order according to realisable value, understand the nature of the losses which make up those opportunities.

  • Identify the difficulty level of problems that the organisation decides to live with rather than resolve.
  • Identify the split between high impact low frequency downtime issues and low impact high frequency issues.
  • Understand MTTR and MTBF.
  • Analyse run strategy, and current changeover policy and behaviour.

This information is key to understand which of the many improvement tools out there are the right ones in this specific instance.  (See toolkit and case studies for examples).


3. Organisational maturity toward improvement – by understanding the existing business strategy as it relates to performance and improvement, how deep it has been deployed, and the level of alignment that exists; the effectiveness of the existing measures system to enable accountabilities to be held, and to highlight the most important issues; the effectiveness and actual use of the current toolkit to address those problems; the meeting structures and effectiveness of the management processes therein that drive activity; and understand how well the organisation assigns time & resource to address the issues that it knows about and has the capability to resolve. See the SIM model for more information


Next Steps – Create your Improvement Plan

If you are sure you have your improvement opportunities valued correctly, that you know the improvement tool that will fix your problems, and that the organisation doesn’t have any weaknesses when it comes to ensuring sustained improvement, then it is time to move on and create the improvement plan.

Otherwise, consider contacting us to either find out more on what to do yourself, or to discuss whether you meet the criteria for a supported site Opportunity Assessment.

Onsite Opportunity Assessments can take from between 3 days and 4 week to complete, depending on the size, complexity, and the final level of detailed desired. Outcomes include a Total Opportunity Matrix, Sustainable Improvement Model, and an Implementation Plan.


To discover how an Opportunity Assessment works in more detail – sign up here >




With the support of the Lauras team, the Bars business unit has made great strides forward with some exceptional results. It has been gratifying to witness the confidence and capability of the people grow paralleling the rise in plant performance. I look forward with great optimism to the continuing journey and an ongoing partnership with Lauras International.

Mike Parsons, Head of Manufacturing, Weetabix

Firstly, Reckitt Benckiser and Lauras pulled together to improve efficiency levels and there was a focus on both external and internal resources. Before Lauras arrived efficiency was not good. Secondly, there was good methodology and training using operators to support its implementation. Thirdly, there was daily and hourly focusing on performance. Since Lauras left, improvements have been sustained.

Bart Derde, Supply Projects Director (Europe), Reckitt Benckiser