Last week I had written about the Seven Business Chakras (https://dinakarmurthy.com/2020/08/30/seven-business-chakras/). This week I share my thoughts on the rhythm chakra.
The Products/Services flow in this Rhythm Chakra through the various functions in a business from Market to Market, driven by Intolerance for Interruptions. I would compare this to the Root Chakra and is responsible for the survival of the business.
The various business function would be:
- Identification of a need (explicit and implicit)
- Research, Design and Development
- Marketing, Sales and Customer Engagement
- Planning, Purchasing and Procurement
- Production, Maintenance and Quality Assurance
- Distribution, Delivery and Commissioning
- Spares, Reman and After Sales Service
Some of the following descriptions of the ideal state is extremely important to check and confirm the flow in this chakra:
- Operation at 100% Daily Capacity – means working just 15 days in a month, when the capacity is 10 per day and the monthly demand is 150, instead of working 25 days at the rate of 6 per day. This ideal state ensures that the entire organization is working at an intended rhythm, instead of changing the rhythm to match the demand.
- Ø Stock-out and Ø Loss of Sale – means that the SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) are always available in the counter and that no customer leaves without the SKU he/she is looking for. Of course, for achieving Ø loss of sale, in case of a stock out, the replenishment time must be lower that the acceptable waiting time by the customer.
- Ø Pile-up (Inventory), Ø Defect, Ø Set-up – means that the inventory is continuously being turned over without a pile-up, that in production first piece after set-up is good (First-Time-Right) and every piece thereafter is also good (Every-Time-Right) and that SMED (Single Minute Exchange of Dies) or set-up change by just loading a new program is a well-established practice.
- Minimum Order Quantity = 1 – means that producing even 1 unit of SKU is also equally profitable, which is more applicable for components and assemblies. In the case of a process industry, it means that any customer order can be processed, either by bundling the orders or by producing to stock in a well-established distribution supply chain.
- Clear giver and taker – passing the baton – means that all activities or tasks in the rhythm chakra get passed on to the subsequent activity or task in a seamless way without the baton (Product or Service) waiting for a caretaker in no man’s land.
- Implied Triggers for Start/Stop (Kanban) – means that every person involved in the production of a product or a service can come to know when to start and when to stop producing any specific SKU without any need to ask any other person.
- 100% Full-kitting and On-time-in-full Deliveries – means that all activities or tasks are carried out only after 100%, not 99.99999999999% availability of the full kit (Materials, Tools, Resources, Information, Instructions, Decisions, Priorities,….), even if it is possible to add on the missing items at a later stage and that all customer orders are delivered On-time-in-full (100% = SKUs and Quantity as per the order on the requested timeline – hour, day, week or month, any variant from this is 0%)
I remember reading the HBR article from 1999 “Decoding the DNA of the Toyota Production System” which mentions the 4 basic rules:
- All work shall be highly specified as to content, sequence, timing, and outcome.
- Every customer-supplier connection must be direct, and there must be an unambiguous yes-or-no way to send requests and receive responses.
- The pathway for every product and service must be simple and direct.
- Any improvement must be made in accordance with the scientific method, under the guidance of a teacher, at the lowest possible level in the organization.
In my opinion this is also the DNA of the Rhythm Chakra.
I am sure you may be thinking of other ideal state characteristics for your business. Please add them as you may need and use the following scale to assess where you stand today as far as the maturity of this chakra is concerned.
The maturity of the Rhythm Chakra of an organization is “Good”, if the day to day flow of products and services from the market to the market needs negligible management attention from the senior management, occasional management attention from the middle management, frequent management attention from the junior management, the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and Metrics are defined, the Ideal State is know to all the people, the KPIs/Metrics are being tracked regularly at the appropriate clockspeed and are stable.
Now comes the question how the maturity can be increased. I discovered the simple answer of just following the 4 rules of the DNA of TPS and progressing towards the ideal state, after many failed trials. My first step would be to establish a rhythm, like the pulse in a human body, for your Root Chakra and then build everything around this. I wish that you avoid my failed attempts.