Module 1 - Background

Productivity & Process Improvement



FROM: George Washburn

SUBJECT: Background on the EMC Productivity Planning effort

Each year it is critical that we improve our productivity so that we can offset rising costs of material and labor. This allows us to keep our prices down. I am in the process of determining just how much productivity we need to get this year. I am going to ask you to do some analysis of your product area, the Plasti-Brack product line and the manufacturing operations so that you can prepare a plan to improve the productivity in the processes for these products. I will have a final email out very shortly.


Click Here to go to the Excellent Manufacturing Company. You will find information about the company, the Plasti-brack product line, manufacturing, plant layout, financial data, and productivity information.

Learning Wizard (What you need to know to do the assignment for George Washburn)

What is Operations?


OPM500-SYSTEMS VIEW OF OPS-Pt.1 (2011), Elson, J. retrieved from

OPM500-SYSTEMS VIEW OF OPS-Pt.2 (2011), Elson, J. retrieved from

OPM500-SYSTEMS VIEW OF OPS-Pt.3 (2011), Elson, J. retrieved from

What is Productivity and How do you improve it?

Read what Dr. Elson has to say about Productivity:

Introduction to Productivity (Click Here)

Improving Productivity (Click Here)

Additional Readings and Resources


How the US Dept. of Labor measure productivity (n.d.). US Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, retrieved from

Factors of Productivity and examples of productivity measurement calculations, read section 7.2, pp. 172 – 178, from the EBRARY (See Library instructions for using EBRARY)

Kumar, S. Anil. (2008). Production and Operations Management; New Age International,

Improving Productivity - check out the different projects and improvements by Trainor & Associates. This website provides many different examples of improving productivity:

Trainor & Associates (n.d.) Our Stories, retreived from

Lean Thinking

Womak’s Lean Thinking

What is Lean? (n.d.). Lean Enterprise Institute, retrieved from, and

Part 1: What it means to think lean (n.d.). Lean Enterprise Institute, retrieved from, (and then click on the link on that page (Click to read more), and you will get a video of Womak discussing lean thinking.)

A great overview of Lean Production

Lean Manufacturing (2011). Wkipedia, retreived from

Optional Readings

Historical perspective on productivity,

Productivity improving technologies_(historical) (2011). Wikipedia, retrieved from

More historical information: Articles about Frederic Taylor, the father of scientific management,

Frederick Winslow Taylor (2011). Wikipedia, retrieved from:, and

Frederick Taylor and Scientific Management (n.d.). NetMBA, retrieved from: