Jeffrey Anthony Synaptic Two
Synaptic In Action:
What We're Doing and What We've Done...
To Help Clients Achieve the Results They Want.
Synaptic Announces Major Expansion of Risk Modulated Project Management℠

Synaptic's Risk Modulated Project Management℠ (RMPM℠) system creates the right Project Management regimen on a project-by-project basis so our clients don't have to "shoehorn" projects into a particular regimen like Agile, PMBOK/Waterfall or any of the many "PM-of-the-moment" methodologies that seem to multiple every year.
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It does this by analyzing the inherent risks of various elements of a project to break the overall project into several sub-projects each with related task of similar risk. In this way, lower risk sub-projects can take advantage of the speed and flexibility of Agile, while higher risk projects are managed under more rigorous, detail-oriented regimens like Waterfall or PMBOK.

For many than a decade, RMPM has enabled Synaptic to help clients deliver projects with:

  • Time-to-Market reduction on the order of 15%
  • Estimation accuracy improvement of 20% to 30%
  • Field Failure Rate reduction on average by more than 20%

While delighted with these success on a project basis, clients have for some time been asking us to provide solutions to enhance personal Time Management and Productivity.

To that end, we have just complete a Personal Productivity module which we have integrated into RMPM. OnItOrOffIt® is the result of nearly two years of Research and Development, and we will be talking about it in more detail in coming days. Future plans (Q1 2020) include also offering it as a subscription-based Cloud Application for people from all walks of life -- not just those working on engineering projects. We currently have more than 200 Beta user's, and we're very pleased with the many suggestions and enhancement requests we've been able to implement.

More news soon!

Our Manufacturing Practice is Thrilled to Read This!

From the Wall Street Journal...
U.S. Worker Productivity Advances at Best Rate Since 2010

This is a *very* big deal.

Product and Process cost reduction exercises such as those based on Value Analysis and Lean / Kaizen can profoundly enhance a business's margins and bottom-line profitability. At Synaptic, we do a great deal of such work with clients to their benefit and ours.

But all of that sits atop the bedrock foundation of worker productivity -- of both skilled laborers and knowledge workers at all levels -- so this news is far more fundamental to economic growth in aggregate than even millions of individual cost reduction efforts by tens of thousands of companies.

This is the very best news the American manufacturing sector and the economy as a whole has had in a long stream of good news.

This is a rising tide that raises all boats. The Nation's, our clients', and Synaptic's.

Hats off to the American worker!

Synaptic Adds Blockchain to Defense Contractor's Manufacturing Process Control

Every contractor that makes anything for the Department of Defense has an enormous Materials Provenance, Quality Control, and Chain-of-Custody burden. Enormous.

Synaptic brought Blockchain technology to the client that helped lighten that burden. Enormously.
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This requires that you track where every ounce of raw material comes from, your own internal testing results, how it moves through your factory from the moment it hits the loading dock (and before), what machines touch it and how, what people touch it and how, which specific part is mated with which other specific part, etc, etc, etc. Basically it means keeping track of which “shinbone is connected to which thigh bone” for every part, sub-assembly, and finished good. Screw up once, and you’re in trouble. Screw up a few times and you’re in danger of being decertified. But this is about the lives and safety of our nation’s service men and women, so it’s a great thing to be that obsessively careful, and it shouldn’t be any other way.

What has really revolutionized, in a first wave, all of these tracking requirements has been things like RFID and barcode scanning. So, parts that can accommodate an RFID tag have one, and ones that can’t have a machine readable barcode or other encoding printed or etched on them (usually etched because it is more durable in harsh environments). That makes it all a lot easier, because everything can be machine read and plugged into SAP or some other ERP system.

But tracking parts is not all there is by a long shot. There is tracking the usage and maintenance of factory floor equipment like CNC lathes and drill presses, laser cutters, pick-and-place devices, and robotic equipment of all kinds -- and... and... and...

So the next wave has been around production equipment, and the way to do that is via the Internet-of-Things (IoT). Most modern production equipment is already IP-aware (especially in the defense industry), so it’s now as much the CIO’s bailiwick as it is the COO’s bailiwick.

The first thing is keeping track of all this stuff. A layer below the Internet of Things (IoT) is the Identity of Things (IDoT). Well, Blockchain is real good at sorting out identity issues.

Then there’s the “whats.” What operation did this machine perform on what part with what serial number?

Then there’s the “when.” When did it do it? And when was the machine maintenanced? And what were the serial numbers of any replacement parts installed? And so on… and on… and on. So, even though they’re not financial in nature, these events are transactions nonetheless, and that fits in extremely well with Blockchain as well.

Of course, Synaptic’s client already has (a rather cumbersome) DB-based system for dealing with all this, but they find it to be a maintenance hog -- and a bear to regression test when it is maintained or upgraded. So the thinking is that a Blockchain solution should streamline that considerably. In addition, and this is very important, Blockchain's imutable ensures there can be no tampering before audits.

Of course, this new Blockchain-based system is going to require significant certification, and that won't happen next month -- or probably next year either. Our goal right now is to produce a Proof-of-Concept system to monitor the manufacturing of a selected device or two doomed to being scrapped (because, lacking all the certifications, the product can’t be sold up the chain and, ultimately, to DoD). But it is an essential first step in where Synaptic and our client want to go prior to chasing all the required approvals and certifications.

Synaptic Completes Major Product Cost Reduction with Municipal Water Meter Manufacturer

Synaptic’s Client, a manufacturer of residential / commercial municipal water meter telemeters, was faced with the twin challenges of anemic margins and an Annualized Failure Rate (AFR) in excess of 8% for its front-running product platform.

Combined, these issues led to a vicious cycle of accelerating declines in sales, profitability, and market share -- as well as presenting significant warranty expense and product liability exposure.

Working closely with Synaptic on a crash Product Cost Reduction / Improvement, our client escaped those dire straights and went on to thrive with:

  • Reduced Annualized Failure Rate (AFR) to <1%
  • Reduced Product Bill of Material (BOM) Cost by >20%
  • Reduced Manufacturing Labor Costs by >10%
  • Reduced Warranty Expense by >87%
  • Reduced Packaging Cost by >40%
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We presented to the client’s Management Team a custom-tailored, enterprise-wide package of Training, Consulting, and Business Process Outsourcing services based on our Synaptic Enterprise Cost Reduction (SECR℠) methodology to drive out product cost via Value Analysis techniques, to bring processes into conformance with best practices via Kaizen, and to improve Quality via Root Cause Analysis.

Clinching the deal was Synaptic Consulting’s brand promise: we deliver clearly articulated, pre-defined results and form a “teach-by doing” relationship with every client -- empowering them to repeat the process on their own in all future efforts. We can make this promise because of our lengthy track record of successful engagements with manufacturers ranging from startups to $100+ million multinationals.

Also see an Executive Summary Case Study for more details...
A Few Thoughts on Lean and Scale

Bringing Lean thinking and practice to a large organization is far more difficult than organically adopting it in a smaller, early-stage startup. We can say (hopefully without sounding boastful) that Synaptic's partners and associates have done so successfully for many start-up, small, and mid-sized clients. But we've certainly faced some daunting challenges -- expected and unexpected -- and this excellent article from The Harvard Business Review is very much in line with what we've experienced and learned.

Hats off to the HBR staff, by the way. They've been hitting it out of the park with many such excellent articles of late.