Operational Excellence Consulting

Achieve Long-Lasting Operational Improvement Through the Milliken Performance System

Since our 1865 founding, a commitment to continuous improvement and safety has been the foundation of Milliken & Company’s success. Our emphasis on manufacturing and business processes began after Milliken associates studied the words of W. Edwards Deming and post-war economic recovery efforts in Japan. As a result, the company expanded its focus on quality, service, testing, and global influence—and added a few ideas of their own.

Awards for quality began coming in, and soon companies were benchmarking Milliken’s operational excellence performance. Curious about what made Milliken & Company so successful, one of the world’s largest international manufacturing companies approached Milliken leadership and requested consultation about how to improve their own operational execution. That relationship formed the basis of the Performance Solutions by Milliken’s operational excellence and safety consulting—a strategy designed to help companies serious about change reach their goals.

Like other business management strategies, such as Six Sigma and lean manufacturing, the Milliken Performance System helps businesses increase productivity, quality, and efficiency. But the Milliken Performance System’s distinction is that it changes the entire business culture by engaging everyone, resulting in long-term, holistic, sustainable improvement.

Defining the Milliken Performance System

The Milliken Performance System was born through the years our team spent developing highly successful techniques, resulting in optimal safety, quality and efficiency. But what makes our system unique is the way we examine and ultimately change a business culture from both the bottom up and the top down, resulting in sustainable improvement.

Our system is built upon a foundation of safety and strategic clarity—designed to engage all associates in the uncompromising pursuit of zero incidents, ultimately creating an alignment between operations and the businesses.


Put our practices to work

The Milliken Performance System’s Pillars of Operational Excellence

The Milliken Performance System is supported by a unique system, comprised of nine pillars which build our business and our client’s businesses into lean enterprises. The nine pillars are the key to moving your organization towards long-term, sustainable growth.

The Nine Pillars of the Milliken Performance System


Daily Team Maintenance provides operators with the knowledge and skills required to proactively prevent breakdowns and off-quality caused by accelerated equipment deterioration and abnormalities. DTM results in improved reliability and stability—specifically a reduction of minor stops, breakdowns, and changeover time.


More than just housekeeping, the 5S process organizes and maintains the workplace environment to increase productivity and safety, reduce waste, and eliminate non-value-added activities for all associates. This process establishes the expectations of discipline and overall engagement in the organization.


This standardized training process ensures that all associates are doing the right things, the right way, every time. By modeling key areas, organizations experience a decrease in process variation, turnover, and overall training spend.


Focused Improvement projects follow methodology to provide a logical thinking process that identifies root causes of opportunities in order to reduce or even eliminate losses. These projects generate funding while improving the capability of processes.


The goals of production control are to reduce overall system cost by eliminating system waste and aligning the business offering with manufacturing execution. Production control improves working capital and inventory, variable conversion cost, capacity utilization, and more.


For reliability and continuous improvement, a combination of preventive, predictive, and zero failure activities is necessary. Maintenance technicians and leadership and engineers oversee maintenance schedules to address problems before they occur.


This systematic methodology helps achieve zero quality defects by seeking out, identifying, and eliminating the root causes of all defects. QM takes organizational processes beyond reliability to capability.


Early Equipment Management focuses on improved reliability and stability by “designing out” losses related to equipment startup before they occur. Utilizing existing measurement data operators, technicians, and others use a process of implementation and equipment modeling to reduce startup time and costs.


Concurrent New Product Development uses a methodology that brings together all the necessary functions at the appropriate time to effectively plan, develop, and manufacture new products that (1) satisfy customer requirements and (2) meet internal measures of success.

Operational Excellence Education & Training

We offer a number of operational excellence training courses and conferences throughout the year. Explore Milliken’s effective processes through in-depth discussion and a private plant tour at our Operational Excellence Seminar.
Performance Solutions by Milliken