Operational Excellence Consulting

Achieve Long-Lasting Operational Improvement Through the Milliken Performance System

Operational Excellence, Defined

Operational Excellence is often defined in a myriad of ways. Some organizations define it as using a certain manufacturing method, being customer-focused, or keeping an employee-centric mindset. However, working on these individual elements alone will inevitably result in a plateau of excellence. How do we define operational excellence? To us, operational excellence must start with a foundation of safety and strategic clarity and supported by key principles.   

The Challenges of Reaching Operational Excellence

The biggest challenge to achieving and sustaining operational excellence is creating cultural change. It goes beyond setting the right goals and requires engaging your entire workforce in the process. By involving all employees and gaining buy in to the core goals and strategies, the team can develop the right habits and systems to enable operational excellence for the long-term.

Achieving cultural change is hard. The unknown can be frightening to employees. Businesses are looking to proven, comprehensive systems they can trust and understand. The Milliken Performance System, the underlying system of our operational excellence consulting, is a holistic system that can help your manufacturing organization transform.

Defining the Milliken Performance System

Like other manufacturing management strategies, such as Six Sigma and lean manufacturing, the Milliken Performance System helps businesses achieve operational excellence which helps increase productivity, quality and efficiency. What makes our system unique is the way we examine and ultimately change a business culture from both the bottom up and top down, resulting in sustainable improvement. This concept is rooted in our study of W. Edwards Deming and post-war economic recovery efforts in Japan, with a few ideas of our own added in. The Milliken Performance System has garnered awards and its results have become the benchmark of success for various organizations around the globe. 

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 Operational Excellence Principles

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


Transforming Strategic Clarity into aligned action, the Daily Management System is a systematic operational management process. Development of a robust Daily Management System aligns an organization towards common business objectives through cascaded key performance indicators and ensures achievement through each individual’s daily activities, review cadence, standardized work and layered audits. 


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, all of which are common obstacles to operational excellence.

5S Workplace Organization Icon5S + Workplace Organization

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 IconFOCUSED IMPROVEMENT

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.

Production Flow IconPRODUCTION FLOW

The goals of production control are to reduce overall system cost by eliminating system waste in operations processes 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, cut costs, and reach operational excellence. 


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.

Our Operational Excellence Consulting Process

Milliken has been refining our processes for decades, and we’ve discovered common elements to successfully implement change for operational excellence. It all starts with leaderships commitment, alignment and involvement. Next, there must be organizational alignment and all key associates must be educated on what’s important. Performance Solutions by Milliken, named among the best production operations consultants by ALM Intelligence, follows a 6-step approach to implementation.

  1. Visit one of our manufacturing locations in Spartanburg, SC to learn how our system works, and how you can make it work for our organization
  2. We’ll assess your organization and determine key objects and process analysis
  3. Together we’ll create a master plan of what an implementation would look like
  4. Create a model plant implementation plan
  5. Select a model machine or area to begin continuous, focused efforts on loss reduction driven by our zero-loss thinking approach
  6. Utilize our teach/coach/mentor methodology to replicate best practices demonstrated, and expand throughout your organization

What Are You Missing Out On?

Benefits from an operations Performance System are often seen in production quality, capital utilization, safety management, and cost of goods sold. Results realized by clients of Performance Solutions by Milliken are:

  • Average ROI of 8:1
  • Capacity increases between 25-40%
  • Reduction in safety incidents of up to 80%
  • Defects decreased 40-60%
  • Productivity increase up to 50%

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.

White Paper

Manufacturers are increasingly required to develop niche products for specific markets, modified to exacting customer needs. Fortunately, all of these common production problems share a common solution, a proven performance system that leverages daily management activities to surface and resolve issues. Download this complimentary white paper to learn more.

Please complete the form below to access white paper 

Performance Solutions by Milliken