By Mark Porter
A new year and companies are continuing to look for ways to increase productivity and decrease costs. There are many ways to increase productivity and decrease waste which we will discuss in various issues this year.
2. Inter Company Communications
3. Customer Communications
4. Access to Information
One of the best ways to maximize peoples producttivity and minimize waste is to demand accountability from all employees.
It does not matter if you are the President of the company or the floor sweeper - if you have to account for every minute of your day and every material you use you will be more efficient and less wasteful.
If accountability produces even a small 5% increase in productivity and decrease in waste this can add up to some very large savings.
Lets look at your shop floor - by far the greatest costs are incurred here. Depending on the size of your business your plant will expend millions of dollars in labor and material. If we took a plant that processes $2 million of costs per year then even that small 5% productivity gain will result in $100,000 of savings.
How do you achieve accountability ?
First employees must record their activity throughout the day. Whether that is by writing it on a time sheet or bar coding into shop data sharing stations. They must record the start and stop time for each activity they perform from the time they clock in until they clock out for the day. This is not just job based activities but all activities - doing a makeready, running a job, waiting for an ok, maintenace of a machine or no work. They can also record materials used at this time as well.
An employee writing their time on the back of a job bag is not sufficient. You are not making the employees accountable because you can not piece together a time sheet accounting for evey minute from clocking in to clocking out for the day.
Depending on your method of collecting the data - you can analyze it many ways.
It maybe enough for you to review each employees time sheet to ensure that makeready and run times look right.
You may want to calculate % efficiency of each machine and each employee and compare it to standards you expect to achieve or compare on an employee by employee basis to evaluate which employees need more training.
You may want to compare your estimate vs actual costs on each job to identify problems.
You may want to evaluate your % Chargable time to Non Chargable time on an employee by employee basis. If an employee has less than say 75% chargable time we have to take action.
You may want to note that your makeready or repair time is increasing on certain machines and those machines are becoming less efficient.
Accountability can be a powerful tool but Management must be 100% behind it. Like punching in and punching out - if employees don't do it they don't get paid. Management must take the same approach with time collection, with ALL employees, or it will not work.
But getting it to work can provide tremendous savings.