Seeking a Trustworthy Company to Improve Factory Information
In SMARTBUSINESS magazine this month, Mario Morino contributed an article titled “Transparency for impact, not just compliance” where he references a recent quote from THE ECONOMIST website. To paraphrase…”what a company is seeking is trustworthy, relevant and understandable information about how a company runs its business and the features of the products and services it offers to the market.” Our question is what sort of relevant and understandable factory process information is your company gathering?
A phrase in this one page article by Morino caught my attention. It was the section with the header “We can handle the truth.” The question for many manufacturing companies is do they really want… and do they really value the truth! That is, the truth about the daily problems in their production process; problems that can be avoided, time that should not be wasted. We have observed that sometimes manufacturing companies will fool themselves into believing that the paper based shop floor systems (with or without bar code data collection devices) gives them visible, trustworthy, relevant and understandable PROCESS IMPROVEMENT information to help them with becoming more lean. Instead they are getting accounting oriented data sent to the back office ERP system. The truth is that many manufacturing company need accountability (not just time accounting) from workers. They need visibility from their machines and work centers with Overall Equipment Effectiveness measurements (OEE) and they must have “the reality” of process management, time standards and production rates.
It is relatively easy to obtain this information. With process data in hand, a company has understandable information from which to improve the process. Bar Code readers, Andon Boards, Time Studies, and Kanbans in-and-of-themselves do not improve the process. Knowing the truth about what is happening in the factory is the starting point by looking for a solution that provides relevant and understandable factory floor process information.
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