Skills shortage, rising wages, need for qualified people and turnover get a lot of attention in mid 2018. But even in these sophisticated times, production and productivity still suffer some classic issues. The difference is that proven solutions are available; within your control more than wages and applicants and product orders may be.
Which one, which classic productivity issue? I don’t know, there will be a different answer depending on your circumstances. But here are several classic issues, where a rapid solution can be resolved with routine, known methodology.
- Lead off with waste and non-value activity that may be in your process or organization. If the marketplace won’t pay for an activity or a component, it is waste and has no value.
- Bottlenecks, capacity. Does your process cause delay, wait times for people or equipment? Reduce this loss and get more capacity, better efficiency. Do you know the real capacity, and the real constraints? Do you manage constraints actively, and prioritize accordingly?
- Workloads, in two classes: 1) Overall imbalance in workloads especially with critical steps and equipment, causes loss of output and efficiency. 2) Do highly paid workers spend time performing activities that should be performed by a lower skilled person? Think, you don’t want your surgeons to clean up the operating room. Shift the simpler tasks out of the highly paid position, expect greater output.
- Expectations for output. Do you know how long a job should take, objectively? If you expect too much, nobody will want the job. If you expect too little, you are not using the capacity you in fact possess. In either event, planning is problematic at best.
- Accurate job costing. With accurate knowledge of job costs, you can assign your resources to the most profitable products, and safely relegate the lower-profit jobs to a lower priority. Oh, and rid yourself on unprofitable jobs.
- Facility planning. Your situation may suggest more space, less space, space instead of, rearrangement for better flow or space utilization, expansion, consolidation.
For more on these subjects, give me a call at 843-422-1298. I have a track record of success in these and related issues. Work measurement, time study, plant layout and facilities planning are tools that quickly lead to answers and corrections for the issues above.
Thanks for your attention, Jack Greene