Operations: Improve Your Relationship with Your Manufacturing Operations
* Find the frustrating fixables. Find the one or two things that frustrate your employees the most and fix them. One company’s third shift employees complained that the vending machine was always picked over before their shifts. Another company’s die-casting employees had to knock out parts with a hammer -- a physically demanding and unsafe practice. Fixing frustrating problems helps open communication lines and adds to management credibility.
* Define success. Having metrics to measure performance will be lost if employees don’t understand how they relate to them. Identify one or two metrics each for quality, safety, delivery and cost, and ensure results are measured constantly and consistently, shared with everyone, and explained in a way that helps employees see how their decisions impact the numbers.
Rebecca Morgan is president of Fulcrum ConsultingWorks, a Cleveland, Ohio-based lean manufacturing consultancy. She can be reached at (216) 486-9570 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.