Learn how micromanaging protocols can hinder your employees and how to unlock their unlimited potential by engaging them in the production process. Read on to discover how a Day In The Life Of Study (DILO) can help identify the root cause of production issues and how committed employees can improve product quality.
Human beings have unlimited potential.
Your business is comprised of human beings.
Ergo, your company has unlimited potential.
Too often, well-meaning protocols and procedures micromanage and squash that potential.
Recently, we were asked to help increase production in a biological manufacturing plant.
Output was stalled because the final product failed external quality protocols. Batches were being scrapped because all the compliance checks and paperwork were incomplete.
Their initial response was to double the number of quality compliance personnel: these checkers checked the checkers who were checking the checkers. It resulted in the denuding first-line supervisors and front-line workers from doing a meaningful job.
Every time a manufacturing variance occurred, an incident report was generated. These incidents caused a quality investigation from the checking team – which generated more paperwork, which, in turn, increased complexity, generating increased quality failures when all the paperwork and reporting could not be found after the fact.
The more valuable product had to be flushed away.
We utilized a Day In The Life Of Study (DILO) of the Filling Operator, looking at an entire shift with an operator to see what disrupted their day.
Shortly into his shift, the operator – we’ll call him Dan – noted a temperature spike and dutifully filled in a manufacturing incident report.
“Hey Dan, do you know why that happened?”
He replied, “Check your watch. I bet it’s 8:07 am. It always happens at 8:07 am. Every day. Like clockwork. When we change shifts, we alter the machine settings and the temp spikes and then go back down.”
“When the compliance team comes to do their follow-up investigation, do they ask you why it happened?”
“Of course not,” Dan snorted derisively, “they think I’m a bit of an idiot. I’ve learned to keep my opinions to myself.”
This is a classic case of underutilizing a great employee and layering on a risk management or compliance system to control the outcome.
We engaged the operators in identifying the root cause and put some simple metrics in place for them to control their machine, shift and day.
These committed operators reduced the number of manufacturing incidents, exponentially decreased the compliance investigations, and the high quality fully compliant product was leaving the site in short order.
The conclusion—compliance can’t take you where committed employees can go.
Go to your critical front-line assets—customer service accounts receivable, warehousing—ask them for ideas on how they would improve their day. They will welcome it, and you will get insights on unlocking their potential.