In today’s fast moving and fluid business world we are all looking for a competitive edge, eager to apply a simple tool as a winning weapon against the competition and include that in our ever growing company “tool kit”. Business Leaders are searching for an effortless, inexpensive way to help their teams grasp key concepts; to know what “right” looks like and a clear way for them to easily understand how “wrong” occurs in an operation.
Manufacturing sites in today’s “continuous improvement” environment are encumbered like never before, being tasked to document almost every activity including actions in the following scenarios:
- Steps in a project that went right or those that went wrong resulting in a missed target.
- When tasked to develop quick and effective training tools that result in effortless development of easy to understand training modules.
- Documenting “lessons learned” from failed initial production runs or “special projects”.
- Taking copious notes of activities to create SOP – Standard Operating Procedures, in order to comply with audit requirements.
- Convey WOW – Ways of Working, to streamline the execution of daily activities.
- Develop simple OPL -One Point Lessons, that walk “cross trained” team members through common activities that they may have not executed recently.
The above mentioned and many other activities are required in order to:
Direct the teams in the right direction
- Allow them to execute activities using a more “standardized” approach
- Help them evolve into a team that grasps the right concepts quicker and helps to reduce losses in the operation.
- Support efforts to meet their goals on the journey to achieve Operational Excellence
Many Words or One Image
An effective and efficient tool that is often overlooked in today’s business place is the digital camera. A once expensive and complicated tool has evolved into a reasonably priced and simple to operate device that can easily and quickly capture any scenario that needs to be communicated effectively and efficiently to your teams.
Consider using “can you picture that” approach in the following common scenarios:
- Document conditions in an accident investigation.
- Capture team engagement activities to promote team building.
- Document new machine installation activities.
- Communicate unsafe work conditions to on-site contractors.
- Capture team pictures for Department Communication Bulletin Boards.
- Capture unsafe situations in operations or warehouse including pallets in walkways, improperly stacked pallets, missing machine guarding on machines or improper Lock Out Tag Out -LOTO conditions.
- Use images to indicate “best process” or “desired results” and reduce change over or set up times.
- Document non-compliant material returns to warehouse like poor stretch wrapping, missing partial pallet tags or poor stacking.
- Document before and after pictures to validate the benefits of 5s activity.
- Introduce new team members on HR communication bulletin boards.
- Document deliveries of rejected or damaged material for suppliers to share with their teams or assist with claim processing.
In today’s manufacturing operations a digital camera as a part of the departmental “tool kit” minimizes documentation efforts and deviation from your team's core activities. Leadership team can ask the simple question “can you picture that?” when issues are raised in your operations meetings or brought to their attention during their daily activities; just “picture” the improvement possibilities for you organization.
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