Mother Nature inserts a transition period of dirt and dreary between winter and spring to inspire spring cleaning. And while you may personally tackle your home, this is a great opportunity to take a fresh look at your manufacturing processes and facility.
This past year has been like nothing any of us have experienced before. A global pandemic that forced us to manage our people, processes, and space in new ways, while simultaneously testing the capabilities and capacity of our supply chain. As manufacturers, we’ve had to adjust and learn on the fly. With hope for a return to some new normal on the horizon, it’s a great time to pull your production teams together and go through current processes to synchronize the process with the reality. Clearly, you’ve had to adjust how you get things through your production process – but does your documentation match your reality? Here are some quick steps you can take to ensure your processes and documentation are in lock-step.
- Prioritize and review documentation in concert with actual production as a team. Identify updates to the process, and then update your documentation.
- Establish a timeline to update the processes. Without a deadline, it won’t get finished. Establish some key dates and hold yourself to meeting them. This way you won’t be scrambling when your next audit comes up.
- Train your team. Documenting processes are great, but only if your team knows what is expected of them. Pull the team together and walk through the documentation and process together.
- Go forth and ship quality products!
The same dirt and grime that inspires window scrubbing and closet cleaning at home applies to your manufacturing facility. Walk through your facility as if you are doing a customer tour, or bring in one of your office people who doesn’t spend as much time in the manufacturing areas to walk through with you. First impressions? A little cleaning and organizing can go a long way.
- Start with the clutter. Boxes and skids pile up. Parts that are no longer needed get stacked in a corner. Assign a team and take some time to remove the clutter.
- Put things where they belong. Production inefficiencies often start with not being able to find what you need, when you need it. Have your team take time to organize their own work cells or stations.
- Clean! Sweep the floors. Get dirt and debris out from under machines and out of corners. Repaint walkway lines. Update team communication boards and posters. A little elbow grease goes a long way in instilling employee pride and impressing visiting customers.
- Maintain and sustain. Incorporating regular organizing and cleaning into your production processes makes it a habit and reduces the amount of Spring Cleaning you’ll need to do in future years. It’s far easier to keep up than catch up.
We Are Here to Help!
- Contact us for help getting started, or getting from start to finish.
- Click here to view our latest training courses for Quality Compliance, Business Development or Engineering.
- Contact us for personalized training or process review with you and your team.
We hope that we have inspired you to take on a few small Spring Cleaning activities related to your manufacturing processes and your space.
Enjoy the return to more sunshine, warmer temperatures, and a new-normal that is (hopefully) nothing like 2020.
Cheryl and Team.