Most manufacturing teams are well aware of time-wasting activities that disrupt the streamlined flow of work. Many organizations use the Lean Six Sigma method when optimizing work processes. One facet of the strategy is identifying and eliminating waste.
There are eight major wastes that permeate manufacturing departments, but only six are widely recognized. The other two tend to fall to the wayside because organizations don’t usually know how to fix them. Can you guess which two we’re talking about?
The 8 Wastes
- Defects: Mistakes that require extra time, money, or resources to fix. Could be a defective part, and unusable product, incorrect order entry, etc.
- Overproduction: Producing products prematurely, without necessary demand, or in excessive quantities.
- Transportation: Unnecessary transport of products/materials or resources, inefficient delivery procedures.
- Inventory: Excess products/materials not being utilized. Too much inventory without equivalent demand.
- Motion: Unnecessary workflow movement. Could be a poor workspace layout, inefficient processes, excess walking, etc.
- Overprocessing: Unnecessary effort that adds no value or is not required by the customer.
- Waiting: Time spent waiting for support, answers, or the next step in a process, resulting in downtime.
- Non-utilized talent: Underutilizing or not recognizing people’s talent, skills, or knowledge.
The two we’re addressing here? Waiting and non-utilized talent. These can be a bit more difficult to recognize.
Time spent waiting for support, answered questions, delayed equipment repairs, and next steps in a process is time wasted. After identifying the time-wasting activities unique to your organization, turn your findings into action. If you don’t seek improvements, you could be risking time, revenue, and employee safety.
A main reason organizations struggle to mitigate wait time is because the Q&A process is incredibly slow. For every employee who has a work-related question, there’s another employee who has the answer. The problem is, organizations don’t equip people with the right tools to connect with one another. Instead, support-seeking employees are directed to a help center or ticketing system that leaves them waiting. All along, they could have gotten the answer right away if only they had the right tool.
Over the daily course of operations, manufacturing teams are going to face problems that require immediate attention:
- A piece of machinery needs repair
- A safety incident needs to be reported
- Someone has a question about product availability, orders, deliveries, how to use a piece of equipment, the next step in a process, etc.
Any delay results in downtime, which means you’re probably losing money. Idle employees are underutilized employees, which is another hidden waste companies struggle to fix.
How EVAN360 Addresses Waiting: EVAN360 eliminates downtime and increases productivity through instant support. The tool enables people with problems to connect to people with solutions in minutes. It’s designed to set your team up for success by giving them access to the right experts who can answer questions fast. When it comes to support, people crave a human connection. EVAN360 is different from traditional support solutions (ticketing systems, chatbots, help centers), because it provides an immediate human connection without the wait.
2. Non-utilized Talent
You’re missing out if you aren’t utilizing your people’s talent to the fullest. This includes:
- Not using people’s knowledge to fix past mistakes
- Not training people properly
- Not listening to people
- Not assigning tasks to the right people
- Making premature assumptions about people’s knowledge, skills, or abilities
When people’s knowledge, skills, and abilities are underutilized, they’re more likely to disengage and leave. They will get burned out and be less motivated to make suggestions for improvement when their ideas are shut down or ignored.
In reality, people in the field or on the front lines are more familiar with daily processes and procedures than upper management. They will have insight that no one else does because they have a unique, firsthand perspective.
Many people have knowledge they aren’t given the opportunity to use, which is especially significant when it comes to support. There are people in your organization who have the right knowledge to answer fellow teams members’ questions fast. But instead those team members are sent through the ticketing labyrinth. Those with knowledge need the opportunity to share it with those in search of answers.
How EVAN360 Addresses Non-utilized Talent: With EVAN360, people have the opportunity to share knowledge and provide assistance to those in need of help. It enables people to instantly connect so those who need support can get it from the right person in minutes. When a problem arises, your people don’t want to talk to someone on the other end of a support line. They benefit most when they can access the right person within the organization who can provide personalized, immediate help.