The answer is pretty un dramatic... an adequate production record keeping system. That's right; an adequate production record keeping system is the foundation of all your attempts to become more productive and for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, you cannot even know if you are making a difference unless you have accurate records to see if what you are doing is making a difference.
Secondly but very importantly, by measuring a process you actually improve it. There are dozens of studies that show that the simple act of measuring performance improves productivity. A key driver of human behavior is the desire to look good. Completing a record for a record production day allows your people to look good. Having your crew show you they are reducing downtime through improved methods is another way to look good – getting your staff to think like owners. Creating buy in for record keeping is critical; you can issue all the memo’s you want and berate your staff. When you link record keeping to their success and job satisfaction (nobody likes breakdowns), you will get the records and data you need.
Thirdly, your record keeping system will drive your improvement process. To be effective, your system must record downtime events as well as daily production, weather, etc. Knowing how many minutes per day you are down on both a scheduled and unscheduled basis is foundational. As you develop a database of downtime and the causes you can begin to take actions to reduce downtime and measure your results to ensure your solutions are effective.
Finally, your record keeping system is something you can use in ways you have probably not dreamed of. Your record keeping system allows you to:
Getting started is fairly easy; someone in your operation is the natural record keeper. Your tower person is the most logical. Either by having a binder with paper records that are entered into a computer or a laptop or tablet in the tower will do. This can even be done on a smart phone.
The basic record keeping system should record:
From this you could calculate on a daily basis:
As you develop a history of having these two key metrics, you can see the enormous impact of changes in production methodologies and operating conditions.
More advanced record keeping systems may include:
Record keeping is a mundane and obvious solution. Most operations have some record keeping system although most could be improved. It is time to take it a step further and review your record keeping system.
What does your record keeping system include and how do you use the data you collect? We’d love to hear from you and please share your examples.
Ready to talk parts and get a recordkeeping system in place? Talk to ELRUS today!