Lean Manufacturing: Eliminating the 8 Hidden Wastes – Part 4 of 8. The N in DOWNTIME
Non-utilized resources waste is sometimes referred to as an additional waste. It is not one of Taiichi Ohno’s original seven forms of muda identified in the Toyota Production System, but its potential to drain value from processes is tremendous. Waste from non-utilized resources typically refers to a failure to utilize the full potential of people in a team or organization, but it can also refer to the failure to use any sort of resource effectively, whether the resource is tangible or intangible, human or non-human. Tangible resources that are not used to their full potential are obvious forms of waste in the supply chain. Assets are associated with measurable costs that can be calculated to determine the specific results from underutilized assets or even assets that lie dormant for extended times. Intangible resources are sometimes harder to measure but can be equally costly. The waste of human resources can also take multiple forms. It can be costly to fail to utilize the full creativity and talent of people throughout the team or organization. When creative ideas and solutions remain untapped, the opportunity cost – the benefits that are foregone as a result – can be virtually impossible to measure. The wasted potential for improvement results when people doing the work are not involved and consulted for ideas on improving the methods and processes of the work.
LOOK FOR old guard thinking, politics and business culture, and no or low investment in training.
REDUCE BY eliminating worker’s “check your brain at the door mentality”. Tap into and embrace the thoughts, ideas and intelligence of the persons performing the work, and require that level of involvement as part of the daily business culture. Implement balanced scorecards for measuring performance and create a visual workplace. Brainstorming sessions, idea gathering techniques, team work, training, and clear leadership are required to begin to involve all employees in the company’s drive towards perfection; for continuous improvement to succeed there must be welcomed involvement by each and every employee. Encourage people to take ownership of their areas, processes and products to promote a sense of pride and involvement. Employees must always be considered the company’s biggest asset and leadership should respect them, nurture them, and involve them in the business. Those companies that do so will create a competitive advantage and reap the rewards.
A Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is a strategic management tool that measures how well the business activities are aligned with the organization’s strategic vision. It balances financial results with non-financial performance metrics. The novelty of the Balanced Scorecard is the addition of non-financial metrics. It is also a management system, not just a measurement tool, in that it helps to clarify vision and to translate strategy into activity.
A Visual Workplace is not about buckets and brooms or about posters, signs, and lines on the floor. It is a compelling operational imperative, central to the war on waste, vastly reduced lead times, and an accelerated flow of material, people, and information in and through the workplace. Visuality is first and foremost a language; the language of the company’s operational approach, optimized through visual devices and systems. This language translates vital information into visual displays as close to the point of use as possible, thereby making it possible to recognize the pattern of work without speaking a word. A visual workplace is populated by the many visual devices invented by a workforce that knows how to think visually. Visual thinking is a person’s ability to recognize motion and the information deficits that trigger it, and, then, to eliminate both through solutions that are visual. One of the main by-products of effectively implemented visual workplace is the emergence of a new core competency – employees who know how to think visually, and a workforce of visual thinkers is the way to true visual management in any company.
Is your company leadership reaping the maximum rewards of sustained financial success by harnessing the intelligence, skills and experience of all employees?
Watch for upcoming articles on Lean Manufacturing and the remaining Hidden Wastes of DOWNTIME…
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