Setting the Right Parameters for Ongoing Success
Standard Work is a key ingredient in the creation of a Lean enterprise. Day in, and day out, the really successful manufacturing companies follow a standard routine. It’s known as Standard Work. Variety is not the spice of a well-managed enterprise’s life! Every function, every process, every worker emulates the same moves and motions as the day before, and the next day to come.
The reasons for this are obvious, even to the most casual observer: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Once a company has recognized, developed and assigned successful procedures that eliminate wasted time and materials while enhancing profitability, they should keep it going! Unless, of course, better ideas emerge along the way.
Standard Work exemplifies that mindset and takes it to the brink of being a science unto itself! Yet, here’s all it really takes:
Define and record the time for all work elements in a process. Before timing, observe and list the specific work elements required to produce one element. Then observe and define the actual time required for each individual work element.
That being said, there is flexibility to Standard Work. Since standard work is a collection and implementation of the best practices known to that point, improvements in quality, safety, and productivity will appear from time to time. Standard work is updated via work instruction documents, training, and practice. If there are ideas that improve quality, safety, productivity or profitability, why would you not want to share them across multiple shifts?
The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center will lead the way to your standardization skills and prowess. Count on us to help you count your time and materials savings. After all, success is what really counts!