No one starts out with the goal of being disorganized. Additionally, most processes aren’t designed to be cumbersome. They just get that way.
Putting it in software terms, what starts as a simple “point and click” operation in Version 1 can get three and four levels deep by Version 3 or 4. What happens is that, over time, processes and functionality that are supposedly added to “improve” the end result, take away from the lean, efficient workflow. More bells and whistles only help if you take the time to learn how to use them and rebuild your workflows around them.
Over processing —added processing (or additional touches) that fails to bring value in the eyes of the end user or customer—is usually the result of good intentions. That is not to say, however, that it can’t be fixed. Starting over, or at least taking an overarching, unbiased look at your entire workflow can do wonders for your overall productivity.
Paul Myerson recently wrote an excellent blog post in Inbound Logistics, Are Your Processes Adding Value or Waste? that highlights some key areas to take a look at to reduce non-value add activities.
- Start by focusing on standardized work.
- Consider whether value-add services such as kitting or assembly can be sourced to third-party logistics providers, so you don’t have to waste time creating standard operating procedures and policing over-processing.
- Implement a “Quality at the Source” program to correct over checking and catch problems early.
- Use Value Engineering to make improvements at the design stage.
- Implement Concurrent Engineering
Asking yourself whether or not you are adding non-value touches to your manufacturing processes can be the first step to rectifying the problem and creating a leaner, more efficient operation.
Whether you think your facility is “over processing” or would simply like to find out if there is a more efficient way to get things done, I’d be very interested in discussing your logistics challenges. Send me an email and I’ll reach out to you.