Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Manufacturing a Culture

Need a Carrot

I have now come to realise that my manufacturing knowledge is still intact and there is a huge amount of information still stored in my brain.
This information relates to setting up and maintaining good manufacturing practices that can be applied to any business.
Here I write down my thoughts and ideas.
The 3 basic principles of any business should be:-
Tidiness and Orderliness
A Place for everything and everything in its place.

It really is quite simple right?
The problem is you have to invoke the right attitude and culture into the workforce and it has to be driven and continually supported  by senior management.
It is all fine and dandy to say do this and that then leave it to someone else to look after. It must be continually monitored and improved.
Fix the problem not the blame.

Occupational Health and Safety, what a joke!
We all know that it only becomes important on two counts, when something happens to cause injury or interrupts productivity or when there is a government audit.
Those that try to push and encourage OHS are cast aside as trouble makers or just being a nuisance.

For anything to succeed we need the right attitude and environment. Unfortunately in this day and age everything is too much trouble or too difficult.
We are just to damn lazy, we just can't be bothered or we meet that stumbling block senior management.
I give an example.

Working in the produce area I want to get some carrots.I find the container and restock the bin. The next day I want to get some carrots but when I go to where the container was yesterday, it isn't there so I look around. Nothing. I report that we are out of carrots. The NEXT day I find the carrots stuck behind a load of crates that had hidden it from view.
Can we set the cool rooms up so we can store produce in some sort of order?
To much stock!
Can we decrease the stock so as to have a minimum amount?
Because that is what we have to order.
Because that is what senior management want.
But what about wastage and I am not talking about just stock?
You don't understand the process we have buy ex amount of stock to get a good price.
Why? Couldn't we purchase ex amount of stock and get a set amount of it delivered daily?
Don't be silly we can't do that?
Why not we are their customers and as a customer the same principles should apply as they do to our customers. We could order 70 boxes and have 10 a day delivered.
They wouldn't do it because it is not practical for them.
Oh I see, so it's not practical for them to deliver regularly but it is OK for us to store it?
That doesn't make sense.
I could go on............

We need to change the culture of our workplaces and have senior staff/management playing a continuous role in leading the way.
The hardest part of doing the 3 basic principles is getting started and motivated to achieve whatever it is we want.
You will find as soon as there is stop to any form of productivity then those senior staff/management crumble under the pressure and allow things to return to the old ways.
Everyone thinks the world is at an end and they fail to see the future benefits.
It is just easier to struggle through.
I laugh at their silliness!

If you always do what you have always done you will always get what you always got!

What creates bad work practices is the lack of faith and belief that we can achieve great things as well as the fear of failing. Of course there is alway consequences that will need to be addressed but we don't want that do we because, good grief the only people who would be accountable would be those in charge!

I have over time encountered many who can talk the talk but very few can walk it!
Even in my present situation the talk is there but the walk is no where to be seen and that is why I will always be looking for those carrots right behind those 20 or so crates of oranges that we don't need!

Whitesnakes do it better .............. When your manufacturing a way of life!
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