Standardized work refers to a foundational lean manufacturing practice. Standardized work analyzes and finds the best practices to make products in the safest, easiest, and most effective way based on current technologies. It documents the best practices with detailed steps and sequences in which they should be performed. It is important to complete the process during work execution the same way each time to ensure consistent quality and output. In this article we’ll look at key benefits of standardized work and show how to standardize work with Lean Manufacturing software and elevate the quality of your production lines.
Three Elements of Standardized Work
Standardized work is a principle of lean manufacturing that involves three crucial elements:
1. Takt Time
It is the rate at which you have to complete the products or parts to meet the customer demand. To calculate takt time, divide the available production time by the number of units your customers demand. There should be a balance of takt time with cycle time to create standardized work.
2. Standardized Work Sequence
It refers to the order in which the operators need to perform the steps within takt time using a standard work chart. This helps keep the process operating smoothly.
3. Standard Inventory or In-process Inventory
It is the minimum quantity of parts and raw materials required on hand at any given time during the production time. In lean manufacturing, the goal is to reduce the inventory as too much inventory can lead to over stock or unsold/unused products which takes up time, warehouse space and wastes money.
Benefits of Standardized Work
1. Consistent Quality
When there is no variation in the output, it is easier to predict costs, required inventory, takt time, work sequences etc. Also, the consistent quality of the products leads to higher customer satisfaction.
2. Easier to Identify Problems
When work procedures are standardized, it becomes substantially easier to spot a deviation and resolve it at the earliest opportunity. This is why lean tools like a Front Line Worker platform are so crucial to raise quality control adherence standards and make it easier to discover further improvements.
3. The Ability to Sustain Improvements
Standardized work removes pressure on operators by reducing the stress of tasks being performed improperly, makes training much easier, and increases efficiency. Enforcement of standardized work ensures that new employees are provided with all the information needed to perform at the same level as other operators. This standardized work instruction is the most efficient method for delivering uniform quality work.
4. Safer Work Environment
When employees follow standardized work processes as documented, it reduces risk and potential injuries leading to a safer work environment.
Trends Driving Digital Standardization
Several trends have combined to create the need for greater standardization. Supply chain disruptions, rising commodity prices and growing customer demands make it necessary for manufacturers to increase their operational efficiency.
Modern equipment, with the complexity of its designs, poses unique operational/ maintenance challenges, increased diversification of products, and incompatible systems have made it too complicated for workers to keep everything in their heads or even three ring binders.
This is further complicated by the mass retirement of skilled workers due to the labor deficit known as the Great Crew Change Challenge. So the challenge manufacturers face is that they have to improve operational efficiency with less skilled workers, more complicated machines and an increasingly unstable supply chain and meet customer demand.
These trends combine to create the demand for greater digital standardization as continuous improvement of processes alone rests in the control of the manufacturer. To meet an immature workforce manufacturers must provide inexperienced workers with complex instructions to standardize work instructions to make machine maintenance simple which is exactly where Atheer’s expertise lies.
Benefits of Digitizing Standardization With Front Line Worker Platforms
1. When workflows are digital, companies can use visual training materials such as videos, diagrams, and pictures to provide easy-to-understand practical training materials to the workers. This speaks to workers no matter their education level. Training can be made simple and intuitive enough for even contractors hired for the day to perform tasks the right way the first time every time.
2. Through machine learning and predictive maintenance technology, manufacturers can solve previously unsolvable business problems and unlock previously unreachable productivity frontiers.
3. When manufacturers implement digital solutions combined with intense management processes, they can achieve higher ROI.
4. Proper job execution is validated using photographic or video proof of job completion and high quality data is collected for analysis to power preventive, predictive and prescriptive maintenance.
What Do Manufacturers Get from Digitizing Standardization?
1. An automated and integrated document control system with a lean production program eliminates immense amounts of waste, and manufacturers can achieve a higher-level quality of products at reduced takt time.
2. An Electronic Batch Record (EBR) gives a manufacturer the ability for real-time batch record form validation, quality reporting, and corrective action potential.
3. A fully digital software-based document management system for your data, documentation, signatures, and communications to enhance verification for your production process.
4. Data is available at any time to perform the process to gain holistic visibility of all digitized processes.
5. Increasing value-added production by upgrading equipment, training employees, and implementing more efficient processes to help everyone reach the standard and meet customer demand.
6. A more sustainable carbon footprint through the reduction of forests of paper that were being printed out every day to fill three ring binders.
Setting standards for efficiency, quality and product integrity is crucial to protecting your brand. Customers have an expectation that what they buy from you will feel like your brand and be of uniform quality. Brands can enshrine their standards in Atheer’s digitized workflows to make sure that the product is constructed to meet your quality standards. With Atheer’s AR Powered Front Line Worker Platform you can make sure steps aren’t skipped and your front line teams adhere to your standards for excellence.
Achieving Operational Excellence for Efficiency
You can track and time stamp every step of a work process and discover what adds value and what doesn’t. Then you can standardize work processes for your team to execute the job in the most efficient manner possible.
When your front line discovers hacks or methods of improving your processes you can iterate and redeploy across your entire organization in minutes instead of months. You can continuously improve your efficiency for each process and with Atheer these process improvements can be measured. Which really is the reason you standardize work instructions in the first place.
Enforcing Control Quality Standards To Standardize Work
With Atheer you can make sure digital workflows that standardize work execution so that the products you create have the look and feel of our brand. Digitized quality audits can make sure that any defects caused by deviations are caught before they reach the customer.
Raising The Standard
Increased standardization doesn’t just prevent defects, reduce human error and improve quality. It also gives you the ability to compare production lines, factories and even countries on an apples to apples basis to find new best practices for job execution.
Data will show you who is performing best and you can interview them, integrate new insights and create permanent productivity gains every single time a process is performed. It can also show you workers who are lagging behind who would benefit from extra training. With Atheer’s elevated standardization you can create a work culture where everyone feels supported to do their best work.
Ready to set, enforce and raise your standard of excellence? Get in touch with us and book a demo!