Details, Details…Why They Matter
We live in a new age.
Technology has streamlined processes, placing operations light years ahead of their labor-intensive predecessors where manual methods were the only option.
Since the initial productivity leap over these last few decades, however, efficiency gains have leveled off.
Yet, an increasingly competitive marketplace continually calls for more. More profits, higher yields, lower costs.
So what is it that sets best-in-class operations apart? Attention to detail.
As simplistic as it may sound, executing that goal takes time and effort. Perhaps that is why many operations are letting this important ingredient to success slip by them.
Small Improvements Add Up to Big Savings
An examination of just what details are being missed will shed some light on why they are so important.
To demonstrate the value of details, let’s look at two similar operations that produce very different results.
32 Minutes or 9,600 Documents per Day
We’ll assume that each shop has two scanners with the same throughput rates, 300 documents per minute with one jam occurring per machine every 30 minutes.
In Shop A, scanner operators average three minutes per jam repair, while Shop B can get the scanners up and running again in only two minutes.
That one-minute difference adds up. Shop A will lose 96 minutes over an 8-hour day, which translates into 28,800 documents that are not processed.
Shop B, on the other hand, loses only 64 minutes or processing capability of 19,200 documents.
A difference of 32 minutes or 9,600 documents per day between each operation. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder that Shop B experienced holdover on a daily basis.
The good news is it can be eliminated with simple attention to detail.
$1,000,000 per Day
Drivers with a package delivery company recorded each delivery on a tablet device.
A reduction of a single keystroke from each recording multiplied by the number of deliveries and drivers equated to $1,000,000 per day savings.
As you can see, opportunities for improvement are measured in fractions. For the most part, technology has already provided all the major gains.
Not every business is as massive as these examples. But the opportunities for savings are just as real.
Improving the Overall Process
There are few real home runs out there when it comes to improving the overall process. The way companies will score with an accumulation of singles.
That means a combination of small improvements and changes throughout an operation. It might be gaining a minute on jam repair on a scanner.
Perhaps it’s reducing the number of keystrokes required to perform a data entry operation. It’s all in the details.
Want to learn more? Attend FTP’s Managing Operations Workshop to gain valuable, practical and forever management skills.