Tag Archive for: Employee engagement

LEADING FOR SUCCESS: MORE Tips to Help You Make Your Company Great

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More Manufacturing Industry Insight from Paul Hogendoorn, FreePoint Technologies Founder:

“..I’m continuing the series of sharing tips I’ve learned from manufacturing companies and leaders I had the privilege of working with that were clearly succeeding and thriving, rather than just surviving. The tips are the best things I gleaned from them. The idea behind this series is to share all so everyone can do even better.”
~Paul Hogendoorn, Founder

 

In the first column, the tips were: “Don’t make a big production of it”, and “Your people are the smartest people in the room”. The two tips in the previous column were “What gets measured gets improved” and “You can get a lot more done when you don’t care who gets the credit.” They all seem relatively straightforward, but there’s more to it than just an easy-to-remember slogan.

“Digitize your proven processes first.”

A common and expensive mistake many companies make is that they tamper with proven plant floor processes in order to digitize them to achieve their stated Industry 4.0 goals. The mistaken belief is that it’s okay to change an effective plant floor process to accommodate a new digitized system, and the new process with a digitized system will be inherently better than the current process with an older manual system. This is a mistake on two counts. The first is that you may have reduced the effectiveness of a fairly effective production process, and you make money on the production process, not on the administration process. The second is that you will likely have made gaining buy-in on the implementation of any new digital system even harder to achieve by starting out on the wrong foot.

There’s a natural tendency to leave working processes alone and tackle problem areas first. However, in this case, it’s better to eliminate one major project variable by digitizing a process that you know already works. You are not trying to do two complicated things at the same time by introducing a paradigm-shifting technology and trying to fix a broken process. Fixing a broken process is a major task and objective by itself, as is digitizing a working process. For your whole Industry 4.0 plant floor digitization plan to have the best success, you need an early win. Digitizing a manufacturing administration process that you already know works well (checklists, scheduling, buy-off forms, etc.) can get you that early win. Taking on a broken process and trying to fix it with technology could stall your digitization initiative or send it in the wrong direction.

“Know your internal customer, and what’s in it for them.”

The larger an organization is, the more layers there are, and the more important this tip becomes. Advancing an idea or trying to get something critical done often means moving the conversation up the ladder one rung at a time. Or, it may mean delegating it down, but again, one rung at a time. Each rung on the ladder has a different stakeholder with a different agenda. A few years ago, my company’s marketing department developed a “persona chart” to help our sales team be more successful by aligning their pitch and terminology with the audience they were addressing. Seeing it all laid out on a single chart revealed how complex manufacturing organizations really are, and how important it is to understand “what’s in it” for everyone on the other ladder rungs.

On the far left of the persona chart are the machine operators and “value-adding, hands-on” people in your organization. On the far right is the C-suite, with the CEO on the very far right. In between, you have supervisors, department managers, plant managers, CI, maintenance and other functional managers, and perhaps division managers. The two main things that change as you go from left to right are the metric of concern and the period of interest. On the left, the metric of interest is parts, cycles, and rate, and the period is this hour, this shift, this day. On the far right, the metric is financial and the time view is this quarter, this year, this stage. On the left, the interest is personal financial security and stability. On the right, it’s profitability, sustainability and growth. On the rungs in between, it’s somewhere in the middle. Knowing how to advance your cause up the ladder, or delegate an objective down the ladder, requires a good understanding of what constitutes success for all the folks you are working with. The better you understand their position and what’s in it for them, the better your chance of achieving collective success.

Paul Hogendoorn co-founded FreePoint Technologies with the goal of giving manufacturers the benefit of information technologies that inform, empower and motivate their most critical asset – their people.

Access Paul’s full series of Leading For Success: Tips in Manufacturing Automation Magazine here: https://www.automationmag.com/author/paul-hogendoorn/

 

#SmartManufacturing #Industry40 #MachineMonitoringSystem #IIoT #ManufacturingExecutionSystem #MESsystem #ContinuousImprovement #ManufacturingAutomation #DowntimeTracking #OEE #LeanManufacturing

LEADING FOR SUCCESS: Tips to Help You Make Your Company Great

.

Manufacturing Industry Insight from Paul Hogendoorn, FreePoint Technologies Founder:

“..I’m continuing the series of sharing tips I’ve learned from manufacturing companies and leaders I had the privilege of working with that were clearly succeeding and thriving, rather than just surviving. The tips are the best things I gleaned from them. The idea behind this series is to share all so everyone can do even better.”
~Paul Hogendoorn, Founder

 

“What gets measured gets improved.”

You might’ve heard this before, but there’s a catch – two actually. The first is “what” you measure is very important. If you measure the wrong thing, the improvements you make won’t make much difference – if any at all – to your operation. The best example I saw was a large tool and die company undertaking a major project to measure the OEE of their critical machines to improve that number. Several years into the project and their second attempt at doing it, one very astute manager concluded that they were focusing on the wrong thing. He observed that the time “under spindle” was relatively short compared to all the time that the pieces of work sat on skids at the end of aisles waiting for the next process to be run on them. He also found that minimizing the time between machining processes was a more pertinent objective than minimizing time under the spindle. The net result of measuring and improving that more relevant metric was a near 100 percent capacity increase in their facility, eliminating all overtime and outsourced operations as well as winning more business and taking on more work. The second catch is that to engage everyone in the improvement effort, the measurement must be shared in real time and be meaningful for the people actually involved. Sharing reports at the end of a month may be good for plant managers and executives to review in their meetings, but that has little motivational or behavioural change value.

“You can get a lot more done when you don’t care who gets the credit.”

I learned this one early on, from one of my mentors at the London Economic Development Corporation (LEDC). He quarterbacked all sorts of small and large initiatives, deferring the credit to others. He was making investments into the people that he knew could leverage the projects’ successes, and if he ended up placing great champions to lead them from that point on, it would become a recurring win with an exponential result. Plus, he’d be free to quarterback another project. One of his most successful endeavours was the formation of the London Region Manufacturing Council. He initiated it and then placed it in the hands of a series of people (myself included) that received a lot of the credit for what the organization accomplished. Twenty years later, his initiative continues to be a strong advocate for manufacturers in the region.

But there is a catch to this tip too. Be careful that the right people get the credit. There are ‘credit takers’ in every organization who will quickly fill every credit void. Even worse, there are ‘credit destroyers’, people sensitive to the perception that when someone else looks good, it’s not good for them. To counter this, praise and credit should be shared publicly and evenly sprinkled over a larger group. The primary praise and credit should be shared more specifically and shared up the ladder a couple of rungs so that the individual may receive more opportunities to do even more great things for your company. Giving credit where it’s due adds to your currency in the organization as well as puts another potentially impactful contributor on the corporate radar. True winning team players are never afraid of having another high performer on the team. ‘Credit’ is an important currency and needs to be invested back into the business wisely.

Paul Hogendoorn co-founded FreePoint Technologies with the goal of giving manufacturers the benefit of information technologies that inform, empower and motivate their most critical asset – their people.

Access Paul’s full series of Leading For Success: Tips in Manufacturing Automation Magazine here: https://www.automationmag.com/author/paul-hogendoorn/

 

@AutomationMag #AutomationMag #SmartManufacturing #Industry40 #MachineMonitoringSystem #IIoT #ManufacturingExecutionSystem #MESsystem #ContinuousImprovement #ManufacturingAutomation #DowntimeTracking #OEE #LeanManufacturing

LEADING FOR SUCCESS: Best Practices Learned Over a 40-year Career

MANUFACTURING AUTOMATION
Featured Article by Paul Hogendoorn
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“’Training’ is one thing, ‘teaching’ is another, but what you and your people would likely benefit most from is ‘coaching.’ You can train people to follow a process – perhaps a refined process – but it’s a process nonetheless. Teaching is what expands their knowledge.”

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Read Full Article: https://www.automationmag.com/leading-for-success-best-practices-learned-over-a-40-year-career/

#Industry40 #SmartManufacturing #MachineMonitoringSystem #IIoT #ManufacturingExecutionSystem #MESsystem #ManufacturingAutomation #FreePointTechnologies #ManufacturingAutomation

The Manufacturing Trifecta

Just in case you don’t know the term, “hitting the Trifecta” is an expression used to describe the ultimate winning bet on a horse race. It refers to picking the top 3 finishers of the race, in the correct order. Since the odds against doing so are extremely low, the winning payouts are often extremely high. If you picked the right horses in the right order, a two-dollar bet could return a 4-digit payout.

Wouldn’t it be great to know which 3 horses to bet on, and in which order?

In many manufacturing companies in North America today, there are many competing ideas and priorities being considered by companies:

  • What is the most important improvement to make first?
  • What investment will yield the biggest return?
  • Which improvements will prove critical, and which ones will result in minimal, if any, gain?

There is an approach that your manufacturing company can follow to “hit the trifecta”. It’s a simple 3 step process. The first step is easy, and relatively low cost. The second step requires a bit more effort but is risk mitigated because it is based on the results delivered in step 1. The third step requires the most investment, but since it is based on the results delivered in the first 2 steps, it is not only risk mitigated, but the cost of the investment may have already been paid for by the results of the first 2 steps. Picking the order is just as important as picking the horses.

I want to show you how you can hit the trifecta in your plant.

Pulling off the Manufacturing Trifecta

Step 1 Icon that is a circleStep 1: Establish an empirical baseline to truly understand the critical “value-adding” activities on your plant floor. This is done simply by connecting your machines to FreePoint’s ShiftWorx system. It is remarkably inexpensive and can be typically be done in less than an hour without modifying the machine or your current infrastructure. Within 30 days of placing this small bet, you will not only have established an empirical baseline of your plant, but you will also have given real-time visibility to the plant that puts everyone on the same page, aiming for the same thing you are: productivity and profit improvement.

Step 2 Icon that is a circleStep 2: Engage your people in the process of improvement by using FreePoint’s Narrative software. You will now be collecting all the information you need to determine all the reasons your equipment and processes aren’t running as effectively as they should be. And more importantly than that, you will have made your people a part of the solution and improvement process, every hour of every day. They will be engaged. FreePoint’s Narrative software is embraced by workers when they conclude that management is not monitoring them, but rather listening to them. This is a powerful game-changer for many companies, especially those companies where people are their biggest input cost. Those same people can also be their biggest asset.

Step 3 Icon that is a circleStep 3: Connect your live, empirical machine data, and your fully engaged people, to your schedule and workflow plan dynamically – in real-time. Most plants use a combination of accounting systems, whiteboards, even excel spreadsheets, to plan and then report on the performance of their productivity. Some may have an ERP system deployed and some may even be considering an MES system. The problem with most ERP and MES system deployments is that it represents a single, very large bet, that will take a very long time to pay out if it pays out at all. FreePoint’s approach is to use what was gained (knowledge, insight, plus early financial payback) from the first 2 stages, tying them together in a process using visualization tools that line up with your plant’s current effective processes. Placing a bet on a system that takes years to fully implement and requires your manufacturing processes to be modified for the system to work is not just a bad bet, it’s often a losing bet.

The Outcome

factory clip art freepoint technologiesIf you are still reading, you are probably wondering how long it should take to hit this trifecta. The first step should take 30 days and should result in a payback 30 days later. The second step should take 30 days, and it too should result in a payback in 30 days. The third step should take about 120 days, but it can take as long as you like, because at that point, you will already have great empirical data, engaged and motivated people, and your system can be built to match your improved, and continually improving, manufacturing processes.

What is the expected payback on hitting this trifecta? From our experience, our customers typically see a 10% to 15% improvement at step 1, a further 10% to 15% improvement after step 2, and a 20% to 30% improvement after step 3. Doing the math, that would work out to productivity improvement, or capacity increase, of between 45% and 79%.

There it is, now you have the knowledge on which horses to bet on! Our suggestion: bet on achieving empirical data first, engaging your people second, and digitizing your plan third.

Call FreePoint to get started today.

FreePoint Technologies CEO Paul Hogendoorn

Machine Downtime Narration is About Listening to Operators, Not Watching Them

FreePoint’s Narrative – it’s not management watching operators, it’s management listening to operators!

As the Co-Founder and Chairman of FreePoint Technologies, I often find myself speaking with curious prospects who ask a few similar questions:

  1. how does it work?” (how does it increase productivity)
  2. how do the operators feel about being monitored?

The Narrative Application works because it encourages management to listen to their operators, not watch them.

The machine data collected from the ShiftWorx system tells management everything it needs to know about the performance of a machine when it is producing parts. However, the best source of information regarding periods of time when the machine is not producing parts is the operator. Before Narrative was connected to a machine, there were no effective, operator-friendly ways of collecting that valuable operator sourced information.

FreePoint Technologies Narrative Application

Narrative Showing Downtime Periods Explained With Reason Codes

Our Narrative solution allows every customer to easily create their own down time categories and conditions unique to their process and company. Many customers often have a list of events they want to track, but since they track them manually, the events are not captured or reported accurately, nor in real-time. Narrative automatically sets the time boundaries of the event and requires only a simple click on the downtime period to associate the condition to the event. Simple. Quick. Accurate. The result is empirical and actionable information on demand, at the click of a mouse or touch of a finger.

FreePoint Technologies Narrative Reporting

Sample Downtime Report Summary Showing Downtime Codes/Events by Minutes and Frequency

The important part: putting these insights into action in a way that ensures management is listening to its operators, and not simply monitoring machines.

Operators will have their own list of things they believe prevent them from doing a good job. “Looking for tools” is an example I hear often from operators and is a great example of an opportunity to put insight into action right away. A small investment in tools, toolboxes, or tool boards will deliver a quick return on investment right away with saved downtime and will demonstrate that you not only value employee input, but listen to it.

Reason codes entered in Narrative provides a real-time explanation for bottlenecks in your process. Quick response changes have a huge impact; you no longer have to wait 2-3 days to discover what is actually happening on your plant floor and more importantly, the changes that need to be made.

Our studies have shown that simply measuring and displaying up-time in a meaningful and relevant way results in immediate productivity improvements of 10% – 15%, and fully engaging your operators can result in an additional 10% – 15% improvement. (not sure how to do that? Just ask us!)

If you are using FreePoint’s ShiftWorx system to monitor machine up-time, take the next step to understand why your machines are down and to shine the light on the bottlenecks preventing improvements to your production.

If you don’t monitor your machines with ShiftWorx, what are you waiting for?

Check out the following videos if you are interested in knowing more about Narrative or the ShiftWorx Platform.   

FreePoint Technologies CEO Paul Hogendoorn

 

Leveling the Playing Field for the Millennial Generation

No one likes an unfair game or an unfair system. With access to new technology such as the internet and social platforms, the new generation is keenly aware of and particularly sensitive to the injustices of the past and the present. The challenge with traditional employee measurement and incentive programs on the plant floor is that there is no common denominator. No way to truly compare the drill press operation to the CNC machine to the cutting of steel. FreePoint Technologies patent pending Shiftworx platform is the world’s first true application that completely flattens the factory floor and levels the playing field for everyone – even millennials. By effectively adopting the core concepts of lean manufacturing and applying technology solutions, FreePoint measures actual value added work vs waste in the exact same way in every process.

cartoon bubble level with soccer field on top transparent background freepoint technologies

While powerful, but becoming increasingly common in machine monitoring, this new cloud connecting technology platform enables the development of deep gamification and engagement tools for any process, cell, plant or group of plants that wish to be at the forefront of attracting and retaining the future workforce. There are no barriers due to language or location. All people and all process are measured in the same common sense and fair manner. Easy to understand and universal in its application, FreePoint equips manufacturers today with the tools and technologies to leverage their existing assets into millennial ready and smart manufacturing powerhouses of tomorrow.

 

For more information on how FreePoint can help level the playing field for your employees, millennial or not, please contact engage@getfreepoint.com.

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