Reporting outputs, actions and results is a way of life in manufacturing. Daily reports are the lifeblood of any good production environment and encompass quality, operations, supply chain and health & safety to name a few. It is typical to have to spend days compiling weekly or monthly reports with significant input from valuable staff.
When you run a critical production environment such as a multi-line food process or packaging for FMCG, you are very familiar with internal audit procedures and the appropriate BRC Standards. Within these standards are the requirements for internal audit schedules leading to corrective and further preventative actions.
When your production operative has to report an issue they are under stress. They are losing Takt time in reporting the issue, it might even be their fault and they will end up talking to a supervisor they do not know. But most important the production output might be compromise and the line even halted – A BIG DEAL.
Is there a better way?
You have a help desk and all the skills in your team to fix any issue but..
- Phone calls provide insufficient information
- Emails are vague
- The reports aren’t timely
- Follow up calls required to understand the issue
- Site visit needed to find out the real issue
- Vital information missing
The field of human factors is still developing and the understanding of how people react in stressful situations has been pioneered by NASA and the Nuclear Industry.
The insights produced by human reliability analysis have shaped the human – machine interface in some of the highest risk environments, such as spacecraft and nuclear power plant control rooms. In these environments performance has been enhanced by using the Standardised Plant Analysis Risk Human Reliability Analysis SPAR-H method.
In the production environment things can and do go wrong. A lot of effort goes into preventing and reducing occurrence, underpinned by an understanding of human factors – incorporating Performance Shaping Factors (PSF’s). Common key PSF’s are:
- Available Time
- Stress and stressors
- Experience and Training
- Task Complexity
- Quality of Operating Procedures
- Operator fitness for duty
- Work Processes
But when things do go wrong and we have to report an issue by picking up a phone – we throw these PSF’s in the bin!
Analysis of human error rates shows that a normal person will make an error 1 in 4 times under a normal (general) stress environment – such as reporting a problem at work. Most work process are structured and in production environments they have well developed processes with detailed training. These processes are designed to reduce human errors by a factor of 100 or more.
When you see something so simple that absolutely nails a problem on the head there is a tendency to believe that getting there was easy. Someone saw the light and came up with an elegant solution an obvious problem.
In a time when all things are being automated, it is easy to forget just how good your people are at their jobs and observing what is around them.
Sometimes things need to change.
You have spent a few weeks checking that things need to change, you have gained evidence that things need to change, you get confirmation that things need to change, then nothing happens.
What is holding back the change?