It’s not only a new year, it is a new decade. Now is the chance to regain your focus and finally do those things you have been saying you need to do. Over the past few years, I have been listening to managers across the country and hearing similar grumblings. They seem to all be dealing with the same types of problems. The question I ask myself is, what are you doing to correct these issues? What actions are you taking to keep these continuous problems from happening? Are you willing to do what it takes in 2020 to make your operation excellent?
If the answer is yes, I ask you to consider these things as you plan your approach to the year.
Data. We hear this word more and more, but do we value it? In some cases I see operations that are overwhelmed by the amount of data available, in others they struggle to get the data from the people and machines around them. Whether large or small, your operation needs data to function properly. You cannot make sound decisions without it, and bad data can cause damage. You must foster an environment where your team thrives on capturing and utilizing the data available. You will need mechanisms in place to capture data and tools to process the data for review. I think of data as the evidence to solve the mysteries present each day.
It is not enough to have vast oceans of data at your disposal. It is crucial to have a tool that can structure the data available in a way that is easy to view and put into use. Structure the intake with templated forms. With this I mean digitally. We must take hold of the technology around us and put it to good use. Pictures can now accompany words to provide a better understanding of events that occur and understanding of why they occured. Trends in data can give leadership what they need to make better decisions now more than ever before.
An operator capturing data during their rounds is helpful only if it is communicated to the other appropriate team members. Putting it down on paper and stuffing it in a drawer or “coffin” ,as one plant manager called it, is just a waste of time and effort. But, add it to yesterday’s data and communicate that to your team and now you have AWARENESS. You are now able to put your finger on the pulse of your plant. Your team will begin to understand why failures happen and how optimization can be achieved. Having a platform that shares the data captured to the team brings clarity and accountability into your operation.