How To Improve Poor Shift Communication

COMMUNICATION

We all do it. We think we have communicated with someone, only to find out that they didn’t get the message. What if there was a way to confirm that they heard you?

As a father of three boys, I feel like I have to say everything at least 3 to 12 times to establish communication. Even then, I have discovered that it was not really acknowledged. Managing an operation can sometimes feel that way if you do not have proper shift reporting in place, especially if you run a 24 hour facility. With all of the things going on within a plant environment, teams are bombarded by distractions. Their minds are in a million places and verbal communication is sometimes (more than we want to admit) not received. If my son doesn’t take the trash out by Friday morning it is not the end of the world but we will have to deal with the garbage we have plus the upcoming week. In a workplace operation, the stakes are much higher. 

Stay with me. Preventative Maintenance checks need to be done periodically on every machine. Jim thought Bob was going to do it for the next two weeks while he is out on vacation. Jim gets the flu two days after Bob leaves for vacation. A week later Frank, the manager, notices that the pumps are down. When he goes to check on them, he discovers they have not been serviced and a part needs to be replaced. It is going to take a week for the part to come in and repairs made. Production has halted and money is being lost. Frank didn’t see the sticky note on his desk that Bob was sick and had not completed his rounds

Imagine this same scenario with a proper system in place. Frank has implemented a digital log system where each shift has to acknowledge important notes from the previous shift. It also allows all operators to see important reminders made by team members. Bob enters a turnover note that he will be out on vacation. Jim acknowledges the note and takes on the Preventative Maintenance check duties. Jim gets the flu but logs a sick leave form that has a manager signoff notification. Frank sees the notification and calls in John to take Jim’s place for the next few days. John notices a leak at one of the pumps while performing his daily inspection and logs that he has made a temporary fix but a new valve needs to be overnighted to ensure the plant has no down time. An alert is emailed to the maintenance manager and the part is ordered. It arrives the next day and is installed. Frank has been monitoring and managing all of this remotely while attending a conference several states away. Since they had a proper system in place, there was no downtime or rework to be done, and everything continued business as usual.

Most operations have a “system” of communicating but so many managers that I talk to admit it  needs improvement. Having a digital logging system in place is a better way to keep your shift-to-shift communication lines open and accountability in check. If you are struggling in this area or curious how to make it better, schedule a brief call with us today. Try our software for free. We are here to help. 

“We have a fast paced manufacturing operation. LogBook keeps everyone on the same page and makes communicating critical details at shift turnover a breeze.”

Auto Manufacturing Supervisor

Customer

Happy Clients

Helping Humans Communicate More Effectively

“Our organization has been using LogBook for over a year to document and pass along important information to staff members. LogBook is easy to use and replacing the paper logbooks with an electronic version has been a game-changer. The search features of LogBook has saved countless hours when preparing for audits or just trying to locate a key piece of information. LogBook allows for valued information to be available on a 24 X 7 basis to those who need it to perform their job.”

Energy Services Manager

Customer

“The ability to export/import tags from our ERP was a huge surprise. As a result we can now easily index log entries to equipment and areas of our facility. Nice feature! The equipment hierarchies makes searching and reporting quick and easy.”

Facility Manager

Customer

“I wasn’t sure they could do it. The LogBook guys arrived at our plant for the first time on a Tuesday morning. We began talking about our operation and our logbooks, which involved 10 or so different logbooks for different parts of our plant. As we reviewed all of our different needs, it seemed almost impossible that they would be able to get us setup and going in 2 days, but they did just that! On the 3rd day, all of our control rooms, equipment operators and various management teams were up and running smoothly, which was an amazing feat.”

Energy Plant Supervisor

Customer