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What Is Standardized Work?

Have you taken the time to correctly implement lean manufacturing within the organization? If you have, your organization should have a system of standardized work used to help you create the right type of outcome you are looking for. The shocking thing you might find is that standardized work often does not become part of lean with many companies. You may take the time to create the charts but it is likely that they do not get posted anywhere and a lot of employees do not even know where they are. These standardized charts need to be clearly visible so your employees can reference them and will be able to know timing as far as the production line goes and other things. If you do not have the charts displayed, it can easily lead to a breakdown in communication. Here are some steps that will be able to help you set up the right standardized work program for your company.

Step # 1 - Research
To create a system that works you need to spend some time researching your shop floor and your staff. You must be able to know what you are dealing with and to really observe the company and how it runs. What are you planning to change with the standardized process? You have to be sure that your data is accurate so you can get the timing right on your charts and that you have all the right information needed to provide you with accurate job descriptions as well. Observe the company and look for the problems that need to be addressed and then get started on tackling them!

Step # 2 - Start with the easy solutions
A good organization will be need solutions now. While you want to create some long-term solutions for the company you still need to make time to work on the simple things right now. What are some of the little problems that you need to fix and can you get started on dealing with these within the week? It's the simple things like fixing tools that have been broken or servicing your equipment that will need your attention right now. You can spend time on the bigger problems later but at least give your employees a chance to do their jobs effectively now with the right tools!

Step # 3 - Introduce lean and standardized charts
In order to get your employees on board with lean you need to take some time to properly introduce it to them. You have to hold meetings to present what lean manufacturing is and then you need to show them how it is going to improve the company and why you are sold on this method. When your employees can see that management truly believes in the program it will make it a lot easier for them to be sold on it as well. The mindset change of your staff is usually one of the hardest parts of implementing lean manufacturing and being able to introduce a standardized work chart.

Step # 4 - Using Kaizen and Kanban
A great way to make standardized charts work effectively for your organization is by taking the time to learn about Kaizen and Kanban and to implement them within the company. You need to take a look at Kaizen and how it will be able to make the lines of communication clear and easier for the company to understand. You also want to implement Kanban as it will help with inventory overhead. It also makes the company organized and easier for you to be able to manage as far as getting the raw goods and parts you need for your staff to create the products and then to properly ship them out to your customers.

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