In our last blog we explained what a visual factory is and how it will benefit your manufacturing business. This time we’re offering five top tips on how to create a visual factory and ensure that it brings tangible, powerful and sustainable results.
The whole point of a visual factory is that your visual management assets are consistently placed throughout the premises. These assets act as visual cues that enable team members to achieve fluidic processes and uninterrupted workflow. If there’s an area of operations that remains slow, clunky or ineffective, it’s time to decide which types of visual tools will remove barriers and constraints.
To give you an idea of how this would be implemented, the following areas can all be made more visual:
Whilst some visual management tools used in your visual factory may be generic, many others will require some form of customisation. For instance, visual management boards, shadow boards, cleaning stations and PPE boards can all be designed to fit the exact needs of each department. In doing so, visual information is streamlined, offering only what’s immediately required by each individual team. This facilitates the 1-3-10 rule and helps workers to get more done in less time.
To ensure that visual management tools bring a strong return on investment, they need to be updated regularly. By adding and amending information as often as it changes, your teams will always have access to the latest figures and can quickly familiarise themselves with how the department is performing.
Accurate information is at the core of an efficient, productive, safe and profitable visual factory, which is why we’re here to help you make the most of your visual management products through bespoke training and coaching.
The 5S system gives us five clear steps to achieving a productive workplace: Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardise, and Sustain. Many factories manage to put the first four elements in place but fail to create a sustainable system, which results in everything eventually returning to previous standards.
By focusing on sustaining the way in which your visual factory operates, you can establish consistency and longevity. Training plays a central role in this, as your workers need to be confident in applying 5S and have the knowledge required to keep it flowing unimpeded.
Even when the fifth ‘S’ is in place, your teams still need to be on the lookout for opportunities for streamlining, enhancing and strengthening numerous processes. This means having a keen eye for detail and being prepared to apply further changes as and when suitable. By embedding a philosophy of continuous improvement throughout your company culture, your business will never fall behind the ever-changing nature of your business, its wider industry and consumer demand.
Are you ready to create a visual factory that’s efficient, productive, safe and highly profitable? To book an initial consultation that will help you to unlock the power of visual management, get in touch with our team on +44 (0)1482 296451 or fill in our contact form.
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