An essential part of Lean Manufacturing is developing standard works. Standardization of processes includes documenting the steps of a job in the sequence they should be performed. It optimizes these tasks to provide better quality and accuracy. PCI Group’s Director of Business Process and Improvement Tim Lackey explained the company’s adoption of standard works in this episode of Ask the Experts.
“Standard works come from 5S and are related to how operators perform work. It’s taking complicated processes with hundreds of steps and breaking them down. Without this, people learn from word of mouth, which can become the telephone game and cause inconsistency,” Tim shared.
The company tapped its top-performing operators to define the big steps of what they do every day to develop standard works. Then all the little ones underneath. Those became standard works documents. “Once we had an agreement on these, we rolled them out to all departments,” Tim said.
The motivator to implement standard works is all about consistency and understanding where the challenges were so they could identify these and work to improve them. They also worked hard to get operator buy-in. “If they know a better way to do it, we want them to tell us to make everyone better,” Tim added.
The company currently has 200 standard works. “About 75% of those all deal with getting the images on the paper, into an envelope, and into the mail stream. The others relate to support functions, but we’re focused on the value-added activity for customers because that’s what they pay us to do,” Tim commented.