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Factory challenges made EZ – performance management

4 ways to improve performance management

Earlier this year, we spoke to the operations director at a food manufacturer who wondered if she could also use EZ-GO to improve performance management. “We know that we need to take a structured approach to it,” she said. “But we just haven’t gotten around to it. We know our processes can be improved, but we have too little insight to be able to work with them effectively.”

It is a familiar scenario. In most companies, people work hard every day to make sure production runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Of course, you want to know what the results are and whether efficiency improvements can be made, but too often, everyone is just happy they ‘managed to get it done’ – in part because it’s often difficult to collect and properly record certain parameters, and then you have to make a meaningful analysis. Fortunately, new technology can help.

1. Managing based on standards

The first tip we gave this operational director was: manage based on standards instead of end results. That’s both easier and provides information that’s just as good. Just think about it: there’s a reason you work to certain standards, it has been carefully considered. As long as you follow the standard, the results should be top tier. In EZ-GO, those standards are safeguarded in the work instructions, checklists, tasks, and audits.

Operators tick off what they have done, so you know in real time whether work has been done within the standards. If there are deviations, that is a reason to investigate further. If a certain cleaning task is often skipped, it could mean that it doesn’t make sense to do it at that point in the process. Or if a checklist keeps showing the same deviation, that could be a reason to adjust the process. That allows you to improve performance immediately.

2. Accountability to the top, control to the bottom

Performance control actually has two functions. The first we’ve already mentioned: you can make effective adjustments based on what operators have done and documented. The second is reporting to management above you. That gives management insight, confidence, and engagement. This is particularly important if structural adjustments or investments are needed. If a particular machine keeps crashing, if certain materials are regularly causing problems, you don’t have to plead with management to get them to agree to make the necessary investments. They’ve seen it for themselves. When you work with a digital tool like the EZ-GO platform, those reports are easy to generate and share.

3. Prevent and correct

Working with a digital platform like EZ-GO has another important function when it comes to performance management. If action is required, operators can handle it directly in the system – for example, if an error occurs frequently and action is needed from the technical department, or if there’s room for improvement in the cleaning process. The operator can create an action in the EZ-GO app, add a photo or video if necessary, then assign that action to someone, who will report on the status and colleagues can follow the progress on the platform.  That means problems are identified, reported, and solved simply and effectively.

4. Adjust on different time horizons

An app like EZ-GO can be used by different people in different ways, with different time horizons. The standards are the foundation, they are set in stone and respected with work instructions, checklists, tasks, and audits. The team leader can see the results on a daily basis, identify where deviations occur, and make adjustments accordingly. The production manager can then include it in the weekly meetings. And the operations manager we spoke to receives the statistics and results in outline form and can make decisions based on that data. Because the information is recorded digitally, it’s easy to show these different perspectives, so everyone gets exactly the information that is useful to them. This lays an excellent foundation for performance management.

 

We often field questions from customers about specific challenges. In our series, Factory Challenges Made EZ, we’ll show how you can tackle these challenges and what role the EZ-GO platform can play in helping you get there. You can read previous instalments, learn about digital audits, and find out more about knowledge management here.

Curious about the advantages the EZ-GO platform has to offer? Request a demo here.