Dedicating time for improvement

Have you ever felt, as a manager, that you don’t have time to improve the manufacturing processes of your company? Well, you are not alone.

There is work to do every day, there are issues to solve everyday and problems seem to keep arising. It is normal that you end up feeling like you never have enough time to work on new projects or to improve your current processes. 

I wish there would be a magical formula to find you time to work on continuous improvement but there isn’t. You need to find time to do it and the more continuous improvement is part of your mindset, the easier it is for you to make it part of your weekly schedule.

Let me use a very simple but meaningful example to illustrate this situation:

When you have machines on your shop floor, you need to take care of them if you want

them to have the right performance for your business. You need to apply all the corrective measures to prevent them from stopping but, eventually, at some point, machines will begin to stop. They will start to have problems, which are commonly called breakdowns. Your maintenance team will be focused on solving those problems every time they happen.

If those problems become more frequent, ou will need to perform preventive

maintenance, but considering their stoppages, there won’t be enough time.

You will end up either hiring more maintenance technicians or buying new machines. Both solutions mean spending more money and actually hiding the real problems.

To have your machines performing better, you would need to INVEST time and resources in preventive maintenance. You would need to momentarily lose some efficiency, making a

greater effort in maintenance, in order to have better performance results in the long run.

Continuous improvement works exactly the same way as every other improvement project in your company. If you want to improve a process, you will first need to spend some time analyzing it, to understand what has been causing the problems, to then be able to eradicate it.

Once you find the time for continuous improvement, you will start implementing projects that will

eliminate some of the root causes of your daily problems and increase the overall efficiency of your company

Don’t forget: Perform a cost-benefit analysis for every improvement project of your company and decide the effort you should invest in each project. Above all, don’t forget to make continuous improvement a priority.