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In a course I gave to a certain company, some employees mentioned the "lean production" the company was implementing at one of its divisions. Nathan, who works at that division, stated that "actually, all this lean stuff has one hidden agenda. It's directed towards moving maintenance over to the operators, loading them with more tasks than they are already loaded with".
One CEO once told me he often gives advance commitment for unrealistic delivery times he has no possibility of reaching. But if he doesn't commit to brief delivery times, he won't get the order.
In the past, when I managed a company that manufactured and supplied office furniture to institutions, I began my term by visiting the delivery area to find out how deliveries are handled. To my surprise, I discovered that there was no follow up on packing lists and that the drivers didn't always turn them in.
Just keep one spare tube in the drawer. When the current one is finished, take out the new one, take it out of its box, but don't throw the box away. Place the empty box in the same place as your shopping list, as a reminder of what you need to buy. By the time you use up the present tube of toothpaste, you will have bought a new tube on a routine shopping trip at the drug store or supermarket.
If we have product trees, where the materials composing the final product are detailed, it is easy to work in the IT system to link the materials requiring movement from the warehouse for production and packing of the product sold or entering the warehouse before sale.
One employee interviewed said that she loved working there. People were nice and she enjoyed working with them. I showed this same employee a photo of the sign over the door and asked her if she recognized it.
If it is true that much employee absenteeism is an expression of lack of motivation or identification with company objectives, does granting a non-absenteeism bonus address the root cause?
I asked the Swiss manager how he addressed the situation. He shrugged and said "There's nothing you can do. An employee who gets up in the morning and doesn't feel like going to work just goes to his doctor and says he has stomach or back pains. What can the doctor say?"
We may often be faced with a specific problem, a breakdown. The breakdown may be in production, in purchasing, in sales or in any other realm. Our first goal is to resolve the problem: to find the reason, to come up with a solution and to carry on.
My young daughters, who will soon turn ten, often use a phone app called music.ly, filming themselves in a clip with a song in the background. When I asked them one day how they synchronize separate clips of each person onto the same screen, they looked at me in disdain – a look reserved for someone who is generations behind the technological times…