Many manufacturers feel unable to allocate resources to quality management because they are struggling with more immediate challenges on the plant floor right now—especially operator onboarding, efficiency, and knowledge sharing. What if your quality platform could help you deal with those fundamental issues—and enable you to put your focus back on solving quality improvement and operational challenges?
Does that sound too good to be true? Let’s look at how a quality platform like Enact® by InfinityQS solves fundamental needs for your plant-floor personnel.
Onboarding & the Pain of Change
Turnover is a real problem for most manufacturers. Plant-floor supervisors and quality professionals often feel like they keep training people without end. While no quality solution can stop turnover, Enact facilitates a highly efficient onboarding process for new hires and their trainers.
Enact presents information to new users in a simple-to-navigate dashboard tailored to their roles and responsibilities. That way, trainees don’t have to dive into anything overwhelming right away. Instead, Enact offers users only what they need—and in simplified terms.
Regardless of an operator’s experience level, Enact helps them focus on what they do best—operate the machinery that creates the products their company sells. There’s no need to watch the clock or worry about what task is due next. Through an intuitive dashboard that uses alerts and notifications, Enact lets the operator know when:
- Checklists or data collections are due
- Processes or measurements are out of specification
In many manufacturing organizations, the quality system is the impediment to efficiently onboarding new employees. Maybe your current system is too complex. Or maybe your quality solution involves paper-and-pencil checklists. Either way, your operators need extra training and product knowledge to work with it. This takes operators away from their core duties, and product quality and compliance often suffer as a result.
With Enact, plant-floor supervisors can get new hires up to speed faster and enable them to complete their daily tasks more efficiently. Because the dashboards in Enact are set up to serve specific users, it “knows” what an operator is responsible for, and it asks them to perform only the checks and collections that apply to them.
That role-based configuration is a huge benefit when an operator must change production lines or process areas. Enact dashboard information for the operator changes to their new responsibilities to reduce errors or missed checks.
And in data displays such as control charts, box-and-whisker plots, and graphs, users see only data that pertains to their responsibilities: specific machines or lines or whatever their role encompasses. In the example dashboard below, the user’s analysis dashboard contains the box-and-whisker and Pareto charts they’re used to seeing—for their line.
Workflows Add to Usability
Another way Enact provides practical value is through workflows. Enact uses “event workflows,” which capture valuable contextual information about events such as data and timing violations:
- Data violations, including manufacturing limits (e.g., specification, reasonable limits, net content control limits) and statistical violations
- Timing violations, including missed or late data collections and incomplete checklists
Operators can use this information to better manage or prevent similar events in the future. The platform reduces confusion by stipulating rules for how the operators respond to events.
In the context of usability, event workflows add a measure of clarity for all involved. Because operators and supervisors are accountable for taking the right actions, the benefit of visual clarity for event workflows is invaluable—nothing is left to chance. It’s easy and efficient for users to see what is happening and what they need to do. This leads to clarity for both the user and the supervisor who needs to review and validate the actions taken in response to a violation.
Additionally, an operator can incorporate photos or images to notify others of issues that they may not have the knowledge to fix. Having event information and an image of the issue immediately available reduces response time and eases the training burden of new employees.
Losing Tribal Knowledge
The most unfortunate aspect of turnover isn’t the time it takes to train new line operators or similar positions—it’s losing all the tacit, tribal knowledge that walks out the door with the departing staff member.
This loss creates huge challenges for manufacturers these days. When experienced plant-floor personnel retire or move on, they take all their acquired, practical knowledge with them. These are all the little things they did every day that really made a difference in manufacturing operations that are practically irreplaceable.
But Enact event workflows can help capture that tribal knowledge and pass it along to the remaining workers who need it—and maintain a record of how events are handled for future use. Capturing your organization’s tribal knowledge should become a critical element of any manufacturer’s risk management strategy.
Enact Helps Operators Solve Problems
Whereas company executives might be preoccupied with broad concerns, your plant-floor teams are on the front lines of manufacturing processes. Their biggest challenges are grounded in the here and now. Obstacles like the pain of turnover and the subsequent loss of tribal knowledge can feel all-consuming to plant-floor operations teams.
But the reality is that automating your data collection and quality management processes will improve operator efficiency in myriad ways—not to mention help your entire business accomplish what is most important in your manufacturing production environment.
The cloud-native Enact quality platform enables manufacturers to efficiently reduce costs, remain compliant, and increase profitability. And best of all, there’s no risk to get started. Visit InfinityQS to learn about starting a free Enact subscription.