With technology and systems changing in nearly every industry across the globe, businesses and facilities must adapt to fit these sector alterations. In doing so, they not only position themselves as leaders within their trade, but they also create a culture of continuous improvement within their organization.
An environment of continuous improvement can encompass a wide variety of aspects, including efforts to revamp and upgrade policies and procedures, which serve to enhance the productivity and functionality of the facility, as well as the overall experience of the employees. While these efforts can be defined in many different ways, there are a few elements that every facility can implement as a means to create an environment that constantly seeks to develop and progress.
Identify team leaders to drive improvements
Reliable Plant suggested that facility owners and administrators select team leaders that can motivate and push employees to engage in advancement efforts. These individuals should be well-versed as to the inner workings of the company and what is included in higher-ups' plan for continuous improvement. Additionally, these team leaders should be in close communication with administrators and company owners to provide them with feedback as to current strategies and plan for increased achievements in the future.
Team leaders serve as extensions of management that can also communicate with employees on their level to implement new practices and policies. In this way, these individuals are go-betweens to bridge the upgrading ideas of administrators and the actions of workers.
Machinery maintenance for organizational progress
A plan for continuous improvement should also feature the equipment element, including policies relating to condition monitoring.
Because condition monitoring can provide a view into the service life and health of a machine, and present opportunities for preventive maintenance, this technology should be a staple element of a continuous improvement environment. Equipment monitoring helps to keep equipment reliability at the forefront of advancement efforts. Additionally, condition monitoring efforts that lead to predictive maintenance not only enhances the health of the machine itself, but also the overall functionality of the facility. Production can be stimulated when machinery is reliable and workers are confident of the system's condition.
Create checklists to gauge efforts
In addition to having an equipment monitoring system in place to provide opportunities for predictive maintenance, an organization should also create a checklist for machinery upkeep, according to Reliable Plant. The checklist can encompass a number of items for regular repairs, including examining and adjusting fluid levels and performing functionality tests. The checklist should also feature elements of the condition monitoring technology to review and analyze.
Organizations should also have checklists in place for other purposes, including safety, stated the Center for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These checklists can provide guidelines for fire and equipment safety, and policies depending upon an employee's specific position. For example, a company could create tailored checklists for machine operators, supervisors and drivers to ensure each individual understands all the practices and policies in place for workplace security. A fire safety checklist can include information relating to extinguishers and other supplies, as well as policies for evacuation and other emergency activities. An equipment safety checklist can provide tips for the prudent operation of each piece of machinery. In this way, both new and seasoned operators are aware of the best industry practices.
Test and refine efforts
Through communication between team leaders, employees and administrators, groups can work together to test the effectiveness of their efforts, as well as discover ways to adjust and enhance their plans and practices. Utilization of checklists will show which employees understand and apply safety measures, and team leaders can also perform surveys or quizzes to gauge the knowledge of workers. In this way, personnel can work together to create and sustain an environment of continuous improvement.