Imagine your boss telling you that they were going to install an advanced manufacturing software to track every bit of your job to improve your productivity. If that was their pitch, I’m sure you would not be too excited. In the world of manufacturing, operators are told to go faster every day, all without making any errors. It is far more important to acquire buy-in from operators than management — it is the operators that have complete control in making this process change a success.
Middle and upper management must collaborate together to create clear objective. Internal cultural hurdles should be anticipated and counter-actions put in place. If skeptical operators learn of the project early, they might become anti-sponsors, spreading negative rumors about what is to come. Create incentives to reward positive behavior, and once your goals/milestones are identified, talk with your most progressive operators and ask them for advice. Listen to what they have to say. Select some of their suggestions, and do them, even if it isn’t the best idea, let your operators have some control of the project.
Work Instruction Software Install
Scout Systems knows that the installation of the work instruction software is a critical time to establish operator buy-in, and we work with our customers on site to help them succeed. Before any hardware is introduced, we ask for an hour alone with operators in a conference room, to go over how data collecting benefits operators directly. We ask that management not participate, as we want the operators to feel comfortable voicing their concerns. We use tangible exercises and relatable examples to demonstrate how data does not target individuals, but isolates problems that were previously invisible to management.
The project is now in the hands of management to maintain momentum. Announce the previously planned milestones and their incentives. The new process must be enforced, otherwise the project will inevitably revert. For a few following weeks, they should check in periodically with the operators. Those who are enthusiastically embracing this change should be celebrated, these are the employees that will help your company improve and should not be neglected.
Change can be a difficult thing to implement, therefore it requires great planning and support from upper management. If data collection and digital work instructions is something your manufacturing plant has been considering, contact Scout Systems today and talk to someone about your data collection interest.