I was a collegiate boxer, and with that came a rigorous training regimen. There is nothing enjoyable about dieting and early morning sweat-suit cardio sessions. In order to stay motivated, we had a saying, “We train constantly because somewhere out there someone else is doing the same.” You do not want to be the lesser prepared in a battle.
I have unfortunately heard many people in manufacturing resist change as they claim their process isn’t technically broken. That line of thinking may stop you from getting better. My favorite part of capitalism is the competitive drive it promotes. When a company fails to satisfy a demand, a different company often attempts to do it a smarter way and steal their customers. Your competition is always looking for a way to gain an edge over the way you currently do business.
A trained boxer with no competition can become relaxed in their ways, just like a business. If and when a new, enthusiastic opponent appears it can be difficult to break bad habits in order to return to a competitive condition. The best way to avoid this, is to constantly train. For a business, that training equivalent is doing continuous improvement projects.
Not every change idea is good, many are flat out terrible; you will never know until you try them. Each good idea can have perpetual benefits and can make your company incredibly competitive. The best way to measure whether or not a change is beneficial is to be able to record the impact it has on production. Using a digital work instruction software allows manufacturers to change their process and run comparison reports.
If you question the need to change, ask yourself this: If today you got a chance to start your business over, would you buy the same equipment, or follow the same process? Would you do everything exactly the same? If your answer is no, you then surely recognize your competition is one investment away from gaining the advantage. Change keeps you focused and more prepared.
For those of you that do not currently have a digital work instruction/data collection system in place, give us a shout and we'd be happy to give you a demo and answer your questions!