Shop floor tour template
One of the biggest drivers of profit in the manufacturing industry is the effectiveness of production operations on the shop floor. In order to ensure that you are getting the most out of the labor costs you are paying, it is necessary to take regular tours of the manufacturing floor. It is, however, often the case that company leaders have little interaction with those on the ground, and are, therefore, unable to identify areas that need to be improved. From simple things such as production schedules to bigger modifications such as equipment changes, there is always something that can be done to improve manufacturing processes.
In order to identify active production improvement opportunities, business owners should partake in regular shop floor tours. This will allow them to better understand their continuous manufacturing process and how they can improve it. Such tours can be even more productive with the use of the right form to record observations. In this article, we explore the nuances of supervision tours and identify tools and templates through which they can be effectively expedited.
What is an active supervision tour?
An active supervision tour (AST) is a form of fieldwork in which supervisors travel to different sites on their own initiative, often at short notice, to observe the work being done there.
ASTs can be undertaken for any purpose, and are aimed at improving the overall processes within a business. While Gemba Walks, which involves taking a group of people out into the production process and observing how things actually happen, are one of the most effective tools for continuous improvement in lean manufacturing, they can be incomplete.
The AST was developed to address the pitfalls of a traditional Gemba walk. There are three key elements that make up the AST, which have been established through observing thousands of companies across the world:
These three elements form what is called the 3R framework. They enable businesses to provide a sustainable solution to the problem of improving the quality of products and processes, while sustaining high levels of productivity.
Why and how to take a plant tour
Manufacturing facilities are complex systems of interrelated assets that require ongoing maintenance and improvement. This complexity makes it challenging for companies to understand what their plants are capable of doing, and where they might need to make improvements.
To help address this challenge, some manufacturers are taking a different approach to understanding their manufacturing capabilities – they’re touring their plants. These tours offer factory managers a unique opportunity to better understand their plants’ strengths and weaknesses, and to begin developing plans for improving their manufacturing capabilities.
In addition to helping managers understand their plants, a tour provides a number of benefits. For example, tours allow managers to see firsthand the equipment and processes used to produce their product. They also provide a venue for discussing potential changes with employees and they give visitors insight into the culture of the facility.
Although there are no hard rules about how often you should take a plant tour, we recommend that managers conduct one every three months. A tour allows managers to gather insights, ask questions, and explore possibilities. Although a tour won’t solve all problems, it can help you gain a deeper understanding of your plant’s capabilities and limitations, and begin planning for how to improve on both.
What are the benefits of shop floor tours?
Shop floor tours help companies understand their operations better by providing them with a detailed view of how things work inside the factory or warehouse. This helps businesses gain a deeper understanding of their operations, improve efficiency, cut costs, and reduce downtime. Below are some of the benefits that shop floor tours can offer you.
Positive working relationships
Taking a factory tour can be an excellent way to get to know your suppliers and establish good working relations. When you meet your suppliers in person, you’ll find out how much they care about your project, what kind of people they are, and whether they’re interested in working together. By getting to know your suppliers and establishing personal connections, you’ll be able to work closely with them and develop strong business ties, ultimately creating a more productive working environment.
Effective relationships are based on good communications between all parties involved. A visit to your shop floor to see how things are done can help you develop an effective communication style that leads to successful projects. Improving the way you communicate and coordinate with your employees can lead to improvements in the speed and efficiency of procurement processes, and reduce lead times.
Increased employee engagement
Employee engagement refers to the overall level of mental involvement on the part of employees in the various processes that underlie their work. High levels of employee engagement lead to good performance. However, in order to get your employees engaged, it is important to continually interact with them. By conducting regular shop floor walks, you are entering their territory and minimizing the distance between managers and workers. This makes those on the floor feel more appreciated and motivated to give their best.
What makes a good walking tour?
The five basic steps of an effective walking tour include:
- Determining the critical areas and key stages in each process
- Identifying an indicator for each key step
- Validating in real time the indicator for each step
- Asking operators if there are any issues to report
- Recording your tour findings by using a checklist
How important is a form template for recording your walking tour findings?
Organizing your findings is important, particularly when there are likely to be a lot of them. This is where a good digital tool comes in handy. It’s important to record your walking tours using a checklist template that suits the needs of your organization. In order to make the most of your tour, it is advisable to work with a customizable template.
Using a customizable checklist template, you can:
- Address problems that are unique to your organization
- Have a better understanding of the individual and collective needs of your workforce
- Eliminate confusion that might otherwise occur during management-workforce communication
- Standardize your data
Customize shop floor checklists for your business
If you want to make the most out of your manufacturing business by improving your processes, minimizing production delays and increasing customer satisfaction, it is essential that you carry out regular shop floor tours and plant visits. However, it is pointless unless you have an effective system for recording your results. This is why you need a shop floor checklist.
In order to make it as easy as possible to compile a checklist specific to your business and its needs, TurboFormZ revolutionized checklists. We introduced fully customizable digital checklists that make it easy to create, complete and distribute your shop floor data. Not only is it easy to use, it also saves businesses time and money. In addition, it allows you to standardize your data, and share it instantly, creating a more streamlined process.
In addition to our digital checklists, we offer a range of customizable forms, including: