Efficient Plant April 2019 - 8

column | implementations

I

My Time Is
Not Your
Time

RECENTLY RETURNED from a
business business trip involving a roundtrip flight and a three-night hotel stay.
On my way to work, I purchased a breakfast
sandwich and coffee. Upon arriving at the
office, I contacted the IT department for
some assistance loading an application. At
lunch, I made a purchase using my iPhone.
On the way home, I picked up a few items
at a grocery store and drugstore. At home, I
opened my mail, including a letter from the
car dealer regarding a recent oil change. The
next day, I took a cab to the airport to start
another day of activities.
What do all of these events have in common? The vendors all wanted me to provide
feedback through a survey. Often, a respondent's input is tied to incentive pay and/or
to obtain your shopping/logistics data. How
many exchanges start with prompting you to
take a survey at the end of the conversation?
Let's do the math. When I (and you) conservatively get five to ten survey requests each day:

Dr. Klaus M. Blache
Univ. of Tennessee Reliability &
Maintainability Center
(RMC)

5 to 10 surveys/day x 365 days =
1,825 to 3,650 surveys

Impact of Employee Engagement on Productivity
2
1.8
1.6

R2 - 0.7346

Productivity

1.4
1.2
1
0.8
0.6

At 5 min./survey, that's 9,125 to 18,250
minutes, or 152 to 304 hours, of your awake
time. If you replied to every survey you're
invited to take, you could be giving up about
an hour every day. Furthermore, I don't want
to provide more input until you can demonstrate you implemented previous collected
data.
This is equally true on the plant floor. Too
often I see where engineers are challenged to
implement two or three kaizen-type events
each year as part of their performance reviews.
So, they ask trades, technicians, and operators
for ideas and tell them that the good oness can
be implemented quickly.
What they forget is this same workforce
has been asking for these same improvements,
and many others, for many years. That's why
most of North America averages less than
one suggestion per employee. Also, imagine
how many backlog jobs are not getting done if
trades are now pulled away to help engineers.
Kaizen events, in general, are good.
Engineers teaming up with trades is great.
However, do it with a process that supports
and rewards both sides. I did a study several
years back (yes, another survey) that examined
the benefits of ongoing employee engagement
and implemented suggestions. The results
indicated teams that control more of their
daily work and problem solving have 36%
greater productivity. Also, when team members are engaged enough to generate suggestions, it results in greater throughput. Listen
more to the people working closest to your
product and protect your time. EP

0.4
0.2
0
0

5

10

15

20

25

Suggestions implemented per employee

30

Allow teams to control their daily work and problem solving and productivity will increase
dramatically. Source: Dr. K. Blache manufacturing plant study

35

Based in Knoxville, Klaus M. Blache
is director of the Reliability &
Maintainability Center at the Univ. of
Tennessee, and a research professor in
the College of Engineering. Contact him at
kblache@utk.edu.

8

| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

APRIL 2019


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Efficient Plant April 2019

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Efficient Plant April 2019 - 1
Efficient Plant April 2019 - Cover1
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