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If you remember air travel when you dressed up, it was a completely different experience. In the 1930’s, air passengers could spend as much as 5% of their annual income to fly and wore red carpet wear. All seats were at the same ticket level as only the richest people could afford to fly. By the late 1970’s, people were dressing down, but not because of air travel itself, according to Janet Bednarek, a history professor at the University of Dayton. While deregulation and competition drove ticket prices into ranges that more people could afford, they were directly responsible for the change in dress, which was already happening elsewhere in the culture.

You can also find safety records back as far as you want to go. There are records citing the increased safety of air travel over the last 75 years. If you want to look at the timing of airlines, however, you will have to search a little deeper and be satisfied with less data. Cirium claims to have the longest, continuous analysis and that’s at just 14 years. Global airlines in 2011 (the farthest back I could find) was high at 90%, the US a bit lower. And, while I sit here in a terminal where 20% or so of the flights on the board are marked red (as in bad), I’m amazed to see that by 2022, the rate of on-time global flights only dropped 1 or 2 percentage points to the very high 80s.

So I have to ask whether the rates have just gone plummeting and the 2023 reports will show us this in a few months’ time, or am I just experiencing a pocket of issues? Is that the same for you? How about your shop? You know I’m going to compare this to your shop, right?

PRODUCTION OPERATIONS

Your Production Operations team needs access to relevant data to really make your shop floor hum. You do, too. For you, going back 14 years might be amazing; from where I sit, I’m always more concerned about the type of data and how often teams I work with collect it rather than for how long they track it. I do want them to hold records for much longer, but I also want to know there is context there. If you have data from last month, are you using that to dictate what your shop floor should be doing today? Are you using past performance to set the bar today? And, if you are, should you be?

Often, the tools that you may use to tell you how your team is doing, including Excel, most production tools, and the occasional whiteboard, do not give you a real read on the way your team should be performing based on the work you have. We’ve discussed this before, but the thought of the recent airline on-time rates you see on many news channels got me thinking about it again.

Data is only relevant if you know what it’s measuring and if that measurement should set a bar for future measures. Fluctuations in job quantities, complexities and repetitiveness all change how you might see the performance numbers and judge them. If, for instance, your team worked on getting a single job out last week and, gathering all-hands-on-deck, you managed to push it out, you may find that your numbers have shifted dramatically this week when you’ve got 10 different types of work and everyone’s doing something different.

Similar to me sitting here in this airport, where I’m watching others board in a storm, while I’m sitting here at the gate with announcements that the airport is shut down for safety as there’s lightning in the area. Where we sit definitely dictates what we think about the view.

THE STATS OF YOUR SHOP

If you don’t have a system to help you track things in your shop, you’re probably leaning on white boards, huddle groups and Excel to get you through. It is possible, with these tools, to assess the performance of your team after the work is done, but my experience in speaking to thousands of manufacturers is that this is a time-consuming, inaccurate process that lacks value based on the required inputs.

If you’re struggling like many of the manufacturers we speak with, you’re having problems keeping staff levels high enough to sort out the orders you have coming in. It doesn’t seem that demand has stopped. People have just stopped applying for the positions you have. At least not in the numbers they used to. Similar to those statistics earlier about the airline industry, things are different now and there are different expectations.

Is there a way to use a system to be more progressive and woo younger workers to your shop? Eliminating some of the frustrations of work to be done without the right materials or equipment or constant wait times while someone else finishes a job can all but be eliminated with the use of the right digital platform.

These are the very challenges that we see shops deal with every day.  Give your team the tools they need to track your numbers, report on them, analyze and archive them.  Push the Connect button to learn about how we help teams with this.  Or, if you have a question, reach out to info@cimx.com.  We are here to help you save money, time and get your Production under Control

Contact CIMx Software to see how a Manufacturing Execution System can improve production control for you.

 

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