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This weekend, I received a call from my alarm company.   They were calling to tell me that I had a warning message on a piece of equipment that was failing. At first blush, this seemed fantastic. What great customer service. The CSR let me know what zone the issue was in and asked me to check it.

I had no idea what to do with the information.   How many zones do I have? What are they? Where was the one that had the issue? I was stunned. A call that appeared to be helpful had turned into a problem.

I asked her to look up my “zone map” while I headed to the keypad to do the same. Honestly, I wasn’t even sure whether such a thing existed. It doesn’t. The old panels had a levered door that gave you the list of zones on the side, if the installer had been kind enough to mark them for you. These new digital pads were more complex and yet had less information for me.

She did not have access to such a thing. She told me that I would need to speak to customer service, and transferred me. In the meantime, I located the warning on the pad. Customer service hopped on the line to tell me that she would need to send a tech team to the house to help me.

I’ve gone from a sunny Sunday to a tech team, which by the way is not free? So you’ve called me to give me a problem, rather than solve one and you have no information to help me through what you’ve just said?

PRODUCTION OPERATIONS

It’s similar to so many stories I hear from prospects. Their team has an issue. They don’t know exactly what it is. They see the result of it, but are not able to determine what’s actually wrong. They can lay down problem after problem, but that won’t help them move forward. Others struggle with the same issues repeatedly. That alarm pad is going to continue to give me issues until we solve this (which we did).

If you don’t have true visibility into the work you’re doing and who’s doing it, then you’ll rarely be able to solve the key issues that are costing you both money and time.

We have a saying at CIMx. “It will make you more digital, but will it make you more productive?” The purpose of tools like Quantum and companies like CIMx is that they make you more productive. We should be giving you the information that you seek, not just highlighting the problem. Anyone can mark a red on an andon board, but how do you know what to do with that?

PRODUCTION Control

For us, control is about having the tools, the people and the information to do your work. You may have aspirations to make your team the most productive possible, eliminating all but the smallest inefficiencies. But at the heart of the requests we see from our prospects and customers alike is a need to be able to problem-solve their situations. Every day, things go wrong. They take too long. They don’t go according to plan. Someone misplaces something. Someone else does something incorrectly and you’re looking at remediation or scrap.

You need to balance the information that’s available with automated help where you can. You need as much information as you can get so that you can make decisions when it’s required. Control, for us, is not about limiting what’s possible; it’s not about constricting options. Control is about managing what can go wrong. With the right amount of information, you can move forward, no matter the circumstances.

PAPERLESS MANUFACTURING

It’s a term we’ve used for almost 25 years. You might be wandering around your shop, looking at job packets in plastic sleeves, thinking how do I get this under control? Removing paper is critical, for sure, but it’s not the means to the end. It is the result. If you go in with a mindset of getting rid of paper, you may miss the finer points of flexibility and control that we want you to have.

Paperless manufacturing is about having information at your fingertips. If that is a combination of a digital system for planning and quality, paper job travelers and even huddle boards for your morning meeting, then run your business that way. Only you know what will make you more efficient. Don’t chase the means. Chase the goal.

Our goal is to give your team the tools they need to track your numbers, report on them, analyze and archive them.  Push the Get a Demo 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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