Many paperless manufacturing projects fail not due technology, but cultural or personality problems. We show how to overcome the problems and find success.
By David Oeters, Corporate Communications with CIMx Software
We’ve done a lot of MES and paperless manufacturing implementations over the years, so we’ve also heard a lot of excuses as to why a digital shop floor would never, ever, work. “That’s not how we do it,” is one that comes up a lot. Most often, that’s quickly followed by. “It’s never going to work,” or “I can’t use that.” We often also hear phrases, like, “Why do we need that?” or, “That won’t work.”
There are times when those phrases are uttered out of fear – fear of change or fear of the unknown, but other times those phrases are a sign of mistakes made early in the process. They are often uttered by the grizzled shop floor veteran. He (or she) know their way around the shop floor, and have worked out the “best practices” for their job. A new system, even one that automates many of the most annoying and time consuming tasks or eliminates the errors that cause quality escapes or scrap, can’t (and probably shouldn’t) replicate the processes they are comfortable with. Maybe they’re afraid of what the new system will mean for them?
Many times, when you start pushing them to change their ways, adjusting their work station, or forcing them to log in with a user name they don’t want, people can get grumpy, stubborn. This time of year, you could say they become Grinch-like.
It’s going to happen. The grump, or the Grinch, will make an appearance any time you make a major change on the shop floor (even a positive change) and you haven’t positioned your team for success. You can’t ignore them, and you can’t let the Grinch hold your shop floor back, so what do you do?
Never fear – here four steps you can take to give your Grinch-iest a dose of the paperless manufacturing spirit: