In lean we are forever diagnosing processes, identifying wastes, looking for bottlenecks, measuring inventory and talking to customers. How often do we consider the people within an organisation and their effectiveness.
Labour costs in manufacturing industries can be low but the consequences of bad practice can be massive. The impact of labour within the service industry is obviously critical. I am yet to find an organisation that truly regards and manages its people as an asset.
Your average £50k engineer may cost you well over £1.5m during their employment. Try this challenge – would we introduce a £1.5m asset without project plans, feasibility studies, commissioning teams and TPM (Total Production Maintenance) schedules? How do we introduce and manage, maintain and retire our people by comparison.
How often do we talk about increased risk to processes brought about by our people, what is a people poka yoke, what is people OEE-are they available? Can they work at the pace we require? Is the quality of work what we require?
Too often these conversations occur at performance reviews or belong to HR, I’d like operations to truly manage our people and treat them with the same importance we would if we had just installed a new £1.5m paint line!