The need for standards:
We are all aware of the various bodies that provide guidelines and standardisation in all aspects of our daily lives, from Education, Hotels, Banking, and Health Services to Manufacturing. The main purpose of these organisations is to provide a consistent level of service, within their specific industry, across national and local boundaries. It is essential that businesses align to the requirements of these external accreditation bodies, an undertaking that is often costly and time consuming. However, many businesses fail to recognise the need to standardise and stabilise their internal processes.
Let’s look at the Automotive Manufacturing industry as an example. The various bodies that an automotive supplier would have to comply with would include the following:
- Quality Standards (e.g. ISO 14001, )
- Environmental Standards (e.g. EPA, OSHA)
- Specific Customer Standards (e.g. FORD Q1)
- Legal Guidelines (specific to the country that facility is located in)
In my manufacturing experience, most companies comply to these standards as separate entities making it difficult to actually understand how each of the different standards impact each other. So our manufacturing company would have (to name a few)
- Work Instructions
- Quality Documents such as Control Plans and FMEA’s
- Environmental, Health and Safety Procedures
- Training and Employee Development Procedures
It is clear that without a concise method of showing how different processes interlink; a business will have variation in how they perform their daily processes. This variation breeds inefficiency and waste which is costly for any organisation.
The Standard Operating Model (SOM) which was developed by Training Leadership Consulting, helps businesses reduce this variation by evaluating and documenting the current state of business , creating a future state and sustaining the new way. This becomes a comprehensive manual for your business which includes a functional overview, organogram, job profiles, standard processes, policies, forms and reports, performance metrics and sample documents. By creating Process Maps for all aspects of the business, the SOM not only identifies at which point each standard is required and how it is implemented, but also illuminates the gaps within the current processes. These gaps can then be addressed to create a future (improved) state.
In my manufacturing experience spanning over 12 years, in the Automotive and Electronic manufacturing industries, I have not experienced a tool that is as effective for standardising internal processes as the SOM. It truly empowers businesses to not only “Do As They Say, but provides a clear method of showing How To Do It”.
About the Author:
Latiff joined Training Leadership Consulting in April 2013 after a decade’s worth of Manufacturing Experience in the United States of America. His experience with Lean Deployment on the factory floor covers a wide range of processes and products. Trained as a Mechanical Engineer in the United States and having worked as a Manufacturing Supervisor, he is able to convey Lean Principles to shop floor personnel clearly and simply. Latiff moved back to Kenya in 2011 and is currently based in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. He is excited to share his Lean experience with local companies to help them improve their process in the spirit of Kaizen.