Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Waste Management: Removing The "Re" in Rework..../.

Oftentimes, Waste is defined as that “extra” we engage in over what is actually required. My take WASTE: Worthless Activities That Steal Time & Energy.
For an activity to be regarded as value add, it must meet all the 3 criteria below,

1)      The customer must be willing to pay for it. If the customer is unaware (and not willing) of this extra activity, then it represents waste to them regardless of the cost to your business. For example, a company spending tons of money on internet exposure when there are so many defects in the finished product yet to be fixed, You probably want to perfect your “hustle” before going online

2)      There must be some transformational changes to the article in question, for example, a patient walks into the pharmacy with a prescription in hand. She is willing to exchange such for a physical medication. The internal processes within the pharmacy will cause a transformational change of the physical paper to physical medication which the patient will gladly want to pay for.

3)      Finally, it must be done right the first time all the time
This piece is devoted to addressing the 3rd element above. It is unfortunate that a lot of processes have built in layers of rework in them all in the name of redundancy. I am of course aware of the need to have redundancy built into some mission critical processes, but when used to address something that was not done right in the first place, it qualifies to be called WASTE.
What is rework?
This is a conscious action taken to correct what wasn’t done right the first time. I am sure we can all relate to this within our various environments. How frustrating can it be if after picking up your car from the garage for a tune up, the attendant notifies you that he forgot to install the correct air filter and he wants you to bring it back to be replaced, and perhaps wants to charge you for the extra time. Needless, to say, I can assume what you are saying right now, yes, that’s what I will say.  This extra, totally avoidable trip back is called waste. It is not a value added step and hence needs to be eliminated. This would have been eliminated (and avoided) if the technician was diligent in the first place.  I urge us all to look around and see what we are spending extra time and money on. The example above is a very easy one. I dear say most the re-do’s are very subtle and you may not get to them until several questions are asked. Plan to do a detailed root cause analysis by asking several question until you get to the granular level. What I call “Follow the Whys”

Causes of Rework;
1)      Poor communication. When the expected outcome is not communicated well to the operator. Perhaps, its poor verbal skills or poor reading skills. The expected output is not consistent with the expectations of the payer, the customer.
2)      Lack Of proper training. When the training provided is inadequate or totally lacking. Most times the former is the case. The level of training provided must be continually reviewed to ensure they can deliver the stellar service expected by the customers
3)      Mid-stream changes made by the customer. I have included this because some of the changes should have been anticipated and of course discussed with the customer up front. A lot of our customers have an idea of what they want but sometimes want to rely on our expertise to help shape the final product
Impact of rework on your organization
1)      Extra expense. No matter why rework occurs, its impact on an organization is always the same—wasted time and money. And while no one wants to admit it, these expenses add up quickly and negatively impact the bottom line. And Since the customer is not willing to pay for this,  it represents an extra expense to your organization
2)      Leads to Poor  customer service experience
3)      Loss of reputation. This can further have a negative impact if the patrons take to social networking sites
4)      Undue extension of the delivery time frame. We have to bear in mind the extra time takes for the rework activity.

How to eliminate rework
Although it is near-impossible to eliminate rework completely, but can be reduced by optimizing the way we document data, review processes and communicate changes throughout our organization. If priority is given to evaluating and improving processes, it becomes much easier to reduce the amount of rework. With less rework productivity increases and efficiency improves../.

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