By Andrew Gager
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Third, departments can benefit from structured days for technicians. This step might seem impossible, but organizing the day significantly helps both efficiency and effectiveness. The average maintenance technician spends 18 percent of the work day looking for parts and tools and another 24-26 percent walking to and from the job. Developing a structure improves both efficiency and effectiveness, especially when managers introduce maintenance planning and scheduling and proper supervision.
Several years back, I wrote a column about supervision and discussed ways supervisors can motivate staff to become a highly functional, organized, and high-performing group. In my research visiting clients and facilitating training sessions around the world, one theme is consistent: A manager or supervisor spends only 5-10 percent of a typical day actually supervising their personnel.
Deming once said, "A bad system will defeat a good person every time." This is proven time after time. I've found that changing or being able to change the system to allow people to succeed works far better than trying to replace all the players working in a broken one.
The three areas I've talked about are really quite easy for managers to address with a little effort and planning, and doing so can pay important dividends.
Establishing an environment in which technicians feel valued and are comfortable offering ideas helps managers tap into their best resources — employees.
Allowing front-line technicians to develop professionally through proper skills training can help managers to develop a culture of continuous improvement in
Enabling technicians to work in a structured environment without constantly fighting fires can streamline maintenance activities and improve both work quality
Andrew Gager is a principal consultant with Nexus Global. He has more than 28 years of manufacturing and facilities experience, ranging from warehousing operations to plant management. He is a registered CMRP, CPIM and Six Sigma Green Belt, and he is formally trained in change-management principles.
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