A shop floor can be out of focus
I created the image used in the header of this blog about a year and a half ago for another project I was working on. Since then, it's also become the main image the Visual South website's homepage. I like the image because it tells the story of who we are as a company, and how we work with our customers to help them become more efficient. You've seen the image, now let me tell the story in words.
Most of the image is a blurry, black and white shop floor. For many of the companies we deal with, that represents how they see their shop floor. I'm not implying they have no idea what happens on the shop floor, but a lot of the information they need is a little fuzzy in their mind. Here are some examples:
- Will the jobs ship on time?
- A customer is requesting a tight ship date. Can we do it?
- What are my job costs?
- How efficient is my labor force?
The area your eye is drawn to is the color image of an employee in a lens, and that lens is bringing that employee in focus. That's the role we play; we're the lens. Rarely do we have to help customers understand what information they need to bring their own picture in focus. They know what they need; they just don't know what to do to get there, so the picture stays blurry.
I suppose another interpretation of the image is that Big Brother is watching the employee. Although that's not the story I am trying to tell, it could end up being the image a company projects to their employees. This happens when the data collected to bring the shop image into focus is instead used as a club to beat the employees with. (You aren't efficient! You should do better!) Using shop floor data to just judge employees is too narrow of a use for the data. Rather, make sure the data is accurate; make sure you can trust it. Let the data guide you on what needs to be addressed; and what doesn't need to be addressed. Let the data guide you down the path of bringing your shop floor in focus.
ERP that is implemented well has all the tools needed to bring your shop floor in focus. If you need help, let us know. It's what we do.