Do you recognize the following: when performing your daily inspection rounds you get little attention of production staff on the shop floor and once you have reported your findings you find yourself in a situation that little or no action is being taken? You really struggle to get your production manager and /or your maintenance manager to really take action? Do you feel like a police officer who is totally ignored by everybody? Well, then this article is really exactly for you! In this article we will give you five tips to implement a daily inspection round approach that really works and as a bonus we’re giving you a very nice Excel file to help you follow-up on all the actions!
Do it Together
Instead of walking the production floor all by yourself, instead do it together with the relevant people: operators and maintenance staff. Only invite the production manager or maintenance manager occasionally. This way you bring several benefits in one go: you have an opportunity to educate the person who is walking along with you and at the same time you get more buy in and ownership of the actions to be taken. You best do this by discussing the details of findings and related risks of all observations with this person and then jointly try to propose a solution. You will find out that this creates a very high level of interest and commitment.
In some quality systems you are asked to tick off all the area’s you have inspected during a daily inspection round. This is too elaborate in most cases and hence you want to change your approach to exception reporting. An easy way to do this is to have a specific theme or subject for each day and only focus on these items, of course still bringing up major items you observe together during your daily inspection rounds. Daily topics can include the following items: pest control, hygiene, glass & brittle plastic, clean floors, clean equipment, verification (of CCPs) checklists, way of working (by just observing for 3 minutes). Only report the exceptions you find as observations and immediately discuss with the people involved (not just only with the person who is joining with in the inspection round) as this creates additional learning and then all together make a proposal for solving the issue.
Three items to solve per day
In order not to have a too long list of things to work on (as you cannot get things perfect in one day), just focus on a maximum of three items per day. Also in you see really big issues which take a more project-like approach to solve, you want to bring these to your internal audit, rather than included them in your inspection rounds. Focus on those items and behaviours that are relatively small, but can go wrong a lot of the times. If you keep the list of items you bring up daily short, you will still get attention during a production during which these items will be discussed. Another benefit for you and the person joining you during the daily inspection round is that this all takes a very small amount of time. Also have a look at the Excel file which we provide as a bonus to you as it is a good template to start from.
Of course you want to keep the list of open items as short as possible. This is best done by good follow-up together with the production manager and maintenance manager. You really need to discuss your findings and (jointly) proposed solutions during the daily production meeting and agree who is going to take action by when. If you complete this with good action tracking (see the bonus Excel file) you will be able to have a high number of actions completed in time!
Reward and Recognition
If your site is big enough you really want to try and build some competition into this scheme as well and have a prize / reward for the group of people (or department) who are closing most actions on time and in full. You can do this by working with percentage of open, closed and overdue actions per area, per shift or per production location. These numbers are easy to calculate and focus on the one things that really matters: solving the issues observed during your daily inspections rounds. Because you use a percentage, it does not matter how many observations you have, it is all about the speed at which the corrective actions are being closed over time! At all times you want to create recognition for the people who have closed the corrective actions. This can be done as easy as inserting their picture with a small description on the finding and corrective action taken an posting it in the weekly management update or on a communication board at a central location. This is something totally similar to the employee of the month structure.
Bonus: Excel file
To make things easy for you, we have included a download options for a nice Excel template for your daily inspection rounds. The file is almost self-explanatory and has some template data already included to show you how it works! Use the buttons to add a new line and show or hide all closed actions. The way to use the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) indicators is to insert “Y” when (P) a corrective action is planned with a named owner and agreed due date, (D) when the action has been completed (C) when the action has been verified and (A) when the action has been effective and if not, leave it open and define a new action to solve the reason why the first action did not work – only put a “Y” in the (A) if the issue has really been solved. Once all four PDCA indicators are put to “Y” the overall action will automatically change to “C” to mark it as complete. Until that time the overall action status will automatically change colour, based on the status of the action (green = still on time, amber = due within 14 days, red = overdue).
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