rich life over a life of riches
I choose a rich life over a life of riches – why Messi should have too
August 30, 2021
Spaghetti Diagram
Spaghetti Diagrams to reduce waste
September 7, 2021
rich life over a life of riches
I choose a rich life over a life of riches – why Messi should have too
August 30, 2021
Spaghetti Diagram
Spaghetti Diagrams to reduce waste
September 7, 2021
Show all

Visual Management: creating visual communication easy and fast across a busy factory hall

Visual Management

Visual Communication or Visual Management makes the workplace understandable to anyone immediately. It allows anyone to see if the situation is normal or if there are problems. Effective visual management applies the ‘5-meter 3-second rule’: everyone should be able to ‘read’ the situation from 5-meters distance in a period of 3 seconds. You can see what immediate action needs to be taken to return the situation to standard or normal. A good visual workplace has a variety of simple tools that enable you to manage all aspects in the workplace. This results in quicker decision-making and faster response to problems.

In this example, a factory hall with seven packing lines was experiencing intermittent downtime due to delayed delivery of boxes to keep the machines stocked. The forklift driver was ‘too busy’ to keep all lines running. The team was coached to come up with a solution; one that did not involve hiring an additional forklift driver and leasing another forklift. They were challenged by the manager to “empty their brains before he opened his wallet”.

The team’s solution was brilliant and simple at the same time: they spent $50 on green and red paint and solved the problem. The root cause was not that the forklift driver was too busy, it was that she did not know which line was the priority for replenishment! In the ‘before’ picture on the left, a pallet sits at the line and does not ‘communicate’ anything. In the ‘after’ picture on the right, the team applied green and red paint to the wall behind the pallet. From fifty meters away the forklift driver can see the layers of the pallets being destacked. Once the colours turn from green to red, she knows the line is running low and needs replenishment. Line priorities communicated across 50 meters in seconds, without a word being set; again brilliant and simple visual communication.

Where can you apply Visual Communication to stabilise and improve your business performance?

A good visual workplace will:

  • Help us identify priorities
  • Enable us to know if targets are being met
  • Let us know what is being worked on and indicate the workflow
  • Let us know if things are going off track
  • Identify how things should be organised and if anything is out of place
  • Ensure we operate safely
  • Provide real-time feedback
  • Give everyone the same information
  • Reduces time which makes decision making quicker and easier.

 

Visual Management is one of the practices of our Productivity Growth WheelTM. Contact us at Productivity People on 0800 pro-people or info@productivitypeople.co.nz if you want to learn more about this.