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They Don’t Just Make Up Procedures For Fun

, , , , , | Working | July 12, 2021

I’ve spent countless hours writing simple instructions with pictures to make the jobs in the factory really clear. All the tools are numbered and the processes have been tried and proven to work. It’s a lot of work but has shown to decrease scrap and issues at the customer’s end.

It’s maddening to find people who just refuse to follow them or think they know better, especially as I talk them through each sheet and why we do it.

I’m updating a few of the instructions on the factory floor, and I am just waiting for [Employee] to finish so I can swap his instructions and take him through the changes, but I notice that something is off.

Me: “Hang on. Where’s the scraper?”

Employee: “The what?”

Me: “The scraper tool, about this big, you use it between parts?”

Employee: “We don’t use anything like that on this operation.”

Me: “You do! Look!

I point to the big picture of the scraper in the instructions and then to a hook marked “scraper.”

Me: “And look, there is a space for it to hang up.”

Employee: “Oh, yeah. We stopped using it because it was taking too long.”

Me: “You don’t get to make that decision. This is the process and you should be following it.”

Employee: “I don’t see the point. We haven’t been using it for months and nothing bad has happened, so what’s the point?”

Me: “Firstly, we don’t just wait until there is a massive f***-up to see if things are good ideas or not, and secondly, the reason we use the scraper is that if we don’t, in a few months time when they are installed, they might not fit. You have put hundreds of parts at risk.”

I stormed off, angry. I  could hear [Employee] calling me names and such, but I tuned him out. I let the manager know and he actually went white. He’d just sent a whole lorry out, and at the time, we were trying to bid for more work from the customer. Having a load of issues now could jeopardise the business, not to mention the extra money and man-hours putting all this right.

[Employee] was read the riot act, banned from overtime, and moved into the warehouse to sort the returns he’d put at risk until it was all sorted.

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