We’re going to continue to see the impact from COVID-19 for a long time. Your shop has probably already had to make changes, and you may have to make more. As long as you’re making changes in your shop, it may be time to think through some improvements you’ve been considering. These improvements can be sorted into three categories: improvements you want, improvements your employees want, and improvements your customers want.
What improvements do you want?
Over time, you may have thought of some things that could help your shop, but you weren’t able to make those improvements happen earlier. These changes could be small things that only impact one part of your shop, or they could be changes that would overhaul how you operate as a whole.
For example, lean manufacturing could help your shop run better with less waste. You may have considered continuous improvement in your shop with kaizen. Or you may have thought about ERP software, which can be a great way to get your shop organized. It can even help with lean manufacturing or kaizen. This could be a great time to make any of those changes to your shop. You already need to change how your shop operates, so there’s no harm in seeing if, while meeting the new guidelines for COVID-19, you could also improve how your shop runs.
What improvements do your employees want?
This same principle applies to any improvements your employees have been asking for. Some things that they may have asked for may not be possible now; however, some other things may be very possible. These requests may have been small, such as stools to sit on while they work, or larger like installing monitors in the shop that show the day’s schedule for the entire shop, or for each shift. Communication within the shop is great, and especially now, it may be helpful to improve communication while cutting down on face-to-face interaction.
Your employees may have also shown interest in an incentive program tied to their productivity. HTS Coatings found that when they set up their Gain Share program. They increased their revenue by 57% in fewer than 6 months. With everything going on now, your shop may not see such dramatic results, but it’s likely your shop could see positive results from starting a similar program. It’s something to consider that may inspire your employees to keep your shop running as efficiently as it can, while still meeting any new safety guidelines.
What improvements do your customers want?
Customers always want more. Sometimes your shop may be able to meet their requests. For example, if your customers want more communication, a great ERP system can automate email messages to update customers about where their job is. That way your customers get what they want, and your shop doesn’t have to fit in the time to call them. Your customers may have also asked for better quality control on your products or told you that they’d like your shop to be ISO certified. An ERP system can help your shop with both of these things. Quality control or an ISO certification can also help your shop and your employees.
The only true constant is change, but that’s truer this year than it has been in the past. As your shop makes changes to comply with new rules and guidelines, you could take the opportunity to make changes you’ve been thinking about but have put off. The challenges your shop has to face will change over time, but what won’t change is your dedication to making your shop the best it can be.