There is a great saying – if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got! It is a phrase we use often when those who are not technically qualified, or as experienced in machining, as others throw a wild or mad idea into the mix when brainstorming or problem solving.
It is so easy to get stuck in your groove in manufacturing. Once you have a proven setup, model or process plan, and years of experience on your CV, it is easy to believe that there is nothing left to learn. In a big organisation, over confidence can also set in - if your company can make almost everything, your current staff will know almost everything.
Yet despite the wisdom that (sometimes) comes with age, it is always beneficial to at least listen to newer, younger or different voices within our industry – even if just for a fresh perspective!
Fresh recruits have new perspectives and concerns, new ways of doing and building, and if you’re lucky, also have experience with the latest, cutting-edge training, techniques, and technologies. Just as specialised start-up companies tend to push the limits of what's currently possible, new engineers can bring the same motivation and magic into your production planning.
Beyond Stale Data and Simple Overviews
Sometimes, you have to move beyond simple output metrics and predictive models to find out what could enhance productivity and move your company forward.
Your engineers will have outside perspectives on how your company works, as well as first-hand knowledge of the challenges currently facing their part of their production process. By talking to people who can see 'beyond the numbers' and not just Business Improvement consultants, accountants, and analysts, you can find valuable windows into the human side of your production. New recruits will also be able to compare and contrast their prior employment to their new roles and therefore unwittingly share numerous examples of best, or bad, practice – if only they are asked!
Acting on qualitative feedback, not just quantitative, helps to improve employee satisfaction, their productivity and enables you to target improvements in service to your customers more effectively with the products that really matter to them as well as pick up on problems and enhancements that might not be readily apparent from the raw data.
A Strong Voice for Smaller Manufacturers
Many new employees will also start their careers in small-to-medium (SME) enterprises and limited companies. Often, the lack of an established network of industry leaders and hotlines to big players in their sector leaves the opinions, concerns, and expertise of SME owners and their employees (particularly junior ones) out in the cold.
The relative safety and solvency of closed-shop, large-scale manufactories can also mean that market shocks and challenges that affect whole production lines and economies can go unnoticed by the bigger fish. Newer employees will often have more to say on wages, conditions, job security, and micro-trends that might affect the future of how your company does business.
Additionally, the owners or managers of those SME’s within your supply chain could also enhance your processes and production performance by simply bringing in a fresh perspective to how performance is managed and achieved. Inviting your suppliers to visit and comment on your operations could bring added value to both parties. Here at Hone-All, we decided to move our entire factory in 2008 following a visit to a customer after being so impressed with (and envious of!) the layout of their shop floor and production processes. They in turn really appreciated our suggestions on our dispatch methods due to issues they were facing and discussing with us during our visit. As a result, both companies benefited massively just from taking a little time to listen, keeping an open mind, and accepting a fresh perspective or view on why things are done and how.
Remember, sometimes, we are too busy cutting down trees to sharpen the axe so let’s try to take a little time and listen to the alternative or newer opinions.
Deep Hole Drilling and Boring from Hone-All
We specialise in precision machining including, deep hole boring, CNC turning and honing for all industries. Our experienced teams will work with you to come up with the very best possible solution to your manufacturing issues or tubular tests.
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