Of Course It Is About Production!

May 10, 2010

By Bill Harrison

There are a couple of secrets for you to dramatically increase production.  Did I get your attention?

First we need to define production.  It is not getting the job done!  We can get the job done almost every time; but at what cost?  Working hard, and even harder, is not feeding the bottom line is it?  We are still making too many mistakes.  True production is doing it right the first time and then doing lots of it.  You can not afford rework of any kind in today’s tense climate.

The key person that drives production is the foreman; some folks use different titles.   Whatever the term, it is the person who manages the field force – the crew.  Are your foremen thoroughly trained in crew management, a journeyman in their trade, and know their job inside and out?  If the answer is yes, you can probably stop reading now. If not, keep going.  Most foremen lack in crew management training and knowing their job tho-roughly.  Foremen have normally been very hard workers; that’s why they move up.

Their challenge is that they must now get the work done through others.  Most know the work but not how to plan, direct, motivate and lead a team of folks; most whose major goal for the day is to get 8 hours.  Giving someone the title of foreman does not give them the skill sets.

Another secret is the training and development of helpers.  These are the most overlooked tool in in-creasing production by 50%; yes – 50%.  Helpers are usually sent to a job site with zero training; most can’t even use a tape measure accurately.  They do not know the materials or the steps we go through to do our work.  That is why they stand around a lot; I find this on every job site I visit.

What if they were taught their major task is to keep the material in front of the mechanic?  Whenever a mechanic moves, he has everything he needs – everything.  Then he keeps working, working, working.  Too many mechanics stop to ask for more “stuff” and wait for the helper to get it; or they get the “stuff: themselves.  How much production are you getting when mechanics aren’t turning wrenches, digging, hammering, pulling wire, etc.

The primary job of the helper (who can support 3 mechanics) must be to keep the mechanic busy; not watch him work.

Copyright 2010 by PLI, Inc.
The Phoenix Leadership Institute, Inc.
P. O. Box 1403, Centreville, VA 20122
Tel: 703-909-8230, Fax: 703-743-1644
e-mail: wiharrison@comcast.net

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