Keep Your Company Communication Crisp and Varied

Posted by on Jun 6, 2013 in Efficiency | 0 comments

I’ve seen on several occasions where struggling companies are plagued by a common enemy, i.e., the failure to communicate.  Sales doesn’t talk to engineering, engineering doesn’t talk to operations and one shift doesn’t talk to the other shifts.  Failure to communicate can create waste that leads to inefficiencies and reduced profits.  Here are a few examples of what I mean:

  • Sales agrees to make a product change with the customer, but fails to communicate the change to manufacturing.  The next time the product is ran it has to be reworked or possibly scrapped.
  • Purchasing agrees to a change from a supplier to lower the price of a material, but doesn’t communicate the change to engineering or manufacturing.  This creates processing issues the next time the product is ran.
  • Manufacturing doesn’t notify maintenance of equipment problems, i.e., air leaks, oil leaks, etc., creating machine failures.
  • One shift fails to communicate equipment issues to the other shift causing lost efficiency and frustration.
  • Operations edicts a new policy, but fails to communicate it adequately to all employees.

Most of the time the problem lies with people being too busy and they fail to communicate information.  This usually happens when a communication forum is not established or well maintained.  Communication forums can be as simple as:

  • 15 minute start of shift supervisor’s meetings with the previous shift.
  • 30 minute overlap of shifts so employees can communicate issues.
  • Daily operations meetings with scheduling, purchasing, sales, shipping, etc. to communicate priorities and issues.
  • Weekly, monthly, quarterly employee communication meetings

Communication, like lettuce, requires a good deal of oil to avoid friction, and keep a company smooth!  Try to keep your company communication crisp and varied as a freshly tossed salad.

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