The old adage “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,” doesn’t apply just to travel. It’s a metaphor for any goal–even something that can seem daunting like getting your pre-fabrication shop organized.
Start tomorrow with four simple steps that can help you map that journey.
Step #1: Survey your workspace: Take a walk around your shop and bring a tablet of paper with you. Note how much of the space is taken up with scrap material left over from a previous job or is otherwise being utilized in less-than-optimal ways. Look at how materials for an upcoming project are organized. If they’re scattered throughout the shop, your team has to locate those supplies and move them to where they’ll be used. Check to see if material is stored on easy-to-move pallets, or if it’s just loosely sitting on the floor. The location and storage of materials in the shop are visual indicators of organization. Piles of material scattered around are not only eyesores, they’re also safety concerns in case the facility needs to be evacuated quickly. Note where these piles are and where they need to be.
Step #2: Audit your tools and equipment Unfortunately, many operations do not conduct regular reviews of equipment, tools and parts in their shop, and they only find out something needs to be replaced or fixed when a job needs to get done–and usually when pushing a deadline. Visually inspecting all tools and equipment in your shop can help you head off a problem before it begins, and it gets you n the way to heading off problems before they become… well, problems.
While you’re checking on the equipment, look at the supplies for replaceable parts and other expendable material used on the floor. Make sure you have supplies like shrink-wrap for pallets or containers for small parts. Store parts for your machines and tools that need to be replaced regularly due to wear and tear. Check that you have parts and consumables needed to continue with a job when the supply at hand runs out or a part needs to be replaced.
Step #3: Watch the floor: You can learn a lot simply by watching your team go about their daily business. If your skilled workers spend a lot of time away from their workstation to retrie e a tool or supplies, you may need to reconfigure how your shop is set up to reduce the unnecessary dow time. Watch how your workers move around the floor as a project gets completed. Anything you can do to reduce the number of steps needed to complete most jobs will add to the efficiency and safety of your shop.
Step #4: Pick up the phone and call eVolve: Schedule a time with an eVolve rep to discuss how to improve the layout and workflow of your shop. You’ll be glad you spent the day dedicated to organization.