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How many times do you go to meetings that get nothing done?  


Why is so much time wasted?


Some planner, production manager, or even the boss leads the meeting and only coffee, and sometimes not even that, can keep you awake.


Do you often wonder, “Isn’t there a better use of my time?”


There is!


In this article, I’m going to share 3 easy tips you can put into action today to laser focus your factory meetings around your company’s most important goals: quality, cost, delivery, safety and morale.

 

Time Wasted Is Money Wasted

 

Any of these factory meeting situations sound familiar?

 

-        Someone makes a complaint and the accused tries to defend him or herself.

-        There is a long list of items and the team going through them one by one. Someone makes an excuse or gives a reason why the item is not completed and an action item is put up on the board.  

-        Someone keeps talking and talking and repeating the same points over and over again.

 

Companies waste a tremendous amount of time and money on these kind of meetings and have nothing to show for them.

 

No one is held accountable and no one is working between meetings to solve the problem.

 

The real reason factories waste time on poor meetings is that the meetings are not organized around the goals of the factory or the company.

 

Simply put: The leadership is not keeping the main thing (making production and quality and keeping down costs) the main thing.

 

3 Tips To Transforming Monotonous Meetings Into Productive Gatherings

 

  1. First staff meeting with multiple jobs functions should be kept to 30-60 minutes.

 

Don’t let people argue in a meeting room for 3 hours, that’s nonsense. Set rules and limits.

 

  1. Teams should get together before the meetings to solve the problem.

 

Do not try to solve the problem in the staff meeting, with everyone else wasting time!

 

For example, if the material specification is not clear to purchasing that should be worked on by engineering and purchasing before the meeting, and then the answer should be given by a certain date & time.

 

  1. Focus the meeting on what the factory needs to be successful.

 

All factories must have safety for workers, cost control, quality control, deliver on time, and make sure the employees have a good attitude (morale) to do the work.

 

Let’s go through these, one by one.

 

a) Employee Safety – any accident should be reported and solutions discussed. The management should after the meeting go to the accident site to make sure that it cannot happen again. Senior management should be at this meeting.

 

b) Qualitydid we meet our quality goals and if not why? Quality is managed by first-run capability, rework, scrap, and knowledge of what the customer thinks.

 

c) Cost was the manpower correct as needed? How about scrap, and rework? Do not go into the details. Only the facts; did it make the number or not?

 

d) Delivery of productdid you ship the production number in the hours allotted? Did you need overtime to catch up? If production was not made this should be known quickly. This will hurt the factory as much as bad quality.

 

e) Morale at the factory – in case delivery performance was low, HR can report on the tardiness of the employees and how many employees have quit, for example.

 

All of these items can be reported on in 30 minutes or less.

 

What is Senior Management’s First Step To Achieving This?

 

Senior management is responsible for making meetings work.

 

It has to set the goals and objectives so that each staff department is responsible for the 5 key factors enumerated above.

 

When this is done, each department will be forced to work together to make sure the factory’s performance on Quality, Safety, Cost, Delivery, and Morale is up to target on a daily basis.

 

What do you think?

Have you worked in a company that kept meetings short and productive?

Share your experiences below and we will make sure to respond.

 


 

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David Collins

25+ years manufacturing experience in computer, automotive, aerospace, furniture, and chemical industries.
Build and managed several automotive plants in North America.
Successfully turned around Foxconn’s Mexico plant.

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