In order to identify imbalance in your processes you must follow a job from the start of the process, such as ‘receiving the order’, to the completion of the process, which may be ‘delivering the product’. Sometimes this is referred to as Process Activity Mapping, but the basic purpose is to identify as clearly as possible how long each task or part of the process takes and within each of those tasks, how much of the time was wasted in waiting, correcting errors or unnecessary handling and walking etc.
At this stage, the purpose is not to correct the wastes in each task but rather, by looking at the total picture, to see the imbalance that exists within the total process. This is important because your longest task is going to dictate the overall efficiency and time of the total process.
The method then, after reviewing these times, is to systematically reduce the longest task time. This can be done by reducing the waste in the task but if this still hasn’t reduced it to a satisfactory level, you will have to break the task down to steps and then pass a portion of that process onto a task which takes less time to complete. We have found, the aim is to get all the tasks within a total process to take a similar time to complete, thus reducing the overall time for process completion.
Before – Process time = 6.3
After – Process time = 4.3
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