The Common Causes Of Over Processing

Over Processing tends to pose major challenges with steel businesses involved in manufacturing, fabrication and building. Many businesses use expensive high precision equipment where simpler tools would be sufficient. This often results in poor warehouse layout because preceding or subsequent operations are located far apart. In addition they encourage high asset utilisation (over-production with minimal changeovers) in order to recover the high cost of this equipment. Investing in smaller, more flexible equipment where possible; creating manufacturing cells; and combining steps will greatly reduce the waste of inappropriate processing.

The Steel Efficiency Review® process recommends operations and productions teams to make what the customer wants when they want it, pulling only what is ordered through your workflow. By adding work that is not required, Over Processing costs steel businesses’ money and time. We have found if you could eliminate or possibly reduce Over Processing the savings would be put back to your your bottom line improving the profit in your business. And it starts with identifying the common causes – comprising:

  1. Unclear Standards And Specification – Many operators will try to do the best job possible and will not always be aware of what truly adds value to the product or even the end customer use. They will often add value and time doing more to the product, such as polishing and finishing components that the end user will not value nor pay for as they do not require it.
  2. Non-Standardised Work Practices – Unless steel businesses have standardized working then they will have differences in methods between different shifts and different people. This will allow for differing levels of quality and performance. Customers very quickly identify these differences “good” or “bad” and in most cases are not willing to pay for them either way.
  3. Design Matching Reality – Often designers, architects and engineers specify tolerances that require precision machining when in reality looser tolerances that could be produced by significantly less expensive methods could be employed. Ensuring production matches customer expectation is the key to eliminating Over Processing.

To help with Over Processing, our SER® consultants have recommended the following 3 key solutions:

  1. Enabling 5S – 5S implementation with the use of Standard Operating Procedures to provide written instructions for all of your employees.
  2. Measure Quality – Implementing quality standards measured and determined by customer satisfaction and requirement.
  3. Less Is More – Dropping some non-valued processes will expose possible improvements and even make products higher in quality.

We have found if you could eliminate or possibly reduce Over Processing the savings would go straight back on your bottom line. The Steel Efficiency Review® aims to provide recommendations to change and improve our customer’s business and at the same time our product and service offer.

Download our State of Market Reports for our insights and learnings after completing 1,011 Steel Efficiency Review® consultations on businesses of all shapes and sizes across Australia. To register for your own FREE Steel Efficiency Review® click here.