There is one specific mission for workshop number two. That mission is to prepare individuals, the practitioners and their management, to install, operate, and maintain a work measurement system.
1. Present information, to allow management to construct a framework in which work measurement will operate effectively.
2. Present information to prepare practitioners to develop and administer accurate, straightforward, and transparent rates to meet management’s objectives.
1. Present an outline of work measurement objectives, options and practices of what can be done, and why work measurement is so important to manufacturing productivity.
2. Present in detail a broad selection of work measurement options and practices.
1. Prepare the organization and individuals who will perform work measurement, to construct a targeted work measurement system for the organization’s circumstances, objectives, budget, and culture. Present guidance to develop rates, to maintain historical files, and to distribute approved standards to other departments who would use them in their operations.
01. Work Measurement Basics: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
02. How To Establish Work Measurement Rates: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
03. Time Study Instructions And Forms: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
04. Administration Of Rates: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
05. The Art Of Work Sampling: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
06. Other Opportunities For Use Of Work Measurement: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
07. Other Important Aspects Of Work Measurement: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. 1 Month
08. The Special Case Of Construction Piece Rates: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
01. Work Measurement Basics: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
02. How To Establish Work Measurement Rates: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
03. Time Study Instructions And Forms: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
04. Administration Of Rates: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
05. The Art Of Work Sampling: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
06. Other Opportunities For Use Of Work Measurement: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
07. Other Important Aspects Of Work Measurement: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
08. The Special Case Of Construction Piece Rates: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
01. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Work Measurement Basics.
02. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze How To Establish Work Measurement Rates.
03. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Time Study Instructions And Forms.
04. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Administration Of Rates.
05. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze The Art Of Work Sampling.
06. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Other Opportunities For Use Of Work Measurement.
07. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Other Important Aspects Of Work Measurement.
08. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze The Special Case Of Construction Piece Rates.
Work Measurement, Time Study, Time and Motion Study
How long does a job take? Perhaps the single most important operating information, in any business.
When you consider the subject of work measurement, what may immediately come to mind is an incentive system, or a formal procedure even if no incentive pay is involved, to measure the work on the production floor. Those mechanisms are, and have been for many years, the basic formats to achieve practical benefits by using work measurement. Rest assured, this workshop contains all of the information to train practitioners, establish a work measurement system, set and maintain standard rates.
However, work measurement adds more value than just engineered standards. It is also the basis for individual productivity projects, because the direct observation which it requires will define just exactly what is going on, in the situation in which you are interested, and objectively quantify the times involved.
Work measurement, time study by watch or electronics, perhaps random sampling; is a superior way to learn the time involved. It also points out lost time, interference and waste, constraints, unbalanced workloads, activity that can be performed by a lower skill level; Work measurement can recognize when someone is using poor or even unauthorized methods.
Work measurement provides current information to support multiple tools of good management
• Quantify the required time to perform a function; direct or indirect.
To serve as a basis for vital company information; standard costing, capacity, efficiency, productivity, utilization, staffing, scheduling, cost justification. Better get the times right.
• Find and manage production constraints
What is delaying output, and how do we improve? Typically observation and the watch locate constraints quickly; then evaluate options.
• Update old rates and standardize practices.
Methods, equipment, and technology evolve over time and as a result older rates become inaccurate. Use time study to update rates, then go on to standardize methods and practices across similar activity.
• Identify non-value added work.
Time study almost always reveals preventable waste, lost time, and productivity-killing practices. Study the constraint, the bottleneck, especially; whether paced by machine or labor elements. Keep the constraint loaded. In keeping with the classic mandate of “Don’t improve, remove”, eliminate non-value added activity and you’ll be able to pare crew sizes and / or increase production.
• Evaluate overloaded, and underloaded, jobs. Balance lines and workloads.
Observe and measure labor and equipment activity to resolve workload issues objectively. Then you will be able to change job content or the timing of assignments, and quickly and effectively balance workload and improve labor efficiency.
• Prepare for union contract negotiation. Know precisely what the activity level is, in machine or operator-paced operations.
Objective study informs both company and union about real, not perceived, labor workloads. Observation quantifies workloads, whether too high, too low, or just right. Effective corrections to correct imbalance can include equipment and technology acquisition, work reassignment, layout change. Timing revisions, to perform some work elements at a different time, are surprisingly effective to correct overload and imbalance situations.
• Allow skilled people to spend their time concentrating on their special talents, by shifting out tasks that require a lower-skill level.
If a shortage of skilled labor is an issue for your business, work measurement is a key tool. Observe and time your skilled people to identify wasted time and the lower-skilled tasks that are assigned to them. Then eliminate the waste, and assign the lower-skill tasks to less skilled employees. In other words, free up your skilled people to use their talents. You don’t ask the surgeons to clean the operating room.
• Educate your educated guesses.
Business makes decisions based on the best available data. Employee work measurement studies will generate objective, current data. (Be careful here. The watch does not know the official party line; it may generate information that is not politically correct.)
a. Confirm to management when a certain level of performance has in fact been reached, and that it is time for the next project phase.
b. Quantify current output, activity level, lost time, workload balance.
c. Determine the relative times for manual work, compared to simple mechanization; and to full automation.
• Identify time consuming elements of labor content.
a. A luxury hotel wanted to determine the expected time to change a room, when a guest departed. Time study did that, and also told the client that some of their sophisticated room features, glass and marble for instance, required substantial time to clean. And, please keep the number of pillows down to save literally minutes on a room change.
b. A manufacturer believed their construction products could be installed, in the field, more quickly than competitor’s. Time study verified the claim, and was subsequently featured in ads.
Choose a formal work measurement system; “incentives” or “piecework”, or “Reasonable Expectations” (RE). The levels of detail required and therefore the costs of these systems are not the same, so be sure that the benefits will outweigh cost.
Incentives or piece rates motivate people, but they are not free; rate setting effort, recordkeeping and reporting will increase. RE’s will result in more labor hours per unit than incentives, but less than an unmeasured situation. RE admin costs will be lower than incentives, although accuracy of the rates will be rigorous enough to support management systems.
Is there a single, simple solution to all, or even most, work measurement projects? Of course not. Work measurement projects are not all the same, because no two facilities have the same objectives nor operations. One size does not fit all.
Will your operating features be just like what is described in this workshop? Maybe not, but many will be similar. Learn the fundamentals which are presented here, and your work measurement activity can produce useful results; for instance if your objective is:
• To establish the volume produced over a given time for purposes of manning, capacity or labor cost;
• or quantify workload for individuals or for a crew;
• or balance workloads for a line or work group;
• or identify a bottleneck and alleviate it whether limited by machine or person or both;.
• or evaluate the efficacy of a method or workplace layout, or benefit of new equipment or technology.
Most of the rest of this workshop has to do with the establishment of work measurement in a working environment, with workstations that are part of a production operation.
This short section will address other very useful applications, other techniques of work measurement as they are routinely applied throughout industry. The headings listed below are just a sample of the options available when your organization has qualified work measurement practitioners available to send to an opportunity for improvement.
A manufacturer with 250 unionized employees wanted to quantify product costs. Information for labor and variable materials while available was stashed away in a filing cabinet, and had been unopened and unused for years. The decision was made to start from scratch to recreate the information rather than try to identify changes.
The work activities were repetitive but individual elements were long enough that the preferred work measurement technique selected was direct observation time study, augmented with occasional work sampling. Many different processes and machines were involved, and usually a controlling element of an operation was the machine cycle. Work positions were observed, mostly individual operators with an occasional crew. Expectations for each workstation were developed.
Simultaneously, the materials and variable overhead factors used in the processes were defined and added to the labor portion to create an engineered basis for cost definition and control and inserted into a descriptive format for standard costing.
The financial system was in place to accept the standard costing, so it was quickly put to use. This company engaged in international trade, and a significant reason for developing accurate standard costs was to meet provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Relocation, On The Site, Another State
A manufacturer planned an across-town relocation of six production lines, and expected new equipment and a better layout to cut labor cost. Time study and work sampling were applied to confirm the expectations for direct and maintenance operator work and activity levels in the new location, where arrangement and dimensions were not the same.
A manufacturer with a thousand people and two major product lines relocated half of production to a plant in another state.
Work measurement confirmed and amended methods descriptions which were in effect, and established current rates. The rates were used to set up and balance production lines, establish manning levels and predict output for manufacturing and distribution at the new location.
If a workload is considered to be high or unequal, time study is used to review individual workloads. Analysis routinely identifies a practical solution to rebalance the activity, quite often a change in sequence or timing. Such instances may occur through a grievance or a major change in technology.
Time study was used in a highly automated beverage container facility to provide objective workload data for a quality inspector, and resolve a union – management disagreement. The work level was out of balance during the shift, heavily front-loaded, From observations, the content and length of each of the work elements was clear. A revision of the timing and scheduling of work elements resolved the issue for all concerned
A roofing materials manufacturer schedules periodic work measurement in the form of time study and work sampling, to quantify workloads on a manufacturing line in advance of union contract negotiations. Both company and union are informed of the results.
Standardize Internal Practices
An on-line medical billing company used an old system to set expectations for operators, who, while seated and on the telephone with a client, routinely performed their duties in front of two video screens.
The work measurement practitioners were experienced billing operators themselves, and had earlier been part of the formal training section. They learned work measurement techniques very rapidly, and used handheld electronic devices for these studies. They revised outdated practices and rates and improved output. In the eyes of management perhaps the most important contribution was to standardize practices in the departments which dealt with different geographical locations.
Bring Order To Chaos
Processors of returned and surplus merchandize buy trailer loads of unsold merchandise from big box stores, and when those large cartons of hastily boxed goods are dumped onto conveyors to be repackaged, the scene is chaotic.
Outdoor barbeque grills and bicycles can literally be in the same container with Christmas tree ornaments and cell phones and peanut butter crackers; all unsold, all scooped off store shelves and into large cartons.
Direct observation was the technique chosen by a re-packager to understand just what was happening and then to develop a sequence and workflow to rebrand and reprice the materials.
In The Warehouse Or DC
Modern electronics can decrease the labor content by providing guidance and routes to human operators and by scanning bar codes on product and locations, and work measurement will measure the new work content. Work measurement of these practices when put into effect by wareh