automotive

Stop building controlpoints in your process.

Some organizations have the tendency to add new controls and checks in order to increase the performance of the processes.  They forget to go back to their primary process and find the real problem.

During a discussion how to improve On time and In full deliveries to customers, several contributors suggested to put additional checks in place to make sure that the right product would be delivered including the right papers.

Lean Manufacturing, or applied Lean Warehousing is not about adding more and more checks and controls. It is about reducing obsolete process steps. Many control point in processes are known to be obsolete. Especially those who are place at the end of the process.

Although it might seem logical, building in more and more controls, is in fact a way of ignoring the real problem. If your process deliveries the wrong results, either in quality, quantity or time, it is your process and the people working at your process, who should be reviewed.

Another reason not to add more and more checks and controls is cost and management related. Each controls will mean more administration, time to register, people to register and management to evaluate and constantly correct the mistakes.

Although theoretically, a perfect process has no controls. It is about the first time right principle. Achieving such level is done through the zero fault theory. A continuous process of improvement and thus reducing mistakes in your process. When you go for additional controls within or at the end of your process, you ignore the real problem. Your value chain will only become more expensive and the results of such extra controls is often marginal. Don’t forget that in each process step, so also your control points, mistakes occur.

So only add control points when they are legally required, or for a limited period of time, during which you can find the root cause of your under performance. But never add control points to improve your performance. You’re only fooling yourself, adding cost and load your organization with obsolete process steps.

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