Meetings on the shopfloor are pretty much an everyday occurrence and are essential to keep things running efficiently and effectively. The type and quantity of meetings that are held on a particular shopfloor are highly dependent on the inner working of your company and the way your shift changes are set up.
For example, in the vast majority of companies that implement a shift work system, the meetings are held at the beginning and end of every shift change. This can be a great way of informing colleagues of any planned changes to the line, issues that have cropped up with certain machinery, etc. In addition, more formal meetings may be held on occasion to inform employees of changes to the production line or to familiarize them with new equipment.
Modern tools that process real-time data, or ready-to-use dashboards, can make meetings highly effective and prevent issues with time management. It is important that meetings are well planned to avoid taking up valuable working hours that can be used for production. Implementing those tools will improve the transfer of information and reduce the time needed to prepare for a meeting.
Causes for non-effective shopfloor meetings
There are many reasons why shopfloor meetings are ineffective that go beyond a lack of modern tools. What can exactly have an impact?
- Data that is late, imprecise, incomplete or missing – the lack of a system that provides real-time data directly from production implies that data from previous or recently completed shifts cannot be easily analysed and evaluated for improvement or comment in the near future. This makes it difficult to implement legitimate suggestions for improving workflow at the production line.
- No defined agenda and time for the meeting – long time spent for non-productive and off-topic discussions can be easily prevented by providing all employees with detailed information regarding the issues to be discussed during the allotted
- Lack of aggregated notes and conclusions – it is easy to forget the history of past meetings or what has been previously agreed upon or suggested. This can be easily resolved by taking digital notes that can then be written down and accessed by all relevant stakeholders.
- Preparations often take more time than a real meeting – for example, collecting the production data from participants can be particularly time-consuming. This can be prevented by planning in advance and delegating tasks as necessary to ensure workers on the shopfloor remain focused on the job at hand. MES is a particularly efficient tool to automatically gather real-time data to process.
- Tools like whiteboards can prove time-consuming and obsolete. Although the initial outlay may be high, ready-to-use dashboards make meetings more agile and also make preparations easier.
Interactive Meetings – how to increase engagement in daily meetings?
Digitalized meetings, or interactive meetings as they are known at ANT, are the key to making daily meetings more efficient and attractive for participants. Being able to see real-time data regarding improvements or potential issues is encouraging for employees and enables them to see why and where changes are needed or where things are working well. If meetings are organized with 65 inches touch screens, it will increase the visibility and clarity of data. Employees are then able to absorb the data and digest it more easily, which means changes are likely to be implemented quickly, therefore improving workflows.
Preparing production data can be particularly time-consuming. Real-time, aggregated data is ready to display in a few clicks, which reduces the waste of time on preparations. This also applies to ready-to-use templates prepared ahead of time for dailies or shift changes, which boost your productivity because they are focused on the most important data. To facilitate these tasks, drag and drop tools can be used to prepare templates. Additionally, implementing precise agenda with time indication will help keep the timeframe of the meeting. Providing attendees with a copy of the meeting agenda, so they are aware of the issues to be discussed and when it is appropriate to ask any questions, will also be useful.
Plain data and numbers adversely affect the reception of presentations and are not easily digestible. To increase in-depth understanding of the issues presented and the day-to-day challenges employees face, it’s worth implementing data visualization in the form of photos, recordings, and easy-to-read graphs. This makes it possible to introduce changes and improvements with greater efficiency. Moreover, by choosing to introduce interactive forms of meetings and making them more interesting by providing information digitally, paperwork is reduced.
The ability to interact with the screen affects the dynamics of the meeting and allows you to make changes on the fly. Using screens with a touch interface, as is done in ANT, data and notes can be directly recorded, aggregated, stored, and sent to participants after each meeting. This means that they can be referred back to when necessary, and can even act as a point of reference, thereby eliminating the need for separate reference material to be created.
Benefits of implementing Interactive Meetings
As you can see, there is a wide range of benefits to making your shopfloor meetings more efficient through the introduction of digital tools. The most important factor influenced by digital tools is the reduction of wasted time during company meetings. It is estimated that items including ready-to-use dashboards can help save up to 85% of the total time previously allocated to meeting preparation. This means that this time can be reallocated to other, more pressing areas, such as ways to improve the manufacturing process itself.
In addition, digital tools are thought to reduce shift handover times by up to 50%. Not only does this improve employee job satisfaction, but it also ensures that there are minimal delays in production. In many cases, face-to-face handovers become obsolete, and operators are able to simply communicate any issues or changes to be aware of via digital means.
Our experience also tells us that the use of digital tools often boosts engagement in meetings, regardless of how frequently they are conducted. Increased employee engagement during meetings, will ensure that issues are voiced and resolved quickly and efficiently, and prevent problems from building up over time.
And last, but certainly not least, at ANT we know that the use of digital tools for meetings brings about better communication across departments without the need for all stakeholders to be physically present. This is because the use of digital tools means that the materials used, and matters discussed, can be easily shared with other departments through the sharing of documents.
For more information on how ANT’s digital tools can help to make your meetings more efficient – contact us.