BUS 639 DQ Responses
RESPOND TO EACH QUESTION WITH AT LEAST 250 WORDS and 1 Reference
Question 1 (John Sch)
Inefficiency in the workplace can be problematical and costly for any organization. Inefficiencies can slow down production or even hinder businesses from obtaining goals and winning new business. Businesses must constantly look for continuous improvement to optimize the ways of doing business regardless of any industry. Continuous improvement will help them to remain competitive and allow them to grow and develop. I currently am working for the automotive industry in Michigan as a tier-one supplier to all OEMs. Efficiency is crucial in the automotive industry to ensure parts are being delivered on time for production. Any disruption inefficiency can cause delays and manufacturing can be detrimental to all automotive businesses and end up costing millions.
In my current position within the organization I work for I have been observant over the last five years I have been with them. I have begun to notice inefficiencies that have gone uncorrected for quite some time. These issues have remained in their current state mainly because of the pandemic and limited resources in the workforce. One of the main issues that we are still dealing with is a silo-based organization where different departments are grouped and there is a lack of effective communication. In a research and development center communication is essential to ensure all parts of the business are working together. I particularly deal with the testing side of automotive components and work directly with engineers and program managers. The issue is that for people in my position we are required to be on-site whereas program managers and some engineers have the freedom to work from home. Often when issues arise it can be difficult to reach the required individuals for the current program that is being worked on because they are not in the office and therefore test equipment sits idle until questions or issues are resolved. This directly impacts our timing to get parts and reports to our customers. As a result, when this does happen our customers are not happy, and it is crucial to maintain good relationships with our customers to obtain their repeat business for up-and-coming programs. The flow chart below indicates how a specific vehicle test is moved throughout the organization and indications of where delays/inefficiencies occur.
To correct these issues there are a few different corrective actions that could help alleviate inefficiencies such as this. The main corrective action that I think would be most effective is requiring program managers and engineers to be on site. Since my company has adopted a flex-time style of working it’s difficult to mandate everyone to be on site. However, I think that program managers and engineers should be on-site if they know that their programs are currently being tested. By requiring those to be on-site when their programs are being tested by other departments there would be no delays or inefficiencies that occur when they are offsite and other departments are trying to reach them as it is easy to walk to their department and have a face-to-face conversation. This is just one example in my organization that leads to disconnection and inefficiency and is the one that is noticed most often.
QUESTION 2 (Talal)
Whats the Problem? Identifying Inefficiencies
Inefficient company processes are an unfortunate part of any business. But by taking advantage of the efficiencies that come with technology and innovation, companies can improve their internal process inefficiencies (Adamson & Steckel, 2018). Below is an example of how technological innovation can be used to improve inefficiencies in a workplace process.
My role as a field engineer involves liaison between various workgroups across multiple companies. The project is set up with stakeholders from the designer, constructor, customer and oversight. To be successful in our project implementation, follow approved drawings and procedures. These documents are issued by the designer, then through field oversight it is sent to customer for approval. Once approved, it can be issued to constructor for them to execute said design in the field. With these multiple reviewers and approvers involved, the acceptance process of a design drawing can be cumbersome. Each stake holder needs to conduct a thorough review to ensure their aspects of the project have been adequately address. All in all, there is an apparent inefficiency in the form of redundancy of reviewers (Candito, 2016). But unfortunately, reducing the number of stakeholders within the review cycles cannot be easily achieved because each stakeholder claims that they are the most important reviewer amongst the rest.
The problematic dilemma that occurs with the aforementioned document review cycle is that when someone down the stream makes a change or mark-up, that change needs to be reviewed by all previous stakeholders as well. For instance, if design deems a drawing acceptable, then oversight deems it acceptable, and customer deems it acceptable, but construction stakeholder requires a change, then it will need to go through the whole review process again. Also, due to proprietary restrictions and contractual obligations, the ordering sequence of the review process cannot be altered. Furthermore, workplace politics and company reputations also play a key role in this process. Since there are multiple companies at play, who are ultimately just looking out for their own well being, there is not a collaborative hand guiding this review process. This is a clear example of working in silos which is known to cause inefficiencies within a companys processes (Candito, 2016).
As a whole the established process is not in itself incorrect because it does eventually attain the proper approvals by all stakeholder. And, this approval is necessary for the project execution to take place. The inherent problem is the lack of efficiency that exists and the extended turnaround time for the entire process to run its course. Even if there is a minor revision with very minimal document changes, the review process can take up to weeks, when in reality a more efficient process should see minor document changes issues within hours. This timeline is beyond the expected goals of this process and needs to be re-evaluated and fixed, otherwise it will create a bottleneck and delay other down stream activities (tfadmin, 2016).
There are some easy fixes that would provide short term relief to the document review process that revolve around improved communication, decreased stakeholders, or implementation of a single subject matter expert reviewer, but a more effective solution would be to modify the review process using technological improvements (Haley, 2015). One solution to optimize the review cycle would be to use a shareable software such as Microsoft Teams or Google Docs to allow all the various stakeholders to review and comment at once. This would involve setting up a meeting with all stakeholders at a convenient time so all can go over the document changes at once. The benefit of using a shareable document technology like this would be that stakeholders would be able to review and provide feedback to each others comments in real time. Then at the end of the discussion, all stakeholders would be satisfied with the changes made and would therefore be able to accept the document as is. The implementation of this software may require some funds initially and minimal training to begin, but it will more than make up for this in the time reduced in the document review cycle.