Error proofing / Poka Yoke in the Office

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    matt green

    Im looking for examples of Poka Yoke within the office environment for a project Im doing with a window installation company.  They have to enter complex quotation and survey data from a paper based system onto an existing computer system and there is always the chance of misreading information, misskeying wrong data, leaving fields blank, entering numbers back to front and so on.   Any ideas as to how we can reduce the opportunity for error – preferably we are looking for simple, low cost solutions to start with as opposed to a software solution (e.g. electronic quotation and surveyor forms or document scanning / automatic data entry / data validation) as this will be cost prohibitive at present.



    Can you tell us a little about those two steps in the process?  For example, do you use an onsite sales or service rep working with the client and then that info is forwarded to data entry?



    hi there,
    surveyors go to customers homes to measure up windows and complete the specifications e.g colour, finish, window opening positions, types of locks etc.  these surveys are hand written and returned to sales office.  This data is then entered onto a computer system in order to generate final quotation for customer and then the subsequent purchase order for the windows (the windows are made by sub-contractors). Ideally the surveyor would be using a pc tablet or pda and be able to enter information and provide quotation immediately, but not at this stage as the company is not ready for the technological leap due to costs.



    its realy very tough to answer you… bcoz you know poka yoke or fool proofing suggests that you should go towards automation.
    and you are saying automation is expensive then what i can say to your question…
    until you would not use laptops and data validation tool while survaying then how can we gurantee that paper survey will be put into computers with out mistake(wrong number entering etc..)
    Human beings are full of errors and omissions.
    you have won and i have lost.
    Ahsan Saleem



    I am kind of inclined to think that one thing you may wish to do is find some way of quantifying how much these type of errors cost you.  You make the claim that different software or PDA’s will be cost prohibitive, but if the errors cost you more than the new software or equipment I can’t see how you could justify not spending the money.
    To answer your question though, I would think one thing you could do is to make sure that the format of the worksheet they are filling out exactly matches the format of the data they must enter in the software.  This should ease their data entry process and make it more evident when they are missing information. 
    Additionally, you might want to suggest that your technicians take typing lessons.  Although it sounds like a soft improvement, chances are most of them do not know how to type and are single finger punching a lot of information.  They may also have limited familiarity with computers which can also lead to errors and intimidation.  Many high schools offer evening classes which might present a low cost source of training.
    Speaking of training, I would make sure that that process is robust and that the technicians have been empowered with the information they need to do the job succesfully.  Again, this is not truly a poka-yoke, but these will be difficult to create for a data entry process where we have no impact on the software or equipment. 
    That’s all I have for now.  If I think of something else, I’ll pass it on.  Good luck.



    Hi!I don’t know what is the quote you are actually getting but you might check with, they provide ALL the service including wireless communication and design of everything. I don’t know how much the service costs, but nothings wrong with asking.That’s all I can to do help you.

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