Minimal Interaction with Management
May 16, 2018 at 1:57 am #56000
Looking for advice on current career situation. I am currently working for a relatively young SME that builds bespoke automated machines. Production is typically high variety, low volume therefore have limited options to improve the productions environment.
The MRP/CRM software is very poor to say the least, and the users have managed to adapt to its functions, but purely for the simple tasks of raising a PO, or loading on a sales order, and haven’t delved into its potential any further. The comments on this are usually “Its more set up for high volume, low variety therefore not suited to the business, but we can get the bare minimum from it!” to me this roughly translates as we get by, and don’t have the time and resource to look into it further.
For the time i have been here (2 years), we have made simple (but obvious) changes to improve on areas of wasted time. Such as looking for information, and creating an index of shortcuts to find the information. Creating macros to extract the raw MI data from the MRP system into the ancillary documentation for budget sheets/capacity instead of manually transferring the information.
To me these are all nice simple changes to improve efficiency, but not really challenging, however the real need for change should be the process and procedures they operate too in each department. These are non existent and departmental managers are reluctant to give up the time now and develop them, or even delegate. After communicating my concerns to senior management regarding the commitment required, i was then promoted to C.I Manager in an attempt to empower me to pursue the process and procedures across all areas of the business. After 9 months in the new role, i am still faced with the same problems.
In addition to this, there has been some opportunities present themselves to make radical changes, but require significant investment to get it going, of which the business cant justify at this time, or are even sure when they could make that investment.
As i am new to the LSS world, i’m concerned that the lack of commitment and interaction from senior management to implement the improvements necessary will stunt my career development. Is this what i should expect in this environment with regards to support, or are these the signs to start looking at other job opportunities?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!0May 16, 2018 at 7:34 am #202544
@Tony Groves Since you are new to this I am going to look past some things that are extremely irritating. The comment about high mix low volume is nonsense. I came from Motorola which for some reason people only equate to small electronic devices high volume. A good number of us that began consulting came from the Government Electronics Group (that would include Mike Harry). We were low volume (my highest runner was 5 units per week) and extremely high mix. Here is the point that people miss. This is about process NOT product. SPC is what? Statistical Process Control or Statistical Product Control? You are controlling the process because that is where defects and waste occur. The low volume is a weak excuse that people running resistance to change have been hiding behind for years.
If I and a circuit board stuffing house and I understand my wave solder process perfectly then I can run high mix without having long change over times because I know how to setup the machine when I change board thickness, etc. I can bid new business more accurately because I can look at drawings and understand exactly how it will run. Remember the “last man standing” concept goes to the lowest cost producer. So when the management teams talk to you about all that stupidity you will be able to tell which ones are semi intelligent and which ones aren’t. Here is a clue if you ever talk to anyone that uses the term widgets – stop wasting your time. As the saying goes if you talk to them for 10 minutes 2 minutes are their fault and 8 are yours.
If I were you I would pack my bags and leave. Employment is up and there is a shortage of labor. I have a sign in my office that says “Life is to short to live in Houston.” You need a sign that says “Life is to short to work for unenlightened Management.” You sound serious about what you want to do. Go somewhere where you can present good ideas and everybody is willing to kick them around. I am not saying everybody should do everything you ask for. Fighting for what you believe feels good. At least fight with intelligent people.
I wrote this for ASQ’s Quality Progress last year. Just maybe something to think about.
Mike Carnell0May 16, 2018 at 8:17 pm #202547
I have to agree with @Mike Carnell, with a caveat. It’s been said that if you work for fools you are a fool or a slave. But nowhere we work is perfect. What we do is all about improvement. When there is lots of room for improvement there is lots of opportunity. So sell that and back it up with data and benchmarks. Be a champion for change. If you can convince a few influential people you can get it started. It won’t happen overnight. Have you really made the effort? If you have and you’re still beating your head against a brick wall you should definitely move on.0May 17, 2018 at 12:26 am #202551
Thanks for your response, very enlightening and also resonates to my current situations! The hold your ground article couldn’t be closer to my point.
This brings me to my next difficult question, which i’m not expecting an answer on to be honest, but maybe some advice.
Just recently my home situation has changed quiet significantly, i am due to become a father for the first time in August, which although is an exciting time for me personally, i have also had to surrender my driving license for 12 months due to suffering another epileptic seizure.
As you can imagine with the change in pace with my home situation, looking for a new job opportunity is not exactly ideal, as my freedom to travel is now limited to public transport. My current employers are based on my doorstep so my question is, do i stay it out until travelling is easier for myself, or do should i still pursue an alternative for the sake of my sanity!? Or is there some moonlighting i could look into to keep my hand in the game?0May 17, 2018 at 6:49 am #202554
I am sorry to hear about the seizure. I am sure the license is the least of your concerns. The transportation issue isn’t really a problem or at least it is solvable. Live somewhere warm and ride a bike, Uber, etc. I really don’t know much about this but it seems like there is a lot of bike traffic in the places I have worked.
I would stay where you are for a bit. First for your wife/partner. She probably doesn’t want to go through a big change on the prenatal care. This can be a very tough time for women with all the changes their bodies are going through. I think you owe it to them to not create any additional stress.
Raising kids is really the only significant thing we do in our lives. I would not move until that baby is born and has some time to stabilize. There is a book out there for engineers on how to raise children. Of course nobody has all the definitive answers but this has a lot of good advice and getting them on a schedule. It is amazing how much that calms the whole raising kids thing.
Basically I would sit tight for about 18 months. You sound young, if that is true you have a ton of time to get where you want to go. Take care of your wife and the baby.
If you need to get out or you want to go later I can hook you up with some good recruiters. my email is firstname.lastname@example.org or the iSS job board is a good place to find belt positions. Good luck.
Just my opinion.0
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.