Process improvements have accelerated in the last decade, driven by the implementation of advanced, highly configurable software. Industry 4.0 initiatives are making it possible to empower the frontline like never before, and few tools are more impactful than digital work checklists and work instructions. With most plants still reliant on paper checklists and work instructions, Excel spreadsheets, and Google Docs, digital work checklists represent a massive leap forward. And when properly implemented, the benefits can be leveraged in just a few days. Let’s take a closer look at six specific areas in which digital checklists and work instructions can have a direct impact and what it looks like for the organizations that take action.
Improvements to Content CreationA digital platform makes content creation faster and easier than most existing solutions such as Excel, PowerPoint, or Word. You can create new content on your mobile devices, making it possible to prepare updates anywhere at any time. Our own studies comparing paper checklists to Smart Work Station digital work checklists showed a significant reduction in the time it takes to create new content. If you save only 15 minutes per workstation and you create four per day, that’s an entire hour per day saved. In large organizations, this can represent thousands of units saved with a digital solution. That’s only the start of the savings. In adhering to a quality system, companies routinely struggle to keep the right revision levels of documents at the right location. Filing paper documents, pulling them during an audit, or providing resources to someone with an urgent need can be time consuming in ways that a digital solution is not.
Significant Streamlining of DeploymentApprovals and deployments can take days to implement with traditional tools. A digital solution vastly improves the process of submitting, reviewing, and implementing changes, saving thousands of hours in the process. When work instructions are deployed faster, companies save time, save money, and scale faster. The result is:
- Better safety – Better trained employees with up to date digital work instructions are more likely to follow safety guidelines and adapt to new measures.
- Better quality – 31% of surveyed companies spend more than $500,000 per year as a cost of poor quality. Much of this comes down to process.
- Better productivity – Supervisors regularly cite operator error, lack of training and inadequate processes as directly impacting their quality and productivity.
- Better cost management – More organized, better prepared workers are not only more efficient, but they become more predictable and costs are easier to manage.