Congratulations. You did your homework, found the best purging compounds for your application and process (hopefully Asaclean), and worked with a Purging Expert to train your team and customize a Purge Program to set your company up for success. You're on the home stretch. Now comes the hard part: Consistency.
It's easy to follow procedures when training is fresh and best practices are being drilled into your processors' minds. You will be excited about the results and feel like you accomplish something when you see your scrap and downtime decrease. If you are using EX Grade, you might even look forward to a screw pull for once. The greatest hurdle to achieving long-term success and compounded savings is consistency. You have the advice and best practices. How will your follow up to confirm that the new process, program, machine, or new job is being done correctly?
A major part of this challenge can be addressed through leadership and trust. A leader needs to be confident in his or her team and trust that each shift will take their new procedures seriously. Be sure to semi-regularly audit each shift to confirm that best practices continue to be in place. Also, these are useful to see if your improved performance is continuing. If you see performance slip, there's a strong likelihood that someone is cutting corners. Check what corrections you need to make in order to continue your success.
I say "semi-regularly" because these should be as frequent as necessary without doing something close to micro-managing. Don't wait for a problem to perform an audit, but trust your team to do the right thing most of the time. The goals of these check-ins should be to reinforce best practices and optimize efficiencies.
Written instructions and procedures must be supplemented with conversations and regular refreshers. Every plant has turnover and it is not likely that each team member has been trained by a Purging Expert in person. Your plant needs to work with each shift to make sure nothing deviates from the plan. Your Purge Plan needs to be completed line for line in order to achieve best results.
Here are some common excuses as to why a processor will deviate from the procedures:
1.) Change is difficult
2.) You can't teach an old dog new tricks
3.) I've been doing this 15 years. This other way will work better
4.) In my last job I handled it a different way
5.) What we're doing is good enough
6.) If it ain't broke, don't fix it
All of these mental hurdles keep you further from success. If you spend the time and money to invest in a purge program, don't let these thoughts or attitudes sabotage your efforts. Purging compounds work when used correctly. Stay true to the course and you will be blown away by your results.
Ready to reduce your production downtime to protect your profits? Learn more about how purging compounds and process efficiency work in tandem.