How Can I Simplify This Process Flow?

NikkiQSM

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
Hello Covers,

I wanted to ask for your thoughts on how to simplify our Order Tracker Process... What it comes down to is that the Order Tracker is passed through so MANY hands before the job ships out. Sometimes it is even passed back to the same person a number of times. We have used this process for many years, but after our Management Council Meeting yesterday, I felt I could get some good advice from the knowledgable covers here.

A Little background, we are a medical plastics compounder, and we are ISO 9001:2008 certified. Basically, we produce the plastic pellets that medical device manufacturers use to make their devices.

The Order Tracker contains a cover sheet, which has spaces for each person to sign off as they get the Order Tracker. It also contains a New Order Form, Formula Sheet (recipe for the compound) and process sheet (how to extrude the material).

Here is the process:

#1. Customer Service takes an order from the customer and fills out the New Order Form.
#2. The New Order Form is given to Scheduling who verfies that we have the materials here to run the job, and if need be orders more materials.
#3. The Order Tracker documents are printed off, The New Order Form is put in with this packet and is given to Process Engineer to review the process for acceptance.
#4. The Order Tracker is given back to Scheduling, who schedules the job.
#5. The Order Tracker is given to Production and they produce the job as the formula / process sheets instruct.
#6. The Tracker goes to QC, where the QC RESULTS documents are added.
#7. The Tracker is given to the QC Manager who reviews all the documents to ensure that we made the product as requested by the customer.
#8. The Tracker is given to Logistics to arrange shipping.
#9. The Tracker is given back to the QC Manager to review the labels and packaging and ensure they are correct.
#10. The Tracker is given to Customer Service so that they can inform the customer that it is shipping.
#11. The Tracker is passed on to the Quality System Manager to record ship dates for tracking on-time delivery.
#12. The Tracker is passed down to the office assistant to scan the Order Tracker into our system.
#13. The Tracker is passed onto the Assistant Production Corrdinator to deduct the materials used in inventory.
#14. The Tracker is given to HR for invoicing.
#15. The Tracker is given back to the office assistant to file.

While all these steps seem necessary - I feel it is going through too many hands...

Any and all thoughts are appreciated.

Best Regards,
 
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Ninja

Looking for Reality
Trusted Information Resource
#2
Lots of the right hands, but the floor map goes in circles...
Some initial thoughts:

Hello Covers,
Here is the process:

#1. Customer Service takes an order from the customer and fills out the New Order Form.
#3. The New Order Form is given to Scheduling who verfies that we have the materials here to run the job, and if need be orders more materials.
#2. The Order Tracker documents are printed off, The New Order Form is put in with this packet and is given to Process Engineer to review the process for acceptance.
#4. The Order Tracker stays in Scheduling, who schedules the job.
#5. The Order Tracker is given to Production and they produce the job as the formula / process sheets instruct.
#6. The Tracker goes to QC, where the QC RESULTS documents are added.
#7. The Tracker is given to the QC Manager who reviews all the documents to ensure that we made the product as requested by the customer.
#8. The Tracker is given to Logistics to arrange shipping.
#9. The Tracker stays in Logistics who prints the labels and packaging and ensure they are correct.
#10. A memo is given to Customer Service so that they can inform the customer that it is shipping.
#11. Shipping/Logistics inputs the ship dates for tracking on-time delivery.
#4a. The Tracker is passed down to the office assistant to scan the Order Tracker into our system. (combine this with #4 above, why not just print to pdf when the initial print takes place?)
#13. Production should have done this already back in #5.
#14. The Tracker is given to HR for invoicing.
#15. The Tracker is given back to the office assistant to file.

While all these steps seem necessary - I feel it is going through too many hands...

Any and all thoughts are appreciated.

Best Regards,
Again...just initial thoughts...
HTH

CS - Engineering approval - Scheduling - Production - QC - Logistics - Bill it out

A stray thought...does every single job need engineering approval? Is every job so very unique?
 

NikkiQSM

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
A stray thought...does every single job need engineering approval? Is every job so very unique?
Yes. Every single one of the jobs gets reviewed. Before AND after production in case adjustments had to made to the process.

Each product we produce is very unique and different - basically a job shop we are - if only we just made rubber duckies everyday :)
 
M

Mazoku

#4
You might benefit from Job Shop Software such as JobBoss or Jobscope. having everything electronic helps speed the processes. Scheduling would not have to manually check for availability of materials, required documents can be better managed and controlled and your QC manager would not need to review each time for correct documentation. Ship dates, invoicing, customer contact info, logistics, filing, tracking delivery, etc. can all be handled by the software.

As for unneeded steps, I don't see the purpose of having the QC manager inspect the labeling and packaging of the products. Create an easy to follow shipping flowchart or checklist to assure that labeling and packaging is done correctly every time and there is no need for inspection by the QC manager. Same goes for inspecting the tracker for correct documents. Someone once told me "quality by inspection is not quality." Also, tracking ship dates can be done by anyone, whoever first received the ship dates can log it in a database and the QC manager can review at his own convenience.
 

Bill McNeese

Involved In Discussions
#5
I would imagine that the actual process is more complicated once you add in the steps when something isn't correct - what happens then? who gets involved? Good suggestions here on improvement.

But I think those closest to the process would have great ideas on what to do I would suggest pulling together the people who do the process and construct a detailed process flow diagram - with all the rework included when things aren't correct. Some immediate things will be obvious most likely to improve the process. You can get as fancy as you want and add how log each times takes.

You can also rate each step as the following:

  • A step that actually creates value from the perspective of the customer.
  • A step that creates no value but is currently required by the product development, order filling or production systems (type one muda) and cannot be currently be eliminated.
  • A step that creates no value and can be eliminated immediately (type two muda).
 

Michael_M

Trusted Information Resource
#6
Here is the process:

#1. Customer Service takes an order from the customer and fills out the New Order Form.
#2. The New Order Form is given to Scheduling who verfies that we have the materials here to run the job, and if need be orders more materials.
#3. The Order Tracker documents are printed off, The New Order Form is put in with this packet and is given to Process Engineer to review the process for acceptance.
#4. The Order Tracker is given back to Scheduling, who schedules the job.
#5. The Order Tracker is given to Production and they produce the job as the formula / process sheets instruct.
#6. The Tracker goes to QC, where the QC RESULTS documents are added.
#7. The Tracker is given to the QC Manager who reviews all the documents to ensure that we made the product as requested by the customer.
#8. The Tracker is given to Logistics to arrange shipping.
#9. The Tracker is given back to the QC Manager to review the labels and packaging and ensure they are correct.
#10. The Tracker is given to Customer Service so that they can inform the customer that it is shipping.
#11. The Tracker is passed on to the Quality System Manager to record ship dates for tracking on-time delivery.
#12. The Tracker is passed down to the office assistant to scan the Order Tracker into our system.
#13. The Tracker is passed onto the Assistant Production Corrdinator to deduct the materials used in inventory.
#14. The Tracker is given to HR for invoicing.
#15. The Tracker is given back to the office assistant to file.
Can you combine some of the steps. For example, #6, #7, #9, and #11 all seem to be QC. Can the arrangement be made to go:
#5
#8
#6, #7, #9, and #11 all at the same time (one step).

Can #13 be combined with #4 at #4 (deduct the material before use)
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#7
Hello Covers,

I wanted to ask for your thoughts on how to simplify our Order Tracker Process... What it comes down to is that the Order Tracker is passed through so MANY hands before the job ships out. Sometimes it is even passed back to the same person a number of times. We have used this process for many years, but after our Management Council Meeting yesterday, I felt I could get some good advice from the knowledgable covers here.

A Little background, we are a medical plastics compounder, and we are ISO 9001:2008 certified. Basically, we produce the plastic pellets that medical device manufacturers use to make their devices.

The Order Tracker contains a cover sheet, which has spaces for each person to sign off as they get the Order Tracker. It also contains a New Order Form, Formula Sheet (recipe for the compound) and process sheet (how to extrude the material).

Here is the process:

#1. Customer Service takes an order from the customer and fills out the New Order Form.
#2. The New Order Form is given to Scheduling who verfies that we have the materials here to run the job, and if need be orders more materials.
#3. The Order Tracker documents are printed off, The New Order Form is put in with this packet and is given to Process Engineer to review the process for acceptance.
#4. The Order Tracker is given back to Scheduling, who schedules the job.
#5. The Order Tracker is given to Production and they produce the job as the formula / process sheets instruct.
#6. The Tracker goes to QC, where the QC RESULTS documents are added.
#7. The Tracker is given to the QC Manager who reviews all the documents to ensure that we made the product as requested by the customer.
#8. The Tracker is given to Logistics to arrange shipping.
#9. The Tracker is given back to the QC Manager to review the labels and packaging and ensure they are correct.
#10. The Tracker is given to Customer Service so that they can inform the customer that it is shipping.
#11. The Tracker is passed on to the Quality System Manager to record ship dates for tracking on-time delivery.
#12. The Tracker is passed down to the office assistant to scan the Order Tracker into our system.
#13. The Tracker is passed onto the Assistant Production Corrdinator to deduct the materials used in inventory.
#14. The Tracker is given to HR for invoicing.
#15. The Tracker is given back to the office assistant to file.

While all these steps seem necessary - I feel it is going through too many hands...

Any and all thoughts are appreciated.

Best Regards,
Nikki,

This looks like a jobs preservation process! Does your company use QuickBooks for its accounting?

If so you can interface with Fishbowl order processing and inventory management software:

http://www.softwareadvice.com/scm/fishbowl-inventory-scm-profile/

If not QB then select software according to your accounting software.

Best to engage those involved in the improvement project though.

Best wishes,

John
 
B

Bhooshan Karandikar

#8
Hi,

Apart from Michael_M's suggestions, other possibilities seem to be:

#1
#3
& then #2 combined with #4

Also # 12 may be combined with #15
 
L

lokeky1

#9
The order tracker is used to track which process the job is at presently. To streamline the order tracker is therefore identical to streamlining the entire operation (door to door).

To streamline the door to door operation, follow the suggestions by the Womack et al. Do VSM first. Identify value etc....
 
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