Original Date: 04/24/2006
Revision Date: / /
Information : Process Improvement Input System
Midwest Metal Products has implemented an electronic process improvement suggestion system that provides traceability and makes the process easier for both the employee and the reviewer. Electronic vacation requests are also now processed through the company’s intranet. The electronic system is user-friendly and has significantly decreased the man-hours formerly spent submitting, routing, and reviewing forms using the manual method.
Midwest Metal Products (MMP) had a manual process for documenting recommended improvements to manufacturing processes. Operators formerly used a paper form to submit suggestions; however, reviewers were often unable to read forms that were not legibly written. At times the sheets would be lost or misplaced, requisite information was often omitted, and there was no traceability for submitted suggestions. The time required to submit forms to the coach was excessive.
MMP has implemented a process improvement that is totally electronic. Electronic forms for submitting suggestions are available on the company intranet. All required information is prompted, eliminating missing required fields. The completed form is automatically routed to the correct person to review the suggestion. Automatic e-mail messages are sent to the reviewers notifying them that a suggestion is pending review. No suggestions are lost and the system provides traceability throughout the process. A complete historical record of suggestions and actions taken is available and searchable on the intranet. The new process makes the submission of ideas more user-friendly, and the loss of submitted suggestions has been eliminated.
Vacation requests are also submitted electronically on the MMP Intranet, replacing the previous manual paper form submission system. Supervisors receive a computer-generated e-mail message when a request is submitted. Using an embedded link in the e-mail message, a supervisor can access the vacation database. The former manual method took several days for a request to be processed. The new method allows requests to be processed in minutes with the elimination of hard copy forms to be filled out and routed. The traceability of submission times and dates is now automatically tracked by the system, eliminating the possible use of obsolete forms. The system is user-friendly and can be accessed from anywhere in the company through the MMP Intranet.
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