Original Date: 08/15/1991
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : White Board Status System
MagneTek Defense Systems (MDS) has initiated a white board status system that provides an example of a low tech, low cost idea that works. This system has produced immediate results in less than two months of use in seven manufacturing areas by improving efficiency, visibility, and communication. The status boards are standard white boards for use with erasable markers. Each board is divided into eight categorized columns -- project number, item description/part number, shop order number, start date, due date needed to support the next operation, estimated completion date, percentage complete, and remarks (such as waiting for shortages or support needed).
Rapid and efficient communication is a primary benefit of the status board system. Operators are aware of job status and the needs of their internal customers. They have eliminated frustrating and time-consuming situations where workers required time away from the job to locate parts or track down status information.
For management, the status boards provide quick identification and communication of status, priorities, and goals. The need to interrupt work in progress to obtain information has been eliminated. Management also uses the boards as a tool to identify the need to shift people between work cells to improve production flow. This allows greater application of investments in cross training of the work force as management quickly identifies problem areas and can react.
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