Standardising work refers to the process of logging the steps taken in a process and in their correct sequence. Work Standardisation aims to clearly and quickly communicate with the operator exactly how and when a processed should be performed. The use of standardised work allows for the prevention of avoidable mistakes by following what has worked in the past, although as the process changes so too will the standard work. Good Standardised Work involves three criteria which include, Takt Time, Operations Sequencing and Inventory.
How is Standardised Work used?
Once data is collected and the process improved the foundations for standard work are set. Depending on the nature of the work involved standardised work can be used in different ways within the workplace. Although aspects of takt time, operation sequencing and inventory are always involved, standardised work tools are generally specific to the process. Standard work can be maintained through the use of forms and various Visual Management Tools.
These tools include:
These forms can vary from using an audit style layout to study and analyse the process for standardisation, as well as forms to consistently log the process in place and show that the process is being maintained and if improvements are needed.
Standard operating procedures are essentially guidelines as to how the standard process should be performed and act as reminders to the operators. They can come in the form of written instructions logged in the company’s database or as visual step by step info-graphic posters.
Standard work boards are designed specific to the process and offer visual communication and engagement with the process. They are real time tools that are used in the management of the process by day or shift. Different board types include a Daily Management Board, Production Control Board or Material Control Board.
The Benefits of Standard Work
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A 2007 study states the importance of the standardisation of a process, particularly in production of natural products. With an astounding difference in practice to pharmaceuticals, this study explains that due to the lack of standardisation of natural remedies, natural products are being manufactured that have an inadequate amount of knowledge associated with their effects.
Such products are then manufactured with a poorly defined molecular structure and are often composed of inconsistent if not unknown pharma-coactive ingredients. The lack of standardised work subsequently allows for the lack of toxicity reports as well as a poor degree of how pharmaceutical actives will interact with the natural ingredients.
The study states the importance of standard work, to increase the reliability, usability, efficacy and safety of the natural products produced. Due to the multi-component nature of herbs the variability of the product is very high. Standardisation is therefore necessary to develop a consistency and therefore reproducibility in the herbal remedies.
Despite being difficult to standardise the process of natural remedy production, a technology called The ChemBioPrint® process was developed that measures the two most fundamental criteria of the manufacturing process. These include accurate chemical composition and biological activity readings. These criteria lay the foundations for the standardisation of the process and resulting products. This simple integration of a method so fundamental to the process produces evidence of the herbal remedies remaining stable and consistent after both quantitative and qualitative measurement.
Regardless of industry, this study shows that the standardisation of processes is essential to produce value for the customer in the form of a consistent, effective and safe product, where the optimum potential of materials and inventory is used.