Thursday, January 23, 2014

System Failure

                In my experience with the Senior Design Project through the university, there were many organizational problems present. In the company, documentation systems, route layouts, and responsibility allocation was not consistent throughout the entire system. Parts were not delivered to the correct place at the right time or at all and certain aspects of the system were breaking down. It was clear that the previous processes were outdated and no longer helping the situation they were intended to. These obsolete processes for documenting parts and deliveries were hampering the employees from doing a good job. It was clear that the people were not purposefully breaking down the system but the lack of communication between “upstairs” and the floor workers was impeding success and ultimately profit. Because no one was communicating well, things were not coordinated and parts were missing and some orders needed to be rushed to be completed, leaving great room for error.
             The mistakes that my team observed boiled down to issues that spiraled from these poor communication practices and outdated processes. It was not easy to pinpoint single issues with a clear-cut answer because there were so many side effects taking place that it was more comparable to putting out a series of small fires rather than an entire burning building. Through analyzing the waste and monetary loss from the inadequate processes and organization, my team was able to make a list of solutions for the company to start working through. The company found that they were able to save lots of money but fixing documentation system and the paths of coordination for the routes and employees.
              Organization is vital in any company that wants to succeed and make money. By making sure that the entire employee network is coordinated and looking at consistent documentation has proved to save the company from my senior project money that would otherwise be spent on labor, reworking, travel time and other forms of waste. 

Qwikster and VOC

Strategic factors: Customer

Paying attention to the voice of the customer is essential to manage a successful business. Many companies have literally failed and shut down because of providing products that are not customized for the customers’ needs. A customer oriented business not only achieves better, but will also save better and run more efficiently.
As an example of a failure to accommodate customers’ needs, Netflix, a popular provider of on-demand Internet streaming media and DVD-by-mail, decided to isolate their services in 2011 to be run under two different departments. The new department was called Qwikster and was in charge of their DVD-by-mail service. Since the services were divided into essentially two branches of the company, they decided to make prices of the services higher which outraged their customers and caused Qwikster project to be terminated even before launching. It might not have ruined the company entirely, but the amount of work and resources paid in advance to start launch this new project definitely have affected the company. The quick response to the customers’ voice avoided the company a great amount of loss in case Qwikster actually launched and failed to meet expectations.


People’s involvement helps the system fail in shipping and receiving

A company has had several issues with shipping and receiving of their product lately. Several of those problems include delayed processing of orders, missed delivery dates and wrong products shipped to customers. All of these issues have been created by the people in the organization failing at some aspect of their job. How did these situations occur? In some cases the system failed these people, such as the case of the incorrect product being shipped to the customer. The system had no double check to make sure the product that was picked from the warehouse to be placed in the box was correct. Other cases a lack of personnel has caused delays in the processing of orders. If one person at this company is out for the day, nothing happens in the shipping and receiving department. This organizational problem could be remedied with adding additional staff to the office at the company. The delay of the order processing then impacts the delivery date for the customers as the company only ships outgoing product two days a week. The company could use more staff and redundant systems to eliminate all of their current shipping and receiving problems.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

People Problems

The factor that most commonly comes into play is the people factor within my organization.  Everyone of my coworkers comes to work to do a good job, provide our customers a good service, make some money, and then go home to their families.  The main people problem is packages not being scanned delivered when they are delivered to the customer.  All packages are tracked from the second they are received until they are delivered to the customers door step. There are several scans that take place between initial arrival and final delivery.

                This problem of missed scans rarely happens, but when it does you would think the world is coming to an end.  We as mail carriers can’t possibly be trained on how to scan a package since we already do it roughly 80-100 times a day.  There is no incentive on making sure that we scan every package other than getting yelled at by our supervisor or postmaster if we do happen to miss a scan.  Everyone understands that when you do something several hundred times a week and 52 weeks in a year, you are going to make mistakes.  At some point maybe the Postal Service will add a motivator such as a bonus if you scan all packages correctly, or maybe a shock collar if we miss a scan as a form of negative reinforcement.  I will keep you posted if the Industrial Engineers come up with any bullet proof ideas.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lack of Communication = Past Due

People Factors – “Communication”

        I currently am a Safety/Industrial Engineering at a company in the Dayton area. I was put in charge of various task throughout the company that deal with safety and some of these responsibilities include permits received from the government, in particular, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
        The particular permit where we ran into a problem with was our paint booth permit. In order to maintain legal operation of our booth we had to stay under certain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) emissions on a day to day, month to month, and yearly basis. This permit was obtained by another employee at the company that was in charge of many others tasks during our addition of a new warehouse facility. After obtaining the permit, it required us to submit a yearly review of our VOC emissions that had to be sent in to the EPA. This detail was overlooked since the employee moved to a different department in charge of new responsibilities. I did catch this mistake even though we were 6 months late in submitting the document thankfully. If the employee would have communicated better and told someone else that they had to submit this evaluation we would have not run into the issue of being late and facing potential fines from the EPA.
        It is as simple as keeping a document with a master schedule of due dates for various permits and communicating these dates and document with all affected employees. Communication solves 90% of all problems in my opinion. I am just an intern though, what do I know?

System failure from a player's prospective

In sports typically it is said that coaches use a “system” to tech there players and get the best out of there players. This is an interesting way to view coaching but through past experiences I understand how this is true. I have been fortunate to see both successful and unsuccessful systems.
As a high school wrestler I wrestled on both sides of the spectrum. When I was a freshman, sophomore, and Junior the system that was run lead my school to a city title as well as the first undefeated season in our programs history. In addition to that we had two people qualify for state in the state of Ohio, which is extremely difficult to do. Due to a variety of reasons the core of team’s head coaches were removed my senior of high school. My senior year a new head coach came and due to two major reason’s the program has gone down since then.
The first major reason was the environment and mentality that was established when the new coach came in. The coach that I originally established a mentality that made wrestlers want to wrestle and give their best for the coach. Also he established a mentality that was positive for wrestling. When the new coach came in he focused on new things and established a “softer” culture, in my opinion. The coach tried to focus on strength and less on conditioning and technique. When I talked to my friends and watched them wrestle it was completely different. In the past the team may not have the best wrestlers but they were the most in shape and could compete. Once the new coach came in the team looked flat and tired because of the “system.” The second major factor was the personnel. The people in the new coaching system as well as the talent in the “system” decreased dramatically. The wrestlers that left after my sophomore year left many gaps in the roster and caused the team to lose. In addition to that the new head coach didn't have a good ability to recruit good athletes as my first coach did. This is important because it was easy to teach technique in wrestling. Both of these things cause the team and in a sense the program to go downhill.

From my playing prospective the second “system” seemed to be a failure. This happened because the wrestlers who remained had a huge lack of talent. The people that were acquired by the new head coach were not the athletes that were established and brought in by my original head coach. In addition to that trying to change the culture to a “softer” mentality didn't help the wrestlers that remained from the previous “system” and didn't seem to help the new wrestlers coming into the system. Wrestling is one sport that requires a hard nosed mentality, great instruction, and talent.  This change in environment and personnel  seems like a big reason in my personal opinion this new "system" failed.