Overall Equipment Effectiveness, also commonly referred to as OEE for short, isn’t just a way to measure manufacturing productivity – it is perhaps the gold standard for doing so available today. On the surface, it’s a viable way to better understand the percentage of all your manufacturing time that is as productive as possible. But diving deeper, it’s also about so much more than that, too.
If you know how many quality parts you’re manufacturing, how fast you’re manufacturing them and how much stop time you’re dealing with, you suddenly have all the actionable information you need to understand what parts of your processes are working – and, more importantly, which ones aren’t. At that point, you have what you need to double down on the former and get rid of the latter at every opportunity.
Yet at the same time, when implementing OEE far too many organizations still make the mistake of excluding perhaps the most crucial element of all:
The Role of Employees in the OEE Process: An Overview
Remember that OEE is a metric for not only identifying productivity, but also losses as well. It’s designed to help you improve your manufacturing processes by, among other things, eliminating waste wherever it can be located.
It would be an absolute shame not to include your employees in these calculations, especially given the fact that they obviously play a central role in the production process.
Think about it like this. Your employees operate your equipment every single day. Nobody understands specific machines better than they do. When you identify losses and even opportunities for improvement during the OEE process, they need to be the ones who take ownership of implementing whatever measures you decide on.
Doing so accomplishes a number of critical things, all at the exact same time. For starters, it improves the chances that these optimization measures will be successful by bringing in the people who are actually working on the factory floor every day. Beyond that, it reaffirms in their mind that they’re playing such a big role in your manufacturing process. That you couldn’t have gotten to this point without them and you won’t be able to achieve success in the future without them, either.
This is a perfect chance to cement both their commitment to your organization and their motivation to help you accomplish your goals. If you cut them out of the process and continue to make changes with little more than cold, hard data, you’re essentially doing the opposite – they become disconnected from their tasks.
Therefore, it is essential that you have open lines of communication among all people who are interacting with the processes being tracked with OEE. This includes not only your machine operators, but your entire production team.
Not only that, but by tapping into people with different experiences who work in different areas, your improvements can be made quicker and more efficiently than ever – which may in and of itself be the most important benefit of all.