Root Cause Analysis - What is really the problem? Equipment

Root Cause Analysis - What is really the problem? Equipment

     In the fifth segment of this series, we will focus on what is most likely the second top reason people do not hit their goals: equipment, with the top reason being people. As previously stated, the reason for shortfalls could be one or more of these factors: environment, people, materials, equipment, methods or measurements. Let us explore why equipment may be the reason you are struggling to hit your goals.

The Right Equipment is an Asset

Equipment is defined as the necessary items for a particular purpose. Equipment can be many things to you as employee, from having the right computer, to the right tools such as a specific screwdriver or wrench.  How many times have you been working on a project that should have or could have been simple, if you only had the right tool? There is nothing like cutting a piece of wood with a circular saw versus a hand saw. Both will get the job done, one is a lot faster and may be more precise. As we work through some examples of how equipment can be the issue, hopefully you will think of other examples and solutions that may help you reach your goals.

When "Go, go gadget," Isn't Available

Keeping with the selling cars goals, what equipment do you need to sell a car? Not the car itself. As previously pointed out, that is a material.

  • You missed a sale because you did not have the proper paperwork to finalize the transaction. The paper is a material; however, the computer, printer, or ink pen would be the equipment needed to make this sale happen.
    • Solution: Make sure your equipment is working and replace needed equipment when it wears out.
    • Solution: Be proactive, if something breaks or inventory runs out, have a plan to get it fixed.
  • My boss will not update to the latest computers that would allow for faster sales processing. Slower sales creates frustration with customers and they leave before the sale is finished.
    • Solution: Work with your supervisor to get newer computers, so transactions happen faster.
    • Solution: Explain to your customers the final part of the transaction takes a little longer and offer to get them something to make them more comfortable.

Maintenance Is Critical to Equipment Performance

  • Your job is to manufacture widgets and you have a goal of making 300 widgets per day. You are unable to reach this goal because the tool that cuts the metal is dull.
    • Solution: Regularly sharpen the blade for the tool.
    • Solution: Do preventative maintenance on the tool, to ensure proper sharpness.
    • Solution: Get a sharper blade for the tool.
    • Solution: Work with your manager to find a solution, allowing you to reach your desired results.
    • Solution: See if the goal can be lowered to a reachable number, until the tool is fixed.
  • You lost your job today because you were late to work for the 14th time because your car is unreliable.
    • Solution: The easiest solution would be to buy a new car, but that can be easier said, than done.
    • Solution: Find better alternatives; take an Uber or public transportation.
    • Solution: Long before you get into trouble, talk to your supervisor. She may know of someone who lives in your neighborhood with whom you could ride to work.   

Sometimes having the right tool can be the difference in making or breaking your goal results. Many of the tasks we do on a daily basis are dependent on some type of tool or piece of equipment to get the job done. The key with equipment is to communicate; let your supervisor know what is going on. Do not wait until it is too late to try to fix an equipment issue.

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