What’s better than a safe, lean and well documented production process? Being a good employer means safety does come first. Whether you’re in the meat or beer industry or building small machinery, safe and efficient working conditions are essential to all employees. It is of utmost importance that your employee has all the right documentation to work safely and efficiently. But do you know which information to provide and when and how to provide it? These questions cannot always be answered easily. Employers deal with many different kinds of employees, who are all on a different level in terms of experience, knowledge and competences.
Good work instructions are a must-have!
You can find work instructions in all shapes and sizes and they apply to tasks of equally different natures. You could be dealing with installation or assembly guides or, even more common, maintenance instructions. Anything needs to be maintained, anywhere. Think of day-to-day maintenance of buses or trains and maintaining energy plants or machinery fleets. All these tasks are done by your workforce, who need to be supported with all the right information. ‘The right information’ might be a little bit too generic, since knowledge, experience and background amongst your employees can vary greatly. You could be dealing with Employee A, who has been doing the same task for 25 years, but still needs to sign off the work. They could do this with the help of a checklist. However, Employee B does not work in the same environment. They have a lot of knowledge, but little experience and therefore need proper work instructions. Employee C may have had matching education, but has neither the knowledge, nor the experience. This last employee needs a lot more than just work instructions.
In any case, proper work instructions are without doubt an essential asset to your processes. You know which tools you need. You know which PPEs you need to wear. You know in which order to carry out your tasks. Proper work instructions help you to show up dressed according to safety regulations and to carry out your tasks correctly. They also ensure you the machine you’re operating functions as it should and that the process in general goes smoothly.
Now, what kinds of work instructions do we know?
You can find work instructions in all shapes and sizes. They usually come in the shape of a laminated A4 sheet of paper, hidden in a corner or cabinet. You need to make sure that work instructions are always kept in a visible, recognizable spot or that they are always present in the workplace. It is even better to have your work instructions available digitally, so you can use them on a tablet, laptop or HMI. The possibilities are endless. All you need to do is create a clear overview of what’s possible and what is the most user friendly option in the field. If possible, choose images over written instructions. Sometimes, a video tutorial makes for a great addition to your digital work instructions.
Being each others knowledge base
Sometimes tasks are hard or issues cannot easily be solved. What would be your approach? Research and investigation? Asking a colleague for help, hoping they know how to smooth your bump in the road? Sure, these are fine alternatives, but wat makes us truly happy are solutions that connect co-workers quickly and contribute to sharing knowledge and experience.
For quick live solutions, Foxiz uses the app Chalk. This very useful FaceTime-like app allows you to contact your co-workers and also create drawings and other direct notes. Would you like to actively incorporate sharing experiences in your production process? Try Poka, a social media app that caters to corporate needs, such as uploading useful videos, querying problems and quick and easy retrieval of legacy issues/solutions. Operating instructions are so much more than a passive A4 sheet. They can become a truly dynamic part of your processes. They help prevent incidents, improve your processes and, ultimately, make your employees happy.
Foxiz, professionals in work instructions
At Foxiz, we are experienced in any type of manual you can think of. Manuals, work instructions, video instructions or even apps with an augmented reality environment to make your product come to life. The work instructions, manual or technical information and the user combined are always the most important starting point: what do you show, when do you show it and, most importantly, how do you show it. For any product in any language: together we come to a suitable solution. Naturally, we guarantee that our users are satisfied and can carry out their work properly.