Improve the process in the company
Process optimization is often very extensive in terms of measures. Often the workflow-optimization in the company is treated as an IT-project or change management project. When companies optimize processes, this is usually done in the context of Kaizen and continuous process improvement, when the employees can implement the measures directly in their area.
Profiteers and basic requirements for workflow optimization
Customers and employees benefit equally from the right definition, design and life of the respective processes. New products and services can also be realized faster. When companies optimize processes, additional benefits can be generated: Costs and quality remain under control and employee disappointment can be avoided. Disappointment is usually expressed when not everything goes according to plan, this can be avoided by optimizing workflows.
With the help of Motion Mining® projects for workflow optimization, possibilities for process and ergonomics optimization can be uncovered. At the beginning of the cooperation, to the project “Process Improvement”, the first step is to select the area or processes in which the company wants to improve, design and optimize the process. The process-oriented organization must always be aligned with the goals and strategy of the company or the selected area. The essential goals and strategic characteristics are formulated in the first step when companies optimize processes. Performance indicators and performance characteristics regarding process quality are defined and applied to the selected areas in which the company wants to improve the process.
Optimizing the workflow with Motion-Mining
How to improve your process with Motion-Mining®
To improve the process, the different activities and the ergonomics are examined with the Motion-Mining® technique. While processes are optimized, sensors are attached to employees and aids. The employees wear wear wearables (mobile sensors) on their wrists and belts to anonymously record the various activities. Thanks to the integrated sensors, these wearables can detect movements very precisely and thus recognize a wide range of activities, thus providing data for workflow optimization. These sensors can be compared with the sports trackers from the private fitness sector that are widely used today. The usual execution of work processes during an entire shift is not affected by this.
In addition, in those areas where the company wants to improve the process, tools such as transport equipment or forklifts should be equipped with special sensors in order to analyze human-technology interaction more precisely.
In order to be able to assign the movement patterns to a position and then optimize the individual processes, the work area is equipped with a few so-called “beacons” for localization in the environment. These are miniature radio transmitters – you can think of the system as a “private GPS” for workflow optimization.
The data is then uploaded anonymously and not personally to the cloud system, where the AI computer analyzes the mass data and determines key figures for workflow optimization. With the help of this data analysis, process engineers can optimize the processes accordingly, with regard to the respective potentials.
The Motion-Mining® Technology
How companies improve a process with Motion-Mining®
The system is flexible and can in principle be used for all manual work steps in the industrial environment for workflow optimization. The method is designed to improve manual work processes in terms of their ergonomics and efficiency. Therefore, processes from logistics, production, hospitals or care facilities are particularly well suited.
Characteristic for a suitable application in companies that want to optimize processes with the help of Motion-Mining® technology are common:
- Activities such as gripping, packing, transporting
- operations like (long) distances or transport tasks
- Processes with ergonomically sophisticated components
- Processes with more than 4 employees
- Processes with high personnel costs (and potential for cost savings)
- Especially suitable are logistics areas such as: picking, returns processing and packaging
Improve the process with the right hardware
Optimize processes: Which hardware is necessary for workflow optimization?
Necessary for process improvement using Motion-Mining® is a set of hardware. The hardware for workflow optimization is not purchased by the user himself, since the purchase price is usually significantly higher than the possible savings potential and is only used once. If a company wants to optimize its processes, the MotionMiners provide the hardware directly in the necessary design and quantity.
The following technical components are necessary for an analysis project for process improvement:
- Motion sensors on the arms per employee
- Motion sensors for the torso per employee
- Smart Devices (Smartphones) with the MotionMiners App
- Docking station for loading the Smart Devices and for data transfer of the sensors
- Beacons (sensors for localization); depending on the process several 10 to 100 pieces.
- Notebook/tablet PC for uploading data to the cloud and subsequent analysis.
Improvements in workflow optimization by 12% realistic!
Using Motion-Mining® to improve an exemplary process
The question of a common potential for improvement cannot be clearly answered with the motion mining method for process optimization – “It depends”. As an example, a project at a packaging and consumer goods retailer was carried out with regard to workflow optimization. The company carries a range of approximately 5,000 articles from the hotel and restaurant industry. The central warehouse on approx. 20.000 m² employs approx. 50 employees. The possible process improvements for two picking processes and one packaging process with five employees per shift (two-shift model) were investigated. Tracking was carried out over four weeks to optimize the work flow. The employees selected one of ten measurement sets each day, which additionally anonymized the data collection for workflow optimization. The recorded data was prepared for interpretation using heat maps and diagrams. After analysis by the process engineers and implementation of the organizational improvement approaches, a control measurement was performed after eight months. Together with the user’s controlling department, a 12% reduction in workload was demonstrated.
Improve process timeframe
Optimizing the workflow with Motion-Mining®, the time frame at a glance
Approximately one week is needed to prepare for the “Process Improvement” project. In addition to the requirements analysis, the relevant processes must be clarified and delimited. Depending on the application, data for workflow optimization (such as layouts) must be exchanged. Usually it is also useful to present the measures that improve the process to the employees and the works council.
The measurement period for workflow optimization is usually two weeks with at least four employees. During this time, it becomes normal for the employees to carry the equipment with them and the measurement results are close to reality.
This is followed by evaluation and data interpretation for workflow optimization by a process engineer. The process engineer can come from within the company after appropriate training on the topics of process improvement / process optimization / workflow optimization. Alternatively, this is possible through consulting in topics such as process optimization/ process improvement by MotionMiners. The results will be prepared in a manageable way with regard to the topics “Process Optimization, Workflow Optimization and Process Improvement” and presented with a final recommendation for action. For this purpose another week should be planned.
In total, it should be possible to work out a project result after four weeks at the earliest.