Purchase Module

Supervisors Guide to Productivity Improvement



Purchase module

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Productivity Improvement


Searching for improved business methods and resources to increase productivity

The checklist below lists some common causes of waste in organizations relating to the business process methods and materials used. Apply your team members job knowledge and experience, together with this checklist to improve problems highlighted during team meetings. Build this checklist into your team building activities to make an improvement to productivity, and therefore job security, in your organization.

TIP: Measure the before and after effect wherever possible. That is, you should attempt to quantify each cause of waste you attack, in terms of money, time and material. This way you can objectively assess the difference you have made.

Waste of methods and resources

  • Failure to explain money value of materials and supplies to employees
  • Inadequate supervision resulting in spoilage of material
  • New employees not instructed properly
  • Employees not instructed on new work
  • Procedures, blueprints, sketches, diagrams, etc. torn or illegible
  • Machines out of order or not adjusted or out of date
  • Failure to follow each job through
  • Failure to give clear instructions and orders
  • Permitting improper or rough handling of material and supplies.
  • Not paying attention to workers' eyesight and health as possible cause of spoiled work
  • Lack of discipline among workers, thereby encouraging carelessness and sub standard work
  • Allowing employees to use supplies unsuited to work; too good or not good enough
  • Inability to trace defective work to the person who did it so that it can be corrected
  • Taking employees ability for granted; not making sure employees are qualified for the work they are doing, especially new ones
  • Not knowing the right kind of supplies to order
  • Ordering more materials and supplies than necessary and not returning excess stock
  • Failure to see materials are stored appropriately
  • Failure to investigate all bare wires, leaky valves, pipes, fittings on steam, water, gas, electric, and compressed air lines, etc.
  • Allowing workers to use oil, compressed air, small tools, chemicals, etc. for personal use
  • Letting defective material go through as standard
  • Lack of system to control outgoing supplies to prevent loss / theft
  • Scrapping material that could be salvaged
  • Permitting the waste or abuse of such supplies as brooms, stationary, oilers, light bulbs, shovels, rubber hose etc.

Next | Team building activity No. 4 | Equipment and machines