More and more is being written about on shoring or re shoring, bringing back manufacturing to US soil. How can that be? Is this a fad? Is this the latest “flavor of the month” program management signed up for? What are the reasons why? Why is this happening? The reasons are many I am sure. In the auto industry many of the suppliers now supply all the car manufacturers with the same or very similar parts. The materials they use are the same. The machines used to produce the parts are also from the same supply base, e.g., the stampings, the pick and place robots, welding robots, etc…

So what is different? The difference I believe, is simple yet commonly overlooked… the American workers and the culture of the company for whom the work. World class companies in the US are brining jobs back on shore.

People want to succeed. People want to be measured against an objective/goal. Establishing clearly defined objectives matched to each individual’s capabilities and interests can provide healthy motivation, while fair, routine performance evaluations reveal if they are on the right course for success. People want to thrive. People need leaders to follow. People need heroes to admire not to envy! Although envy is a normal reaction it is destructive.

A recent study at Princeton University and a post on the Princeton Journal Watch discusses the effects on envy-driven emotion the Germans call “Schadenfreude”. The study suggests schadenfreude is a basic biological response in humans, not something we consciously choose to feel. People with low self-esteem are more likely to envy others. Perhaps you have heard people say, “…oh she is good looking that is why…. “ Or, “he is the boss’s son so he does have to work…” etc., etc. The examples are endless. The point is no good can every come from envy, especially in the work place.

What works?

What works for world class companies with world class leaders whom people want to follow and work for?

  • Good communication of company policy and worker expectations is an essential foundation.
  • Bonus plan/profit sharing
  • Continuous team building exercises (exercises to help improve how employees interact with each other)
  • Visual growth plans for the company
  • Reimbursement program for continuing work related education programs/classes.

Clearly defined objectives matched to each individual’s capability. The use of or implementation of a Predetermined Time System , ( PDTS),for setting fair and equable work standards and measuring workers utilization is a start.

Employees set work standards? Gasp!

When company teams learn how to apply work standards in a way that expands effectiveness and efficiency – money has been saved, labor efforts reduced and potentials for a quality-of-excellence increased. A published report from Japan indicates that shop employees have successfully used a PDTS to develop production standards for their own work activity.2 These employees have also analyzed conveyor tasks and utilized this system for assembly line balancing. The report indicates that that this PDTS is easier for employees to understand, learn and apply in comparison to other predetermined techniques.

Are predetermined time systems right for your company?

Are you interested in improving their assembly line productivity? Do you use PDTS in your facility? Are you correctly using your PDTS? Are you considering using PDTS vs. a stop watch for setting production standards? Is a PDTS right for your organization and culture to determine with precision exactly what the reasonable amount of time is required to complete any defined task by any typical operator or laborer?

Download our Whitepaper on PDTS….it might help you decide.

1. Yokomizo, Y. (1982). The Utilization of MODAPTS® by Workers. Waseda University Research Reports.