An ageing population and the lack of people willing to work in the manufacturing industry make it difficult to find qualified workers. So, I believe the focus should be on transforming current employees and helping them to become more productive and efficient.
At Tork, a global brand of Essity, formerly known as SCA, we take care of people wherever they are through our hygiene services and cleaning products. So far, 6.5 million of our dispensers are in use by industries worldwide. We are everywhere in the world and we work with all sorts of industries from HoReCa to factories. No matter where we are, we want to focus on increasing employee efficiency and productivity through our cleaning services.
As part of this ethos, I believe that preventive maintenance is the pillar of the industry; it is truly crucial. Team leaders should take care of implementing a time for cleaning the machines they use in their factories. Preventive maintenance should become a part of the daily routine. But many managers see it as disruptive and not part of their job description. And the people that have implemented some preventive maintenance still use cleaning products such as basic cleaning cloths that are often not transported and stored correctly, which makes the whole process inefficient.
The wrong tools in the wrong place, lead to decreased productivity and efficiency. Lack of attention to cleaning and maintenance leads to many problems further down the line. At Tork, we notice where cleaning needs to be done and how it should be done to increase productivity. A study by Tork found that 89% of machine operators agreed that “it is easier to inspect and detect faults on a clean machine”. Also, organisations that use basic cleaning cloths have a higher probability of chemical waste because of the inappropriate use of their cleaning products. Investing in professional cleaning products and services is worth it in the long-term. To that end, Tork has developed the 5S workflow (sort, set in order, shine, standardise, and sustain) which we recommend that industry leaders implement.
Leoni, a wiring system company from Arad Romania, implemented our Tork schemes and cleaning products. This led to an 18% reduction in their material waste, an 18% reduction in their toxic waste, an 80% reduction in their carbon footprint, and higher staff productivity. My point is: small steps make a big difference.
We are still in a pandemic so we have been closed to our industrial partners because of that, as our focus has been on combating covid. But still, you can find resources on our website on steps that managers and leaders can take to make their workplaces a healthier environment for everyone. And I hope that this is just the first event related to continuous improvement. Continuous improvement should be the foundation of all companies and businesses, not only in the manufacturing industry. Continuous improvement should be a mindset of all companies.
Adina Burca is a Regional Industrial Key Account Manager SE Europe at Essity.
Adina Burca of Essity was one of the speakers at the Intermodal & Logistics Magazine webinar on Continuous Improvement.