De-Silofy with Standardization
There is one thing that every company has in common. This applies to every industry in every country across the world. No matter what, working in silos will never produce the best results. The reasons why individuals, departments and organizations continue to do so is heavily debated, but the after-effects remain the same.
Miscommunication thrives in such environments and employee frustration follows closely behind. When looking at major corporations, they have every reason to de-silofy. When there are dozens of sites across different time zones, speaking a variety of languages, there needs to be some common ground.
Breaking the Silos with Standardized Equipment
Equipment standardization is the best way to go. By focusing on standard equipment and processes, suddenly, everyone has something in common. To have the ability to have an employee move from one facility to the next and pick up where they left off is priceless. When the opportunity to communicate across teams is not obvious, let the equipment do it for you.
Standardizing equipment applies to both hardware and software. Knowing where to push buttons and pull levers is equally as important as reading the data those actions produce. Having solid enterprise resource planning (ERP) software will make an individual’s job easier while the rest of the enterprise is kept in the loop. An ERP acts as a mediator between manufacturing, support, sales, and finance across different locations.
Test is no different and will have a major impact on the bottom line. By standardizing test equipment, barriers come down. Validation testing, functional testing and end of line testing determine the success of a product. Proper support and tracking define the reliability of a brand. Reusing the same equipment across R&D, production and repair produces the best data and therefore quality. In this context, quality refers to both the quality of the product and the company’s level of service.
The Right Way to Standardize
Applications across departments (and within) obviously vary quite a bit. A test station needs to be flexible to ensure you are not sending in a hammer when you need a screwdriver. By designing and investing in a common core test station it is simple to address hundreds of scenarios. By recognizing the expensive equipment that will be needed for every application, users can group it together in one station. From there it is easy to swap out inexpensive fixtures and accommodate the uniqueness of each product.
With all systems running the same test executive, everyone is put on the same page. Recurring failures send a strong message to R&D and provide an important backstory for support. All the while, manufacturing can continue producing.
Speaking the Same Language
When all employees are indeed on the same page, stepping in and out of different scenarios is simple. With minimal training, employees from around the world can support one another, either onsite or remotely. This advantage is not only location-based, but product-based as well. With standardized equipment, all variants leverage the same core. This means that to get a new system up and running, very little will change. The software and GUI will already be familiar, and the new hardware will be minimal. As a result, training and ramp-up time decrease significantly.
Standardizing All the Way to the Bank
When all cylinders are running within an organization, profits increase. This is not limited to test, but to every role. Investing in standard equipment encourages massive reuse, which delays the purchase of expensive new equipment. This same investment also puts everyone on the same page, giving them the tools to work together and at their best.
To learn more about standardizing test equipment, please contact Averna.
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