Review the article “8 ways electronic work instructions are transforming the shop floor” from this week’s reading assignment. This article discusses the importance of work instructions and how these instructions have improved a company that runs a shop floor environment. Assume that you are a manager for the company in this article.
Considering the methods that have been used in the past and that are currently being used as mentioned in the article, explain what you feel the pros and cons are to electronic work instructions. Using outside research, what other work instructions might you introduce to the work place? You should include a minimum of two additional techniques not mentioned in this article. Use your course materials and outside research to generate a solid analysis on why these methods would be helpful. Your analysis should be supported by research.
Directions for obtaining the file: Login to the Grantham University library by clicking on the Resources tab from the main page. You will then log into EBSCOHost. Once you have accessed the database, simply copy and paste the title of the article and press enter to search and you should now have the file accessible to review.
Introduction of electronic work instruction into business operations has resulted in many advantages which include; real-time changing and improvement of instruction in scenarios where supervisors detect a necessity for the same (Roberts, 2013). This reduces the amount of time and resources that would have been wasted if manual instructions were being used, therefore, increasing efficiency and effectiveness in that particular process. Secondly, EWI is suitable for complex processes that require complex instructions since the electronic instructions are more convenient and detailed as opposed to paper instructions. This enables the workers to replay the instructions and scrutinize them properly in order to capture every detail of the process.
The third advantage is that EWI provides an essay way for the supervisors and workers to communicate and collaborate. This is made possible by integrating the various parties involved in a process so that they can all work together to achieve a common goal which is good quality products and services (Maina, 2009). The fourth merit of EWI is the availability of a centralized command unit and documentation center, which makes it possible for supervisors to monitor decentralized employees and control processes through the use of 3D animations. This reduces the monitoring cost and makes it easy to document instructions for future use.
The fifth advantage of EWI is the fact that it makes it possible for supervisors to easily foresee and control risks proactively. This is done by detecting minor anomalies in the process that may result in major risks. Through proactive controlling of risk, process standards are maintained, thus resulting in reduced wastage, reduced maintenance cost, and improved product quality (Morrison, Ross, Kemp, & Kalman, 2010).
Despite the multiple advantages that the use of EWI brings to a business organization, it has some demerits which include; it requires instructions which are clear and reputable for every process. This is because EWI uses procedural sequences to guide the employees in performing particular tasks, therefore, the effectiveness of any process depends upon the instructions that the supervisor inserts in the EWI system (Baptista, 2015).
Secondly, EWI like any other technology is prone to failure as a result of technical problems such as malfunctioning of the network, faulty servers, unclear animations, and virus attack, among others. In case this happens it will affect the progress of all the processes that were being controlled, which may result in a great loss to the organization in terms of resource wastage and poor quality products. Detection and correction of such faults may also take a lot of time, depending on the experience of the support time (Peng & Yinhui, 2014).
Thirdly for EWI to be effective in an organization, it requires special skills on how to use it. This will, therefore, require the business organization to train its supervisors on how to issue instructions, monitor the progress of a process, and communicate using EWI (Kale, 2013). Employees will also require to be oriented on how to follow the EWI instructions issued and how to report any anomalies. The training may be costly to the organization. Employees through their trade unions may also oppose the use of EWI if they find the training to be difficult for them.
Multimedia work instructions (MWI): This refers to the use of a combination of multiple media to issue work instructions to the employees. Such media may include; electronic media, print media, videos, audio, and visualizations among others. Adoption of MWI will make it possible to issue instructions to all types of employees because employees can choose to follow the instruction media which is convenient for them (Koch, 2008). This will highly improve employee’s morale since it minimizes discrimination and makes it possible for employees to understand instructions, thus resulting in increased performance. MWI will also save the organization the cost that it would incur in case the above discussed electronic work instruction fails, thus making it be more effective and efficient.
Face-to-face work instructions: this refers to where the supervisor manually instructs the workers as they are executing their duties. It requires both the supervisor and the workers to be in the same working place. It is advantageous in the sense that it builds the supervisor versus subordinate relationship, thus making it possible to build team coherence and collaboration (Baptista, 2015). It requires little training, therefore, it can be used to instruct new workers who are not conversant with the execution of the tasks.
Cognitive work instructions: this is a special set of work instructions, which are only convenient for experienced workers. It requires the workers to use their past work experience and skills to handle the current task without requiring any form of supervision (Kale, 2013). It can be applied in processes which are not so complex. It improves the worker's self-actualization, thus improving the way they interact with the environment to provide solutions to work problems.
Baptista, J. (2015). Productivity Measurement for Maintenance Cost Reduction.
Kale, V.A., (2013). APPLICATION OF TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN LIBRARY.
Koch, I. (2008). Instruction effects in task switching.
Maina, M. (2009). Designing Ready to Deliver Units of Learning: A Case Study.
Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., Kemp, J. E., & Kalman, H. (2010). Designing effective instruction. John Wiley & Sons.
Peng, C., & Yinhui, A., (2014). Maintenance Optimization of the OLED Manufacturing Process.
Roberts, M. (2013). 8 ways electronic work instructions are transforming the shop floor.
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