Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Stamping out Quality Administrative Muda

The most frustrating element that followed our quality management system was the added administrative activities. In controlling documents, one of these wasteful activities was hand stamping each document by color code ("master", "controlled", "uncontrolled" or "obsolete"). The administrative tasks in this effort is classic muda although some people think of it as a necessary waste.

To eliminate this muda and allow us to focus on more value added activities, we used a kaizen approach. As a result, we moved all the quality documents to a web based intranet. The web file became the master file, complete with administrative rights and controls. On each document we stated (in red letters) that "All hard copies are considered uncontrolled". We also included in our system that you needed to check the web to see the most current revision. When you printed out a document it was already "stamped" as uncontrolled. No more hand stamping required!

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