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You have many cookbooks in your house, yet you are always looking online for recipes with pictures that explain them step by step. Or you use youtube tutorials instead of a handle finding to install a household appliance, fix your car, or do other things. You use visual work instructions in these cases. In this article, we’ll cover visual work instructions and their benefits.
The definition of visual work instructions.
Visual work instructions, what are they? Visual work instructions provide information that is relevant, in an easy-to-understand format in a visual format. This is done to replace paper versions. In addition, visual work instructions are useful when performing tasks that require a Standard operating procedure to be followed. This can range from a machine part on the shop floor to preparing a nice cup of coffee.
Why is relying on paper problematic?
I hear you thinking, what’s so bad about paper manuals? The distribution of paperwork instructions can be an expensive, time-consuming, and inefficient process. In addition, it can have a negative effect on everything from product quality to employee engagement and productivity.
That’s because manual work analysis is usually time-wasting and prone to error. Updating pages of standard operating procedures and then distributing the new manuals is an expensive and time-consuming process. In addition, paper versions can easily become chipped or damaged, and they also don’t really have traceability of who has seen the instructions and who hasn’t.
Unproductivity usually only increases, as users often have to make small stops to find relevant information. Also, paper manuals often have an awkward format, which leads to non-conformance of the manual because users often want to save time and apply their own thing, compromising safety and quality standards.
Also, the lack of clear instructions often delays a new employee’s familiarization period, which actually increases the time it takes to become productive. New employees are often retrained by experienced workers on the job because training and guidance can often be outdated.
It may seem like a big task, switching from paper to digital visual work instructions, especially when it involves thousands of papers that need to be digitized. However, this does not have to be the case. With today’s modern technology, you can enjoy your visual work instructions in just a few days.
Get productive in a short time.
Many industries have high employee turnover rates, such as manufacturing. This means that manufacturers are constantly hiring new employees, who in turn must learn different skills and tasks for the new job.
Then, of course, it doesn’t help if that new employee has to learn a 100-page handbook in a language foreign to him. To then also receive conflicting instructions and advice from colleagues and managers. This often means that new employees are left to figure it out for themselves.
So the lack of clear instructions means that employees will often need more time to reach certain quality and productivity standards if they manage to do so at all. They then fail in this process and will be at risk of being fired.
A tablet, phone, or video can break this vicious cycle. Think about it: a workstation where step-by-step is explained on a tablet how a task must be performed. This overcomes language barriers and gives new employees an immediate source of knowledge to follow.