In this article, we look at what a Daily Management System (DMS) is and why it is important to have it in place, as well as the benefits of moving away from paper, sticky notes and whiteboards and towards a Digital DMS.
Let’s start with the definition.
What is a Daily Management System (DMS)?
In a nutshell, a Daily Management System (DMS) enables the daily evaluation of operational performance with respect to the process standards and KPI objectives set by the business. These KPIs usually span multiple operational areas - safety, quality, delivery, cost, environment and morale, sometimes referred to in acronyms like SQDCEM, or some variation of that.
To measure if each process is in control / according to the standard, a range of shift or daily checks, audits and inspections are devised, and meetings take place to identify process deviations, or improvement opportunities, and assign actions to return to the standard or improve the standard. In this way, the DMS helps to reveal underperformance, examine its root cause, and assign & track corrective actions, thus encouraging a culture of accountability and collaboration in problem-solving across all levels of the organisation.
A DMS goes beyond tracking immediate results. Over time, DMS helps to reveal longer-term trends such as recurrent issues and process inefficiencies, gaps in training, outdated standards, insufficient communication within or between teams etc. thus reducing process variation, improving process quality, and driving standardization and continuous improvement.
Digitizing your Daily Management System dramatically speeds up the collection, analysis and communication of performance data and significantly improves the data’s consistency, reliability and accessibility. Next, we will explore the benefits of a Digital DMS in more detail.
What are the benefits of a Digital Daily Management System
Real-time visibility and data-driven discussions
A Digital DMS provides real-time visibility over issues and non-compliance, outstanding and completed corrective actions and daily tasks, improvement suggestions etc. Visually powerful dashboards are automatically updated as data is collected on the shop floor, and can be easily filtered to instantly display specific information at the touch of a screen for data-driven discussions. The time saved from manually collating data and updating a whiteboard can be invested in other value-adding activities.
Even when the circumstances do not allow for all members of the team to be physically present in the same room, the daily management meetings can still take place.
Sophisticated issue escalation and action tracking
A Digital DMS helps to automate issue escalation for improved response and resolution time. For example, a machine stoppage report submitted by an operator can automatically trigger an alert for the team leader, who can immediately assign the required corrective actions and then track their completion while facebook-style comments of text, images and videos enable a collaborative approach to problem-solving. Every step of the issue resolution process - the time required, teams involved and actions taken - is recorded and can easily be reviewed, helping to continuously refine processes.
Closed feedback loop
With a Digital DMS, improvement suggestions move away from paper notes in a post-box and into actionable items with images and videos of the proposed improvements that can be discussed, assigned, executed and tracked just like any other process as part of daily management meetings. This results in greater engagement with CI practices and an organic growth of bottoms-up improvement initiatives.