Productivity Improvement Techniques
Measures, methods or techniques to improve productivity are listed below.
Image Credits © Sameer Akrani.
These twelve productivity improvement techniques are explained as follows:
- Value Engineering (VE) : Value Engineering (VE) is the process of improving the value of a product at every stage of the product life cycle. At the development stage, VE improves the value of a product by reducing the cost without reducing quality. At the maturity stage, VE reduces the cost by replacing the costly components (parts) by cheaper components. VE also tries to improve the value and quality of the product. Value is the satisfaction which the consumer gets by using the product. VE tries to give maximum value for a lowest price.
- Quality Circles (QC) : The concept of Quality Circles (QC) was introduced in 1960 in Japan. QC is a small group of employees who meet regularly to identify, analyse, and solve problems in their department. The QC members advise the management to implement new methods to solve work-related problems. QC increases the productivity.
- Financial and Non-Financial Incentives : The organisation must motivate the employees by providing financial and non-financial incentives. The financial incentives include better wages and salaries, bonus, etc. The non-financial incentives include better working conditions, welfare facilities, worker's participation in management, etc.
- Operations Research (OR) : Operations Research (OR) uses mathematical and scientific methods to solve management problems, including problems of productivity. QR technique uses a scientific method to study the alternative courses of actions and to select the best alternative. OR uses techniques such as linear programming, game theory, etc., to make the right decision. Thus, QR helps to improve productivity.
- Training : Training is a process of increasing the knowledge and skills of the employees. Training is a must, for new employees and experienced employees. Training increases the efficiency of the employee. Thus, training results in high productivity.
- Job Enlargement : Job Enlargement is a horizontal expansion of a job. It is done to make jobs more interesting and satisfying. It involves increasing the variety of duties. For e.g. a typist may be given the job of accounts writing in addition to the typing work. This technique is used for lower level jobs.
- Job Enrichment : Job Enrichment is a vertical expansion of a job. It makes routine jobs more meaningful and satisfying. It involves providing more challenging tasks, and responsibilities. For e.g. a manager who prepares performance reports is asked to make plans for his department. Job Enrichment technique is used for higher-level jobs.
- Inventory Control : There must be a proper level of inventory. Overstocking and under stocking of inventories must be avoided. Overstocking of inventories will result in blocking of funds and there are chances of spoilage or misuse of materials. Under stocking of inventories will result in shortages. This will block the smooth flow of production, and so the delivery schedules will be affected.
- Materials' management : Materials' management deals with optimum utilisation of materials in the manufacturing process. It involves scientific purchasing, systematic store keeping, proper inventory control, etc. The main objective of materials' management is to purchase the right quantity and quality materials, at the right prices, at the right time, to maintain favourable relations with suppliers, to reduce the cost of production, etc.
- Quality Control : The main objective of quality control is to produce good quality goods at reasonable prices, to reduce wastages, to locate causes of quality deviation and to correct such deviations, to make the employees quality conscious, etc.
- Job Evaluation : Job Evaluation is a process of fixing the value of each job in the organisation. It is done to fix the wage rate for each job. A proper job evaluation increases the moral of the employees. This increases the productivity.
- Human factor engineering : Human factor engineering refers to the man-machine relationship. It is designed to match the technology to a human requirement. The term Ergonomics has originated from the Greek word 'ergos' meaning 'Work' and 'nomikos' meaning 'Law'. So, it means 'Law of Work'. It tells us how to fit a job to a man's psychological and physiological characteristics to increase human efficiency and well-being.