Advint Incorporated

This paper is neither about politics nor about the ongoing pandemic. It is about the Hawthorne effect, the obvious but not so obvious effects, and the necessity.

 

As the title suggests the USA economic performance, DOW index gains and President Trump’s drive to stimulate the economy over the past three years is akin to the Hawthorne effect.

 

Electroplating, anodizing, electro-polishing and complex processes such as plating on plastics require leadership drive to advance operations and engineering performance, and sustain on the growth.

 


An exemplary leader sets the expectation, creates necessity, delegates responsibility and confirms accountability without micromanaging the trivial effects.


We can set a clear expectation on variables such as electrochemical variables, process yield, product flow, inventory management, employee and executive management engagement.

 

Hawthorne Effect

The Hawthorne effect is the improvement detected because of a noticeable observation of the process. In reality, it does not confine the effect to a process, rather it encompasses to an employee performance. In both cases, it is a top-down approach, but ends with a continuous observation from all levels. When a leader sets the expectation, consistently follows up, align the goals with his or her actions, and support their team to succeed, the team would achieve operational excellence in the long term. Observation and commitment to improvement must include all critical key performance indicators (KPI’s).

 

Obvious but not so Obvious

In retrospection, every challenge we overcame and the opportunities for improvement would become obvious to us. But this is late, as by this time we would have non-conformances, cost infliction and customer dissatisfactions. It is prudent to detect the obvious challenges and opportunities in real time. Earlier the opportunities were present, but hidden. We miss as it is not obvious!

 

If I did not communicate, think about the current COVID-19 pandemic. The issue originated in December 2019 and peaked in China during mid-February 2020. If the issue was apparent to global leaders and commoners around January, would the consequences be the same?


Revealing the hidden challenges in real time is the heart of your effort in improving effectiveness.


 

How to expose these challenges? What prevents us from reading between the lines? The answer is not simple. This would be contingent on the leader’s emotional intelligence, knowledge of the subject and availability of visual data and information on real time.

 

Electroplating anodizing process line

 

Yield Shadows Necessity

We can achieve metal finishing processes and business effectiveness by focusing first on necessity. One must focus on the necessity to perform, collaborate, and on satisfaction (employee and customer). Yield will shadow the necessity–big or small; it is for you to choose! Clear responsibility and unambiguous accountability are the means to achieve necessity.

 

An Idea in Brief

Electroplating and other metal finishing processes are complex, as we all know. Market and customers are demanding. Contingencies like the COVID-19 pandemic will subject job shops and captive platers to hardship.


At these and regular times, being conscientious of the process variables, exposing the hidden opportunities on real time, and starting with a focus on necessity are three important steps to achieve effectiveness in the manufacturing operation.


 

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Venkat Raja
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October 1, 2020
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