Stress levels lowered, jobs completed on time with clarity and transparency across the board of contributors about the process? Is this possible in the world of large scale manufacturing? Yes it is. Allan Diamond, CEO and founding father of TimeReaction takes some time out from his day to showcase the masterpiece that he and his son Kevin have spent the best part of six years creating:
Relying on emails and spreadsheets within a busy manufacturing process dealing with everyone from the client, production team, management team, suppliers, transportation and the developers can lead to tears of frustration within every single team at misconstrued or misplaced orders and processes. Time management of projects coming together as planned can also fall out of the window.
Where did the inspiration come from for TimeReaction?
With over 25 years of experience in the apparel manufacturing process, I used to provide denim jeans to iconic U.S. Brands including Harley-Davidson, Timberland, Billabong and Volcom. We were dealing with the multitudes of people and processes via email and spreadsheets that could all fail at any given time just seemed so disorganised when actually a bit, or a lot of forethought and planning could make the whole process more aligned.
Has it been a smooth ride?
There are always challenges when trying to change corporate culture or mindset. It’s such a mammoth job to undertake something of this nature with all of the specific processes that have to be tracked and interlinked, but the client feedback we’ve had in testing along the way has led to building a better product, and we continue to learn as we grow.
In the manufacturing business, relying on imports and exports from production lines in various countries, on top of whatever branding you’re initiating in your own HQ all creates stress, does TimeReaction address this?
The whole process is less stressful because if something does need to be actioned with urgency, it is seen within the direct stream that it needs to be viewed, as well as by the exact people that it’s relevant to.
Are the systems in place as direct and unambiguous as possible?
Absolutely. It’s only through my working knowledge and seeing the gaps where errors could potentially creep in and information be either misconstrued or fall through the cracks that I was able to create a system to safeguard against that. It’s intelligent and concise communication. Quality over quantity every time.
Collaboration is a buzzword at the moment, does TimeReaction encourage this?
Collaboration is far too vague a word I think, of course every team needs to be collaborative and make the most of their respective skill-sets, but we’re concerned primarily with delivering projects on time with no mistakes. Yes, collaboration is needed for that, but far more important is one well thought out system of milestones with transparent, real time data to be shared to all members’ of the production pipeline. Transparency with data and tasks are more our definite focus.
So emails should be banned then?
Email has a purpose, and while we don’t think that it will disappear, we believe that combining workflow and communication into one application delivers greater value. Realistically, project managers tend to be as overworked as their staff, not to mention managing teams and trusting people in various time zones. Emails can be lost, unopened or forgotten about, leading to more mistakes, confusion and late goals.
How does TimeReaction work?
Essentially all it takes is transparent communication between the relevant managers to the manufacturing process, in order to map out the timeline on a calendar. Once this is affirmed, team members are added within the process and work can begin. All communication is driven by the process and associated sub-processes, and it can be viewed on any device anytime, anywhere.
Can you show me some results?
Yes, definitely. We were lucky enough have been one of 300 companies chosen by the Canadian Government’s National Research Council to participate in a program to see if technology can improve business productivity, and the case study- which readers’ can request for themselves to see- shows that by using TimeReaction we reduced the volume of emails within the teams by up to 70%, which saved each user 2 hours per day, increasing productivity by 20%. It also reduced the manufacturing cycle by 3 weeks.
2 hours a day, that’s fantastic.
Yes, the extra time is brilliant because from every angle you can build better relationships, ensure the work is not rushed and is of the highest of standard, and if a negative situation arises you then have the time to deal with it.
Within your case study, TimeReaction tracked the processes from one season’s order of the company comprising of 28 Multi-SKU purchase orders. How many single points of activity between the team occurred?
What upper level management doesn’t acknowledge is that within those 28 orders there were 501 processes and 4284 events. If that is all done by traditional methods that would be a tremendous number of emails, phone calls, and potential delays and emails. And of course when you’re focusing on those you’re missing out on any other potential opportunities.
How does the system help the day to day management beyond communications?
Because the calendar timeline is so easy to configure based on the historical data that you’re used to with your existing spreadsheets, it’s equally as simple for managers to assign responsibilities, permissions and priorities to any member of the team.
Every date, comment or attachment is logged for a bullet-proof audit trail, and because the system uses repeatable processes, all it takes to be updated with new dates is a single click, and it’s ready to roll again.
So in a nutshell – TimeReaction works…
Better communication results in increased productivity and shorter time to market. Whether it’s organisation, communication and accountability all coming together, it was important to note that within two weeks of using TimeReaction the percentage of late tasks had dropped from 10% down to 4% and in the third week this had gone down to 0%.
That’s an incredible achievement. If you’re in the manufacturing business you must check out TimeReaction, and request the case study to read it for yourself. You’ll save time, lower stress levels, improve productivity and give yourself the energy and time to push forward new concepts. What’s not to like?