MBWA: Manufacturing Managers at all Levels Benefit from This Tool

posted on: Thursday July 16, 2015

uspo Load MoverHow to effectively incorporate Management by Walking Around in a manufacturing environment.

Management by Walking Around (MBWA) is an effective and powerful concept utilized in many offices. The strategy isn’t limited to cubicle-based business, though. Manufacturing managers can add great value to their processes by employing MBWA.

The article “4 Tips for Effective MBWA in Manufacturing” outlines benefits and strategies on how to implement it in the manufacturing setting. One of the strategies mentioned in this article is:

Jump in and work alongside of your employees. MBWA isn’t just for upper management. Production supervisors and production leads are management and are often instrumental in keeping product moving efficiently. One way to help is for the manager to get involved with movement of product with the help of an electric powered tug or cart pusher. With a walk-behind powered tug, the manager is on the production floor and working alongside the workers. Dialog with efficiency improvements can be discussed while accomplishing tasks.

This idea only scratches the surface of how well a powered tug supports MBWA in a warehouse or production facility. It is a practical tool that really benefits manual material handling.

Before we explain that, let’s first point out that in manufacturing MBWA, “management” doesn’t refer to top management.  There are managers at all levels of a company.  The president of a company – someone wearing dress shoes – may not be an appropriate person to practice a hands-on MBWA. However, a line supervisor with ten production workers should be practicing MBWA.  He or she can pitch in whilst mentoring, listening, and observing.

The power tug is what makes pitching in such a seamless process in MBWA.  Project leads and managers often move product around the shop. With a tugger on the floor, he or she can quickly grab one, hook it up to a cart, and observe employees while moving loads. The tugger and the cart allow for greater visibility as well as increased safety.

On the flip side, if that same leader is moving product with a forklift, his or her focus is on driving this large, heavy piece of equipment. His responsibility is driving safely and efficiently, not to be distracted with other things going on around the shop. He or she is also up off the floor with an obstructed view (pallet and product). This is completely contradictory to MBWA.

The electric powered tugs are in and of themselves used to create a safer and more productive environment. They just so happen to also promote MBWA, adding to the efficiency on the floor. To increase safety and improve your production efficiencies, call Load Mover Inc. at 952-767-1720, or email info@loadmoverinc.com. Our experts understand your industry needs.