This diagram focuses on the movement and transportation operations that take place as part of the process under study. This movement may be the movement of materials, worker, customer, papers or information. This diagram shows the complexity of some operations and a lot of time wasted on transfers and transfers. This enables the team that wants to develop processes to think of ways to reduce the distances traveled by the customer, materials or employee by reorganizing the work site differently or making a change in the steps of the process. This diagram is drawn in a simple way and it shows the steps on a horizontal projection (map) of the site the job. When connecting each two processes with a line, a form is created that expresses the path of transitions at the work site. This shape is often very complex until it looks like spaghetti pasta or as intersecting and intertwined lines. Let’s review some examples that show us how to prepare such a diagram and what we benefit from it.
Example 1: Look at this diagram of a manufacturing process. Do you notice the spaces between materials and product? Do you notice the complexity of transfers between different departments?
Can you think of how to reduce transportation time and distances? Can the process be simplified? Look at the chart below, is it any better than the first one?
I think you’re saying he’s better off, but what about the rest of the products? This product may have a series of processes that are completely different from others, and the same factory may manufacture many products with different manufacturing steps. This is the origin of what is known as group technology, which is the classification of products into groups so that the products of each group are similar in the manufacturing steps. Accordingly, the factory is divided into manufacturing cells, each of which manufactures one of these groups. Thus, one of the cells has a cutting machine, a welding machine, and a painting machine, and the other cell contains a lathe machine, a welding machine, and a painting machine. We will discuss manufacturing cells, God willing, in another article. What matters to us here is that the scheme of workflows invited us to think about how to reduce and simplify transportation operations. And the matter does not depend on merely reducing the distances, as we may reach a way in which we can dispense with some transportation operations in the first place. For example, we may find a way to rearrange the steps so that we do not return to the same point several times.
Example 2: This example demonstrates the use of a Workflow Diagram in the field of services. This diagram shows the process of obtaining a card such as a social club membership card, car license, library card, or similar.
The workplaces seem tidy, but this did not prevent the customer from moving from here to there and back, as is evident from the crossed lines. Can you think of a way to improve the process? Can some departments be moved to better places, such as moving the packaging department next to the card delivery department? Is it possible to combine some operations, such as merging the application with its examination? Can the application be checked once? Is it possible to integrate some steps using information technology, such as replacing the file verification process by providing files electronically to the application examination employee? Can any of these steps be done in advance, such as buying and writing an order? Can any of these steps be taken later, such as sending the card to the customer by mail? These solutions differ according to the nature of the process, but the important thing is that we think of solutions to develop the process and reduce its time and thus provide better service to the customer. This chart may be used to study the internal services within the organization or the administrative processes such as the process of approving a purchase request or the employee submitting a request for treatment.
Third example: This example shows the steps for the maintenance technician or maintenance team to move from the maintenance center to repair a machine at a work site. It is similar to the diagram drawn in a previous article by Process Flow Diagram.
The scheme does not need comment, the scheme is so complex that we imagine that this man has designed and manufactured a new machine, but in fact he is only repairing a malfunction. Is this acceptable? It is clear that the maintenance technician spends a lot of time moving between the maintenance center, the fault site, the store, and the operating officer. Can’t the tools be provided so that this guy doesn’t have to go to the service center so many times? Can someone else provide spare parts from the warehouse? Is it possible to use any means of communication for the maintenance person to contact the operator without having to go to him? This is the benefit of this scheme that we think about such questions and we can simplify the process. Note that you may draw a diagram similar to the doctor’s examination of a patient. Again, I would like to point out that there is nothing to prevent drawing such a diagram by hand. Find a map of the work site or draw it yourself on a scale and then sign the steps of the work on it in pen. Make this an opportunity to revisit the process. Try it yourself.