Method improvements for Price Labeling

Current Workplace Situation

This case concerns reorganization method improvements for price labeling in the packaging department pof a food processing plant.

Until recently, all customers did their own price labeling, but as amounts and varieties increased, the plant itself began to do the labeling. The number of customers requesting this service has increased so that this work can no longer be thought of as a side operation. Not only this, the price tag, product category label design and sizes are all different for each customer. Each customer requires a separate price label, price tags, and product category labels.

As the number of customers increased, the requirement for equipment has increased and the storage rack in Figure was made to keep the equipment.

Current Storage Condition

Rakesh, a worker in the division, describes the current conditions in which the pricing equipment is stored.

At present the plant uses a concentrated storage system which has all the equipment from one customer stored in one compartment. Above the compartment, the name of the customer and the names of the products are written. The same information is also written on the equipment.

When the price labeling directions come from the product control section, the equipment for the customer is taken out of its compartment and labeling is started. When labeling is finished, the equipment is returned to its compartment.

If this system was followed precisely, there would be no problems, but, recently, a number of problems have started occurring. For example, a worker may take the equipment from the proper shelf, but some of the wrong items may be mixed in. Labeling mistakes are made and the plant receives claims for corrections from customers . The same customer may have several different types of price tags and category labels which need to be matched up properly. When such matching is not done, there is complaint from the customer.

The rack is too crowded. Consequently, when labeling is finished and there is not enough room in the right compartment, it is put in another compartment or an empty place, or pushed in with the equipment of another customer.

Customers sometimes make changes in their labels and tags. They provide the plant with a new set of equipment, but the old set is kept and continues to take up space. There are also labeling sets for nonessential products with are ordered no more than once every six months to a year, which are also given their own compartments in the shelf, and thus there is a lack of space.

In addition, when a customer makes a request, a full set of labeling equipment is automatically made up. Those working at labeling have found a number of items which could be used in common. Moreover, the equipment is often stored in the wrong compartment, frequent mistakes are made, and time is wasted looking or the correct equipment.

Looking at the current storage rack, we see standing objects, lying objects, objects placed backwards, objects in boxes, and loose objects. Every item appears to have been pushed in and stored at random.

The content of the label problem is as follows:

1. The sets of price labeling equipment, which includes the price labeling, price tags, and product category labels for each customer, are supposed to be stored separately in designated compartments, but they are not.
2. Some compartments contain two complete sets of labeling equipment. In other cases, one set is divided among several compartments.
3. Space is taken up by equipment which is used no more than 1-3 times a year.
4. Every item is pushed into the compartments without any proper organization.
5. There is no index or other record which indicates which customer’s equipment goes in which compartment. Workers rely on their own intuition and memory or that of their foreman.
6. The label above the compartments cannot be relied upon and may not necessarily be the right ones.

Next, we organized the types of loss occurring in this situation.