We have been doing for many years a lot of work on Problem Resolution with a big number of different industries and service enterprises. Most of the time people think they have resolved problems, though we need to clarify that not always they have produced real solutions. Actually, most of the times people tend to apply remedies instead of solutions. This is particularly true when solutions are elaborate, expensive, or time consuming. Then remedies come handy. Some individuals are quite ingenuous and creative and generate quite simple remedies which at times can be harmful instead of beneficial.
When there is a cabinet door which is not holding closed right and constantly opens by itself, a little cardboard or wooden wedge can do the trick, right? Common place in a factory is to find a pipe, cable, wire, or hose that is being held with a piece of wire, rope, etc, and has been like that for some time, instead of getting the appropriate clamp. When I was a child, a window in my dad’s old car started rattling, well they used to sell some pieces of metal like a clip with a little pad that you could get at the gas stations to plug them in the frame of the window and “solve” the problem… In some places when it starts raining, skilled people already know where to put the buckets to catch the leaks… all those and many more, are remedies. One day in a sugar mill the motor of a little conveyor burned out. When the maintenance team went to check the thermal protections found that someone had put ties to hold the reset buttons pressed. When they asked the operator he explained that one of his friends had come up with that “solution” because the protection elements were tripping quite frequently. And, he said, it had been like that for several months without a problem. ¡Genius! Not long ago, I visited a plant where welding has become a more frequent process in the last few months. Originally welding operations were almost sporadic, but today they have several welders working simultaneously. Now they have discovered there is a smoke problem… so they installed a fan on top of the welding stations. That is what I call equal distribution of the smoke problem. Same thing I have seen happen with dusts spray paints and other floating calamities.
I know some of these sound quite ridiculous, but in more than 90% of the places I visit as a consultant, I can in a few minutes pinpoint many “remedies” just as outrageous.
Solutions, Remedies, and the difference
Most of the time, solutions require creativity, which is present everywhere, but also demand time, and money, of which, industries and other work environments are usually limited of. Creativity can go both ways, a professional and definite “solution” so the problem really goes away for good; or a “remedy” that allows for us to keep working around the problem, though sometimes aggravating it.
Here comes the importance of knowing the difference and taking action according with the criteria of the enterprise.
Our problem-resolution workshops
have several positive outcomes:
Bring people together to become a part of the solution
Creating a cooperative environment through a clear awareness
Produce practical, usually low-cost, solutions
Growing understanding of the “Continuous Improvement” culture
Lasting motivation that will keep your teams finding new opportunities
Team building and strengthening
Contact us to learn of our guaranteed results guarantee: if you do not benefit we do not get paid. We make a profit that depends on what we produce for you.