A route card is a document that outlines the processes (known as ‘operations’) that a piece of metal must undergo in order to turn into the fabrication (or part) ordered by a customer. These include actions such as laser cutting, punching, bending, welding, linishing and painting.
Route cards accompany fabrications as they make their way around the shop floor, with staff members scanning a barcode on the route card to indicate when they have started and finished each operation. This system enables the management team to easily track the progress of orders and has a number of benefits. It acts as a useful adjunct to technical drawings, clearly detailing the operations required in order to complete a piece of work, to aid shop floor staff. It also enables the management team to provide customers with a real-time update on the status of their order if they have an urgent query. Most importantly, however, it enables the management team to identify gaps on the shop floor into which they could slot new pieces of work, thereby maximising output.
The first year that the scheme was introduced the percentage of operations scanned correctly increased by more than 3 fold. This corresponded with a 25% increase in the number of orders fulfilled by the business. In the second year of the scheme there was a further 31% increase in the number of operations scanned correctly and an additional 20% jump in orders processed.
Understandably, Hitherbest is delighted with the results. Owner and Director Dr. Nicky Evans said “The performance bonus scheme has been a great success, with tangible benefits for staff and the business. We’re so pleased that our amazing workforce has risen to the challenge and delivered such great results. We are expanding the scheme in 2021 because we can see the difference it makes and as a business we are constantly looking for ways to improve our performance. We hope that these efficiency increases will enable us to offer our superb fabrication service to even more customers in the year ahead.”