Striven Hosts #MFGHour: Keeping Your Digital Office Organized

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Striven Hosts #MFGHour: Keeping Your Digital Office Organized

Scott Hammer
January 18, 2021
6 min read

A special thanks to #MFGDay organizers CVT Plastics, DSCS, Inc., and Social Success Marketing and to everyone else who spent the day chatting with us on Twitter about manufacturing!

The topic: Organization is key. The importance of keeping an uncluttered physical workspace is apparent, but have you been able to tidy up your desktops and data storage systems too? In today’s fast paced environment, it’s important to have accurate, complete, and organized information at your fingertips at all times. Time spent searching for lost files, sifting through duplicate spreadsheets, and hoping old hardware and software will somehow begin to run faster will take a toll on your businesses efficiency, and in effect, your bottom line.

File Organization

striven MFG hour Q1

“My computers are squeaky clean. I keep a very neat and well-organized file system too. I find a tidy work environment, both physically and digitally, makes for better productivity. It’s a code I live both, both and work and in my personal life.” –Foxmere Technologies

Believe it or not, I began working on this project in mid-December and ran into a little snafu when my external drive had a mechanical problem. It’s certainly a timely question. #USAMfgHour” – Felix C. Nater, CSC

I start but then I get sidetracked. I really do need to do it though. #USAMfgHour” – DCSC, Inc.

Striven’s answer: When working on a project, I try to set up my organization’s infrastructure ahead of time (file locations, team member coordination, etc.) Since I’m only human, I like to take a look at the end of each week to make sure everything is neat and tidy.

Old Technology

“Your guess is as good as mine. I would like to think somewhere around 5 years old. Still runs well though! #USAMfgHour” – Crescent Software, Inc.

“A client of mine in the technology space changes their computers every two years. #USAMfgHour” – Ruby of Social Success Marketing

“Well, since we all are working remotely and have laptops, they are brand spanking new. We got to pick what we wanted! #USAMfgHour” – Dar-Tech, Inc.

Striven’s answer: The average age of an office computer in 2020 is about 4 years. Converted into human years, that’s pretty old. In fact, it often costs businesses more money to keep their outdated computers than it would be to replace them with newer models.

Workplace Efficiency

striven MFG hour Q3

“We use 5S and other lean management systems. We are such fans that we have free guides and infographics to help others use it easier.” – Graphic Products

“We visit this every week at our staff meeting. We ask the question: How can we do better than last week? It works! We typically find 1-2 things we can make more efficient. #USAMfgHour” – Dynamatic

“I look at things I do all of the time and how long it takes to do those things. If I can find ways to shorten the time, I do whatever I need to in order to cut out wasted time.” – CVT Plastics

Striven’s answer: A method that I practice regularly is to assign tasks to employees and groups of employees. Some tasks take a day, some take a month, and some may not come to fruition until years down the road. Setting goals and sticking to them leads to optimal efficiency.

Organizational Skills

striven MFG hour Q3

“Organization is a huge asset. It helps keeps the entire company working efficiently. We do have a written organizational system in our Company Policies and Procedures document. #USAMfgHour” – NJMEP

“I place a huge priority on organization. When starting a project, I set folders up that I will need to keep everything in proper order. When adding to the project or if I need to reference something at a later date, I know exactly where to go. #USAMfgHour” – RICO Manufacturing

“Organization is key for me and I guess I’m kind of a perfectionist about it. I really am quite organized even though my answers today are appearing that I’m not. I am always striving for better! We are in the process of writing policies for organized data.” – Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc.

Striven’s answer: For me, it’s a huge priority. When someone shows extreme attention to detail, it really demonstrates how much they care about their work. In software, it’s huge. In manufacturing, it’s even bigger considering how many moving parts there are in any one organization.

Employee Feedback

striven MFG hour Q5

“I talk to myself…make a few notes then discuss it with my co-director. By the time we have finished, we’ve had some great outcomes. When dealing with clients we guide their facilitation. #USAMfgHour” – Nigel T. Packer, Pelatis

“We are supported by a good IT department off campus, and we have a dedicated IT person in the office. #USAMfgHour” – SpaceGuard Products

“This is where deep business empathy plays a huge role. Understanding the needs of the business and partnering to meet those needs. When people with strong technical skills add that perspective, they have a tremendous impact.” – Dondi Scumaci, Best Selling Author & International Speaker

Striven’s answer: I always let my staff know that their opinions are welcomed, there’s no such thing as a bad suggestion. Innovation is messy, ideas should always be flowing. Employees can talk to their immediate supervisor as well as request an IT support ticket from the appropriate party.

Achieving More

“Me. I’m in the way of myself. I’m the bottleneck in my business so I will have to find a way to scale. #usamfghour” – Jen Wegman, Insight Information Solutions

“What a great question. #1 Build the best sales team. #2 Money has always been something standing in the way.” – SCTools

“From a personal point at work I want us to grow (I’m working on that) become more efficient (capital investment for new machines, software & training), and be the local “go-to” for CNC machining! #USAMfgHour”- Neil Hussey, TruTurn Precision Engineering

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Scott Hammer

Scott Hammer is a business technology writer. His background is in literature and education, which means he can quote Emerson and Thoreau at moments that seem appropriate, but are ultimately random. If pushed, he can also write really, really long sentences.