Every good work space has flow to it. A chef knows where everything is in his kitchen and can easily access his equipment and ingredients to make a quick and delicious meal. An accountant knows which documents she needs and where to find the forms to prepare a quarterly tax return. Organization goes a long way to making work life easier but so does knowing the order in which we do things. This order is called our process and knowing the process allows for a work space with good flow.
An example of process is what happens when a customer submits a Request For Quote (RFQ). A company that does not know how much materials cost, what their overhead is, or even if they have available workers to fill the order won't be able to complete the RFQ in a timely manner, resulting in frustrations and possible loss of customers. They have no process and no flow. We actually pride ourselves in getting quotes turned around quickly, sometimes even as quick as a few hours. Why can we do that? Because we have defined processes of how to perform the operations required to create a quote. This speeds up the operation, giving us a flow. Successful process and flow allow for happy customers and a feeling of accomplishment.
Have you defined your processes? Does your work space have a flow?
We have a defined process flow chart (left) posted at the shop to help everyone determine where they are in the process and what should come next. Ashlee (right) follows the process of putting away closed out orders and restocking the shelves.