Operations Report 16th May 2022 - Keith Rowley

SCHEDULE

Initial Findings

Plans and Programs

Staffing

OH & S

INITIAL FINDINGS

Key Functions Requiring Fulfilment

These functions 

  • Systems Engineer (Introducing Process Successfully.)
  • Product Development Manager (Allocated to GM Operations)
  • Customer Support Engineer – Allocate to production staff 
  • Quality Assurance Inspector – Allocate to GM Ops
  • Configuration Control Officer – Allocate to Systems Engineering role for now 
  • Facility Technician (For lab and production) 
  • Research Manager (MD)
  • Development Project Manager (Allocate to Systems Engineer)

Engineering Process Gaps

SafeGauge GAP Analysis and Plan

Design & Engineering

EXTRACTS FROM A LARGER SPREADSHEET

Activity

GAP

Initiative

Product Support

Product, Sales and customer Support Function, documentation, and training.

Fill competency gaps and create capacity and materials.

Skills Management

Product Development Skills

Identify skills gaps to be filled to  complete  products over next 3 years and begin to plan for  those for which gaps exist through training and people.

Project Management Process Including review process

Project Management Process and Reviews

Project management Process and reviews  created for Design Engineering

Product Development

Product Development Process

Define and implement product development process

Product Development Priority Setting (in conjunction with Product RoadMap)

Product Priority in Development Engineering

Define and Prioritize existing development activities/projects (WIP)

Product Alignment with Marketing/sales.

Alignment of Product Development with Marketing and Sales as a formal process.

Align the product management function with our core market channels. Product management will of course be the MD + Sales Manager for the coming period but the function and process still require definition.

Product Development Budgeting - Done in draft budget  - needs refinement.

Product Development Budget for 3 years (Done for 1 year so far).

Build development budget for all development projects.

Product Industrialization

Product Industrialization Guidelines and practises.

Make industrialisation a key input to design process i.e. emc, temperature tc compliance built-in.

Set Research Budget (Done in draft Budget)

Research Activities - AI etc budgets for business migration to information provision.

Build budgets for key  research activities e.g. using data to provide failure prediction for equipment.

Custom product and prototype Management

Custom Products / Tailoring

Redefine and implement any custom product processing (IF Unavoidable)

Design Management

Management system and process for document packs,, BOMS, Components

Define processes around systems currently used and when needed migrating forward (Sold Works, GitHub, Deer etc)

Time management system

Merge / create project time allocation in JIRA IF POSSIBLE.

Allocate project numbers and definition to all projects. Make online timesheets available for filling.

Project Management

System and Tracking

Project Management has been the first point of action. JIRA has been retained as the primary tool. We now have all active projects contained in JIRA and accessible as Gantt Charts.  All projects can now be displayed on a single chart and we will display this in the office before the close of May. Projects are reported weekly in detail and documents updated immediately. Staff members are adequately competent in updating their project timelines and report against each project WBS item.

Outstanding Actions

Several important features still require installation and implementation: eg.  

  • fixed baselines with visible deviation, 
  • design to cost (to set COGS as well as development cost control)
  •  clearly separate development projects from early production runs and define handover documentation as a signed-off production pack including BOM, Assembly and test instructions, QC actions and sampling for test. Whilst all the elements exist we still need to ensure defined handover points.
  • Emplace Monitor for continuous view

Business Systems

Company data, both transactional and informational is handled by cloud-based systems: 

  • HubSpot (CRM)
  • Deer (Warehouse/stores/sales transactions to XERO)
  • GitHub, (CRM)
  • JIRA  (Project Management)
  • Xero (accounts)
  • GMail 
  • Knox and Github (Code storage, control and live distribution).

Information is fragmented. Together though, these elements are SafeGauge’s ERP and with available APi's we can design and implement an integrated ERP with actionable management data on live boards.

 The systems SafeGauge has are essentially extensible and interactable. Here's what we aim to do:

Targets

  1. JIRA -  Project Status Boards on live screen
  2. DEAR Production Status Boards (Using Zapier) on live screen
  3. Sales Forecast Tool Sales forecast board (I am not aware we have such a tool or that we can use any of our existing tools for this).
  4. Sales Forecast Tool  DEAR for production planning

HR Systems

Job descriptions:

These exist but do not have action plans and most employees have multiple functions combined in their roles e.g. marketing and book-keeping. This is fine for now, but we need to list all roles needed over the next 12 -24 months with a view to rationalizing the organization in a timely, cost-effective manner and preventing work bottlenecks as the company grows.

Delegated Authorities:

Staff do not have delegated authority levels for expenditure and action including the acceptance of financial obligations on the company. This should be attached to each JDAP (Job Description and Action Plan).

Performance Reviews:

Periodic reviews to be specified for every employee with a view to facilitating both career growth and work performance. Underperformance can thus be addressed objectively and fairly, and superior performance may be rewarded with equal objectivity. This is very important for fair and transparent workplace management and for the avoidance of potentially expensive disputes.

Dispute Resolution:

Policy and documentation needed.

Salary Review: 

Process and guidelines needed. It is critical that staff understand this policy. It is also important that in the background, management should track skills supply/demand and market salaries for staff.

Performance Bonus Scheme:

Needed. This should be a function of both company performance and individual performance.

Policies and Procedures

We are currently dealing with both a 'on demand' legal services company (Legal Vision) and a HR Consultancy (Pauline Hugler). Pauline will evaluate our current HR documentation including employment contracts and we will upgrade and add as required.

  • Workplace Safety and regular Inspection Policy - To be reviewed and implemented.
  • Diversity Policy - Exists
  • On-Boarding Documents and Policy – Exists - review
  • Staff Wellbeing Policy and budget - ?
  • Incident Reporting System – Exists - review
  • LTI Reporting System ?
  • Work from Home Policy (?)
  • Company Values – Well stated in intro to company.
  •  Up-Skilling and Training Policy and Guidelines – Facilitating staff learning – policy, budgets needed.

Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Current failure / return rates for our PT product is very high. We are implementing design changes but we are also going to improve production control with a (probable) implementation of KANBAN with QC checking through defines processes.

Across the company, we will provide procedures and processes at every level which will be the major part of the work required for ISO9001 certification.

OH&S

OH&S is a culture, lived every day. While Pauline Hugler is checking our existing policies, we have also introduce the team to this concept, and made it clear that every single employee is responsible for safety. The team now continuously ensures the work area is kept free from anything that  can cause tripping or cutting or other misadventure.

We do have Workplace Safety and regular Inspection Policy and in our planning we will add as needed and foreseen.

Staffing

The staff we have are technically competent team players. They are very open to revised work methods, and the introduction of mature design and production processes. 

Levels and Skills

The development tram does not need additional personnel based on current needs and anticipated future projects. The main potential risks we endure are due to staff leaving and their skills disappearing with them. To this end we are ensuring that all design work is properly documented. The main risk is in analogue electronics where we have one competent contractor. It has been the case for decades that graduates leave university with usable competence in digital but significantly less competence in analogue electronics.  Replacing our contractor would probably be difficult.

We are lacking people to execute:

1. Customer Technical Support (we are planning a e-ticketing system and helpdesk to ameliorate)

2. Production Technician (using one casual unskilled person right now - training him on rote tasks)

3. IT Support (currently using sales person) - we will need for ERM/ERP integration

4. Lab Technician (using one casual unskilled person right now - training him on rote tasks)


60 day plan (original)

Days 1-15

Activities Summary

People Involved

Project Management System

(Complete except for office display)

  • Work Breakdown Structure for all project phases per project
  • People Hours / rate
  • Material Costs
  • End dates per phase
  • Project End dates
  • Potential delays


Systems Engineer

Project Manager

Designers/Engineers

Business Systems Administrator

Ops/Development Manager

Days 16-35

Activities Summary

People Involved

Systems Engineering

In process and modified.

Define and document all Systems Engineering processes including (per product):

  • User requirements definitions (The ‘What’)
  • System Design Specification (The ‘How’)
  • Functional allocation for subsystems
  • Technology selection
  • Subsystem technical specifications
  • Test specification per subsystem
  • Test Specification for product (whole system)
  • Software requirements specification
  • Software test specification
  • Environmental qualification guidelines and compliance standards
  • BOM Standards
  • Design configuration guidelines and user manual
  • Design review panel and process
  • Specification review panel and process
  • Design change requests – formats, guidelines, panel, process

Ops/Development Manager

Business Systems Administrator

All designers for ad-hoc discussion.

Days 36-60+

Activities Summary

People Involved

ERP and ERM (Planned together)

  • Sales Forecast System specify and implement
  • Sales forecast display implement
  • Projects status display setup – late/early, cost overruns, knock-on effects (program management).
  • Finance display review and modify for urgent actions/awareness of performance vs budget.
  • Sales forecasts integrate to production and finance
  • Production status per production run with dates and schedules – integrate with project management/ treat production runs as projects.
  • Examine process flow through CRM from customer first contact through to relationship maintenance.  Modify in consultation with sales.
  • Review DEAR / Hubspot data exchange and process  review/ update

Ops/Development Manager

Business Systems Administrator

Production Manager

Sales Manager

MD