Shadowboards are a simple aid to achieving an effective inventory
21 Apr 2020
Thriving businesses don’t only need high tech answers. Even in this day and age the shadow board provides a useful visual clue for ensuring a well run inventory of tools, says Beaverswood’s Jim Roberts...
Nullifying the effect of unnecessary actions can add value and cut costs in straitened times. Shadow boards are a proven means to implement continuous improvement principles because they are designed to encourage smarter working practices and drive out waste.
Misplacing workplace equipment can be frustrating, inconvenient and inefficient. It is so often the case that it is not until work is underway and people are reaching for a specific item, that they realise it has gone missing. They will inevitably have to then stop what they are doing and waste valuable time and effort attempting to locate the item - or if they are unable to find it, spend needlessly to replace it.
Experience has revealed that visual solutions have been found to be more effective than any other medium communication, even in distracting environments. When introduced into the workplace, the impact and advantage of shadow boards can be manifold.
Visual equals visible
Equipment can be arranged in order in a logical position and handy locations, making them immediately visible and anything that is amiss – a missing brush, for instance - can be instantly identified and rectified before other people become involved.
Shadow boards can be seen as an embodiment of a common-sense approach to an effective style of law and order in the workplace. Shadowing products (or equipment) has proven effective in helping people find the right device quickly and efficiently; less time wasteful.
Usage instructions suitably indicated alongside serve as a subtle reminder every time the device is used. It is, however, important to use shadow boards with colours and artwork best suited to the visibility levels in the workplace.
Equipment can be arranged in order in a logical position and handy locations, making it immediately visible and anything that is amiss can be instantly identified
Colour coded, they can create standardisation, personalisation and effective delineation to ensure that the right equipment is always available, in the right place at the right time. Users can also reduce operational costs as workplace standardisation removes the requirement for designing and installing expensive and time-consuming custom-made shadow boards.
No-one can afford to be complacent when it comes to workplace efficiency, regardless of the operational environment. Ease of location due to clear product marking provides rapid identification of equipment in a busy, cluttered industrial shop floor or warehouse, enhancing production levels and reducing errors, while minimising the possibility of cross contamination in hygiene areas
Undoubtedly, shadow boards can also transcend the testing environments of today’s workplace. While a hard copy of instructions has a short life, difficult to refer, and needs multiple prints for distribution, details featured on shadow board systems are here to stay, unless there are additions or deletions to the set of devices.
Multiple transparent pockets can hold hard copies of processes/instructions, with changes updated by simply replacing an older copy with the latest details. These are but a few salient benefits of the shadow board system. Adopting the right design will help make the best of this visual solution.