The Unending Challenge of Company Waste: Printing Dilemmas | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The Unending Challenge of Company Waste: Printing Dilemmas

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
Do you bother to print and then save the data even though it is saved as data?

The “Bother Outputism”…… paperless is so unreliable that you feel uncomfortable unless you print everything out on paper and save it.

The “Sweet Trap of Gentrification”……A certain person will do one task with a unique procedure, which is fine as long as it is left to that person, but without that person, no one will be able to do the job.

The “information stray”…… is surely data that should have been saved, but when it is needed, it cannot be found no matter where it is looked for, and a great deal of time is spent searching for it.

The book, “100 Wasted Tasks in a Company That Can Be Eliminated” (Crossmedia Publishing), which collects such “wastes” that infest companies, also contains tips for eliminating such “wastes. The book also contains hints on how to eliminate such “waste. The author has sold more than 100,000 copies of this book. The author is Fumina Motoyama, an operations consultant known for her “Workplace Problem Map” series, which has sold more than 100,000 copies in total. We asked Motoyama why “muda” is created in companies and what can be done to eliminate it.

According to Mr. Motoyama, one of the reasons for “waste” is that business operations have become increasingly complex and sophisticated in recent years due to the evolution of technology, and the number of tasks themselves has increased.

In the case of attendance management systems, there used to be a pattern where time cards were swiped, and then someone would transcribe the swiped cards to Excel or other software, calculate the number of hours with a calculator, and submit the calculation to the system. This is a lot of work, but as an operation, it is simple.

With today’s attendance management systems, the simple tasks that used to be performed by humans are now automatically totaled and even analyzed. In this way, the system (or software) handles the core of business operations such as attendance management and sales management, so simple tasks have been eliminated.

The work of those who used to do the tabulation work has become more sophisticated, such as how to analyze the results tabulated by the system and utilize them for human resources and sales strategies, and how to use the system to its fullest extent, he says.

For example, if Mr. A works this many hours but his performance is not improving, or conversely, if Mr. B works fewer hours but achieves better performance, the strategy is to analyze what kind of work style Mr. B has, and standardize his know-how. Until now, it was simply a matter of calculating and submitting data, but when the foundation of the business becomes a system, the work becomes more difficult and sophisticated because the job becomes about how to analyze data, strategize, and create work.”

Even if the work becomes more sophisticated, IT eliminates the need for transcribing and tabulating data in Excel, which may seem to reduce the amount of work. However, even if IT is introduced, unless the existing work methods are changed, “waste” will only be created.

IT is only a means (or a tool), so if you install it, work will increase. We have to have a manager, and the way we work will change. But, the old ways of doing things are still being followed, and there are still jobs that could have been done without IT, such as saving attendance data that no longer needs to be transcribed in Excel for ‘just in case,’ or printing it out on paper and stamping it. This is the reason for the “waste” that is created.

In other cases, the result of recklessly relying solely on IT is a “wasteful” increase in the number of tools, which can complicate the work even more. According to Mr. Motoyama, there were cases where different departments within a company used different tools such as chatwork, LINE, and slack. It may be convenient for communication within a department, but it is an extra hassle when you want to communicate with other departments.

Furthermore, files and folders that are managed in an inappropriate manner are also a cause of “waste. Files and folders that are not clearly visible to the user can be difficult to find. According to some statistics, the average business person wastes 150 hours a year searching for files and folders. This is because they manage their data according to their own rules. Digital data, unlike paper, is invisible, so it is easy to lose track of its location.

When you manage files, you need to put naming conventions in place. You need to “design your operation” so that all files are stored in the same place under the same rules. I understand the temptation to break these rules and work by your own rules. However, because you work according to your own rules, standardization is promoted, someone else will do the work for you, and you can rest easy even if you get sick. As a result, daily work becomes easier.

The reason why they should do so is not only because it makes their work more efficient, but also because the basic premise of the current trend is to utilize data. A decade ago, as long as you could do your job properly, there was no problem with storing data as you pleased. However, Motoyama says that the old way of doing things is no longer acceptable today.

Data is an important resource that can replace oil in modern business, just as the Industrial Revolution since the 19th century was heavily dependent on oil,” he said.

So the information on business cards of customers received in the company’s name, the contents of business meetings, and the documents created there are not yours, but a resource to accelerate the company’s business. It is not easy to do so when an individual is working as an individual, but it is something that should be preserved as a company by nature.”

In fact, many people are not keeping up with these changes in business, and this may be the reason for the “waste” that is created in companies day and night.

It is better for everyone to know how to think about databases, how to share data, and how to input data, rather than business etiquette that is not well understood,” he said. But those things aren’t being taught. Business is changing, but I feel that people are not changing.

Also, the style of business is constantly changing because it is a living thing. Therefore, we are in an era where we need to constantly look back and check whether the tools we are currently using are still easy to use. In the past, once you installed a new tool, you could just continue to use the system without any change, but it’s hard, isn’t it?

It is precisely because we live in an era of drastic change that it is important to gently let go of things that have outlived their usefulness, such as work that has continued unnoticed and old-fashioned customs.

Perhaps it is time to take a fresh look at our own work to see if there is any “waste” in it.

As long as that person is in charge, it’s not a problem, but without him or her, the work doesn’t get done.
Once data is lost, it is quite difficult to find it.
Documents shared in the cloud are being revised by each of you, and before you know it, you’re back to the original text.
Chat rooms are divided by purpose, but when the number of chat rooms increases too much, it becomes difficult to know what was said in which chat room. ……
Fumina Motoyama
  • Profile of Fumina Motoyama Fumina Motoyama

    Representative Director of Livical Co. Business consultant. He is engaged in redesigning business and organizational structures under the theme of "Increasing the number of people who enjoy their carefree life through diversity and business improvement.

Photo Gallery6 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles