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Visual management through visual controls - Shadow Foam

Visual management through visual controls

Visual control (sometimes known as visual management) is at the core of any efficient Lean workplace. We are all exposed to visual controls, techniques and systems in every day life, often without even realising it. Think about car parks, supermarkets, even the humble traffic light.

What is visual control?

By example, when we’re driving along a road and meet a traffic signal we automatically know what to do. If it’s red we must stop or if it’s green we can go. The colour being displayed at that junction empowers us to make an instant decision, almost without thought. Do we stop, or go?

Extending the traffic light analogy. Any car going through a red light is clearly abnormal. But traffic flowing through a green light would be normal. So in much the same way, bringing visual controls to other processes removes any ambiguity from a situation. Visual management empowers individuals to automatically assess if something is right or wrong with a simple visual reference.

Visual management in the workplace

Take for example an average workforce, some members may not have English as their first language. Others have issues with reading, or short-sightedness. Many are just visual learners who respond or react far more readily to a visual cue than a written instruction. A pressure gauge has to be monitored to ensure it doesn’t exceed a certain PSI. In that scenario, what’s the more effective? A written number to cross reference which can be mislaid or misread? Or a visual guide on the gauge to indicate when the level is at safe or unsafe levels?

Bringing in measures to create a visual workplace with controls that communicate without the need for words is so powerful. And visual control can be applied in any and all workplace situations on some scale. Visual controls can not only help identify problems, and create a safer, more efficient working environment. But they also bring with them a host of other benefits when applied correctly. For example, waste reduction, reduced production costs, quicker lead times… all of which can result in increased profits.

Visual controls in decision making

Visual Controls standardise decision making based on facts. That’s how they are so effective. And typically they are very cost-effective to implement too. It’s also super simple to apply visual controls. It’s therefore little wonder more and more organisations are turning to visual control methods.

Remember, we are here to help you with products to help your visual management in the workplace. So if you can’t find what you’re looking for, or need more direction on your visual control journey, please do get in touch.

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