I read somewhere that we cherish the resources depending on their uselessness. The more useless, the more expensive. Without air we can only live several minutes – not only do we not pay anything for it but we also try to destroy its quality every day. Without water, we can only live a few days and we pay almost nothing for it but we also destroy its quality. Without food, we can live a month or more and for this, we pay more than air and water together. Instead, without phones and gadgets we can live long and well, but for these, we pay quite a lot!

The resources I mentioned above (air – water – food) can be stored and bought! But the most precious (and ignored) asset that we have is time! We cannot store it and we cannot buy it! And every day we waste a lot of time searching; a document, an address, a shirt or a song, an order, an offer, etc. Maybe you’re asking yourself “Why to save time by reducing the search?” Because you don’t waste a lot of time searching, do you? I propose the following exercise:

Exercise: Think of a document (from your computer), look for it and write down how much time the searching took. Multiply it by 10 (approximately) and see how much you waste daily by searching on your computer.

How to save time reducing the search?

To reduce this type of search I use:

Calibre,  is a free and open source e-book library management application developed by users of e-books for users of e-books.

Pocket, is a free application which allows you to save articles, videos or pretty much anything, directly from your browser or from apps like Twitter, Flipboard, Pulse and Zite and read them when you are ready.

This type of software offers the possibility to create a searching system that reduces the necessary time of finding what you are looking for. ATTENTION! You must create your own system (keywords, categories, comments, etc) so that you can reduce the search. If your system is not efficient you will continue to waste time.

This software uses the 5S system (sort-streamline-shine-standardize-sustain) to help you; actually the first 2S’s – Sort and Streamline. Precisely, the soft streamlines depending on the sorting criteria you ask for; to have an efficient using method of this soft, you must carefully choose the sorting criteria.

Same thing happens in production: the sorting criteria define the efficiency of the working system. Sorting must be done depending on the necessities of the process. For example, if we have a family of 3 products – A, B, C, for product A one uses M8 screw + washer Ø8 +M8 nut, for product B one uses M10 screw+washer Ø10 + M10 nut and for product C one uses M12 screw+washer Ø12+ M12 nut. Usually, the sorting system looks as in figure 1:

In this way, the operator that uses these products must go in 3 places, which is not efficient (in this case there are 3 places on a shelf, but there can be 3 places in the shop-floor or 3 different sectors).

An improvement of this kind of storage method is the one that refers to the customer’s requirement (who is the one using these products) as shown in figure 2:

Notice that the operator must NOT move to get all the components thus winning time which becomes efficiency. Moreover, you can reduce the necessary storage space for the components.

This second method is an example regarding the influence of the sorting criteria. If in the first case one uses sorting by the type of product one notices that the next process will be in trouble. In the second case, one uses sorting by the functionality of the next process (one thinks about the “CLIENT” thus improving the efficiency of the next process – assembly.

In the aforementioned example I used only 9 components but, usually, there are tens, hundreds, even thousands of components that are used. Think about how much time (efficiency) you can save if you choose the beneficial sorting criteria for the next process.

Now you have seen how to save time by reducing the search. Use the suggestions mentioned above both in your personal and professional life and you will have nothing to lose, only to win.

Do you know other methods that can be used to save time? Work methods that you have tested and are efficient? Share your insight.

PS: Next week we will talk about How to save time by reducing the Transport.

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23 thoughts on “How to save time reducing the search”

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