Do you depend on email for routine communications between departments? If so, I can predict the following:
- You have encountered emails that went to someone who's not at work one day and the information wasn't acted on, even though others in the department could have carried out the emailed request.
- Or, in the recipient's overloaded email, the information gets buried in the pile and isn't acted on.
- And, in a meeting when something doesn't happen as expected you hear the statement "I emailed them."
This is as predictable as the sunrise in an operation that is heavily reliant on email communications.
To eliminate these problems and improve the effectiveness of your processes, use online collaboration lists instead. I've used them in multiple situations, like:
- Expedite items between Purchasing and Receiving (instead of emails to the receiver)
- Interdepartmental expedite lists (I'm not big on expedites, but depending on an organization's maturity level they can be essential.)
- Posting of excess inventory items between facilities for potential use by each other (in place of ineffective emails)
- Freight quote comparisons and selection between Sales and Shipping (instead of emailing between department members. This also provided a reference history for repetitive shipments)
- Customer's inventory kitting status (where the MRP system had no such capabilities.) An undesirable manual process, but none-the-less better than its emailed alternative that was resulting in significant customer dissatisfaction.
The above are real examples where emails were replaced with SharePoint lists (or other equivalent online collaboration tools.) All of these lists eliminated multiple issues that had plagued these processes. And, these lists are as easy to set up as a spreadsheet. Start using them now if you want to eliminate a lot of waste-creating "fell-in-the-crack" issues.