Is your manufacturing business not operating to the levels you’re expecting? Are you looking for ways to increase your returns and profits? The secret lies with one dictionary word; efficiency.
Efficiency will ensure that you’ll achieve high production figures while minimizing costs. As a manufacturing company, how will you ensure you attain efficiency?
This post will discuss tips you can adopt to attain manufacturing business efficiency. Continue reading to learn more.
1. Minimize Manufacturing-related Wastes
It’s believed that waste is common in the manufacturing industry. It comes in different forms during the manufacturing process.
One is from your raw material suppliers. Some suppliers will deliver substandard materials meaning you have to throw them away and request more. Besides wasting materials, you’ll have wasted your financial resources, which is the exact opposite of lean manufacturing.
Lean manufacturing focuses on minimizing waste during production. To learn more about lean manufacturing and get advice on adopting this technique, Lean Consultants in Australia or any other similar professional in your area can assist you.
The other source of waste is your team failing to utilize your resources fully. For instance, if you’re into making car tires, there’s a likelihood that you’ll waste some of the rubber in the process. Whether or not you can utilize the small pieces, it’s still considered making a waste.
This begs the question; how do you minimize waste? Consider getting into partnerships with suppliers who value quality in their products. This means they’ll always deliver quality raw materials, eliminating the need for you to throw away products.
Also, it’s best to adopt recycling and upcycling to utilize the waste in your plant. If you don’t have the resources to invest in upcycling and recycling technology, selling the waste to companies that need them would suffice. Instead of wasting it away in garbage dumps, you’ll get money from the waste.
2. Set Performance Standards
Implementing efficient ways of running your production plant is one thing and sticking to the plan is another. In most cases, there’s a likelihood of deviating; this is why you need to set performance standards.
The standards will help you to remain on track. For them to be effective, you need to make it a habit to constantly evaluate your performance, preferably quarterly or however you deem possible.
As you set these standards, ensure they cut across all sectors of your operations; production, workers, and equipment. If possible, ensure the standards are quantifiable; these are easier to measure than qualitative measures.
It’s advisable to set reasonable and achievable standards such that you won’t overwhelm your workers and overwork your equipment leading to overheating and breakdowns. Utilize the current data of your performance rates to formulate your standards.
3. Eliminate Process Redundancies
As a manufacturing company, there’s a high probability that there are processes that don’t yield many returns, yet you invest resources into them. Investing in redundancies is one example of inefficiency in your business. How do you identify redundancies?
The first step to take is to assess all your processes. Are there operations that your business has overgrown over the years? Are there tasks that your team takes too long to complete or are quite repetitive? The answers to these questions are the redundancies in your manufacturing plant. How do you address them to bring back efficiency?
For the activities you’ve outgrown, eliminate them; for the repetitive ones, consider automating them. Consider looking for alternative ways of doing the activities that your team takes too long to execute. If this isn’t possible, automate them as well.
4. Eliminate Worker Redundancies
When it comes to running your manufacturing company, redundancies extend to your workers. Your team is more or less in control of your operations; thus, if they aren’t working efficiently, your operations won’t as well. Worker absenteeism is the major cause of worker redundancies. You’ll find situations where the absenteeism of a given worker renders operations stagnant. This is especially if the worker is the only one with a certain skill.
To mitigate this, ensure you train your workers in all aspects of your operations. By providing overall training, should any of them be absent, another worker can fill in, and work continues as usual.
5. Organize Your Workplace
The manufacturing process requires several materials and tools to make it successful. The organization of your plant can lead to many inefficiencies if it’s not done right.
Picture a situation where a given step requires the use of a spanner, and your worker can’t find it, yet the production process has reached the said stage. This would mean stopping work until the worker finds the spanner, or the process continues, which might affect the quality of your final product. Either way, both situations are undesirable.
To mitigate this inefficiency, arrange your plant appropriately. If a given stage requires various tools and materials, arrange them next to this point and ensure they’re in an easy-to-reach area for easier retrieval. It’d also help to group similar tools; have spanners in one place, screws in another, etc. Your workers will easily access what they need to run your operations by organizing your workspace, allowing efficiency.
6. Practice Routine Maintenance
Constant equipment breakdown leads to work stoppage resulting in inefficiencies in your plant. Therefore, you need to put measures in place to prevent these breakdowns. One of the feasible solutions available is practicing routine maintenance.
Through routine maintenance, you’ll identify possible issues with your equipment and address them before they lead to breakdowns. For an effective maintenance plan, prepare a checklist that consists of all the parts of your machinery that you need to inspect. Additionally, schedule the maintenance regularly; each month should suffice and have the same personnel handling the maintenance.
Consider keeping records of all inspections and conditions of parts, including their repairs. The record will help you know when to replace a given component based on how often you’ve repaired it.
7. Adopt Easy-To-Use Technology
As a manufacturing company, most of your operations run with the latest cutting-edge tech. This makes technology a big part of your business; hence its efficiency is key.
The simplest way to ensure that the tools you use allow efficiency is by adopting those that are easy to use. Contrary to popular belief, systems don’t have to be complex to bring about productivity.
Implementing a simple-to-use system means you’ll spend fewer hours training your team on how to use the technology. With your team understanding the tools’ workings, there’ll be no room for reworks due to errors brought forth by a lack of understanding. You’ll also make timely deliveries to your customers since processes will be done faster.
Fewer errors, customer satisfaction, and more time spent on production rather than training are indicators of an efficiently running manufacturing business.
One point to take home on technology is to ensure you always update them regularly as you deem necessary.
Efficiency is an essential aspect of the running of any manufacturing business. This article has shared ways in which you can ensure efficiency. Consider implementing them to the letter, and your business will thank you for your decision a few years down the line.
Claire Glassman is a small business owner and a business management graduate. They’re passionate about businesses and are always looking for ways to help small businesses grow. When they aren’t working in their company, they hold seminars and bring in experts to talk about everything business. In their free time, Claire loves cycling and cooking.