The success of a manufacturing business depends on having streamlined and efficient day-to-day operations. Manufacturing businesses and companies have always looked for new methods and ways for boosting efficiency to improve their bottom line.
For your convenience, we’ve listed five strategies on how to improve the efficiency of your manufacturing firm.
1. Review Your Current Workflow
You won’t know what needs to be done to improve manufacturing efficiency until you know how everything works. There are three critical areas you need to take a look at whether a change is necessary or not:
- People – Did you employ the right people? Are your people skilled enough to do their roles? Do you have someone who can keep everything running smoothly? Naturally, having a highly-efficient and productive workforce generates more profit for your manufacturing business.
This is also where you check whether or not you need to introduce new software for job shop quoting and scheduling for faster lead times and to make things easier for your workforce, especially when it comes to dealing with manufacturing orders.
- Equipment & Technology – Having the right tools and equipment for the job is essential to improve manufacturing efficiency. There’s nothing more counterproductive than having a slow and old piece of equipment or technology.
- Production Lines – The success of your manufacturing business depends on its production lines. By calculating what is the total output capacity of your production lines, you can see which ones are performing at optimal levels and which ones are not.
You may also need to call in external resources for guidance in reviewing your current workflow. Call in an industry specialist or a financial consultant that has experience in helping manufacturing businesses develop strategies to improve efficiency.
Before you make changes to improve efficiency, ensure that you understand how everything works. There’s an old adage that goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Until you can find a good reason to make a change, take the time to think about whether it’s truly worth it or not.
2. Identify & Address Bottlenecks
As you review your current workflow, you’ll also get to discover bottlenecks, particularly in your production line. Bottlenecks are breakdowns in business processes that also affect other processes from doing their function.
For instance, in a manufacturing facility, a specific machine shuts down for a day because of a defect and requires repairs. Any process that also requires that machine is unable to proceed. That machine is then called a bottleneck. It’s also worth noting that bottlenecks are not just limited to machines or equipment. For example, an admin who oversees the manufacturing processes falls sick and is unable to report for work for days can also be a bottleneck.
Once you’ve identified the bottlenecks in your production processes, you can work towards finding a solution to eliminate downtime and improve efficiency.
3. Provide Regular Education & Training For All Employees
Regular education and training for all employees must always be provided. In the manufacturing industry, proper education and training in the use of new equipment and technology are very crucial. This is also an effective retention strategy; as hiring new employees can take time, causing a slowdown in your manufacturing processes.
Provide training sessions for all your employees especially if new equipment or piece of technology is installed. Also, offer educational opportunities for those employees who wish to advance or learn new skills.
4. Encourage Communication
Teamwork is essential in all industries. Ensuring that your workforce is provided with open avenues to communicate with each other inside your manufacturing facility can help improve efficiency. With better communication, you can immediately know about problems or issues that you may be unaware of. Having strong communication can also help bolster your efforts into unifying your workforce to achieve your business goals.
5. Invest In Preventative Maintenance
Prevention is always better than cure and the same goes for your production line. Ensure that you create a preventative maintenance schedule and stick to it. This is very crucial as it can help prevent a piece of equipment from breaking down which causes downtime. There’s nothing worse than having your production line stopped because a piece of equipment has broken down and requires repairs.
All these strategies won’t cause improvements overnight, but they’re worth trying as part of enhancing the efficiency of your manufacturing business. The information discussed above is meant to simulate success so as long as your workforce is willing to adapt to these strategies and changes that you’re going to make.