The manufacturing process is a constant search for improved productivity. If you have ever developed your own manufacturing line, you know that each process should be optimized and automated. Every factory seeks that perfect measurement where the least time, money, and manpower produces the most product. However, many manufacturers ignore simple ways that they could improve their processes and increase their productivity. As a factory manager, trying to improve your processes should be your top priority. Below are a few tips that will show you how to improve manufacturing processes in your factory.
Schedule Regular Maintenance:
Maintenance is cheaper and less time consuming than repair. To exploit this, have a regular maintenance schedule for all your equipment. This way, you can plan for machine downtime, so it won’t hinder your production. Meanwhile, regular maintenance will keep your machine’s working at optimum level. Additionally, preventing breakdowns will also protect your employees from being injured by broken equipment. Regular maintenance will ensure your machine’s offer you the best productivity on your schedule.
Employee Communication and Feedback:
Treat your employees as partners in this process. They may know your factory far better than you do. They may even have ideas to improve the workflow from their experiences on the floor. Be in regular communication with them. Let them know that they can come to you with ideas and complaints. Beyond this, credit them when they come up with an idea that you choose to implement. This will not only increase your productivity, but it will also go far to build loyalty among your workers.
Solve Problem Completely:
When you encounter problems, track that problem to its source. You cannot just react to issues, you must get in front of them. If a machine breaks down regularly, for example, don’t just fix it every time. In some cases, it’s much more cost effective to buy used machinery that works. In the meantime, you can investigate why it is breaking down more often than others. Then, you can decide if it’s worth fixing or just using a newer machine. You will end up saving time and money by solving the problem quickly than if you keep fixing the same problem repeatedly. Take time to investigate every accident thoroughly and ensure that the actual cause is located and solved.
The one thing that affects productivity more than anything else is material waste. The raw materials that form your manufactured product cost money. Yet many factories allow too much of their materials to be wasted. As you look at the production processes, try to design it in a way that avoids scraps and other materials you can’t use. This step will lower your material costs, giving you more resources to put towards labor, machinery or storage. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about disposing of as many wasted materials. Those scraps you can’t avoid should be recycled to get some sort of return. Waste is a drag not just a drag on productivity, it directly hinders your profit. You should look for every possible way to avoid it.
One of the best ways to increase productivity is to optimize your inventory. This is always difficult because an optimized inventory must be perfectly balanced. It can’t run out of supplies and hinder production, but it shouldn’t be bursting with stuff you won’t need for months. This balances the pace of production with the cost of storage. To achieve this balance, work out a careful system of inventory control. You should be able to know the number of every part in your inventory at any time. This, combined with a thorough supply chain, will make sure that you have your inventory right before you use it. With this balance, you ensure a productive inventory for multi-channel setups. Even if you work with several suppliers, you will have exactly what you need to keep production running as efficiently as possible.
A few simple tips will improve your manufacturing process in many ways. Well, optimized processes will give you greater capacity and lower costs to run your manufacturing business. In order to optimize each process, schedule regular maintenance on all your machines to avoid unforeseen breakdowns. Work with your employees to improve efficiency. When mistakes and problems occur, investigate them completely and solve the core problem. Retool your production to avoid all material waste. Finally, optimize your inventory to provide supplies just in time for use. These tips will improve your processes, productivity, and profitability.