As a manufacturer, you certainly want to be able to increase productivity, reduce costs, and maximize profits.Those goals can be achieved if you’re able to increase efficiency at your manufacturing plant.
Many manufacturers think that increasing efficiency means cutting costs as much as possible that contributes to the decrease in product quality. But, there are actually some easy and harmless ways you can implement to improve efficiency on your manufacturing floor without sacrificing the quality of your products.
Check out these seven methods you can implement to improve efficiency at your manufacturing plant.
1. Evaluate Your Current Workflow
You will have difficulty identifying areas for improvement in your manufacturing process without examining your current workflow. You can review the following three important areas to determine what changes are needed in your workflow:
A few things you need to figure out regarding your current employee performance are:
- Do they have the right skills to perform the tasks they are currently working on?
- Have they managed to achieve the determined objectives?
- How much time do they spend completing certain jobs?
- Is it possible to speed up the completion time?
You need to find out whether the stages in your production are going as planned. More importantly, discover where the pain points and bottlenecks are.
Before making any changes to your workflow, you should first develop a hypothesis, then compare the results to your assumptions and previous conditions. This will give you a clear perspective on what changes should be made.
Read the related article: Manufacturing Tips: How to Optimize Your Production Planning
Equipment and Technology
Review all the equipment and technology that you are currently using. Does all the equipment work properly? Is the technology that you rely on optimal for your current business needs? How easy is it to make changes in production?
2. Invest in Employee Training
Employee training is an ongoing process. In some industries, especially manufacturing, certain types of training are mandatory, such as daily safety training for all personnel using safety equipment.
You need to train your employees on new equipment and technology to get the most value out of them. Employee training is also an excellent retention tactic, because every employee wants to have the opportunity to develop their abilities.
Don’t limit training and education to equipment and technology. Your manufacturing business process will run more smoothly if everyone can understand the company’s policies and the right way to communicate with each other.
3. Update Your Equipment
No matter how great your employees are, if the equipment provided at your manufacturing plant is outdated or even no longer works properly, then efficiency will be difficult to improve.
Therefore, make sure you are willing to invest in modern equipment so that the production process can run better. Advanced equipment also helps you reduce costs for repairing damage and increasing the productivity of your employees.
4. Conduct Preventive Maintenance
Even though you have decided to buy the latest tools, that doesn’t mean you have to throw away your old ones. Some equipment may still be used for a longer period of time if treated properly. New equipment also needs to be maintained so that it can be used to the fullest.
And as you already know, maintaining equipment is far cheaper than replacing one. So, don’t wait until it is damaged. Conduct preventive maintenance regularly according to the type of the equipment. Consider using asset management software to help you record the condition of your equipment and automate the maintenance scheduling.
5. Keep Your Manufacturing Plant Organized
Organization is the key to an efficient workspace. Pay attention to your manufacturing plant; the layout, the spaces for workers and heavy equipment to get in and out, and how each area is used.
A few things you need to check:
- Are all the hand tools easy to find?
- Are staff able to easily pick up all the raw materials or finished goods?
- Is the packing and shipping area close to where the finished goods are placed?
- Are the forklifts able to easily move around your manufacturing plant?
6. Reduce Material Waste
One of the biggest and most expensive wastes in manufacturing plants is material waste. Here are some ways to reduce it:
- Use less material while packing your products
- Recycle, or if you can’t do it yourself, then resell the scraps to a recycling center
- Utilize all available materials for creating new products
7. Automate Your Supply Chain Management
There is no easier way to improve efficiency than automating your business processes. Supply chain management is one of the most important segments in the manufacturing business. However, if the process is still run manually, then optimized efficiency will be difficult to achieve.
With sophisticated supply chain management software, you can automate various processes; from tracking inventory across multiple manufacturing plants, setting up inventory levels, ordering raw materials to suppliers, to shipping orders to customers. Through an advanced reporting feature in HashMicro’s SCM software, you can forecast demand and the revenue generated from each product.