Being able to churn out high-quality products in the shortest time period possible is perhaps the cornerstone of a great manufacturing business - and it requires a lot of cooperation at every level of your organization. For that reason, you may need to reconsider some aspects of your operations from the ground up, and in doing so, potentially unlock a level of efficiency you previously couldn't realize.
The following tips should help you do just that:
1) Change the layout on occasion
As your organization grows and changes over the years, you need to make sure your facility can accommodate that growth, according to Soft Tech. As you move new machinery in or out, you may want to consider whether you can rearrange your floor plan to allow for more equipment or a better flow of foot and vehicle traffic through your facility. Even small changes could unlock big benefits for efficiency and safety.
2) Make sure your maintenance plan works
Along similar lines to reassessing your layout, it's also a good idea to make sure all your equipment is being properly maintained, and possibly change plans when new machinery comes in, Soft Tech said. The more you can do to evaluate how effective your maintenance plans have been, and what could be better about them, the better off your workers, equipment and entire operation will be.
3) Keep workers in the loop - and prepared for what's next
If you're going to make some changes to your facility, it's important that the people who work on the factory floor every day are aware of your plans, and adequately trained for new processes, according to the Augusta Free Press. When you do this well in advance, there's a significantly reduced chance that you will have any hiccups when incorporating the new technology.
4) Train for safety
Another area where training is critical is around safety, the Augusta Free Press advised. Even a small accident can take a worker and a machine out of commission for hours or days at a time, so your employees have to be intimately acquainted with all the ins and outs of proper lifting and carrying techniques, machine operation and more. Regular training around this issue is a must.
5) Slim down your inventory
One of the areas where many manufacturers can stand to take a step forward is in being able to operate on the slimmest inventory possible, according to the Daily MBA. To truly unlock this capability, companies have to carefully analyze data - and probably collect more of it than they currently do - so they can right-size their orders on an ongoing basis.
6) Invest in the right equipment
Finally, your organization would be wise to be a little more judicious in its equipment investment, especially when it comes to striking the right balance between cost and quality, the Daily MBA added. You need to be conscious of your bottom line, of course, but you should try to avoid making a purchase knowing you're getting a lower-quality product, as the added cost of maintenance and faster replacement will eventually catch up to you.
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