When owning or leasing a manufacturing plant, it is important to get the most productivity out of it. Between the lease, rent and operating costs, including both machinery and personnel, it’s a heavy burden to afford for companies. Anything they can do at every level to boost the productivity of their facilities makes it far more likely that they’ll breakeven in bad months and profit greatly in the busy months. The combination of which leads to a profit-centered business that lasts the duration.
Here are three suggested ways to improve the manufacturing productivity in a facility.
Is the Workflow Perfect?
Getting the workflow and systems right in manufacturing is key to keeping costs down and productivity at a peak level. Look a couple of areas to make noticeable improvements:
- Process – What are your processes for the operation and are they being adhered to? Can they be modified to tighten up every aspect to get a better overall result? Are there any bottlenecks in the established procedures that can be removed?
- Staff – Are the staff well trained for the roles they are currently performing? Are the error rates on production runs too higher vs expectations and do you know the cause(s)? Have some of the staff been moved into different roles due to short-staffing that they’re less suited to? Do they need better training?
First comes understanding; later it’s all about fixing what’s wrong. Making a change for the sake of doing so is pointless. Look at why a change makes sense and quantify the benefits of altering processes or procedures before doing so. Consider performing a cost-benefit analysis to determine if the change will increase profitability over time.
Get Organized or Reorganize
When everyone is so focused on manufacturing and production, sometimes the little details get missed. These small issues can become larger ones over time when not attended to.
Consider the layout of the different teams and sections of the manufacturing plant. Take a fresh look at whether there is a better approach to organization that would help reduce bottlenecks or make the job easier for staff to complete. Positioning related parts or equipment nearer together instead of on the other side of the plant saves staff time going back and forth.
Just because the layout is a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s optimal. Often, layouts develop in a haphazard manner when the firm expands into the space. Taking a full-picture overview is helpful in these situations to see if it could be done better. Focus on production efficiency when reimagining the space to get the most out of any reorganization effort.
Overhauling Equipment for Better Results
Look at the equipment in the production facility. Sometimes, new equipment is needed to revolutionize how products are manufactured or packaged ready for shipment.
For instance, a new shrink wrap machine that is capable of organizing completed products, moving them into assigned trays and shrink wrappingcan be added to a packaging process. A new machine might well increase capacity and reduce the cost per package. These types of wrapping machines can handle far more products per hour than a human is able to.
Boosting efficiency in a manufacturing plant can happen at any place along the production line or packaging stage. Even reorganizing how goods are organized for dispatched can reduce costs per delivery assignment. Using the latest manufacturing and packaging technologies, a company can become more profitable with the same size plant and fewer people.