Growing a successful manufacturing business is a pretty simple equation: put out more work without spending more resources. Time is money, as they say. But rushing jobs out from the factory is a fast-track to sacrificing quality.
So, for manufacturers to tip the balance of the equation without seeing quality degrade, the key is to capitalise on latent productivity by finding operational efficiencies.
Finding these hidden pockets of efficiency means you may have to ask some tough questions:
- Where are we wasting time, resources or materials?
- What long-term investments will yield the most benefit?
- Who or what is holding us back?
- What systems can we optimise?
In our experience, there are 6 key areas manufacturers can look at to maximise efficiency and help a business boom.
1. Review Current Workflow
Start by looking in the mirror. Regardless of your business’
current size, there are 3 core elements in any job:
- People: Are you employing the right people, and are they using their skills to the fullest potential? How does management encourage innovation? Are your people happy, motivated and loyal?
- Equipment: What are the tools and technology your business relies on every day? Are they the best, the cheapest, the most reliable – or a mix? Can your equipment adapt to changing capacity and new projects?
- Processes: Where are pain points, bottlenecks, and cost overruns occurring most frequently? Have you mapped your processes to see where value is gained and lost?
2. Update Technology & Processes
If you’ve been in the manufacturing business for a while, it’s understandable you may have let business technology lapse. But many of the common pain points for manufacturers are alleviated by process improvements using software solutions like an ERP.
With a customised ERP your entire workflow comes together like a well-oiled machine:
- Identify wastage
- Streamline internal processes
- Improve customer and supplier relationships
- Manage jobs
- Control inventory
- Monitor budgets and time tracking
3. Regular Maintenance
Speaking of well-oiled machines, when was the last time your mission-critical equipment was professionally serviced? From software updates to dated gear mechanisms, preventative maintenance gets ahead of problems to avoid costly downtime.
- Schedule preventative maintenance ahead of time
- Implement a fault reporting process
- Work with technology partners for software/firmware updates
- Train operators on equipment upkeep
4. Organise The Workplace
Every half-hour spent rummaging through a stockroom looking for material is wasted time. But organisation goes beyond decluttering and stretches into workflow optimisation on the shop floor.
- Arrange machinery for optimum workflow and space use
- Reduce movement to reduce employee health risks
- Create an organised storage system
- Stock spares and parts in an inventoried area
5. Keep An Eye On Inventory
Like a disorganised workspace, inventory mismanagement is a surprisingly wasteful – if seemingly innocent – foible for manufacturers.
- Over-ordering materials
- Under-ordering causing delays
- Missing stock holds up a job
Like a disorganised workspace, inventory mismanagement is a surprisingly wasteful – if seemingly innocent – foible for manufacturers.With an ERP like Jobman, customised to suit the way you do
business, manufacturers have
a clear handle on inventory to eliminate those unnecessary delays and cost
overruns. Jobman’s inventory control module was built specifically for
manufacturers, with room to adapt to your operation.
6. Upskill Employees
Our final tip is useful for getting the most out of your workforce. Motivation dwindles when people feel like they’re not challenged, not contributing, and not appreciated. Investing in employee training not only makes for a more engaged workforce, but it also adds value in new offerings and expanded capabilities.
Learn more about how Jobman was designed for manufacturing businesses to improve efficiency and maximise productivity while maintaining the high standards your customers expect.