Manufacturing is a process which requires a lot of testing and refinement in order for it to reach an optimum level of efficiency. Managers and business owners will recognise the time and effort that must continually be invested in order to keep striving for ways to do things better.
Luckily there are some tried and trusted techniques for improving operational efficiency in manufacturing. Here we look at six ideas for improving processes, and ultimately becoming more profitable:
Examine the overall impact of your purchasing
Sometimes buying in bulk can work out more economical. But have you stopped and thought whether this is applicable to your business? Purchasing decisions should always be linked to demand and business intelligence. Buying in bulk as a matter of course can lead to excessive stock which can have the effect of tying up capital and warehouse space.
Resource planning can be the key to a leaner business
Never underestimate the importance of resource planning and scheduling in making your company more cost efficient. Elements such as production control and real time labour monitoring can benefit hugely from Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, helping hugely where estimating is concerned and giving you a firm grip on your job costing and translating into tangible improvements to the bottom line.
Organise your storage space
Have you thought about what stock items or components see the most traffic, and where it would be best to store them? As part of a lean manufacturing policy, you should place heavily used items as close as possible to the location in which they are being used, while items which are bulky and could get in the way of production, or see little use, should be left further away.
Shift your inventory as quickly as possible
There are only a few industries, take wine for example, where it pays to keep hold of inventory over an extended period of time. As a general rule, you should aim to move your finished products on as soon as possible, as it is unlikely that they will increase in value over time. Avoid storing excessive or discontinued stock as it will be just tying up capital and taking up space.
Involve your team in the problem solving process
Smart manufacturing is all about finding the best solutions, and if you aim to involve your whole team in the structure which develops those solutions, you could encounter less resistance when it comes to implementation. Your front line production team are your eyes and ears when it comes to many of the most important processes, and it is up to you to utilise their experience for the benefit of the business.
Take time to analyse and assess
Many of the ideas outlined above start with a period of examination to understand your manufacturing business better. Without having a close look at every element of your production process, and understanding your facility back to front, many of the opportunities that come with lean manufacturing can be lost.
To find out how WinMan ERP manufacturing software can help improve your processes contact us today.