6 useful cost control techniques for manufacturing companies

Posted by Stephen Whitehouse on 5 Aug


When it comes to operating a business, regardless of sector or industry, the key to success is efficiency. You can have the very best product, solution or idea in the world, but if your means of operation is flawed and your processes ineffective, you will struggle to prosperous.

Companies that have contemplated procedures, assess their supply chain, streamline processes, and understand how they can give value to customers, clients and shareholders alike. By streamlining, it can help companies survive difficult times and thrive during periods of prosperity.

Organisations that have operated similarly for years on end are having to reassess, revise and evolve if they are to come out on the other side, and this is becoming clearer by the day.

Here are six ways that manufacturing companies can control their costs in an intelligent, progressive, and forward-thinking manner.

Make better energy decisions

Every manufacturing operation requires masses of energy to keep machines working and lines moving - this is not likely to change. If anything businesses are going to want to expand levels of operation – but this need not necessitate increased consumption of energy. The most effective way of reducing energy use is by focusing on demand-driven production; where products are made when they are required. During quieter periods, production can be adjusted to match demand.

Energy usage can also be reduced by using data to track machine performance. Equipment can be continuously monitored and can alert staff when it is operating below capacity. Regular maintenance can also be scheduled at the most convenient time, to ensure the equipment is operating at optimal capacity and minimising downtime and wasted energy use.

Have a clear understanding of your inventory 

By having an accurate view of your inventory from components to finished products, you will be able to ensure that you do not order excessive stock or creating too much of a specific item. Easily accessible inventory data means, you can quickly inform customers of the availability of any stock enquiries, which will ultimately save time as well as money.

Harness the power of technology and create a smart factory

Investment into technology may cost money in the short-term the rewards will be in the medium- to long-term. By utilising technology companies, will be able to understand how their factory operates, and then find out where efficiencies can be improved, through things such as process alteration, automation or adjusting the layout of the factory to free up additional capacity.

Make better use of 'waste' products

Gone are the days of waste being classed as trash. All manufacturers should be looking to create an environment that produces little to no waste and able to financially benefits from the waste that is produced. Can excess waste be sold to scrap dealers? Is it worth buying a machine for use on-site to organise material? Can old equipment be sold to other manufacturers? All of these avenues should be considered.

Continuously assess, analyse, and alter

Efficiencies do not happen in one fell swoop – they must be implemented over time, assessed via a series of trial and error testing periods, and then refined further down the line. Improving the operation of a manufacturing plant is an ongoing process that will never end, and the sooner you are aware of this, the less likely it is you will become in any way complacent.

Optimise your workforce and your equipment

Are you making the best use of your employees? Are they carrying out monotonous tasks that could be done more efficiently by automation? Do you want to enhance the levels of employee contentedness? All of these things are, really, different sides of the same coin. Every company want its employees to bring as much value as possible, while every person wants to feel valued; if people are performing a tedious and relatively mindless series of tasks, they are adding little value. By introducing process automation employees can be freed up to be creative or to consider business improvements or be forward-thinking and able to add much more value and will enjoy their role far more.

Contact us today to see how WinMan integrated ERP business software can help your manufacturing company control costs. 

>> Download our eGuide on 'How to Tell You Need a New ERP System' 

Topics: Manufacturing, Lean Manufacturing, Business Efficiency, Productivity, Quality Control

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