Regardless of the size of your manufacturing business, continuous improvement in efficiency and productivity are the key to increasing profits and gaining a competitive edge. We know productivity is determined by a blend of efficient processes, staff and machinery. Consistent refinement in these areas involves looking at current practices, reflecting and making adjustments to each of them. It’s important to measure your current output before making any changes, but these are some of the ways you can improve efficiency in your manufacturing business.

Mobile enabled solutions

The world is mobile and so is your workforce. Utilising that within your manufacturing business will improve communication and provide an immediacy and convenience to improve efficiency and bring everyone closer together. Having the ability to see everyone’s tasks for the day, whether they’re in the warehouse, shop floor, office or offsite means you can offer guidance wherever you are and be closer to your workforce. Your staff can also communicate issues immediately and you’d be able to provide solutions just as quickly. It’s little wonder so many businesses are taking advantage of the transformational effects of Computerised Maintenance Management Software (CMMS).

Asset management and maintenance

In the manufacturing industry, it’s imperative to make sure your equipment is in good working order. This means it must be managed efficiently in it’s usage, downtime must be scheduled and you should always have enough spares. Having a platform to help manage your assets will open up access to the required data, allowing you to analyse it for performance and quality before actioning any issues. The insights provided will enable you to be proactive in your approach to maintenance, making more processes predictable and reducing downtime.

Improve training to improve engagement

An underrated reason for the workforce not being efficient enough is if they don’t feel engaged in their job and business they work for. A side issue from this is employees will often contribute to poor efficiency with incorrect practices because they’ve not had the training.

Developing employees is an ongoing process and while there are many types of mandatory training in the manufacturing sector, it’s important to provide even more. Training should not be limited to equipment and technology. Offering courses in communication, company policies or perhaps leadership skills will only increase the value of your staff to the business.  Employee training is great for retaining staff and it makes them feel valued because it shows you’re investing time in their future and providing the opportunity for them to develop their skill set. 

Find and eliminate bottlenecks

Bottlenecks happen when there’s a break in the chain of your production line. It can happen when there are deficiencies with machinery or equipment but the most costly are usually from human error. It’s wrongly thought bottlenecks are caused by machine errors, when actually, it’s because preventative maintenance programs aren’t effective. Or your technicians are taking too long to get things up and running again. And then there are administrative bottlenecks, where employees are having to wait for sign-off before moving onto the next part of the task. 

Regardless of the problems causing them, you need to identify it and find a solution in order to improve the efficiency of your production. You may not be able to fix all your problems at once, but identifying what they are and logging them will help you rectify over time.

Change your factory layout

Employees having to make unnecessary trips during their shift because of a poor manufacturing plant layout will hinder productivity and efficiency, whilst causing additional disruption. Think about ordering your factory floor more strategically to allow your staff to perform their tasks without having to move too far from their workspace. 

Questions to ask:

  • Is it possible to remove unused tools from their area and provide the ones they need in ways to help maximise productivity?
  • Are all tools accessible and easy to find?
  • Can their journey be shortened by placing equipment closer to their station?
  • Are there clear paths for forklift trucks to travel on?
  • Is packing and shipping near to where products are finished?

These are some of the many ways you can improve efficiency in manufacturing. If you would like to find out more about how OpsBase CMMS software can bring your team together and help you get a real handle about what’s really happening in your business, please start your free trial by requesting a demo.

Carmelo Ruggieri

Content Marketing Executive

Carmelo has years of experience in marketing, loves of all things tech and is a regular contributor to the OpsBase blog. He enjoys writing almost as much as he enjoys eating crunchy peanut butter and is likely to be found doing one or the other at any given point in time.

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