The story of the manufacturing industry has been one of progress. Few manufacturers continue to produce the same products as they did in their infancy years. In order to remain competitive, manufacturers must continue to evolve their products to meet the demands of the marketplace. There are a few tech must haves for manufacturers along with producing a quality product. But meeting consumer demand is only half the battle — the other half is staying up to speed with industry advancements. As a manufacturing manager, there are many ways to increase your overall productivity.
New technology brings a host of changes that manufacturers must recognize. For example, increasing dependence on automation leads to the need for more skilled workers who understand these advanced systems. If workers cannot adapt successfully, organizations could find themselves struggling to keep up with the rest of the industry. While automation has gotten a bad reputation for displacing jobs, it’s creating new manufacturing jobs with higher outputs and productivity levels. With the proper training and integration, automation can take your manufacturing productivity to the next level.
Reorganize Your Workflow
The workflow of your current manufacturing setup determines the overall productivity of the facility. Review the current workflow for any bottlenecks, issues or challenges. By regularly reviewing and analyzing the entire workflow, you can reorganize key technology, equipment and labor to work together more efficiently. Everything from your procurement process to product finishing should be properly mapped out. Moreover, managers can facilitate communication and collaboration at critical stages of production. These types of changes could lead to dramatic increases in manufacturing capacity and overall productivity within the factory.
Solve Production Problems
Next, work together with the manufacturing teams to solve small problems quickly. Often times, you can reduce downtime by solving simple issues. Set aside an hour per day to identify these issues. Gather specific information and ask questions to find out issues that are causing downtime. Then, find a solution that can be communicated with a specific action. A specific action allows everyone to stay on the same page while testing a solution. Based on the results, make a decision to keep the solution or try another solution the next day. This type of approach will create a learning culture that allows your manufacturing team to continuously identify and solve issues that reduce downtime.
Embrace A Hybrid Approach
There are many different manufacturing best practices to improve your productivity. You might have heard of or tried various types including lean manufacturing, theory of constraints and six sigma. However, these strategies don’t always work for your organization. When carrying detailed productivity tracking, you might notice missing elements with one of these strategies. Rather, you can use a hybrid approach to eliminate waste, reduce bottlenecks and eliminate process defects. Certainly, a blended or hybrid approach could yield the best results in terms of productivity and quality production.
Save On Manufacturing Space
Depending on the type of equipment and machinery in the manufacturing process, you need to be highly efficient with the space around you. The amount available space between machinery, materials, parts and inventory can significantly impact the time between key steps in the process. Moreover, extra space gives your people enough room to work in a safe environment, allowing for proper flow and communication. By arranging your manufacturing space efficiently, you can improve your overall output times, avoid errors and simplify workflows.
Leverage Multiple Manufacturing Tools
To remain competitive in this dynamic environment, organizations should have several tools at their disposal that go beyond the physical equipment and technology innovations used in their facilities. These tools are ideas manufacturers can keep in their toolbox and use to produce next-level productivity. For example, one tool can be an investment in regular maintenance, which can ensure that machinery stays in service for as long as possible. This results in higher productivity and fewer costly downtime periods.
For more ideas manufacturing companies should keep in their toolboxes, check out this infographic containing important concepts manufacturers can use to boost their production and become more efficient overall. There’s more than one kind of tool necessary for success in manufacturing. Here are some concepts and ideas you should have in your toolbox to yield higher productivity by Advanced Technology Services: