Best Ways to Manage and Improve Productivity in Your Manufacturing Unit
Managing and improving productivity in your manufacturing unit will start by reviewing your current processes and workflow so you know where you can make improvements. There are various ways to improve the way you manage manufacturing including automating certain processes, using the right technology, keeping equipment well maintained and training employees well.
Review your existing workflow
Are your objectives realistic and clearly defined? Do you have the right employees with the right skills doing the right tasks? Are you assessing your processes to find any bottlenecks? Does the technology you rely on support your current needs?
A review of your current production processes and equipment could uncover some ‘hidden’ bottlenecks that you can remedy by using new technology or making a change in processes.
You may find you need to seriously consider automation if you want to increase efficiency. Using the job scheduling software offered by JAMS means you can gain visibility into every job and make sure jobs you’ve automated are running smoothly.
Update your processes
By reviewing and mapping your current workflow, you can identify areas where your processes need an update. If they have been in place for years, many workarounds could have developed due to changes in production methods or adding of new equipment.
Improving your equipment could increase production quality and speed and automating processes is a powerful way to improve productivity and reduce errors. Any upfront cost is worthwhile if it solves problems such as clearing production bottlenecks.
Commit to scheduled maintenance
Downtime for maintenance costs much less than the downtime you will experience if your equipment is worn and subject to breakages. Scheduling preventive maintenance means you don’t have to be held back by breakages that often occur at the most inconvenient times. It’s important to schedule it at the best times by taking workflow processes into consideration.
Train and educate employees
Employee education and training should be ongoing. Certain types of training are mandatory, such as safety training. Scheduling training sessions for all operators when new equipment is installed enables them to get the most value out of it. Employees who want to obtain new skills should have the opportunity to do skills training.
Scheduling refreshers for operators can also be helpful as well as offering training on how to use new technology. When employees are well trained, the work environment will be safer and they could even offer suggestions on how to resolve problems they encounter every day.
Organize the facility
Reducing movement and eliminating clutter can improve productivity. Try to create the optimal layout of materials and tools for every process to reduce movement and increase task efficiency.
Remove unused materials or tools and organize storage so it takes less time to find documents or materials. The layout of your manufacturing unit and organization of storage can significantly maximize efficiency. Excess movement is a sign of a lack of organization. Various management techniques are available to help you reduce delays and increase efficiency.
Maintain optimal inventory
Too much inventory takes up storage space and you probably won’t use it all. Too little inventory and you run the risk of work stopping while you wait for more. Lean manufacturing principles can help you to optimize your inventory. You can also use software solutions to track inventory and receive automatic notifications of shortages.
Using predictive analytics can help you to understand what may lie ahead, such as shortages of certain materials so you can put processes in place to mitigate production delays. Good vendor relationships can help to ensure the quality and timeliness of your deliveries.