11 Smart Ways To Boost Efficiency For Your Manufacturing Business

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What is at the top of the to-do list for every manufacturer? Naturally, it would be to improve operational performance and efficiency. But, unfortunately, for most companies, the day-to-day workings are a more significant concern than the desire to improve operational efficiency. 

But do you realize that getting top-notch work out of your personnel and equipment is an investment in time worth making? Below are 11 ways you can improve efficiency without sacrificing a lot of time and make the most of what equipment and personnel you have! 

1. Use Forklifts for Towing 

You can turn your forklift into a wrecker with a forklift trailer hitch. What is a forklift trailer hitch? It is a wheel lift tool that slides onto and secures into the forks of a forklift and gives the ability to tow a variety of materials. Using this option gives you the freedom of owning a tow truck or Dollie with the added plus of increasing the value of the equipment you presently own. 

2. Keep Your Plant Orderly 

The key to an efficient workspace is to organize! Be mindful of your plant; know the layout, spaces for workers, heavy equipment to get in and out, and how each area is used. 

Here are a few things you need to check: 

• First of all, can hand tools be easily found? 

• Secondly, can staff access the finished goods and raw materials efficiently? 

• Thirdly, are the finished goods close to the shipping area? 

• Last, can forklifts maneuver easily around the plant? 

3. Lean On Automation To Create Efficiency 

If you have been using the same automation practices and systems and they are decades old, you might be surprised by the innovations that have been invented in the current automation landscape. Automation is one of the best ways to better your operational efficiency. In today’s world, systems are ‘smart’ and powerful. Automating can help you: 

• Replace controllers 

• Replace components 

• Integrate automation with older equipment 

• Review your current automation state 

• Identify opportunities to automate in other areas 

• Improve operational performance 

4. Take A Standardized Approach To Your Processes 

While we like to think that everyone is individual and unique, this is not necessarily true of manufacturing. You can maximize efficiency even with the simplest tasks by having Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in place. 

Make a checklist and put it in each workspace to create an SOP. Next, ensure that each employee follows the list. In fact, consider creating a reference manual with the different SOPs for their position. That is it! This one small act can help reduce wasted time and better product quality. 

5. Inventory Optimizations Is A Must 

Everything, raw material and the finished products are ripe for optimization. Use your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to get these two areas to align with synchronicity. This allows you to coordinate everything from payroll and billing to production so that it operates from a single platform. The correct plan will allow you to set up automated triggers for all of these. 

Using an ERP helps streamline processes by removing the element of human mistakes. As a result, you can give up hours spent on spreadsheets and reports and have smarter management that accommodates all the shifts in demand your manufacturing may make. 

Using this program, you can stay on top of inventory and ensure that stock is at the level you would like it to be. 

6. Never Lose Sight Of Safety 

Your number one responsibility to workers is safety. This also plays a major role in how efficient your facility is. Equipment breakdown and employee injury cause downtime, and often it is not limited to just one area—sometimes, it takes out the whole facility. By keeping everyone focused on safety, you can avoid the following: 

• Equipment repairs 

• Maintenance Injuries 

• Time off 

• Reviewing other resources 

• Rectifying what went wrong 

• Many other issues that accompany safety violations 

7. Employee Training Never Ends 

GI Joe once said, “knowledge is power!” This is no truer than in the manufacturing setting. Educating employees in a broad range of areas, from machine operation to maintenance and safety, will improve facility operations. Remember there are many areas that you can automate: best practices, safety, and company-specific information can all be optimized to create a better-flowing workplace. 

8. Maintenance Saves Money And Prevents Accidents 

Machines that are improperly maintained or allowed to operate out of peak functioning range are the enemy of efficiency and can pose a danger to workers. Maintenance should be proactive rather than reactive. Create a schedule for maintenance, repairs, and replacements on your machines, and you will prevent problems before they happen. 

9. Rearrange Your Manufacturing Floor 

If you want related processes to work efficiently, lay the workspace out intentionally. You have added equipment and other capabilities over the years, so your floor plan may no longer be efficient, dragging productivity. Step back, assess your workflow and current layout, and then decide whether new locations for equipment might be worth the investment in moving. 

10. Increase Your Supplier Base 

Suppliers can affect your manufacturing process. Some provide better materials than others, so you should reward those with more of your business. This is another place where thinking about your involvement with a company comes in handy. Remember, the sticker price is different from the indicator of the importance and true cost of the supplier’s involvement in your business. 

11. Have Achievable Business Goals 

When you have a goal in mind, the whole team, you, and your employees have a concrete benchmark to work towards. Current performance metrics objectives should be taken into account. Some are: 

• Cost per part 

• Accepted pieces per cycle 

• Relevant failure metrics 

• Average downtime 

• Overall equipment effectiveness 

Once identified, see how you would like to change those numbers over time, for example, six months to a year to three years. An idea of what you want to see come to fruition in these periods will work far better than operating without a goal. 

The Bottom Line On Boosting Manufacturing Business Efficiency

Ready to put operational efficiency at the top of that to-do list at your factory facility? There are many ways to get your factory or plant up to running at its most efficient by using predictive maintenance, technical training, and safety prioritization. Take your time, work hard, and figure out which forms of your operation would benefit from an optimization process to reinforce your brand’s quality and better customer satisfaction.

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