Ways to Boost Efficiency in a Manufacturing Business

  • Analysis
  • 12-October-2020

It does not matter what type of business you run or what sector you operate within, efficiency is a top priority. Having said that, a manufacturing business lives and dies by its capacity to produce more in less time, to minimize waste and maximize productivity. The more product a manufacturing business can produce while keeping costs to a minimum, the higher profits could be. In addition, efficiency in the manufacturing process can free up time and resources, which leads to improved performance in other areas and a higher quality product. Here are six ways to boost efficiency in a manufacturing business.

1. Reduce waste

Reducing waste is a vague suggestion as it can be applied to time, space, materials, effort, or another resource. However, when it comes to manufacturing, one of the most important resources is the material you use to create your products. There are several ways to reduce waste including:

  • Streamlining design so that the product can be created using fewer materials from the start. You may want to consider implementing DFM or design for manufacturability.
  • Find a use for materials in returned products or scraps that can be reused or sold on to another business.
  • Maximize how much material you use, e.g. use tools and cutting designs that minimize discards.
   2. Invest in staff training

If your staff does not know how to complete tasks in the most efficient manner, you will be losing time as well as materials through mistakes. It makes sense to ensure that your employees are well-trained so that they can work efficiently with minimal errors and solve problems as they arise. It also makes sense to train staff on the entire manufacturing process and not just the part they will be involved in.

3. Make processes standardized

Processes should also be standardized to ensure that even seemingly simple tasks are completed in the most efficient way possible. This should also ensure that products are uniform, and quality is more consistent. The workplace should also be physically organized, tidy, and clean to ensure employees have a safe place to work and they are not hindered by debris.

4. Assign a value to every part of the process

While it is easy to assign a value to the materials you are using, it also makes sense to assign value to other aspects of the process. You can do this using a points system or by valuing something in dollars based on the man-hours required and wear and tear on the equipment, as this makes it easier to identify the parts of the process need streamlining. There is an approach called cellular manufacturing that enables businesses to improve efficiency by breaking the workspaces and processes into separate areas. Each area can then be focused on and addressed in detail to ensure efficiency is maximized.

5. Maintain your equipment

When equipment breaks down, it can cost a manufacturing business dearly, not only in terms of the cost of repair or replacement, but also because of the downtime in production. To prevent this, all equipment should be maintained regularly according to manufacturer recommendations. Key equipment such as a conveyor belt should be a priority and old or malfunctioning models should be replaced before it becomes an emergency. Head over to fluentconveyors.com for their range of conveyors and conveyor belts.

6. Prioritize employee motivation

Studies have shown that employees are more productive when they are motivated and take pride in their work. Employees and management should be able to communicate to ensure that everyone, no matter their level, can suggest ways that processes could be improved or to flag up issues. Involving employees when making decisions about their day to day work is more likely to encourage engagement.