Time and energy are precious commodities, which, if wasted, cannot be regained. As the age-old saying goes, “time is money,” which is why it’s important to utilize all your resources as wisely as possible.
This is where the concept of efficiency and productivity comes into play. Efficiency refers to achieving maximum productivity with minimum waste of effort and expense. Productivity refers to the effectiveness of productive effort and measured as the output per unit of input.
In simple terms, the more production you can generate in the shortest period of time, the more money you can make, and there is no denying that that is an attractive bottom line. In order to maximize the return in manufacturing facilities, productivity must first be maximized.
There are several ways to achieve this without having to sacrifice the quality of your output. No matter the size of your facility, it can benefit from a few simple improvements to increase productivity, and we’re here to provide you with 8 tips to achieve this.
1. Revise Existing Workflow and Plans
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Unfortunately, even if your current workflow isn’t broken, it could use some tuning up, and you won’t know what areas need improvement until you know exactly how your workflow operates.
There’s no need to change all your processes and equipment. Instead, try applying a few modifications to help make overall improvements. It’s important to analyze all of your facility’s different aspects to see where changes can be implemented, including:
Every worker comes with their own set of skills and expertise. Ensuring that they are offering their skills in the correct departments is crucial to the facility’s overall success. With the right personnel under good management and the appropriate training and workload, they can greatly contribute to facility productivity.
Examining your processes to look for accuracy and places of improvement is key to maximizing productivity.
Equipment and technology
Ensure that all your equipment is up to date, safe, and functioning efficiently. The right tools can get the job done with the least amount of wasted time and energy.
2. Schedule Regular Maintenance
Any piece of equipment needs proper care to perform optimally, and that means performing regular maintenance. It’s important to schedule maintenance so that all equipment is checked regularly to avoid any breakdown of tools and equipment, resulting in costly downtime.
Overall, costs associated with downtime for regularly scheduled maintenance are much less than downtime due to damaged or worn-down equipment. Schedule your regular maintenance when it is most convenient and results in the least amount of interference to workflow processes.
3. An Organized Space is a Productive Space
It may not be everyone’s strength, but in order to create a productive working environment, organizational practises must be put into place. When workers spend time cleaning up clutter, it detracts from their time spent completing productive tasks. In order to reach optimal task efficiency, reducing the amount of movement required to get a job done is a great start. This is because the excessive movement is a sign of deficient organization.
Place all tools and equipment in the best places based on need and frequency of usage and remove items that are not used or needed to help speed the work process. Organizing your manufacturing floor can be done in a number of ways to best suit your specific production needs. Whether it’s organizing your shelves and assembly lines, even minor upgrades to your organizational system can decrease wastage of time and energy.
4. Consider Automation Wherever Possible
Once you have taken the time to understand and map out your current workflow, it’s time to identify areas where improvements can be made. One way to do this is by introducing automation wherever possible.
Automation is an excellent way to improve efficiency and reduce the chances of error by taking the burden of simple, repetitive tasks away from personnel so they can focus their attention on more important tasks.
New software exists, which can help improve scheduling, inventory, and monitoring. New and improved equipment can improve the speed of production, the quality of the items produced, and give you the competitive edge you need.
5. Offer Regular and Sufficient Training for All Employees
As an employee, there is nothing more frustrating than being faced with a task for which you don’t have the tools or knowledge to complete. Not only does this slow down the workflow, but it can decrease the overall productivity of your facility.
The manufacturing industry is always changing, which is why there’s a constant need to ensure that all employees are properly trained, educated, and provided with the resources to solve problems.
Training and educating process should be ongoing, with all employees being regularly updated on new technology, processes, safety training, and more, so they can work efficiently, confidently, and safely within a manufacturing facility. Allow employees access to continuous learning and offer them the ability to upgrade their skills, to help create more productive team members.
6. Create a Worker-Friendly Environment
A manufacturing floor can either be a place of independent and repetitive motions or a place of collaboration and positive interactions. The kind of workplace environment created in a manufacturing facility can greatly impact the employees who work within that facility.
The productivity of manufacturing facilities can be improved by collaboration and cooperation between all employees, helping one another and working together. Encouraging social interaction between employees is a great way to help resolve conflicts quickly, and is essential to creating a positive and comfortable environment for all workers.
Hosting social events within and outside of the office can help employees get to know one another in a fun environment. Creating a team environment will give employees a sense of belonging and loyalty to the company, motivating them to work harder, improving workplace culture and overall productivity.
7. Manage Your Inventory
The amount of inventory that you possess must be maintained at an optimal level. Too much or too little inventory can both pose issues for your manufacturing facility.
If you have too much inventory, finding a place to store everything can be tricky and space-consuming, with the possibility of not using some of the inventory at all. Alternatively, if you don’t have sufficient inventory, you could run out and cause unnecessary breaks in the workflow process, while you order and wait for more inventory to arrive.
Manage your inventory by carefully keeping track of it, and use automatic notifications to alert you of potential shortages. Use your previous data to predict which items may be in demand or reaching short supply, so you can proactively mitigate to solve the problem. Closely managing your inventory is the best way to ensure that you won’t spend time waiting for inventory to arrive, or waste money and space by housing unused inventory.
8. Remain Realistic
Although it’s admirable to shoot for the stars, sometimes the stars aren’t where you should be aiming. Creating unachievable goals and standards can create stressful and highly-demanding working environments.
Although keeping employees motivated to work hard is important, they must also be provided with realistic goals they can achieve based on the facility’s previous performance. Employees require realistic and achievable goals to keep them motivated and to ensure that safety and quality are not compromised in the process. Realistic expectations and goals with clearly-defined objectives is the best way to produce high-quality output from workers and the facility overall.
The process of increasing productivity doesn’t come with a quick and simple solution, and neither can it be improved using a single change. Maximizing your productivity is an ongoing process that requires continuous and deliberate changes in several different areas, as highlighted above.
Expecting employees to invest more energy and time is an inefficient and unsuccessful way to increase productivity, and could raise a number of ethical and safety concerns. By completely mapping the workflow processes within a manufacturing facility, a number of areas for improvement can be identified.
Small changes implemented in numerous different areas can produce very big improvements in overall productivity. Simple changes such as workplace organization, equipment maintenance, and employee training are small and simple ways to boost productivity and create a harmonious work environment.
At Delta Regis Tools, we know what improved productivity means to the manufacturing industry. We are committed to providing you with the right tools and resources to improve your facility processes.
To learn more about how to increase productivity at your manufacturing plant, call Delta Regis today at 1-888-473-6862 or contact us here.