How to Streamline Your Manufacturing Process

There’s a reason why so many businesses get into the manufacturing business: it can be a highly lucrative venture to be involved in. After all, everything has to be made! And that seems something that’s unlikely to change anytime soon (though maybe in a few decades). The issue with manufacturing, however, is that it’s highly capital-intensive. As such, it’s important that you’re taking steps to maximize your output. While you’ll never be able to reach 100% productivity, that should be the benchmark that you’re aiming for. There are various factors that go into streamlining your manufacturing process; we’ll take a look at a handful below.

How to Streamline Your Manufacturing Process

Design the Layout

Is your facility optimized for work? If it’s not, then you find that your employees are wasting more time than necessary just getting around. While there are some unavoidable things that can impact your productivity, this isn’t one of them! The layout of manufacturing plants has become an art form in recent years, and there are various different approaches you can take. If this isn’t your area of expertise, then consider bringing an outsider onboard to help you redesign the space.

Have Good Partners

Of all the things that can influence your manufacturing process, the one that’s most problematic is your supply chain. If you have the wrong partners, then everything can be more difficult — you might be waiting around for deliveries, or the materials that they provide may not be of the standard that you require. That’s why it’s really important to really investigate the merits of a supplier before agreeing to work with them. You should have the same standards for your supplier as you do your own business. Whether you’re looking for a plastic, ceramic, or steel distributor, check that they have high-quality products, and that they ship quickly. If they do, then the partnership will be something that boosts your processes; if they don’t, then you’ll experience problems. 

Ongoing Training

You’ll hopefully have taken the time to make sure that you’re bringing experienced and talented employees on board, but it’s not as if you can just hire once, and then hope for the best. If you’re going to continue to improve and keep your standards high, then it’s important that you’re providing ongoing training to your staff. There are always new methods of working being developed, but if you’re not providing the training, then your team won’t know what they are. 

Find the Time Wasters 

Simply taking a snapshot of a working day and seeing where you might be losing time can make a world of difference to your operations. It’s usually only when we take a step back and look at everything clearly that we notice we’ve been making a simple mistake! 

Review and Adapt

Finally, remember that the process of streamlining your manufacturing process isn’t just something that you do once, and then forget about it. It’s an ongoing process. From time to time, commit to reviewing your plant’s operations and see where improvements can be made.

Founder & CEO
Jason Westland is the Founder & CEO of ProjectManager.com, a project management software company with offices in Auckland, New Zealand and Austin, TX. He is the author of the best-selling book, "The Project Management Life Cycle", and he has been featured in Forbes, PMI, ComputerWorld, and CIO Magazine among others.

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