The theme of industry of manufacturing is one of constant and consistent improvement. Very few players in this game are continuing to produce the same products in the same manner as they did in their beginning years. To stay competitive in this ultra-competitive field, you must ensure that you’re innovating and evolving your products to keep up with the changing demands of the consumer. But meeting consumer demand is only half the battle – the other half is staying up to speed with industry advancements.
Changes in technology brings a multitude of challenges that manufacturers must identify and address. For example, the increasing dependence on automation in factories requires the need for more skilled workers. These advanced systems are complex and require a deep understanding to function properly. Integrated manufacturing systems today require a multitude of highly specialized capabilities. An emphasis on training equips your staff with the skills these systems require. If workers cannot adapt, organizations may find themselves struggling to stay competitive with the rest of the industry.
In this ever-fast changing business environment, it’s imperative to maintain competitive. To do so, manufacturers should have tools at their disposal that go beyond equipment. These tools are ideas manufacturers can keep in their toolbox and use to produce next-level productivity.
- Smarter Equipment
Just like how it is imperative for a corporate workplace to constantly upgrade their office furniture (from the likes of office monster and similar other sites) to suit the needs of their ever growing team, a manufacturing unit too, must work towards improving its equipment to suit and enhance the workflow. For instance, networking your production equipment and integrating sensors or SCADA systems can provide you with better analytics and greater visibility. Although this may involve upfront costs, it can more than make up for it through increased efficiency and productivity.
- Continued Education
Integrated manufacturing systems today require a multitude of highly specialized capabilities. An emphasis on training equips your staff with the skills these systems require.
- Increased Scrutiny
Improving your workflow begins with a close examination of how your facility works. Value mapping can identify areas where you may have pinch points that can be eliminated. These can include maintenance processes, intraplant MRO logistics, and resource planning systems. You can also perform an employee survey to get feedback on what might need to be modified in the work process. In this way, you can find the loopholes in your team’s workability, by which you can focus on eliminating these issues.
- Updated Processes
Once you have a clear idea of how your workflow does or does not function as well as it should, the next step is to utilize reliability best practices to determine the root causes, engineer solutions, and determine the leading and lagging indicators for process optimization. Establishing solid metrics for success is key to better ensuring you’re on the right track.
- Investment in Maintenance
Your equipment won’t deliver expected benefits if you don’t take the time to care for it. If you experience downtime due to neglect, it will set you back considerably and make it more difficult to recover. Let historical failure data, OEM recommendations and analysis of repair spending help determine how you optimize your critical asset maintenance programs.
- Employee Collaboration
The gears of a machine only work when they’re meshed and turning toward the same goal. Make sure your employees are aligned to a common strategic plan. Also make sure that improvement is a collaborative process that engages employees at all levels of the organization, and a more productive workplace will result.
- Diligent Organization
Keeping everything in its place is crucial in a manufacturing environment. Wasted time that comes from confusion and duplicated work eats into your profitability.
- Realistic Expectations
Setting the bar too high can generate stress and hurt employee morale. Unrealistic goals also may influence workers to cut corners on quality and safety, which will be costly in the long run. The best place to start is to truly assess your current conditions. Identify root causes of pain points, engage those involved and set goals for incremental improvement.
- Optimized Inventory
Maintaining the proper levels of inventory means you won’t experience shortages or be burdened with too much stock. You should automate your inventory tracking to better understand the flow of raw materials, WIP, MRO and finished products. Utilization of software can alert you to deviations from optimized setpoints and allow you to maintain the critical inventory required to operate with confidence.
- Vendor Relationships
You depend on your vendors to supply you with what you need when you need it, for example, heat treating services for metal manufacturing from resources like https://hudapack.com/ and other companies similar to it. Building transparent partnerships through shared forecasts will allow your vendors to be better prepared, more agile, and more efficient – so you can be, too.
- Improved Forecasting
Being able to predict the ebb and flow of supply and demand is essential. Today, it is possible to use software platforms to create predictive models as long as you are diligent about documenting everything. If you have all of the data as well as the proper business, customer, resource and maintenance planning software, you can have smoother forecasting.
- Focused Recruiting
Finding the best people for your operations can make all the difference. Many successful manufacturers concentrate on recruiting from trade schools and technical programs, rather than more general resources.
For more information on this, check out the infographic below!