We’re going to assume that you already know the importance of manufacturing quality goods. Developing the best methods of creating high-quality products isn’t the only important thing about manufacturing, however. Efficiency is where you can really make or lose money. It’s not as simple as a single step, however. It’s a process and a goal you need to strive towards in every area of the business. Here are just a few of the steps that are going to help you along the path.
The data you measure
You can’t start making any informed choices before you have the information at your disposal. A lot of manufacturing businesses will stop at measuring yield. But it’s just as important to measure things like downtime, malfunctions, the amount of time spent on certain processes and the like. You need to identify the problems in the path of efficiency before you deal with them.
The resources you use
One of the metrics that might surprise a lot of business owners is how long they spend holding onto resources that aren’t getting used. Stocking up might seem like a good idea, but it costs money to store things and keep them in good condition. Do some accounting to find out how much you’re spending on storage alone and look into making more accurate estimates of your demand in future.
The parts you need
The one area it’s always good to keep a few spares is the important components of your manufacturing equipment, however. Most tools and machinery will come with a list of recommended backup parts. Getting them in stock and installed quickly is important to avoid a lot of downtime after a malfunction. As well as using suppliers, many choose to create those parts themselves by using tools like Doosan CNC lathes.
The people you hire
Bringing on the people with the right skills is important but you shouldn’t stop with the hire. Your team should be a resource you invest heavily in. Not only will they expect it and grow dissatisfied if they don’t receive it. But it can help you avoid the problem of missing those vital skills. Cross-train employees so they can learn those skills. That way you always have a backup.
The products you ship
Just as it can cost you to bring in too many physical resources you can’t use, it costs you to keep completed inventory for too long, too. Use an inventory system to track what exactly you’re keeping. This won’t only help you correct your estimations on demand for your products. It can show you that you need to expand your logistics operation, whether that means expanding a fleet or starting to outsource deliveries.
As we’ve said, efficiency isn’t a goal you can just tick off and forget about. It’s a path, or a scale, that you move back and forth on. Keep looking for ways to cut out loss and to find the source of potential risk to take care of it before it affects the business.