Creating a more streamlined and efficient manufacturing process can improve revenue, optimize worker productivity, increase operational agility and even reduce the overhead and operational costs for your company. Businesses that choose to audit their existing processes – and do so within a broader context of what opportunities exist to transform their business strategy – may be able to identify opportunities for improvement.
Inviting staff to take a more active role in designing more efficient manufacturing processes, investing in new resources like biomass manufacturing equipment, and making other alterations that can eliminate bottlenecks and improve workflow can make a real difference. Making due with an outdated manufacturing process could wind up costing many businesses far more than they might realize. To see what your processes may be missing in particular, use these tips.
Soliciting Worker Feedback and Ideas
Just because a manufacturing process looks good on paper does not always mean implementation will be free of issues. Speaking with line staff and inviting employees to play an active role in the designing, updating, or improvement of a manufacturing process is often very beneficial. From the layout and design of the working environment, to finding the best workflow and procedures that can yield superior results, the right feedback can allow businesses to implement more effective changes. And, with buy in from the team, acceptance of the new process will be more readily achieved. Ignoring the perspective and opinions of the professionals who have first-hand knowledge of a manufacturing process can be a costly mistake.
Automation and Equipment Upgrades
Manual procedures and older equipment may not provide the same level of performance and dependability as newer options, and can take a real toll on process improvement and business finances. Obtaining the equipment that allows for greater efficiency through enhanced automation and adaptability can often provide a superior return of investment. Businesses would do well to consider not just their current needs, but the resources that may be required to keep up with demand should they experience growth or expansion in the short or long-term future. And, new technologies promise greater connectivity from the shop floor to enterprise management systems through the Internet of Things. Lacking the right equipment resources or stuck with legacy machinery that can’t take advantage of new communications opportunities can find even the most well-crafted manufacturing processes suffer from reduced efficiency.
Speaking of upgrades, sometimes the most process efficient are also the most environmentally-friendly. Investing in new, more sustainable machinery can help your process be better managed, and can often pay for themselves by using fewer company resources. Uzelac Industries is one example of a supplier who provides more efficient machinery. They offer equipment like rotary drying systems that can dry material like wood chips, bone meal, and manure to be used as biofuel alternatives. This means your company can become more sustainable by utilizing what would otherwise be waste. In the end, you get a great investment that increases your operational efficiency overall.
Regular Process Assessments Reduce the Risk of Future
Taking stock of manufacturing operations processes at regular intervals throughout the year can provide greater insight and understanding into what may be needed in operations. Quarterly volume can fluctuate, seasonal conditions may impact a manufacturing process, and changing working conditions can each impact business efficiency. Failing to inspect and assess an existing process can allow unidentified and unnoticed issues to grow into much larger and more costly problems. If accurate insight is what is missing from your manufacturing process, audits, assessments, and inspections can provide valuable information.
When it comes right down to it, manufacturing is all about identifying and executing a series of processes to produce output. These processes require inputs (raw materials) as well as a knowledge set of what to produce for what market, at what price. Your business processes are critical. If you are missing a key element that could enable them to run smoother and more efficiently, then you really should act upon this need to improve performance and profitability. Adhere to a regular maintenance schedule, take advantage of green initiatives to stay green and reduce waste, and encourage employees for their input to best assess and identify areas for process improvement to stay competitive in your respective field.
If you liked this article, here are others you might also find interesting:
- What’s Making Your Processing Plant Less Productive than it Could Be?
- Leverage OEE for Continuous Improvement
- Avoid Downtime: Keep Processes Running and Optimized
- The Manufacturing Process as Competitive Advantage