It’s always important to make sure that your business is productive, but it’s additionally important if you’re in the manufacturing business. Your profits are directly linked to how much you’re able to produce, but more than that, with all those high-tech machines and skilled employees, it costs a lot to keep the lights on at a factory. Every time you’re not making the most of your production capabilities, then you’re costing your business revenue. Fortunately, there are things you can do to give your productivity a nudge in the right direction, as we’ll see below, where we outline a few tried and tested tips.
Review Your Operations
Before you can figure out how you’re going to improve your productivity, you’ll need to figure out what you’re currently doing. You can’t develop a route to the top of the mountain if you don’t know where you’re currently standing. So take a look at your current operations, and see the areas that could be costing you some productivity. It might be staffing issues, outdated infrastructure, or just purely incorrect ways of working. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, then consider working with an external company — they’ll be able to perform an analysis for you.
Get the Right Systems
You’re not going to get the right output if you haven’t got the right input. Because production and productivity are complicated and difficult to grasp, you’ll need to have as much help as you can get. There are plenty of ways you can increase your productivity. For instance, you can read up on the latest methodologies that lead to better systems of working. You can also look at implementing Andon Systems into your factory; it’s an effective tool for management that can boost production by around 3% – 9%. It’ll reduce downtime, and make you work more efficiently — a win-win combination.
Staff Hiring and Training
We talk a lot about the machines on the production line, but it’s important that you don’t overlook just how big a difference the staff at your plant can make. You may be able to give your production a boost simply by reviewing your hiring process, and seeing if there are any improvements to be made that’ll lead to better employees. Your work isn’t finished once you’ve brought the right team member on board, however — actually, it’s just the beginning. If you don’t train them properly, then there’s only so much good that they’ll be able to do for your business. Commit to thoroughly training them when they first arrive at your company, and then every few months or so after that, or when you have a new system/machine in the building.
As well as training your staff, you’ll also want to look at asking them if they have any ideas about the best ways to boost productivity. They’re on the shop floor day in, day out, and may have a more intimate understanding of the processes that slow down productivity. On the topic of employees, it’s also worth remembering that a happy worker will produce much more than one who’s treated like a worker drone bee. Make sure your staff feel included, that they’re not overworked, and that they have some sort of stake in the success of the business. People always work much more productively when they’re invested in the results; it’s human nature.
You’ll have a lot of expensive equipment in your factory. And there’s a reason why you invested all that money: it helps to push your business forward. However, it’s only going to do that if it works well. Even if everything seems like it’s working as normal, it might be that it’s slower than it used to be/is taking longer to warm up and so on, which will compromise your productivity. As such, it’s recommended that you stay on top of your machine’s maintenance, and then periodically replace it. It might feel like an investment, but it’s much better than waiting for it to become irreparably damaged, and having your entire production line shut down.
Clean and Tidy
Finally, the most simple, yet most effective piece of advice: make sure that your factory is clean and tidy. It’s about more than just safety: it pushes productivity forward. It’s much easier to work when you can clearly see the area in which you’re working/where you’re going, and a cluttered, dirty space makes it harder to focus, too. Set the standards, set them high, and make sure that they’re met.