Improving productivity is almost always a key priority in manufacturing. When you have a manufacturing facility, the following are seven important ways you can work to improve productivity, therefore increasing your profitability and reducing bottlenecks.
1. Think About Employee Comfort and Health
Too often in manufacturing, employee comfort and health aren’t prioritized but making small changes can go a long way in terms of productivity.
For example, something as simple as using Koldwave portable air condition can be helpful.
Ensuring that your employees get adequate breaks from repetitive work is important, and you should have a clear and fair policy for time off.
Manufacturing work can be very difficult on the body and frequently leads to issues like overuse injuries.
By not making employee health and well-being a priority, you are diminishing your organizational productivity.
You might even go as far as not only creating a comfortable work environment by implementing a dedicated employee wellness program.
2. Offer Easier Access to Digital Training and Tools
Your employees may need access to training content, videos, or other modules when they’re working. They might also need access to certain information. Make sure that they have all of this at their fingertips by using digital tools.
3. Assess Your Workflows
So often in manufacturing, once a workflow is established, it’s stagnant for a long period of time. If you want to improve your productivity in your manufacturing business, one of the most important things you can do is perform an audit of existing workflows.
Look at how things are being done and what works versus what doesn’t.
How are your employees doing things? What hardware and equipment are they using? What actions are being taken throughout the production process?
What is the communication like when it comes to these workflows, and what types of resources are being used for each specific task? Include things here like electricity and raw materials.
Assessing your workflows is important in a couple of key ways. First, it obviously helps you start to see where improvements could be made, but it also gives you a baseline to measure how successful those improvements are in upping productivity.
When you are assessing your workflows, break it down into three main areas. Make sure you have the right people with the right skills in the right roles. Then, look at the processes. Maybe you map your processes. The third big component to consider when assessing your workflows is your equipment.
4. Consider Implementing Lean Manufacturing Practices
If you don’t already do it, one well-tested way to boost productivity in manufacturing is with the implementation of lean principles.
Lean manufacturing just means that you’re putting efforts towards being more efficient and less wasteful.
If you aren’t familiar with the 5 S’s of lean manufacturing, study them a bit and see if it’s something that would make sense in your organization.
5. Do Scheduled Maintenance
One of the biggest issues you might identify when you assess your workflows is breakdowns in your equipment. No matter how well-trained and valuable your employees are, they’re not going to be able to perform at a peak level without the right equipment.
Scheduled maintenance is one of the most effective ways to make sure that your equipment continues to operate as it should. It’s cheaper and easier to regularly maintain equipment than to deal with downtime when it breaks.
6. Invest in Training and Developing Your Employees
Just as you should care about your employees’ health and wellness, you should also care about training and developing them.
Training is not a one-and-done concept in manufacturing. You want your employees to constantly be learning, and this has a number of benefits.
First, they’re gaining skills, but you’re also showing them that you find them to be a worthwhile investment for your organization.
7. Have a Clean, Organized Manufacturing Floor
Clutter, disorganization, and dirtiness are all productivity killers. The culture and environment you create and promote in your manufacturing business are important.
Clearing out the clutter can help reduce the amount of movement needed to complete a task, and you can optimize the layout of your manufacturing floor based on what you learned during your assessment of workflows.
You should take out unnecessary equipment or tools and label everything.
Think about how you can shorten the amount of time it’s going to take an employee or even a product to reach the next destination.
Increased productivity can mean not just more revenue but also more growth opportunities. Review your processes frequently to identify new opportunities that relate to productivity.