Manufacturing Best Practices to Keep in Mind
For many beneficial reasons, it’s ideal to put in place manufacturing best practices. Keep the following in mind.
Every day, manufacturing continues to evolve and change, opening up whole new worlds of possibilities for every progressive manufacturing company with an eye on future growth. While some incorporate technology and data into their processes with the help of data scientists (learn the basic differences between a data engineer and a data scientist here), others focus on improving their machinery. All in all, the most important thing to do is to improvise to make the maximum output.
These companies will benefit immensely from developing every one of their processes and achieving nothing but operational excellence at all levels.
The efficiency that comes from these developments and significant improvements helps boost productivity, minimize costs, and upgrade the overall quality of your products. The result is increased sales and revenue/profits while enhancing the organization’s image.
However, as a company, you must keep several manufacturing best practices in mind in order to achieve these desired results. You must also remember that it will take cooperation, collaboration, and a fair amount of time to obtain tangible results.
This article highlights a few recommended best practices for transforming your manufacturing business into a finely tuned process.
Best Manufacturing Practices
- Engage All Employees
The truth is that your employees are the best asset you have, especially when it comes to the processes you run in your manufacturing business.
This is why it makes a lot of sense to actively engage those who run the processes directly. Solicit their input on ways to boost efficiency and productivity in the manufacturing plant.
Even though the execs think or believe they have everything handled and under control, you can still find opportunities to streamline production when you approach the workers.
By engaging employees, the manufacturing business gets to run more seamlessly while giving room for improvement or input from the workers on the shop floor.
This also creates a communication channel between those at the top of the chain and the daily workers running the operations. This is much more effective than the conventional method that usually starts at the top of the chain and trickles downwards to the employees. To add another layer of connection, you may want to look into implementing indoor team building activities to bond your employees and get them working together as one throughout the various areas of your manufacturing business.
- Safety is Paramount
Safety is one of the prominent manufacturing best practices to keep in mind. Ensure all workers wear proper safety gear and ensure they are not damaged in any way.
Clean up all spills immediately to prevent slipping or tripping. Clear all aisles of debris and check to see there are no projecting nails from the floor, loose boards, or holes.
Repair damaged flooring as soon as possible and report unsafe conditions to supervisors immediately for prompt action. If a worker is hurt at any point, then they may file a complaint with some workers comp attorneys in their area, so it is best to check everything thoroughly.
- Become More Environmentally Friendly
It has become expedient for manufacturers to comply with several environmental regulations. Not complying with these regulations may incur stiff financial penalties. It could also result in legal issues in some cases, and you want to avoid such situations as much as possible.
Therefore, ensure the plant or factory is environmentally friendly. The benefits of having an eco-friendly workspace are numerous.
For instance, you get to bring down material costs by recycling waste. It also demonstrates that you are invested in building a healthy environment for stakeholders, including employees, customers, etc.
This makes you an excellent ambassador of healthy environments, which helps attract eco-friendly customers.
You can make your environment eco-friendly by relying more on renewable energy sources, making the plant more energy-efficient, minimizing waste, recycling waste, reducing the use of hydrocarbon fuels that pollute the environment, etc.
- Implement Automation to Boost Productivity, Efficiency, and Quality
Incorporate automation and robotics – where necessary – in order to boost productivity and quality. Automation results in faster completion of projects and highly improved quality. It minimizes human intervention and brings down errors significantly.
Automation and robotics mitigate the overall impact of labor shortages and increase worker safety. The efficiency of automation/robotics cannot be faulted as products are produced in minimum time.
- Effectuate a Quality Management System
Adapting to change is crucial for every manufacturing company that wants to go far in the 21st century. However, many companies make the mistake of sacrificing quality when making changes. This is wrong and should never be encouraged.
Implement and adhere to highly effective quality management systems. This enables the manufacturer to achieve greater consistency in every aspect of the production/manufacturing process.
These quality management systems also help reduce costly errors while enhancing customer satisfaction on all fronts. This is why every manufacturing company needs to attain ISO 9001:2015 certification. This substantiates the efficacy and thoroughness of your organization’s quality management systems.
- Standardize All Tasks for Maximum Efficiency
Standard every manufacturing operation for maximum efficiency by keeping checklists at all workstations.
Train every employee manning the workstations to follow these checklists. This ensures less downtime, promotes consistent quality, and guarantees optimum production.
- Set a Preventive Maintenance Program
Initiating a comprehensive maintenance program requires you to be proactive. Create a schedule for every piece of equipment and replace all worn-out components before they fail unexpectedly.
This helps minimize downtimes as well as prevents costly and more extensive breakdowns. Determine the optimum schedules for every piece of machinery you use by talking to the manufacturers or suppliers.
- Organize the Workplace for Cost-Effectiveness
Organizing your workplace is crucial for a manufacturing business that values cost-effectiveness. An organized workplace is a productive workplace.
Every tool/material should be easy to find and have a specific home. The entire shop floor should have zero debris. There’s nothing cost-effective about a workplace when workers need to move things out of the way or search extensively for something they need to keep operations going.
Therefore, organize your workplace as much as possible to prevent clutter and time wastage.
Besides organizing the physical space, also consider implementing a comprehensive digital tool for managing operations, tracking inventory, employee workload, and more, which can help greatly with efficiency due to reduced manual tasks and quick data access. A bespoke business management system could be the ideal solution to improve organizational workflow, helping with cost as well as time savings.
- Check Your Suppliers
Every supplier wants to provide the best service and make lots of profits. But not every one of them sticks to standard business practices.
Look at your suppliers and verify those that provide the best tooling and materials for your manufacturing operations. Are they interested in providing top-notch service or want to make a quick buck?
Are they concerned or always go the extra mile to provide the right/perfect grade for your operations at pocket-friendly prices?
Do they put you – and your business needs – first in every vital decision they make? Are their inside sales personnel more than willing to respond quickly if you have any issues with their raw materials? Etc.
Answers to these questions will help you streamline and improve each manufacturing process. You will also know the suppliers that always help you cover your bases so that you can transact more business with them.
Not every recommendation discussed in this article will work for all manufacturing businesses. However, you can choose a few best practices that work for your manufacturing business.
Doing so ensures that the future years of your manufacturing business will be more productive. The rewards for implementing these best practices would be endless.
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