Managing a manufacturing process is tough. Dealing with suppliers and customers can become very complex, and various challenges crop up where you least expect them. When an economic downturn or some supply chain error hits your operation, things can quickly turn into chaos. Due to this, it may be time to re-organise your manufacturing process. Here are some of the best ways you can go about this.
First of all, try to forget about your output, and turn your focus more towards profits. Obviously, these two things are inextricably linked, but it won’t always seem that way for your staff on the factory floor. It’s natural to push your staff to try and meet output quotas. After all, this is one of the big factors keeping your manufacturing process afloat. However, you’ll probably find better results from taking your books out, and showing your staff how their work contributes to the company’s profit margins. Following this, you could announce your desire for the business to scale up, and introduce a rewards program. The more a team or member of staff contributes to the bottom line, the more they’re rewarded. With a scheme like this, you’ll see an immediate gross in your profit margins.
Image from Pixabay
Next, up turn your focus towards the actual manufacturing line, and the processes that keep your operation afloat. Of course, the quantifiable end results are important – that’s why I just told you to reward your staff for upping your profits. However, if the products you’re making aren’t of a consistent quality, your buyer relationships will suffer. Pass your usual work onto the management, and set aside a whole day for scrutinising the manufacturing line, and looking for any holes in the process. There may be workers who are lagging behind targets, or organisational issues which could be solved with some manufacturing traceability software. Sometimes optimising the manufacturing process is as simple as setting stricter criteria for the final check on a product.
Image from Flickr
Finally, an ancient concept from B2C models; put the customer first. If you keep the customer in mind when you’re reorganising your manufacturing process, you’ll be in a much better position to pick out further issues in your factories. Get into a system where customer comments or complaints are acted upon straight away. It’s easy for manufacturers to become too wrapped up in quotas and efficiency, and for customers to start seeing problems that completely slipped your mind. While you should let them tell you when something’s wrong with the product, never let your customers dictate the solution in your own business. Instead, turn to your teams and managers, get to the root of the problem, and have a brain-storming session including as many workers as possible. After all, who knows the production process better than the people who make it happen every day?
Carrying out a complete overhaul of a manufacturing process can feel like a real hassle, but if you can pull it off the rewards are endless! Keep this advice in mind, and there’s very little that can go wrong.