Improving productivity in manufacturing – who knew how crucial it can be?
Owning a manufacturing business means your output, revenue, and customer satisfaction all rely on having streamlined and efficient operations.
What exactly does it mean to ‘improve manufacturing productivity’ though?
For your convenience, we’ve narrowed the list down to the top ten ways how to increase productivity in manufacturing.
Have a look!
10 Ways to improve productivity in the manufacturing industry
- Review your workflow
- Keep equipment working properly
- Incorporate ‘lean manufacturing’ principles
- Capitalize on manufacturing tech trends
- Train employees continuously
- Get rid of unused machinery
- Optimize your floor plan
- Stock up on inventory on a regular basis
- Get a manufacturing business loan
- Encourage communication
Businesses working in manufacturing have some of the highest industry survival rates out of all economic sectors. Even so, small business owners in the manufacturing industry should still prioritize the improvement of their productivity in order to ensure that those survival statistics remain high!
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The top ten ways to improve productivity in the manufacturing industry:
1. Review your workflow
If you’re curious about how to increase productivity in manufacturing, the best way to start is by defining which areas of your workflow are lacking. Going over the processes in your manufacturing business means considering several factors, including the employees, the hardware they use, as well as the physical action of production. You’ll want to take other variables into account also, such as the level of communication throughout the workplace, the variety of resources needed to complete tasks (raw materials, electricity, etc.), and so on.
2. Keep equipment working properly
Replacing manufacturing equipment can be very expensive, which is why maintenance should be one of your utmost concerns – especially when it comes to manufacturing productivity. Business equipment loans are helpful in covering those costs – but while keeping machines operating at full capacity is important, so is making sure that employees are competent operators of those machines. If your employees are unable to troubleshoot for bugs and recalibrate the equipment accordingly, improving productivity in the manufacturing process will be significantly harder.
3. Incorporate ‘lean manufacturing’ principles
You don’t need to come up with your own manufacturing process improvement ideas. One of the most popular is known as lean manufacturing, which is defined as “an approach to manufacturing that focuses on reduced waste, low inventory and efficient systems.”
The roots of lean manufacturing go back to the Toyota Production System, which actually adopted many manufacturing techniques from Henry Ford’s assembly-line concept. The principles of lean manufacturing are summarized in what is known as the ‘5 S’s’.
The 5 S’s of Lean Manufacturing:
- Seiri – sort tools, parts, and instructions by their necessity (needed or unneeded)
- Seiton – organize tools and parts so that they’re easy to identify and use
- Seiso – maintain a cleanly work area
- Seiketsu – create a schedule to conduct seiri, seiton, and seiso every day
- Shitsuke – establish the first four S’s as an order to be followed at all times
4. Capitalize on manufacturing tech trends
Keeping up with the latest manufacturing tech trends is one of the best ways to improve productivity in the manufacturing industry. Since digital technology is constantly growing and changing, it’s necessary to stay alert in order to remain competitive. Among those technological trends that are currently popular in the industry are the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, augmented reality (AR), and much more.
5. Train employees continuously
Utilizing the latest tech trends is virtually useless if your employees haven’t been trained on how to work with them. And since technology evolves at such a fast rate, it’s crucial for manufacturing productivity that you invest in continuous education and training of the workers in your business. This is also a useful technique to include in your strategy for overcoming labor shortages in the manufacturing industry.
6. Get rid of unused machinery
Having even a few pieces of machinery that you’re not making use of can be a real drag on manufacturing productivity. Not only does it create clutter, but you might even be spending your hard-earned money on maintaining equipment that isn’t making you any profits. That’s definitely something to be avoided. Aside from ridding yourself of useless machines, tools, or parts, you should also consider the differences between equipment leasing and equipment loans so that you don’t continue getting stuck with obsolete machinery in the future.
7. Optimize your floor plan
This is one of the more obvious manufacturing process improvement ideas. To ensure peak workshop efficiency, you’ll want to take a hard look at the layout of your floor plan. Organizing equipment, tools, and materials properly will not only improve manufacturing productivity but will also help to keep the workplace a safe environment for employees to do their jobs.
8. Be smart when stocking up on inventory
A manufacturing business won’t be able to meet production demands without having a steady resupply of inventory, there’s no debating that point. But, there’s still a healthy balance to be struck. Having too much stock on hand costs money to store, and that can harm your net profits. Implementing the right pricing strategies will help you maintain that balance.
9. Encourage communication
Teamwork makes the dream work, right? Okay, it’s corny, but it’s still true. Ensuring that your employees are provided open avenues to communicate their point of view will help when improving productivity in manufacturing since you’ll be filled in on certain issues that you’d otherwise be unaware of. Strong communication will also bolster your efforts to unify the team around the business’s core goals.
10. Get a manufacturing business loan
We discuss this point in detail just below – keep reading!
How to finance a manufacturing facility
There are certain obstacles that your manufacturing business will face which may be easiest to overcome with additional financing. In those cases, business loans can be the boost that you need to improve your manufacturing productivity. It can take a fair bit of capital to get the ball rolling, but the investment in strengthening manufacturing productivity will be worth it in the long run.
That’s a good bit of advice, but with so many different forms of small business financing available to choose from, how can you know which types of loans are best for manufacturing businesses?
No need to stress – we’ve already gathered together all the information you’ll need to make the right choice.
Applying for manufacturing business loans through Become takes just a few minutes, and you may even receive funds the same day!
Step-by-step guide to applying for manufacturing loans:
- Choose your desired loan amount and select ‘Get Loan Offer’
- Fill in the requested information (including time in the industry, revenue, business, etc.)
- Submit your business’s checking account information for analysis
- Wait for offers. You can also review your status by clicking ‘Access Your Loan Application’
- Review offers and select your preferred lender
- Receive the funds to your business checking account
- Review your tailored LendingScore™ dashboard to improve your funding options
- Improve your rates – if your LendingScore™ is insufficient, follow the personalized plan (8-12 weeks to unlock funding)
It’s also important to note that businesses across a wide variety of industries are able to obtain additional financing by applying through Become – not only manufacturers.
The kinds of industry loans that will be available will vary according to industry, the intended use, the business’s financial health, and so on.
Get started today
With the tips and pointers listed here, you’ve got a firm foundation from which you can being the improvement of your manufacturing productivity. To reiterate, this is a select list of methods, and there’s no universal answer to the question of how to increase productivity in manufacturing. Be creative and keep an awareness of what works better for your specific business.
Be sure to share this article around on social media so that other small business owners such as yourself can benefit from this useful information!