Maintaining a high level of efficiency is always going to be good for your business and if you can streamline your processes as much as possible this is almost certainly going to have a positive impact on your bottom line.
There are numerous ways to optimize your factory output, including working with someone like Dynatect Manufacturing Inc, for instance in order to find ways to improve machine safety and increase uptime as well.
Here are some pointers to guide you on strategies and actions that you can deploy which should help you run to your factory operation to a high level of efficiency.
Waste is your enemy
The first point to make is that waste, in general, covers a multitude of different aspects of your business and you can just as easily waste man-hours as materials.
However, if you were going to rank the worst kinds of waste you would probably have to say that material waste is one of the worst types to be guilty of, and the most expensive too.
In simple terms, one of the best ways you can reduce material waste is to work out a strategy where you use less material in the first place.
Take a look at how you could achieve less material wastage by focusing on how you can recycle scraps and surplus items. Even if it is not possible to reuse the materials yourself you might want to look at how you can sell the items on, allowing you to generate cash that can be recycled back into your business.
If you are serious about optimizing output it is clear that automation has to play a part in your factory plans.
If you have employees who are still packing items by hand, for instance, that is likely to be costing you in manpower hours and you could drastically improve efficiency if you make the switch to an automated system.
The typical barrier to scaling up like this will be the capital expenditure that you will have to commit to the project.
There is a tipping point and if you rely heavily on a manual workforce to load and pack cases it might be time to see how your workflow could be revolutionized.
Target productive employees
Even when you have implemented an automated packing system there will still be a requirement for workers who can monitor the workflow and ensure that everything is going to plan.
The key to making sure that your payroll and operational hours are delivering maximum returns is to monitor employee performance and look to cherry pick the best ones as you scale down manual labor in place of automation.
The key to better productivity often involves keeping top performing workers happy and letting the less productive ones go.
Review your production line procedures regularly
It is very often the case that you can find ways to fine tune the way your production line works so it makes sense to keep looking for ways to improve it.
Get the input of people working the line to see what changes they think could be made and be prepared to try little tweaks to the system so that you can find the fastest route from A to B.
Another simple but effective way of improving production output would be to devise an incentive scheme.
It is not exactly rocket science, but when you offer bonuses for exceeding quotas you can often notice a definite upturn in the speed and efficiency of your production line.
If the machines are not running and the production line is not rolling you are not earning, which is why it is essential that you keep downtime to a minimum.
One of the most effective ways of reducing downtime involves a process where you give a directive that each of your line teams should try to identify and fix one problem each day.
Taking this incremental approach rather than trying to apply some major changes all at once, which can be disruptive, is a strategy that brings about improvements by stealth.
Another major cause of machine downtime and production inefficiencies is when you experience bottlenecks in the process.
One of the most effective ways of improving throughput is to look at your production process step-by-step and find some solutions that help keep things flowing, such as adding extra stations.
Cut your rejection rate
It is all very well trying to get everything done and through the system as quickly as possible but if a high output is being achieved with high rejection rates it is likely that you will be falling short on your throughput goals.
There is a mathematical approach that you can take to this problem in order to find a way of meeting quotas without wasting too much money on remanufacturing and reprocessing.
To give an example, if you were running 100 items through the production line each hour and had a 10% rejection rate, this would mean that you were wasting 10 items every hour. This could add up to about 40-50 items in a typical shift.
If you can cut your rejection rate by as much as 50% this would increase throughput by about 40 items in each shift.
Therefore, you can see that if you are able to cut your rejection rate it will be better for production levels overall.
To cut the rejection rate you will need to identify the elements in the process that are causing the most fails and find a way to fix them.
Increasing factory output is never going to be about identifying one particular issue and fixing the problem, it is an ongoing process where you should be constantly striving to find new and better ways to do things so that you create improvements as a result of your actions.
If you can achieve a high level of efficiency and reduce downtime and rejection rates, this should all have a positive impact on your factory’s performance and profitability.