5 Simple Ways To Streamline A Large Factory Business

What does it take to streamline a large manufacturing plant or factory? More importantly, what can today’s manufacturers do to control costs and reduce waste? Unfortunately, there are no simple answers. Remaining competitive in a global economy is extremely difficult for today’s manufacturers. Overseas competitors are constantly using their lower labor rates to slash prices on finished goods, and they use their cost advantage to dominate markets. However, the best manufacturers are able to level the playing field, and they do it by focusing on reducing waste and increasing production capacity. As such, here are five simple strategies to streamline a large factory business.

1. Business Process Mapping:

Every company must understand how it receives a customer’s request for quotation (RFQ), how it manages the customer’s order and how that order moves between internal departments. Manufacturers must reduce waste across the board. Long before the manufacturing work order reaches the shop floor, it must pass through multiple internal departments. Business process mapping allows companies to identify bottlenecks and eliminate costly downtime by identifying repetitive operations.

2. Workflow Diagrams:

While business process mapping outlines how work orders are processed and move from one department to another, workflow diagrams operate differently in that they provide invaluable insight into a manufacturer’s shop floor layout. The best manufacturers use workflow diagrams to optimize their transit times between work cells. They reduce the time it takes to move work-in-process inventory from one cell to the next. An optimized shop floor layout is an efficient layout.

3. Eliminate Work Stoppages:

The surest way to increase production is to focus on eliminating work stoppages. There are all kinds of reasons why work stoppages occur. They can be caused by machine downtime, improper work instructions, poor work orders and something as simple as a lack of proper tools. The focus should be to track work stoppages and their causes, while putting a plan together that eliminates them as going concerns.

4. Eliminate Material Shortages:

Granted, material shortages are essentially work stoppages. However, in the case of material shortages, the issue is far more severe. Why? Simply put, material shortages are completely avoidable. As such, it should be treated separately. Downtime caused by a lack of materials is inexcusable in manufacturing. Unfortunately, material shortages are commonplace in an economy where manufacturers are trying to reduce their supply chain costs.

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5. Invest in Manufacturing Software:

The reality is that manual processes have costs and those costs can be eliminated entirely by using an enterprise resource planning (ERP) or manufacturing resource planning (MRP) software. Tracking raw material allocation, work-in-process and finished good inventory is a direct benefit of investing in an inventory management software that tracks production in real-time. Eliminating costly errors due to manual processes is a guaranteed way to streamline manufacturing and operations. Ultimately, success for today’s manufacturers means they must continually eliminate waste, reduce excess and do away with redundant work tasks and processes. At the same time, they must raise their production capacity by lowering their cycle times on operations. It’s no easy task, but it is doable.

Sally is a content writer for a number of businesses including Cedar Bay, the automated data collection specialists. They have a vast experience of ADC, IFS RFID & IFS ERP Systems. Cedar Bay can help you improve performance & reduce costs with their expert solution approach, learn more at Cedar-bay.com.

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