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How to Boost Productivity on the Factory Floor

An ongoing obstacle for many manufacturers is figuring out how to make the workplace as productive as possible. Productivity on the manufacturing floor is made up of a lot of moving parts, including efficient employees, equipment and processes.

In order to maintain a competitive edge in the industry, manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to boost productivity and efficiency. Before jumping into the latest technology trends or adopting a new business model, it’s important to lay out your existing plan of action and see where improvements are necessary. Here are four things you can do to boost productivity on the factory floor:

Evaluate and update your business processes.

The first step to improve your manufacturing processes is to evaluate and identify your problem areas. Take into account the people, processes and equipment in your workflow. Are employees properly trained and put on a track for success? Is all your equipment properly maintained? These areas are the backbone of your facility, and it’s crucial that they’re properly taken care of before dissecting smaller sections.

Consider a value mapping tool to help identify problem areas in your flow of work. Value mapping is a lean manufacturing tool that helps visualize the steps needed to take from product creation to final customer delivery. This tool is particularly useful in identifying any issues during the production process and enabling workers to pinpoint areas of improvement.

Stay organized.

Wasted time and resources due to lack of organization can have a major impact on your company’s overall efficiency. One way to boost productivity in any workplace is to ensure there’s an organized place for everything, from materials and documents to machines and employees. Every moving part of the company should have a purposeful place in the operation.

Distractions from clutter and employee confusions can be detrimental to the factory floor. Important materials and documents should be placed in an easily accessible location so they can be quickly found when needed. Just as you spring clean and declutter your home periodically, the same should be done in the manufacturing facility. Make sure every tool, document and material has a home and every employee knows where to find them.

Continue to train and invest in employee education.

In a time when new advancements and technologies are constantly being introduced, new skill sets are also required to handle the technology properly. Rather than hiring new people, existing workers should have access to proper training sessions and educational opportunities to better understand new machines or processes.

Employers should schedule training sessions for all employees when a new operation is introduced. Classes or other educational opportunities for employees who wish to enhance their skills should also be available. Education shouldn’t be limited to just equipment training. Employees should know about internal processes and policies that exist in the facility. By offering extensive training and education in all areas, employees will be set up to be as knowledgeable as possible, which will help them avoid any confusion or mistakes on the factory floor.

Embrace new technological trends.

In order to stay ahead in the industry, manufacturers should stay on top of trends and technological advancements. This will ensure you have the tools you need to stay as productive as possible.

Embracing new innovations like automation, software developments, and even mobile apps will set you up to take on new challenges that the industry may throw your way. Through automation technology, companies can take some of the pressure off of workers while running through processes quicker and more effectively. New monitoring software can also speed up processes, allowing employees to collect real-time data from the factory floor and build a report for companies to showcase strengths and areas of improvement. While adopting new technologies into your company may seem scary, embracing them with an open mind will help set your company up to be as productive and efficient as possible.

 

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