As a new year rolls in, companies are beginning to look for ways to improve their facilities, employees and operations. With pressure to stay ahead in the industry, finding windows of opportunity is crucial for manufacturers.
To boost efficiency and productivity, employees, equipment and operations must be working harmoniously to achieve a common goal. Driving improvements in all of these areas can lead to major accomplishments, like an increase in profits and competitiveness. Here are a few areas to focus on within your company to maximize improvements this year.
Take advantage of your data.
In order to fully understand manufacturing processes and ensure all systems are working efficiently, data collection is key. By collecting data, manufacturers can easily detect patterns and potential problems in various areas throughout the facility.
One of the most important sets of data to collect is inventory. Keeping track of inventory data is critical in effectively managing products and generating sales. Taking frequent stock, spot checking and forecasting are useful ways to take advantage of the data at hand. Referencing current and past data will allow you to find patterns in sales, catch any inventory mistakes early on and eliminate the issue of running out of product. This will keep profits rolling in and give credibility to your brand.
Invest in continued employee education.
The manufacturing industry is constantly changing with the introduction of new technologies and processes working to maximize productivity. Technological advancements often call for updating and refining employee skill sets. Workers should have access to regular training to stay up to date with current technology and operations.
Apple Rubber offers a free online certification course for engineers to sharpen their skills and become in-house engineering experts. The Apple Rubber Academy was created with all levels of experience and expertise in mind, so engineers of any degree are encouraged to partake in the course. Academy students will learn about rubber materials, sealing best practices and engineering quality. Encouraging workers to take improvement courses like Apple Rubber Academy or offering your own in-house training will ensure employees stay on track with their skill sets.
It may be time to upgrade your equipment.
Smarter, more advanced machinery is constantly cycling into the manufacturing industry. Employees can only be as efficient as their equipment allows, so investing in machinery upgrades can have a large positive impact on productivity and help maintain a competitive edge within the industry.
If upgrading equipment is not in the budget just yet, maintaining the quality of your current equipment is equally important. Evaluate the risk that each machine brings to the company. Can you afford downtime if this piece of equipment knocks out an entire operation? Keep this in mind when analyzing. Since it is inevitable that machinery will eventually wear down, it is important to perform routine checks to catch small effects of wear early on before further damage is done. Set up a structured, pre-scheduled maintenance check to reduce the risk of potential repairs and downtime.
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