Manufacturing Management: Five Ways To Improve Your Processes
The manufacturing industry is plagued by a lack of efficiency. Even though managers and engineers spend more and more time analyzing statistical data, many businesses still struggle with creating actionable plans that would solve their problems.
Arnie Gordon, who has been involved with manufacturing technology for over 40 years, shares five tips for businesses that want to optimize their manufacturing processes and get ready for implementing cutting-edge software solutions.
1. HARNESS THE POWER OF BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE
Business intelligence (BI) refers to collecting data about business processes and analyzing it. This data can be used to optimize the enterprise itself or even the entire supply chain. BI lets you compare different suppliers and choose the best one. You can also compare different production sites and identify any areas that need improvement.
Here’s an example: you have a process that runs faster on one plant but slower on another, and you want to find out why. A business intelligence system can collect and analyze data from both facilities so you know exactly what needs improvement.
2. CONNECT YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN INTO A NETWORK
Businesses that have facilities and suppliers across the globe often find it hard to keep track of everything that happens throughout the supply chain. But there’s a simple but effective solution: creating a single network (even the simplest network protocols will suffice) for the entire supply chain. This will greatly help operators and quality control experts.
Experience shows that simple cloud-based systems are the most flexible and also have the advantage of being platform-independent. This means that they can be accessed from computers and mobile devices alike.
3. MANAGE WASTE
Wasting materials creates the largest unnecessary expenses in today’s economy. In addition to this, producing excessive waste can seriously damage a company’s reputation because consumers are more environmentally conscious than ever.
Analyze your business processes and identify the ones that produce the most waste. Then, look for ways to reduce or eliminate it.
4. DON’T BE AFRAID OF IDENTIFYING PROBLEMS
This tip may sound pretty obvious and abstract, but its importance should not be undervalued. Experts on business processes say that a company’s problems weaken the entire production chain. A few broken links will ruin the entire chain.
So don’t be afraid of acknowledging your company’s issues and correcting them as soon as they arise. Any company’s weaknesses can be categorized into:
- Problems with the business process itself
- Problems with the performance of individual employees
- Problems with the company’s organizational structure
As soon as you’ve identified a problem, document it immediately and take action to solve it. Waiting will only make the problem worse and ignoring it will cost you more and more in the long run.
5. USE A WORK ORDER TICKET SYSTEM
Analyzing problems lets us know that something is wrong. However, it’s equally important to implement a system where any employee who has identified an issue can quickly document it and forward it to the resource that is responsible for solving it.
For example, knowing that a company needs to upgrade its process management system is only half the battle. Managers must be able to take initiative and solve the problem as quickly as possible.
This can be achieved with a ticket system that enables the issuing and monitoring of work orders as well as specifying deadlines and identifying the individuals responsible for the work.
If this approach hasn’t been implemented yet, problems will only worsen and become more difficult to solve.
Prepared by the AGELESS team based on “Manufacturing Management: Five Ways To Improve Your Processes” published by Forbes.
You can learn more about processes automation and SAP systems for manufacturing from our previous articles: