Ways to Make Your Plant More Efficient Right Now

Efficiency in manufacturing is that goal all companies strive for to reduce downtime, save on costs, get the most out of employees and meet deadlines. Whether we’re managing teams, collecting data or looking at efficiency factors across the spectrum, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to running an efficient operation. What if you need to see a quick turnaround in your efforts to become a more efficient company? Here are seven ways you can make changes right now to see immediate improvements in efficiency.


  1. Implement a Bonus/Incentive Structure – Workers naturally want to work hard take pride in their work, but incentivizing them for top performance can increase the speed of production, the efficiency of work and the camaraderie of teams. When workers trust and respect one another with a common goal in mind, they’ll work harder to see the job done right.


  1. Communicate More Frequently – Part of the perfect formula of efficiency comes through transparency and consistent communication up and down the company. Take the time to revisit plans or projects that may have fallen by the wayside, update teams on changes, follow up on past communication and honestly discuss efficiency shortcomings to get everyone on the same page moving toward the same goal.


  1. Get Employees Involved – If your facility managers are the only ones who preach efficiency, the message won’t get across to everyone consistently. Pull aside some of your top performers and give them the responsibility of monitoring efficiency in their area. Ask for honest feedback on ways to get better, and you’ll show you care about doing the job the right way as much as they do.


  1. Organize Workspaces – There is a lean manufacturing principle called 5S which stands for Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain. A workspace that’s free of unnecessary equipment, up to date with necessary tools and software, clean and cleaned regularly and monitored for improvement will reduce time wasted looking for tools and keep workers focused on the job at hand.
  1. Ask Managers/Supervisors to Audit Workflow – It can be difficult to spot issues when you work within one area repeatedly. Shift supervisors and managers from other teams, however, can more easily spot opportunities for improvement. Schedule quick walkthroughs and get more opinions and find those efficiency gaps.


  1. Organize Your Data – Clear, easy to understand production data makes it easier to make purchasing, maintenance, expansion and hiring decisions. Allocate the extra time to catalog and organize charts and data as soon as you receive them to save time later.


  1. Invest More in Responsive Suppliers – A supplier that constantly provides higher quality products, reliable communication and consistent follow-through is the kind of supplier you should invest in heavily. Upfront changes in costs can be offset by the reliable, dependable partnership you’ll gain.


Efficiency should be a goal every company strives for and there should always be long-term plans in place to ensure efficiency in every facet of the company, but that doesn’t mean your teams can’t become more efficient right now. With just a few small changes, you can make measurable improvements in the efficiency of your workflow, team and products, and begin pushing toward those larger goals. How do you practice efficiency in your company? Let us know in the comments below.

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