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Productivity in Manufacturing: Ways to Improve Work Procedures and Output

Manufacturing is one of the most important industries in the U.S. that accounts for 11.39% of the overall output in the economy. Because of this fact, it’s understandable why the manufacturing sector is so keen on enhancing productivity in manufacturing to maintain competitiveness and improve gross profits. Productivity relies on the combination of processes, equipment, and efficient employees. Improvement in all three areas defines the existing practices, system adjustments, and employee training.

Increasing productivity is a sought-after objective by any manufacturing business. When left unchecked, the efficiency of the operation will suffer, including customer satisfaction, output, and revenue. Machine companies are addressing this issue by providing high-performance machinery.

Companies such as SBL Machinery are renowned companies in the post-printing industry that offer superior printing and packaging machinery. Through the years, these companies have established a reputation in terms of product development and designing.

Whether your business is struggling with improving production, you need to plan and research how you can further increase productivity without sacrificing the quality of the output. For your convenience, we’ve listed down the three most effective ways to improve productivity in manufacturing.

Examine the current workflow

man welding a car doorIf you want to know the best way to increase productivity in manufacturing, it is better to start by reviewing the existing workflow. Analyzing each stage of the production process will help define which parts of the workflow are lacking or missing.

Exploring the manufacturing process involves several factors, such as the type of machine used, employees, procedures, and the physical environment of the production. You may also inspect other critical variables, such as the resources required to complete tasks (e.g., electricity, raw materials, etc.), and the level of workplace communication.

Your goal is to find which area adds value and eliminate redundancies and bottlenecks. A great tip is to consult the workers involved since they have first-hand experience in the manufacturing process. Ask them about the pain points in the existing workflow. You may also conduct value mapping to monitor and identify projects requiring continuous improvements. This strategy will help managers identify problems and record how improvements will affect the overall process.

Utilize technology to enhance operations

Today, online-based technologies offer cutting-edge features that significantly improve how we operate a business. Besides making things easier, technology helps in preventing customer-related issues, increasing market share, and pursuing greater efficiency and cost reduction. A great example are production management tools ranging from custom-development applications, software solutions, and spreadsheets.

Online buying or e-purchasing is an alternative way to obtain materials from suppliers. This is particularly helpful when sourcing supplies as the COVID-19 pandemic brought extreme inconveniences to business owners. Instead of limiting your options to local suppliers, online buying offers the freedom to explore more competitive prices for materials. It also reduces paperwork and the expenses involved in transaction processing.

Smart inventory systems also proved their capability in improving inventory processes. It improves profitability, speeds up response time, and reduces inventory levels. Order and online management systems combine inventory data through e-business systems, accounting, and purchasing to easily monitor order status and inventory movement within the company. These features determine low and peak periods, allowing adjustments in work capital and supply purchases.

Keeping up-to-date with technological developments gives the business a fair advantage about the recent innovations to increase productivity. To learn about relevant technology for your business, attending trade shows and exploring the web provides a head start on new developments. Trade shows are helpful resources for the latest offerings of software vendors. They are also a great avenue to expand your network with related companies and learn about their current technologies.

Identify areas for continuous improvements

Increasing productivity is a never-ending process. That’s why it’s important to invest in continuous training and education. This will address unforeseen problems in manufacturing processes and overcoming labor shortages. Waiting until something breaks down will only cost your finances, employees, and even disrupt the productivity of the business.

Benchmarking is an effective strategy to learn about the existing competition and the best practices in the industry. But instead of copying their plans, use them to your advantage by developing one for your company. Another way is to seek external help to review the strengths and weaknesses of your business. Learning about other’s viewpoints will give you an idea about redesigning procedures and improving productivity.

With the suggestions listed above, you already have a firm foundation on how to improve the manufacturing productivity of your business. While there’s no definite answer to the question of how to improve productivity, being resourceful and staying aware of manufacturing trends will give you the best practices to improve your business.

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