In order to remain competitive and adapt the changes in the industry, machine shops and metal fabrication operations need to look for ways to increase their work efficiency without sacrificing quality. The primary objective of achieving efficient work processes needs to include processes that not only can increase output, but also improve quality.
Review Current Work Processes
The first and most crucial step is to determine your current level of efficiency by reviewing current work processes. You should review all processes for every product your manufacture, as well as the processes used to set up and configure each piece of equipment and machinery. Important questions to answer include:
· Are there certain jobs or types of output that seem longer to produce?
· How much waste is being generated from manufacturing processes?
· How frequent is maintenance performed?
Gather Input from Your Employees
Most managers are not fully aware of the intricate processes required to produce output even when they have a general understanding of how each machine works. Talk to your employees to find out what would make production more efficient. Listen to their needs and concerns. Sometimes, your employees will have great ideas that can benefit both them and your business.
Set Realistic Goals and Expectations
Once you have identified what work processes and equipment could stand some improvement, the next step is to establish realistic goals and expectations. If you set these too high, quality can suffer, as your employees will attempt to meet production output goals. If you set these too low, while quality could improve, you may fall short on being able to deliver products on time. You need to find a careful balance between the two.
Update Equipment and Machinery with Newer Technologies
As your budget allows, it is beneficial to upgrade your equipment and machinery to the latest technologies. Some of the newer advances can help automate work processes and improve efficiency.
If you have numerous pieces of equipment you want to upgrade, start with the one that is used the most often first. Next, upgrade the second-most used machine, and so on. This way, your most popular product lines are being upgraded in order to allow you to potentially increase output and your revenues.
Constantly Train Your Employees
You need to develop ongoing employee education and training courses for your employees. These courses are necessary to ensure they understand how to properly operate machinery and equipment. Anytime you upgrade to a new machine, remember to include training.
Do Not Overlook Maintenance Programs
Preventative maintenance programs are essential to improving efficiency. This type of maintenance helps identify and resolve potential issues before they become major problems causing work stoppages.
Rinse and Repeat
Going through these tips is something you need to do frequently to monitor your efficiency levels. Get into the habit of reviewing work processes anytime there is a noticeable problem, as well as every six to twelve months.
For more tips or to learn more about the latest machinery with technology to improve business efficiency, please feel free to contact Quantum Machinery Group at (909) 476-8007 today!