Proper time and resource management are essential to ensure that any factory is working at utmost efficiency. It is also important to properly assess and understand the problems thoroughly to rectify them. Gemba Walk are increasingly popular management software where the engineers or managers personally visit the place where the work is done. This will help them gain valuable insight into the problems, the flow of resources and often uncover opportunities for improvement and learn new ways to support employees.
Below are a few ways to increase productivity at your factory:
Evaluate Existing Workflow
Closely examine how everything works now to help you identify any changes required. Make sure you have clearly defined objectives to keep your staff on their toes. Re-arrange skilled people if necessary to ensure they are in the right place to execute their skills. Check if your equipment is in good condition and on par with the latest technology. Most importantly, think long and hard about the possible outcomes of a change before you make any.
Once step 1 is complete, and you have mapped your existing workflow, examine if processes and/or technology need an update or a revamp. Some old processes might not go with new equipment or production methods.
Check whether any new change is feasible and how the cost will affect the company. That said, a high initial expense is worth it if the new process or equipment reduces wastage and increases efficiency.
To ignore regular maintenance can be lethal to overall efficiency and thus the total cost. The cost of maintenance of equipment would be much less than the cost of repair of worn out equipment. Maintenance at regular intervals will ensure continuous and smooth work without unexpected stoppage.
Educate Your Employees
Your employees must be trained to use the new equipment and technology to avoid any lag due to lack of knowledge. Safety training can be provided continuously to minimize accidents. Employee education also helps new employees get into the grind sooner. Offer educational opportunities for employees who show interest to learn new skills.
Organize the Workspace
Remove all clutter and unused tools from the workspace. Create a layout for tools, documents, materials and equipment that is most convenient for the employees to work from. This will save time and improve efficiency more than you think.
Optimize the inventory
Make sure you have the right amount of resources. There should not be work stoppage due to the shortage, but there should also not be excess resources which will not only use up a large space but all also lead to idle stock. Use software that will notify you of any shortage. Keep track of late deliveries and bad quality picks another vendor if required.
Maximum efficiency can be obtained only when deliberate change is made rather than quick fixes which might help you in the short term. Provide a work environment where your employees are comfortable and can work to their full potential.