The saying goes that the best time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining, so now is the time to look at how to make your factory more efficient.
1. Is your production line working as well as it could?
Manufacturing is at a 30-year high in Britain, so now is your chance to make hay and get your production facility breaking its records.
In the last month, how many breakdowns have you had and how much maintenance downtime have you experienced? Would new equipment pay for itself in terms of lower energy use, or are all the problems really to do with the processes you are using?
2.Take a hard look at your clients
It is worth taking a cool and objective look at your client list every so often. Are there some clients who buy little but need a whole lot of hand-holding? Are these high-maintenance clients really worth the bother? Perhaps take a look at some other indicators, such as how promptly they pay their invoices. You may even want to institute a ‘desirability’ scoring index – it can be revealing.
3. Cost out the bottlenecks and breakdowns
The result may surprise you. Sometimes the financial cost is actually quite low but feels high due to the frustration that is caused. When you have assigned a monetary cost to bottlenecks, you may find that it will be more cost-effective to pay for a workaround rather than investing in new machinery; for example, new products such as metal bonding adhesive from specialists such as http://www.ct1ltd.com/product-applications/metal-to-metal-adhesive/ can fix problems much more cheaply and quickly than previously.
4. Recognise the good ideas your workforce has
The best consultants you can employ are probably already employed by you. There will be people within your workforce bursting with sensible and creative ideas for improving the way the factory works. Remember to reward them, such as featuring them in company communications or giving them a gift token.
5. Develop an investment roadmap
When you know what to do to make your factory more efficient, accept that you are probably not going to get there in one step. Design a roadmap for incremental investment that will get you to your goal within a reasonable amount of time without disrupting existing work.