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In the manufacturing business, time is most certainly money. Which is why regardless of the scale of your business, keeping track of productivity levels from technology to your staff is essential. Particularly, if you want to exceed your clients’ needs, blow your competitors out of the water, and maximize your profits.
To make sure your business keeps moving forward, an initial evaluation is vital in helping you define paint points within your production process. There are several ways you can determine productivity levels; here is a lean manufacturing tool for you to begin with:
‘Gemba’ – Assess The Workflow
The Japanese term, Gemba, refers to “the real place” and involves physically watching the manufacturing process in person. This will give you an understanding of the possibilities for improvement. Take time to view the process from start to finish to see what happens.
After watching the entire process, write down any issues you witnessed. Refer to the below points to help you identify where change could be beneficial and brainstorm solutions for each.
- Employee Performance: Take note of the speed, competency, and accuracy of your staff in their current roles against the expectations and goals (if any) allocated to them. What resources, safety equipment do they have? Are they taking adequate breaks to rest and restore their energy?
- Safety: Is the manufacturing floor clean, is the machinery well maintained and in good condition? For example, if liquid is seeping from overhead piping, and creating a hazard on the production floor. Create a solution for the problem immediately to prevent accidents and a subsequent dip in production levels. Assess whether you need a hydraulic ball valve, or if you have sealant to temporarily aid the problem, and clear the area below the leak to help workers avoid the hazard.
- Technology: Monitor the current output of products from your machinery. And other technology that should assist the process, such as scanners and label printers. Please keep track of whether any technology is lagging and decide whether it needs maintenance or replacing. Equally, examine whether there are other automated processes out there you could utilize.
- Work Processes: What is the current status of your workflow? Does it generate a desirable amount of products per day? Are there any parts of the process you think are unnecessary? From here, you can set goals to work towards, identify a list of improvements you can make in light of your evaluation, and create a plan of action.
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Every aspect of your business concerns productivity. For instance, the motivation and morale of staff depend on multiple factors, such as the state of their working environments, their relationship with management and other employees, break policies, perks, and benefits. To improve productivity, you must take a holistic approach to enhance your business and commit to advancing your manufacturing company on a routine basis.