4 Things to Monitor if You Want to Boost Productivity in Your Factory
It’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security and assume that as long as the products are flowing out of the factory, everything is functioning properly. In practice this is rarely the case. Huge variance in production rates can exist within one factory, even on the same product line. There is a world of difference between a factory that operates at 80 percent capacity and one that operates at 95 percent capacity and small reductions in capacity lead to huge losses. The big question is how can you know if your factory is actually operating at peak levels of productivity. The answer is to check – and for that you need a system that accurately collects and analyzes certain variables linked to productivity.
You will never be able to determine what needs to be changed if you don’t know how well everything is working now. Here is an overview of the variables you need to constantly monitor and review if you want your factory to function efficiently.
Consider if you have people with the right skills in the right places. Have you got a project manager to keep the critical pathway visible and on track? Are your production objectives clearly defined, realistic, and safe? Machines can only get you so far. Without a well trained and efficient workforce, the latest machinery will not produce at the optimum level. Constant review of your staff, training needs and human resources will lead to more efficient factors.
Consider if all your equipment is in a good state of repair. Is the technology you employ in line with current level of need or does it need to be updated? Does your equipment support any changes you need to make in production? Regular review of the state and function of your equipment can reduce significant problems in the future.
C. Processes and Technology
Are you regularly mapping your processes? Have you got a system in place to evaluate whether your processes are functioning optimally? Where are the pain points and the bottlenecks? When you analyse your processes in detail on a regular basis, you can learn what needs to change and address issues immediately.
D. Maintenance Procedures
It’s a rule of life, machines inevitably break down at some point no matter how sophisticated they are. The fastest way to slow things down in your factory is by ignoring regular maintenance. Downtime for maintenance costs much less than downtime due to broken and worn equipment. Regular maintenance can be factored into the monthly schedule of your factory whereas breakdowns always come at the worst possible time. Actively creating a system for preventive maintenance ensures that your equipment continues to run smoothly without unexpected downtime or work cessation. Take the time to work out and implement a preventive maintenance plan based on your factories needs and demands and you will save yourself the hassle of major productivity issues in the future.
If your factory does not yet have a system in place for analysing people, equipment, processes and maintenance, it’s time to remedy this immediately. New technologies that collect data from across your production line will help you evaluate how well you are doing in the main areas that affect productivity and will help you plan ahead to reach the highest possible levels of productivity.