Every manufacturing company in the world is constantly looking for a competitive edge by increasing their productivity and improving their profit margins. That’s obviously easier said than done, because if every manufacturing company could wave a magic wand and increase productivity, every business would succeed and everyone would get fabulously wealthy. Instead, it is extremely difficult for manufacturing companies to increase their productivity. We know this because every year, hundreds of manufacturing businesses fail or cease to exist. Sometimes it’s unavoidable that a business goes under, as has been the case this year with the global economy ravaged by the pandemic, but more often than not, a manufacturing company struggles and ultimately fails because management has not exhausted all their options to improve the daily operations of the company.
One of the first and easiest avenues for manufacturing companies to consider when it comes to ramping up productivity is to make sure they have updated all their machinery to current standards and are maintaining it properly. It’s important to keep equipment current and running efficiently to keep productivity maxed out. Most companies upgrade as frequently as their budget allows and take their maintenance seriously, but it can be expensive to overhaul an entire shop with new equipment. If bringing in brand-new machinery and tools isn’t in the cards for your company, consideration should be given to implementing a modern software platform to manage production operations.
The implementation of a cloud-based software system like Bluestreak can dramatically increase manufacturing productivity. The software can manage scheduling, maintenance, and different types of orders; manage client and industry specifications; cut down on wasted times, errors, and rework; and make it easier to manage multiple orders at once. With Bluestreak, operations managers are given real-time data from their floors, allowing them to closely track orders and what work is being done. Workforces can be more efficiently managed and scheduled based on real-time floor requirements and demand. Cut down on wasted time, and deploy staff more efficiently to the projects that need them most.
According to Construct Connect, there are six key ways that manufacturers can directly increase productivity:
- Review existing workflow: Thoroughly review your people, processes, and technology.
- Update your processes and technology: Identify areas of weakness.
- Commit to schedule maintenance: Ignoring maintenance will only lead to lost productivity at some point down the road.
- Train and educate employees: Commit to training sessions and the development of your employees’ skills.
- Organize your workplace: Optimize the shop floor to eliminate excess movement, materials, and workstations.
- Maintain the correct level of inventory: Don’t store more raw materials than you need, and correctly predict when you’ll need to order more parts to meet client demands.
Bluestreak software is capable of addressing all six of these target areas that can increase productivity. Managers can start with Bluestreak’s Schedule functionality to manage their production floor load, plan work for all orders on the books, and set priorities on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. The platform’s iMaintain component integrates with the scheduling tool to help stick to a predetermined preventative maintenance schedule and track downtime, labor hours, and repair costs, all while working around existing orders and work demand. The Production Pathway improves shop floor productivity with complete, real-time data for every work order on the floor. It also generates extremely valuable data that can be used to glean insight into how well your production floor is actually operating. Make use of the data to identify weaknesses that can be targeted to improved productivity. Lastly, Bluestreak allows companies to streamline their specification management with the Advanced Specifications Manager. Use this tool to ensure that your orders meet client and industry specifications and to give yourself an auditable paper trail that makes sure every order is produced to the highest quality.
Implementing software like Bluestreak makes it easier for operations managers to identify their biggest losses on the floor. Find the easy wins and knock them out first. From there, the productivity gains will snowball. Making smaller, incremental improvements is much more effective for becoming more productive, as opposed to swinging for the fences with every single project. Attacking productivity this way will also improve employee productivity and keep the staff more engaged and interested in their work. Remember, it’s not just the productivity of the machines that you need to focus on.
Software isn’t a panacea for manufacturing companies, but it is still a frontier that can be conquered for those companies still lagging behind their competitors when it comes to running their manufacturing operations. It is impossible to keep up and continue growing as a modern manufacturing company without industry-leading software, and Bluestreak is prepared to lead the way and help manufacturers reach their full potential.
Bluestreak’s MES + QMS solution helps service-based manufacturers increase production floor productivity and increase their profits.
If you’re ready to leave manual, time-consuming service-based manufacturing tasks in the past, drastically reduce your scrap and rework percentage, gain visibility of your production floor processes, and build better relationships with your customers, contact us for a free consultation today!