Modern manufacturers are waging a constant battle on their shop floors to bring down production costs and ultimately drive up their profit margins, boosting their bottom line. Short of going to an all-automated workforce, there are few easy, immediate fixes to lower production costs and increase profits. This constant struggle has led to continued emphasis on lean engineering and maximizing efficiency. By using modern manufacturing software, many operators can reduce their production costs and keep their bosses happy.
Production is the number-one cost for manufacturers, and while there is only so much that can be done to lower it, there are many things that can go wrong and drive it up. An inefficient production floor can leave hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on the table. Companies looking to increase their profit margins need to optimize their daily production schedules and operations, and implementing modern, industry-specific software is one of the best ways to do this.
Lean manufacturing has become incredibly popular in the industry because it eliminates waste and operational inefficiencies. The practice was developed by Toyota in the 1990s and has spread rapidly worldwide, helping thousands of companies save millions of dollars. According to Toyota, there are three types of waste: non-value-adding work, overburden, and unevenness. Unevenness is waste due to fluctuations in demand, overburden is waste due to trying to do too much at once, and non-value-adding work is process waste, like a byproduct.
The goal of “leaning” your manufacturing shop is to get rid of everything that doesn’t absolutely need to be there or that complicates operations. If you get it right, going lean will ultimately improve cycle time and productivity while lowering material cost and scrap. Every production manager worth their salt wants to work toward some form of lean manufacturing, but it can be difficult to get there, especially without actionable data from the shop floor. This data is vital when it comes to identifying potential areas of waste that can be removed to improve efficiency.
Modern manufacturing software can automate the daily tasks of managing and operating a manufacturing production floor. It can do many of the mundane, simple tasks that are incredibly important to running a highly efficient manufacturing company. Scheduling, quality control, and data analysis are all things that humans do well, but that can be done better repeatedly by a software platform. Using software to optimize maintenance schedules prevents essential machinery from being offline at critical times, ensures that machinery does not break down at inopportune times, and helps eliminate rework. Scheduling tools can also be used to effectively manage and track staff workloads and training. It guarantees that managers will have the right staff on the floor for every job. Other key functions that manufacturing software can handle include quality control and real-time order tracking.
Bluestreak’s software gets to the core of all three types of waste that can be eliminated through lean manufacturing. The Schedule module makes it easier to manage multiple orders and clients’ demands at once. With this tool, managers can effectively manage staffing levels, have a better idea of which orders they can handle, ensure that essential machinery is not offline for maintenance when there are high levels of demand. The intelliPlan module allows manufacturers to build out their own embedded processes within Bluestreak that can be managed on the fly for different customer parts. Finally, the Integrated Quality Management feature allows managers to receive a constant flow of real-time data from their shop floor. Use this system to look for flaws in your processes and implement corrective action plans quickly. All this real-time data is incredibly useful for identifying waste and finding ways to improve your processes, ultimately driving down production costs.
Upgrading manufacturing software to ensure that you have full control over every kernel of data produced on your shop floor is one of the best ways that operations managers can take control of every aspect of their domain. Use the data from the software to identify areas of weakness, develop action plans, and implement them to drive down production costs and boost profit margins in a sustainable manner. This is the way of the future for the manufacturing industry, and any company not operating with the best software is wasting thousands of dollars each year in production costs.
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!