Whether running a small or large manufacturing operation, you have to constantly assess the quality of the products you produce while keeping a close eye on cost. Industrial companies depend on maximizing the production of quality goods to meet demand. Optimal production and performance while maintaining quality is challenging, so we broke down five ways to strike a balance and ensure quality control while managing profitability.
1: FOCUS ON THE QUALITY YOU WANT
First and foremost, everyone on the shop floor needs to know the level of quality you plan to produce. Define it and document it. Once that standard has been established, you can begin to look at floor processes and procedures to determine where to implement changes.
Remember, not all shop floor processes may need to be changed. Oftentimes there are processes that can be left alone, allowing for a finer focus on trouble areas within the manufacturing process. Sometimes the changes that need to be made are to actual processes on the floor, like inventory counting procedures or a transition on the manufacturing line itself. Other times the impacted areas require retraining or cross training to enable a more seamless handoff between shifts. Either way establishing the level of quality you expect is a vital first step to achieving it.
2: COMMIT TO QUALITY FROM THE TOP DOWN
Whether you will be revamping shop floor process, investing in new tools, or retraining staff, the commitment to quality needs to extend beyond the quality control officer. Changes can be challenging and potentially have an impact on morale. Therefore, from high level leaders to managers and everyone in between, maintaining quality standards needs to be top of mind. Old habits have to be changed and replaced with new, more efficient standards. Quality assurance needs to be comprehensive and occurring at all points of manufacturing. Education and training help keep standards cohesive and show an investment by management into producing exceptional products. Adding training and education helps involve employees in the change process and makes them stakeholders in delivering quality products.
Watch our webinar with one of our customers, Unist, and learn how incorporating Bezlio solutions streamlined their processes and boosted productivity across the shop floor to produce best in class products.
3: IMPLEMENT TECHNOLOGY TO SUPPORT YOUR EFFORTS
So much has been written about the benefits of early technology adoption and implementation. It keeps your processes current, encourages employees to embrace new, effective tools, and keeps your manufacturing bustling. Technology also helps streamline processes and ensures tighter control of manufacturing, directly affecting the quality of goods and number of defects.
Mobile technology, automation, and artificial intelligence have revolutionized manufacturing processes as they drive quality standards, prevent overruns, and ensure cost efficiency. Real time data can be used to accurately schedule machine usage and forecast future projects in ways that weren’t possible a decade ago. Data can be relied upon to determine reorders, schedule employees, and plan machine maintenance services to reduce downtime.
Barcoding and scanning had a proven impact on data accuracy, so when companies switched adopted these innovations most saw an immediate improvement in inventory count accuracy. Mobile apps like Bezlio offer barcode scanning via smartphones and tablets, and since most people are familiar with these devices, training time is much shorter when compared to other tools. Barcoding also eliminates the amount of paper used in manual counts and purchase order receipt documentation. Eliminating the lag time to enter receipts and counts and removing the possibility of human error not only speeds up the entering process, but also results in better, more accurate data. This accurate data makes data-driven decision making easier and helps cut costs while saving time.
4: HAVE A PLAN WHEN ERRORS HAPPEN
Things will inevitably go wrong and when they do, you’ll need an intelligent plan to respond so deadlines can be met. If the challenge occurs with new equipment, know who to contact for adjustments and repairs. If problems occur with employees, know who can quickly retrain them and keep things moving.
5: OPTIMIZE EVERYTHING FROM MACHINE USAGE TO STAFFING
Manufacturing companies know the value of keeping their machines running to optimize output. Manufacturing project prioritization based on accurate, real-time data is the most effective way to schedule your machine usage. Optimizing production keeps costs down and project capacity levels high, which is the bottom line for any manufacturing company. Prioritizing projects takes into consideration supply chain status, cash management, defect identification, and mature products. Adding mobile capabilities to your manufacturing processes keeps data real time and accurate while also providing access to information anywhere, anytime. From field teams to customers to shop managers, everyone can view inventory data and delivery deadlines. This added layer of transparency keeps stakeholders informed and that is a huge value add to any organization.
Interested in implementing a mobile development platform like Bezlio to provide your field teams with access to ERP data? Contact us today and we can begin customizing a mobile ERP solution to address your business challenges or see our website’s Resources tab for case studies and blogs about our products and services.