Have you ever heard the saying, when it rains, it pours? Anyone who has ever worked a manufacturing job will surely understand that concept. Whether it is the result of an involuntary work stoppage or an increase in demand, you never have a gentle increase in your required output — it always comes all at once.
As we’ve previously written, the surge machine is a great way for your processing or manufacturing line to increase efficiency. But sometimes you need something more to get you over those temporary hurdles, when your demand has itself surged beyond what you are used to handling.
If you’re suffering through a production pinch, here are three tips to improve factory efficiency.
The worst thing you can do is to let the more administrative and managerial requirements slip. Staffing too many people at the wrong time, or on the wrong machine, will cost both time and money, neither one you can afford during a production crunch.
Attacking your increased demand with a more holistic response can work wonders; if, for instance, you have to polish rice in tumbling drums before it can be packaged, then you might want to allocate your resources to the tumbling for the 6-24 hours necessary, and then put your resources in the packing department afterward.
Minimize the Transition Process
A great deal of time can be wasted by lugging products back and forth in a poorly designed factory. Whether you inherited the inefficient line, or you never thought it was worth realigning your machinery, if you are struggling to meet your quota, then this might be exactly what you need to do. Even small changes can make a big difference.
Listen To Your Employees
It can be hard to calm down during a crisis, but often times the people working on the lines themselves will have a better understanding of the limitations and the possibilities of various parts of your line.
A trusted worker can provide a great piece of insight that might be able to improve your efficiency to the point where you are meeting the challenge of increased demand.
Whether you are moving your surge machine to create a better flow or changing the way you schedule staff, boosting your efficiency and rising to the challenge of new demands is often a matter of a hundred small changes rather than one genius stroke.