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In the modern global business environment, productivity and efficiency are key to success. This is even more vital for manufacturing, the start of the production phase of a product. Without efficient practices near the beginning of a product’s life cycle, a productive company model isn’t attainable. Hence, we will go through 5 key practices you should implement to ensure efficiency and productivity within your firm.
Ensure Employee Satisfaction
Arguably the most important in this article for ensuring efficient practices within your firm – employee satisfaction. Making sure your employees are happy and healthy is vital to making sure there are fewer sick days. Therefore, your workers are doing what they do best and driving your company forward! Employees are the “cogs” within the metaphorical clock that is your business. Treat them right, and they should pay you the same kindness! These “cogs” are even more important at the manufacturing stage, due to how early in the product life cycle they are. In the words of the modern-day business mogul Richard Branson, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough they don’t want to”.
Methods for ensuring that your employees stay motivated to include the use of outdoor meetings, regularly held company events and a generally positive work atmosphere, just to name a few. It must be remembered that even though the bottom line is important, it is built upon the workers within your firm. Hence, ensure that your employees are happy, and your workforce is diverse. A diverse workforce provides multiple different perspectives key for innovation. Which leads nicely into the next key practice!
Never Stop Moving
The day you stop moving is the day you are left behind! In other words, make sure you are constantly innovative in your day to day practices. Follow the norm to an extent, but be brave, and try something new. When Henry Ford introduced the £5 wage, he was considered mad at the time. Yet, as can now be judged, he was an innovator of his time. Just because an idea may seem crazy now, doesn’t mean it won’t be brilliant for the future (except for chocolate flavoured crisps, they’re just crazy!).
If you’re looking for a prime example of a company that implements innovative practices, look no further than Google. They are a company unlike any other, globally known for its innovative policies. Examples include their Google Universal Ticketing Systems (GUTS) where problems are filed, available to all employees, and then analysed for patterns. They also have their 24-hour FixIts, where Googlers drop what they’re doing and focus entirely on a specific problem. Be bold, innovative and try new things. If it doesn’t work, dust yourself down and try something else.
Make sure your goals are challenging but achievable
Much like Goldilocks and the three bears, you’ve got a set a goal which is “just right”. Make a goal too easy, workers will take their foot off the gas and end up unproductive. When you set a goal too difficult, employees will lose heart and not be motivated to hit it. There’s no clear formula for setting an appropriate goal, but the best method would be to look at the previous year’s results and attain a decent idea from them. Try and use the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-Based) method, as even though it is fairly basic, it is proven to work. If you’re more statistically capable, try and use a regression model, draw a line of best fit from data from years gone by, and forecast a goal from there.
Try and promote not only the achieving of a target but the smashing of it. Give out bonuses should the target be broken significantly, or even disincentives if the target is missed. Personally, I would promote the use of positive incentives rather than negative ones, as negative incentives can create a poor working environment and cause potential hostility between employees.
Implement on-the-job training
It may seem obvious, but if your employees are off training, they’re not going to be working and hence there is a loss of productivity. This is particularly true for Manufacturing, where time truly is money. As such, for new employees who are fresh to the production line, make sure you train them as you work. It maintains efficiency within the firm, as well as trains the next generation of production line workers.
Streamline the product life cycle between manufacturing and everything else
If there isn’t clear and concise communication between manufacturing and distribution, sales, or another area of the business then productive efficiency is near impossible to achieve. Educate each department about what every other department does. This ensures that the product life cycle is as smooth as possible. If there are blocks within the streamlining process, such as specific disruptive employees or poor system management, maybe resort to changing these issues via moving them about the company or removing them altogether.
There you have it, 5 key practices you should implement to ensure efficiency within your firm. If you need any help with removing any systems which are detrimental to your company, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re happy to help!