They call it the ‘hidden factory’—the manufacturing capacity that is freed-up for productive use if waste and inefficiency can be stripped out of production processes. Not surprisingly, businesses tight on manufacturing capacity look to manufacturing efficiency improvements as a means of boosting output.
But the benefits of manufacturing efficiency improvements go well beyond the creation of what is in effect ‘free’ additional manufacturing capacity.
Eliminate waste and inefficiency through manufacturing efficiency improvements, and costs come down. Production operatives are more productive, saleable output per machine hour rises, and a greater proportion of raw material inputs winds up going out of the warehouse as finished products, rather than in the scrap bin as yield losses.
Manufacturing efficiency improvements deliver something else, too—something that is less obvious, yet just as important. Eliminate wastes and inefficiencies, and manufacturing processes speed up—because less time is spent manufacturing scrap, or on over-production, or operating slowly, or spending excessive amounts of time on things such as setups.
In this blog post, I will be discussing how to speed up production in manufacturing through driving efficiencies.
Identifying manufacturing efficiency improvements
So how do you achieve these manufacturing efficiency improvements and speed up production?
Clearly, there’s no shortage of tools and techniques at a manufacturer’s disposal: lean manufacturing, Just in Time, Six Sigma, Single Minute Exchange of Dies, time and motion studies—the manufacturing efficiency improvement toolbox is extensive.
But the real problem isn’t so much the lack of techniques, it’s the lack of insight into where to deploy those techniques.
Where do you start? How do you prioritise scarce manufacturing efficiency improvement resources? Where, exactly, are these hidden wastes and inefficiencies that must be eliminated?
The bottom line: it’s one thing to talk about eliminating wastes and inefficiencies—but quite another to know exactly how to identify them, so as to be able to put in place the necessary manufacturing efficiency improvements.
Manufacturing efficiency improvements: ERP to the rescue
Once, getting these insights into where potential manufacturing efficiency improvements lay was either a time-consuming business (think Six Sigma, ‘fishbone diagrams’, and so on), or a costly one (think Shop Floor Data Capture, and Manufacturing Execution Systems).
No longer. These days, ERP systems can contain a lot of the required functionality, providing a rich data store of where potential manufacturing efficiency improvements can be found.
Simply put, ERP software automates the tracking and monitoring all of your manufacturing processes, helping you to identify waste and inefficiencies through reporting and analytics.
Better still, that reporting and analytics capability is generally real-time—providing live insights into waste and inefficiency, rather than a rear-view mirror that highlights production problems that occurred last week or last month.
Manufacturing efficiency improvements: we can help
That said, not all ERP systems are manufacturing-centric. And not all systems provide that same level of visibility into manufacturing efficiency improvements, with fully integrated analytics and Shop Floor Data Capture.
And even then, not all manufacturers leverage those capabilities to the same extent.
With this in mind, it seems the answer to the question ‘how do I speed up manufacturing production?’ is the right ERP system
From an ERP ‘health check’ to a whole new ERP system, we’re here to help. So if manufacturing efficiency improvements are on your agenda, get in touch.