5 Ways to Improve Manufacturing Efficiency and Productivity

Measuring different metrics related to efficiency and productivity is one of the best ways to understand its effectiveness and viability of a manufacturing organization. Key elements to the bottom line are directly moved by these. Here are five ways to improve manufacturing efficiency and productivity. 

Find Bottlenecks in Current Workflow

It’s essential to thoroughly understand the current workflow before you make systematic changes. Even if increased efficiency and productivity are the goal, there’s no guarantee you can achieve these things with an action—especially if you haven’t done the homework of fully understanding underlying issues. 

You’re basically blindly throwing darts if you take this approach. In order to be successful, you need to place the dart exactly where you know you need it. 

Measure and Track Everything (The Right Way)

The best way to get a clear picture of what’s leading to bottlenecks or underperformance in terms of efficiency and productivity is by evaluating stored data. Track everything possible in the manufacturing process. Even the smallest process can potentially hold the key to vastly greater efficiency. 

Setting out to collect data is just a preliminary step. Lots of organizations collect it. Not nearly as many know what to do with it.

This problem largely comes down to a matter of how data sets are organized, structured, stored, and accessed. Having one great element, such as cloud or multi-cloud storage is great. But this isn’t going to be particularly useful if you don’t have the right tools in place to analyze it. 

Listen to Your Data 

When done correctly, the manufacturing process can be well-mapped by continuously collecting all observable data. Your ability to come to a greater understanding of your data largely comes down to the capabilities of your analytics tools. 

For instance, if you’re trying to perform a simple metric such as revenue per units sold, you’re not going to need a particularly complex data architecture. But what if your sales analytics desires run deeper than that? When it comes to getting the most out of your data, what you can collect is extremely important. But the questions you’re able to ask because of the way your analytics tools function is even more important. 

This is where natural language processing and artificial intelligence (AI) come into play. Modern BI tools such as ThoughtSpot use these technologies to provide users an analytics experience akin to using a search engine. Manufacturers wanting to really get the most out of their data need to have the ability to empower employees to make these kinds of deeper searches. Plus, the simplicity of this type of analytics allows for far greater data democratization, making it possible to turn insights into action faster than ever before. 

Avoid Acting on Whims and Instincts

You shouldn’t fall victim to doing things just because you can. There are essentially limitless changes that can be made to any manufacturing process. Some of these are brilliant. Some aren’t.

Rushing into things and the having to fix them later is the antithesis of efficiency in manufacturing. Be confident in moves before you make them. Don’t forget to listen to your data.  

Educate Your Employees

You can’t do it all on your own. Whether it’s teaching more people how to gain insights from data, or giving highly effective guidelines for how to complete tasks, your employees need to know what to do. The better employees understand a process and how to make it work, the more efficient it’s going to run. 

Manufacturing thrives on efficiency and productivity. Instill these things in your organization and everyone will reap the benefits.