When it comes to running an effective manufacturing business, efficiency is key. The speed with which you can produce goods is only part of the equation when it comes to creating an efficient manufacturing pipeline, however. Accuracy and precision are just as important to consider, as is volume. All of these factors come into play when it comes to scaling up your business in the midst of a large order or impressing a new client with just how productive your manufacturing plant is. Especially if you have tight turnaround times when it comes to the distribution needs of your clients, efficiency becomes even more important.
So, how does one go about streamlining their manufacturing workflow in order to effectively accommodate all of these different factors and tasks? A good way to think about streamlining is to focus on a different step of your production process at a time. Focusing on individual components in development, packaging, or formulation, for example, can be a huge help in wrapping your head around how to best transform your manufacturing efforts. Read on to learn more about a few different strategies and concepts that can play a vital role in helping you streamline your manufacturing operations.
Before you begin, ensure that your goals are realistic.
Goal setting is an important part of any business, and if you have manufacturing goals it’s a good idea to ensure that you’ve clearly defined them and know that you’ll be able to realistically achieve them. For example, if you need to speed up how you package your products, knowing what your machinery is capable of is important before you decide that you’re going to implement a new system in order to streamline this aspect of your production pipeline. You may decide that it makes the most sense to pick a specific methodology or framework for goal setting as a way of splitting up specific goals across each quarter and aligning all aspects of your process towards a larger goal.
The OKR system of goal setting is one such methodology to achieve these sorts of strategizing. The OKR framework stands for objectives and key results, the two details that must be defined in order to ensure that your KPIs are aligning with your desired outcomes. If you want to learn more about how to go about implementing the OKR process in your production process, it might be useful to listen to an episode or two of a WorkBoard OKR podcast. An OKR podcast can give you a lot of information about whatever platform you’re using for goal setting, regardless of whether or not you’re using WorkBoard or another software solution.
Search for end-to-end solutions to cut down on the time between production steps.
When it comes to good manufacturing practices, who you’re using for each step is just as important to streamline your workflow as any of the other suggestions on this list. For example, if you’re a supplement manufacturer creating capsules and powders, you may have a few different businesses you work with in order to create quality products. If you contract to manufacture your products, the more companies you contract with, the bigger the chance of a company holding up the entire process. As such, it’s important to pay attention to the companies that you work with if you really want to increase your results velocity.
Continuing with the example of a supplement manufacturer, whether you’re producing beverages, gummies, or other dietary supplement products, an end-to-end solution can make your entire process much more streamlined since you’re only managing one account with a single dietary supplement manufacturer instead of jobbing out different aspects of the development your nutritional supplements to other companies to handle packaging, order fulfillment, graphic design, or quality testing products for any defects. Especially in industries where you need to comply with regulations from agencies like the Food and Drug Administration, having one company handle all of your manufacturing operations means that even for high-scale companies like large enterprises, it’s much simpler to tackle new approaches or focus on continuous improvement since you only need to stay in touch with only one account manager on a daily basis.
Don’t be afraid to consult with experts about how to best proceed.
Even the best business leaders can benefit from talking to other experts, so don’t think that it’s a sign of weakness if you want to consult with a different business about finding new results management solutions for revolutionizing your business. While a common method for working with consultants is to speak with them one-on-one, another option to consider is attending different training programs in order to gain greater clarity about best practices as you work to streamline your business.
One type of training that might make sense is a 5s program. 5s lean training programs help you eliminate waste in your business and become more sustainable in your practices moving forward. The 5s methodology is a helpful way to look at restructuring your existing work environment so that you can be confident that your employees are having their own needs met while you pursue other best practices to ensure that your products are of the highest quality and you’re able to adequately measure results.
As you can see, there’s no one size fits all approach to streamlining your production pipeline. While some industries, such as the supplements field, may find end-to-end solutions helpful for the production of capsules, tablets, powders, and more, other industries may not be able to find such specialized services for your business. That being said, the above ideas are certainly helpful when it comes to brainstorming different ways to streamline your manufacturing process since most of these concepts are helpful at least in some part for a broad range of industries. The important thing to remember is that if you make a plan and work to achieve it, you’re bound to find success when it comes to streamlining any operation in your business, regardless of whether or not you’re looking to improve your manufacturing process or a different aspect of your company’s workflow.