In recent decades, the barriers to entry for most sectors have been reducing. With this, there has been a rise in competition. As a result, companies need more efficient production processes. One of the key reasons for this is high-quality expectations from consumers.
However, data from a recent survey shows that 21% of products do not meet the needs of consumers. The primary reason for this is production inefficiencies.
In this article, you’ll learn three key strategies to improve production efficiency.
What Is Production Management?
As a manufacturer, the efficiency of your production is vital. Bottlenecks can translate into significant losses while eliminating them increases profitability. The goal of production management is to achieve the latter.
As such, production management refers to the structuring, planning, and optimization of manufacturing. It starts with raw materials and ends with finished products. You can also refer to production management as operation management.
Some of the goals of production management are to ensure goods:
- Meet quality requirements
- Are produced in the appropriate amount of time
- Are produced in the right quantities
- Have a competitive production cost
By achieving all this, you can get more value from your current production capacity. Moreover, it will also make it easier to scale production. This is why many organizations are hiring production teams. Their role involves supervising and coordinating personnel, equipment, and materials. As such, there are three main areas the come into play:
- Production planning – Involves determining when production will start and developing the master schedule
- Production control – Involves applying product design specifications at floor level
- Process improvement – A key element of production management is continuous improvement
Strategies to Improve Production Management
While the manufacturing process may be complicated, optimizing manufacturing operations does not have to be. Some of the strategies you can use to achieve this include:
1. Analyze Your Current Workflows
Manufacturing is a step-specific process. To get to C, you need to go through B. Therefore, steps and processes need to be clear. For this, consider three main areas to focus on:
- Personnel – Ensure that you have individuals with the right skills and are at the right place at the right time.
- Processes – Map out your production process and identify all bottlenecks. You should also have clearly defined SMART (specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, time-related) objectives for production.
- Tools and technology – Ensure that all machinery and tools are in good condition at all times.
2. Workforce Planning
Workforce planning is an integral part of production management. It involves the analysis, forecasting, and planning of workforce supply and demand. Doing it ensures that you have the right personnel for the company’s objectives and needs.
Suppose you run a rail company with a contract to lay tracks on a 50km stretch in a month. Ordinarily, to accomplish such a task on time, you will require ten engineers and 500 staff. However, from the 25km point, there’s a hilly 10km stretch that will take more time than usual.
Through workforce planning, you can identify the need to bring in more personnel and equipment. As a result, you’ll avoid unnecessary project delays.
3. Invest in Modern Processes and Technologies
Another element that can limit your capacity to optimize production management is your technology. If you are using outdated equipment and systems, there’s only so much they can offer. Therefore, it’s important to assess areas of your production due to a system upgrade. If possible, try automation.
In this regard, an invaluable tool for manufacturers is production management software. While increasing efficiency, it also eliminates human error. Some of the benefits you’ll enjoy with such a solution include:
- Analytics – You’ll gain critical insights about production. Such data allows you to improve further or identify issues in real-time.
- Integration – It can integrate with other business solutions such as CRM. This improves access to information and collaboration.
Improvement Is Non-negotiable
With production management optimization, it’s not just about increasing profits. It’s about remaining relevant. If your production process is not at par with competitors’ and does not meet consumer needs, you will be slowly phased out.