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IMIG Case Study: Maximising efficiency in the line

Regardless of your industry or business, improving and maximising efficiency is a top priority – And more so than ever in our post pandemic world with economic uncertainties

After all, it can mean cutting down on costs, maximising employee time, improving throughput and increasing business sustainability

Forward thinking businesses are continuously seeking new methods for boosting efficiency in order to improve their bottom lines. Since 1987, output per hour for workers in the manufacturing sector has increased by over 2.5 times.

But the landscape is changing, UK productivity has hit a slump and businesses looking to stay ahead of the competition must constantly reinvent themselves and retain sought after talent. In fact, recent surveys show that over 70% of employees see inefficient processes as impacting their job and why so many are seeking new jobs

How is Efficiency defined?

First, you must define what efficiency means to your business

Consider this definition of production efficiency from Investopedia:

“Efficient production is achieved when a product is created at its lowest average total cost; production efficiency measures whether the economy is producing as much as possible without wasting precious resources.”

4 Ways to Improve Manufacturing Efficiency – IMIG Case Study: Maximising efficiency in the line

Below, we explore five areas of your business that you can improve on in order to maximise your efficiency

  1. Identify and Eliminate Waste

Waste is a broad term. It can mean anything from employee hours, energy, materials, etc.

Here are a couple ways you can identify and eliminate waste:

  • Short-term: Identify processes to highlight and remove the waste
    • Each of your processes creates some variation of waste. Identify which processes are creating the most waste and then optimise them to eliminate and bring down to an acceptable level. We start by taking the teams, providing an understanding of the wastes and coaching them to lead their own waste walk to identify where waste exists:
  • Medium-term: Create less waste with new operational practices
    • While identifying where you are creating the most waste, you will find operations that in the long-term, can be improved upon. This could mean anything from adopting new equipment that requires fewer materials, designing new parts that improve yield and completely redesigning a shop floor layout to improve flow and visibility:
  1. Evaluate Your Production Line

The production lines in your facilities are your bread and butter.

Throughput is the most important metric to track when studying your production lines. It essentially measures the average number of units being produced over a specific period of time. This allows you to immediately identify problems in your production line when throughput is not up to par on certain machines.

Additionally, you can track capacity utilisation

By calculating what each factory’s total manufacturing output capacity is, at any given moment, you can see what production lines are performing at their highest possible output. Combined with throughput, you have two ways to track production line efficiency.

 

  1. Identify Bottlenecks

While identifying any problems in your production line or other processes, you will naturally discover your bottlenecks

Bottlenecks are the breakdowns in your production line, supply chain, or any business process that in turn prevents another process from accomplishing its function.

For example, in a production line, a specific machine could require maintenance, shutting down its operation for half of a day. Any process that requires that specific machine to be in operation is then stuck, unable to perform. That machine is then the bottleneck.

Once you have identified your most common bottlenecks, you can work towards removing them and improving efficiency by eliminating excess downtime

 

  1. Training the Teams – Sustaining the changes

Optimal employee performance starts with empowering every team member throughout the process. This isn’t as simple as creating a booklet that may just gather dust in a drawer — highly effective employees and high performing teams need to understand the right tools, be provided with valuable training to them and importantly; see the value of it if they are to put this to use longer term…

IMIG’s Capability by Conversion approach (CBC) is built on that ethos - our training puts your teams at the heart of your business improvement activities; our direct and on the job support and coaching ensures that your teams drive and sustain the change. Allowing Continuous Improvement to thrive in the long term

 

The creation of standardised practices across your whole organization is also crucial, from the top down. After all, you cannot expect each employee to be working efficiently when different managers institute different practices, and the same task is tackled multiple ways.

We suggest that in order to empower your employees to create sustainable efficiency, they should be asking themselves these questions:

“Is what I’m doing now adding value, or am I just doing it because this is the way I’m supposed to do this?”

“If I were the customer, would I pay money for the activities that I am engaged in?”

We know that by giving your employees the space to formulate ideas that can improve efficiency themselves is vital. After all, no one will know the ins and outs of their specific operations better; they are the experts and the value adders!

Here at IMIG, we are working with businesses globally to improve and maximise their efficiency whilst giving the internal capability needed to stay ahead and build teams of proactive problem solvers

Get in touch for a free consultation and find out how you can maximise and sustain efficiency with your teams at the forefront

 

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