Why Is It Important To Have a Productive Shop Floor?
Your shop floor is the heart of your business. Improving its efficiency is essential to keeping your business productive and profitable.
All too often, shop floors are chaotic. Multiple custom jobs at one time can lead to disorganization, misplaced materials, and priorities being missed. But to boost profitability and maintain an edge in your industry requires finding efficiencies. Your shop floor needs to be organized, on schedule, and productive. Plus your employees need effective procedures, tools, and technologies in order to perform at their best to create a productive shop environment.
What Does a Productive Shop Floor Look Like?
A productive shop floor is organized, aligned, and connected. To get there, implement good shop floor management practices that will streamline your manufacturing processes. In a well-managed shop, everyone is aligned and working on the right priorities, and your shop floor staff aren’t wasting time tracking down information, parts, and materials. Everyone knows what to do, and has everything on hand to get the job done right.
Top 5 Ways To Improve Your Shop Floor
1. Know Your Inventory
Real-time inventory management is crucial to efficient shop floor operations. To start jobs on time, you must have the right raw materials on hand when you need them — but you also don’t want too much excess stock crowding your floor, or tying up your cash flow. Effective inventory management and procurement practices will keep your shop floor running efficiently.
2. Get Organized
This goes hand-in-hand with effective inventory management practices. It’s no good having the right materials on hand if no one in your shop can find them. Take time to get your shop floor organized, including your shelves and storage spaces stocked, organized, and properly labeled. Don’t forget to ensure that your walkways are cleared and that you have a cleaning and maintenance schedule to keep everything organized and in working order.
3. Smart Workstation Set-Ups
Properly set-up workstations increase efficiency, reduce waste, and are easier and more comfortable for your shop floor employees to use. Plan out your workflows and layouts to ensure that you are maximizing your shop floor efficiency. Integrated and connected monitors at workstations can help keep everyone organized and priorities aligned, as your shop floor staff will have quick and easy access to production tasks and parts lists from one easy-to-use screen.
4. Reduce WIP
WIP (work in progress) is inevitable in custom shops. But implementing practices that can reduce it will make your shop floor more productive. Excessive WIP slows down productivity, ties up cash, and takes up too much space on your shop floor. Better supply chain management, organization, and production planning, including locating and sorting out bottlenecks will help to reduce WIP.
5. Have an ERP
The best way to improve your shop floor’s productivity is to have an ERP. An ERP allows you to better coordinate all of your shop tasks, including procurement, inventory management, material planning, scheduling, and production planning that have a big impact on your shop floor. An ERP streamlines your processes, getting your entire shop running off the same system, and making you more efficient. Plus, many ERPs include shop floor management systems that will give you end-to-end visibility into every aspect of your shop floor, making you more productive.
In today’s manufacturing industry, increasing shop floor efficiencies is crucial. When you take time to identify inefficiencies within your shop and focus efforts on improving them, you’ll take your productivity to the next level.
If you are looking for more ways to improve your shop floor, check out Genius ShopFloor. Our all-new shop floor management tool will maximize your shop’s coordination and get your company firing on all cylinders.
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