No one wants a crisis to happen. However, preparing for a crisis instead of ignoring the possibility can save your shop money. Preparing plans for various crises takes time, but it’s worth it in the time and money those plans will save you when a crisis happens. As 2020 has shown us, huge problems can pop up, often with very little warning. There are three big ways that preparing ahead of time can save your shop money when a crisis happens.
Quicker Response Time
Time is important in manufacturing, and having a quick response to a crisis is incredibly important. If your shop already has a plan to respond to a particular crisis, you will know exactly what to do when it happens. If not, you’ll have to spend precious time deciding how to respond. The more time your shop spends on deciding how to respond to a crisis, the more machine time is potentially lost, and the farther behind your jobs will get.
There is also the possibility that the shop owner may not be around when a crisis happens. It could take even more time to get the shop owner or a manager on the phone to decide what to do. If there are plans already in place at the shop, whoever is there can act right away. Saving time always saves money in a job shop, but during a crisis, the money saved could be exponentially larger.
Planning Ahead is Easier
It’s difficult to plan well when you’re under stress. Even when you’re able to solve the immediate problem, it’s difficult to weigh the long-term effects of those solutions when you’re in a crisis. When you’re planning ahead to solve a potential crisis, it’s much easier to think through how different solutions will impact your shop and choose the best one. It may also be true that the best choice for your shop will change depending on how long the crisis lasts. You can build that into your plan as well and decide at what point to move into your long-term solution.
In addition, you can understand how your solution will impact each part of the shop and plan around that as well. What solves a problem for one part of the shop may cause new problems for a different part of the shop. If you plan your response ahead of time, you can think of all of these things and how to fix them before they become problems. You may also want to talk to people who work in different parts of the shop to see if your solutions would work for them. If you’re planning this out ahead of time, you have the luxury to do that. If you’re solving a crisis as it’s happening, you almost certainly don’t.
Importance of Working Remotely
The ability to work remotely has proved to be incredibly important during the pandemic. It’s much easier to keep employees at a safe distance when some of them are working from home, which is easiest if your ERP software is on the cloud.
Working remotely can also be useful during other crises as well. For example, office employees might not be able to get to the shop because the roads are icy in the winter, or flooded during a storm. They’ll still be able to work from their homes. Alternatively, if the owner of the shop is on vacation and a crisis happens, the owner can log in and see everything they need to from wherever they are and help the people in the shop solve the problem. The owner can work to solve the problem quickly, and might not have to cut their vacation short, depending on the situation. Technology is increasingly important to be prepared for various crises, but being able to work remotely has shown itself to be at the top of the list.
The most important part of dealing with a crisis is planning for it ahead of time. Planning ahead gives you space and time to prepare your shop’s solutions. For example, setting up working remotely is much more difficult when you’re dealing with other problems as well. When your shop is prepared for crises, it can respond much more quickly. This quick response will save your shop time and money, and in the long run, help your shop recover from a crisis more quickly as well.
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