Every shop wants to improve productivity but making that happen can be tricky. Once productivity goes up, so does the bottom line and all sorts of other things, but getting started can be difficult. This is especially true if you’ve already tried to make your shop more productive and have run out of ideas. Below are three starting places for improving productivity in your shop.
Scheduling is the heart of a shop, so it’s critical to get it right. However, scheduling can be complicated. You have to accurately estimate how long each step will take. You have to move every job through the correct machines in the correct order without doubling booking a machine. Most importantly, you have to get all of your jobs done on time. It can be a lot to balance and the busier your shop gets, the more difficult it is to do well.
E2’s scheduling can solve this for you. Scheduling takes in information from estimating and quoting so it knows which jobs need to be finished. Suddenly, you don’t have to spend time creating and correcting a schedule for your shop because E2 does it for you. It’s even able to make changes on the fly for when a customer calls in and needs their job right now. With streamlined and thorough scheduling, you can make sure everything gets done when it needs to and know what it will take to make that happen.
The earlier in the process your employees can catch a mistake, the less time and money your shop wastes. If there’s a problem with the material, you don’t want to go through the time and effort of completing it before you realize it’s unusable. Even if it’s simply one step not performed quite right, it’s much easier for an employee to fix the problem right after the mistake is made than at the end of the process.
With E2, your shop can have quality guidelines throughout the process. Your employees will know what parts are good and which don’t measure up. From there, they can either fix the parts or scrap them, depending on how close they are to meeting the criteria. With every employee thinking about quality, you’ll see scrap rates go down, which saves your shop time, money, and materials.
When looking for productivity in a shop, employers often overlook their employees. However, employees can be the greatest force for improving productivity if their training helps them keep up with industry standards. This training can cover a wide range of departments. Do your employees know how to use all of the machines in your shop? Are there better or different ways of using some of them? Are you interested in learning how to go lean or in getting ISO certified? It helps to have someone at the top of the organization leading the charge for any changes in the shop, but you need people on the floor to carry those changes out.
Making sure your employees know how to use the software and machines in your shop to their fullest capabilities will make your shop more productive. When you purchase anything, make sure ongoing training is available. In addition, it can be helpful to send employees to trade shows. There they can take classes on various topics and compare notes with others in the industry about how to do certain processes. The only constant is change, so it’s important to keep up.
Everyone wants to make their shop more productive. The three points above are good starting places, but how you implement them will depend on your shop and its needs. Improving productivity is also an ongoing process. What didn’t need to be changed in your shop before might need improvement now. It’s worth looking into improving productivity every year to make sure you’re not missing anything.
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