Your manufacturing process likely involves a lot of moving parts and often, there will be delays and obstacles that challenge your project completion. However, we’ve got you covered with a few best practices for keeping your project timely and efficient. 

  • Use your time resourcefully 
    • Put your downtime to good use! Surveying inventory is a great way to make use of the time. Let’s say a big order comes in and then you can’t break to run the trim blanks. This puts the trim team in a bind since every panel order also has a trim order. An adequate amount of blanks makes for unfit trim. In this way, failing to properly make use of your time will put you in a dilemma later on so always be prepared. Put enough forethought into your planning process. At Bulldog Steel we make our own anchor plates and if we do not produce them on a regular basis, it puts us behind schedule, forcing us to make up to 50 in just one day! This is an especially huge undertaking for a small team and is fully preventive if we manage our time responsibly. 
  • Eliminate waste
    • Don’t let materials go to waste! Take design heavily into account so that from the start, within the planning phase, you can establish the right amount of material. When you do have excess material, instead of discarding it, recycle the scraps or sell it to a factory that will use it if you can’t. How can you repurpose material from one project to use in another? 
  • Equip your team
    • Your team is a crucial part of efficiency in the manufacturing process. Equipping your employees with the proper training should be a keystone of your project. Clearly define each individual’s role, distribute checklists for standardized work, implement regular safety training, and commit time to ensuring that employees know how to handle and operate equipment. Providing clarity in multiple processes and setting clear guidelines for project execution will empower your team to efficiently complete their tasks and in turn, productivity across your organization. 
  • Quantification and data management
    • Quantify as much as possible – the numbers won’t lie. Often, data most clearly unveils what is and is not working. Whether it is material costs, inventory, management, or labor hours, assigning a number to various aspects in your manufacturing project will help you identify what should be addressed immediately and how you can optimize your workflows. Consider an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to coordinate and integrate the data at hand. This business management tool will help track project progress and oversee processes as data becomes visible and easily organizable within a single system. 
  • Equipment maintenance 
    • Take care of your tools. Maintenance schedules are crucial to keeping your equipment intact to minimize the chance of delays and inconveniences due to machinery failures. Committing to these schedules – while it may seem tedious – will help contribute to process efficiency in the long run as you stay ahead of the game, taking the proper steps to avoid disaster and prevent equipment from breaking down! Set the standards that the equipment should meet so you and your team know when to address it with further inspections. We also recommend that you establish channels for employees to report issues with equipment so that it can be addressed as soon as possible. As you create ways to maintain the equipment you already have to complete your project, consider investing in tools or machinery that will help fill any gaps and complete tasks that your current equipment does not. 
  • Coordinate deliveries
    • While not as directly related to the manufacturing process, delivery is an important component that may also affect the efficiency of your project. Ensure that you have methodical scheduling. For instance, delivery scheduling should be structured enough so that you can prioritize material drops in order of their importance. With deliveries, you’ll also want to ensure that you pre-trip your truck to keep it in key operational integrity and of course, keep it fueled up before transportation. While these minimal details seem obvious to address, neglecting them can contribute to putting you out of commission and creating delays. 
  • Be transparent with customers
    • Sometimes delays can’t be avoided and obstacles may block the progress of your customer’s project and original order date. As you run into unforeseen circumstances that force you to rearrange the implementation of your project, keep your clients in the loop to preserve trust. Your communication will help build credibility and a stronger customer-client relationship in the long run, regardless of the inevitable issues that may surface. 

Need more guidance in the manufacturing process? We’re here to help. As a steel manufacturing business, Bulldog Steel prides itself on its ability to deliver high-quality steel as well as go above and beyond to provide customers with the products they need to make their projects successful. Contact us today to learn more:

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