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What It Actually Takes To Run A Succesful Manufacturing Plant.

July 8, 2016 by  
Filed under Money/Business, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.com) The manufacturing industry is an important part of the economy. Becoming successful at it means you can be serving clients of all kinds and building long-term partnerships. There are a lot of opportunities out there for those able to get into the manufacturing business. But what, exactly, does that entail? What are the qualities you need and the plans you need to make to really succeed in the industry? In this article, we’re going to be looking at a few of the aspects at the core.

The kind of property you should have

First, you need to look at where you’re actually going to be doing your manufacturing. Your business plan should already give you an idea of your needs. Of storage, equipment and how much area it all takes up. If you are storing large amounts of material in tanks you will need to get a proper tank liner. You can click here learn more about tank liners. Besides your floor plan, you also need to have an eye on the right location for it. Location does matter, after all. If you’re too far away from suppliers or clients, you might be spending more on transport than you would like. Similarly, you need to be within easy reach of your staff as well. The local laws and legislation will also have an impact on what you can build, where. So make sure you’re fully aware of those before you jump onto any one spot.

The environment

You also need to think of the natural environment of the place you’re going into. All kinds of businesses are moving into more sustainable methods and manufacturing is no different. From the very start, keep an eye on how much you’re consuming by doing an energy audit. From there, there are lots of little changes you can make to reduce the consumption of your business. For example, replacing the lighting with efficient LED lights, instead. Evaluating your motors and drives and replacing them with more efficient models. Going paperless with your administrative work. Even investing in proper disposal to have as little an impact on the environment as you can. A lot of people care more about sustainable business these days. It’s not only good for the world’s sake, it can even be a selling point for a lot of customers.

Sourcing the right equipment

Manufacturing is an industry that relies on a lot of different equipment. Specific pieces of said equipment can allow you to produce things that your competition cannot. For example, if you want to produce the microelectronics that most electronic companies use. In that case, you should be looking at new info from Laser Light on the kind of equipment you need. How you pay for those electronics are important, too. A lot of business owners will rent certain equipment to begin with, but in the long term it can offer a lot more returns to finance and buy it outright.Plant-2016

Finding the staff you need

Of course, a manufacturing plant isn’t just machinery working on its own. You need the people that can operate that machinery. You also need administrative staff and plenty of other kinds. When hiring for your plant, try not to focus too much on the hard skills that you need. Instead, focus on someone’s ability and experience to learn those skills. They might not have the qualifications and training to use the equipment that you use. If they’ve shown competence and quality in learning how to use other equipment, you can assume they will be able to learn your system as well. Don’t focus just on skills but on their traits as well. They might be qualified, for example, but are they motivated?

Invest in them, as well

As we’ve said, you need to focus on the personality traits and soft skills they have. The ability to learn, to be reliable and motivated. These are what make the core of a great team. What makes up the rest of the meat is the investment that you put into them. The training you offer and how you give value to their job. Most workers aren’t just looking for employment. They’re looking for a step on their career. If you can offer them the kind of upward mobility they need, they’ll be more motivated to really be part of the team. Train them when you can and find them opportunities for internal career paths. That’s how you develop a loyal team.

Keep safety a priority

Another way to keep them happy in their job and show them that they’re valued is by prioritizing safety. It also helps that you’re legally obliged to provide a safer workplace. Manufacturing businesses have quite a few different sources of risk. They tend to have a lot more risks of slips, trips and falls, for example. Keep common travelling paths clear and use reflective markers to create borders where materials can and cannot be placed. Keep a close eye on the safety equipment and practices people use when operating machinery. If they’re doing it wrong, retrain them. Develop a rule book as to the safety of the workplace. Turning one of your workers into a safety officer can help take the load off your shoulders.

Keeping the machine well oiled

Safety is a big part of maintenance. You want to make sure that machines aren’t deteriorating to the point where they could prove to be a risk to your employees. But keeping your equipment maintained has a lot of benefits. Or rather, it can prevent you from a lot of risk. Risk such as slowing production down or raising the level of flaws within your products. Poorly maintained machinery can cost you money, time and the health of the workplace. Develop a schedule and a user manual for when and how machinery needs to be maintained. This maximizes efficiency within the work place. Which brings us on to our next point as well.

Keep reiterating

You don’t just want to keep the business safe and operating well. You want it to excel and succeed. Turning from a satisfactory manufacturing business into a fantastic one is all about efficiency. About finding the methods that work and refining them. Reiterating your setup to save you more time and end up with more products per day. As well as maintaining and arranging your equipment, your staff are a key to reiterating your production methods. If you’re growing market share, you need to find ways to produce more. If you’re holding market share, you need to find the ways of reducing the time and resources that production takes. One of the ways of making your business more efficient is through your employees. For example, through cross-training. Ten no one employee’s absence massively inhibits the productivity of the whole business.

Testing your products

It’s not just the efficiency of production that you need to constantly test, either. It’s the quality of the product yourself. It’s an environment that can change rapidly to suit better production methods. You need to know when the final quality and properties of a product have changed as well. That’s why you need to test your products all the time. Not just to make sure that they’re free of defects. There also needs to be certain standards held, such as your legal obligation towards certain safe products. If you drop the ball on this, you could be producing dangerous products that can’t be sold.

Tracking your finances

It’s not just thing on the plant’s floor that you need to be concerned about. You need to think about the money that serves as the blood of the business as well. Even if you’re always reiterating your production methods. If there are other costs like storage and travel you’re not improving, it could spell doom for your company. Make sure that you have your accounting up-to-date and easy to keep current. Keep finding more ways to save money so that you’re able to spend it on the things that matter. We’ve already mentioned how sustainable practices can not only save you energy but money. Build strong relationships with your suppliers and local businesses. This can also reduce the costs of actually doing business.

Diversifying your customer base

Speaking of relationships. You need to figure out how you’re going to organize the relationship between your business and your clients. A big client who returns often if a great thing to have. However, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. Make sure that you’re developing leads for smaller orders as well and diversifying between the kinds of clients you have. That way, if one of them eventually stops using your services, the business doesn’t come to a complete standstill. Even when you don’t have room for any more and can’t grow fast enough to accommodate more, you should keep an eye out and network with customers. You never know when you might need or want to capitalize on them.

Manufacturing is an industry that takes attention to detail, hard work and an eye for opportunity. If you get it right, you’ll be a key part of helping other businesses with their needs. Just keep everything mentioned above in mind.

Staff Writer; Peter Slade


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