10 things great manufacturers won’t do

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One thing great manufacturers do is take note of what gets in the way of their success and stop doing it, says Daniel Carranco with Global Shop Solutions. PHOTO courtesy Okuma.

Running a successful business requires intense focus on doing the right things at the right time, advises Daniel Carranco, Director, Continuous Improvement for Global Shop Solutions.

This is especially true for manufacturers, where customers demand quality Products delivered on time every time, often with short lead times,” Carranco says. “What you don’t do can be just as important as what you do, sometimes even more so. One thing great manufacturers do is take note of what gets in the way of their success and stop doing it.”

Carranco leads teams that deal with existing customer projects including consulting and custom development. He is also a  frequent speaker to manufacturing executives and industry groups on maximizing ROI with ERP software.

Carranco has put together a report published by Global Shop Solutions on the “10 things the best manufacturers try not to do.” Included below are highlights from that report.

1 Rely on manual processes

Manual processes act like anchors on your business, slowing down production times and increasing the chances for error. Important data gets lost or misfiled. Work order entry and job setup takes longer. Labor costs climb.  With the Internet of Things (IoT) taking automation to a whole new level, you can’t afford not to invest in it.

2 Use paper on the shop floor.

Going paperless on the shop floor used to be wishful thinking for manufacturers. Now, with solutions such as With GS Mobile from Global Shop Solutions, it’s a reality that can transform your business,starting with materials management. Moving materials and parts throughout the shop floor is faster and easier than ever. You can produce reliable count verifications and updates, run cycle counts in real-time, and make on-the-fly adjustments to part and lot-bin counts – all without printing a single sheet of paper.

3 Guess at job costs.

Guessing at job costing is like hoping there’s water in the pool when you dive in. If you’re wrong, the outcome can be painful.

4 Put up with sloppy inventory management.

Few things are more frustrating than shipping late because materials aren’t on hand. Automating your inventory process lets you know what you have, how much, and where it is so you never run short of parts.

5 Lose control of labor costs.

Labor costs are typically one of the biggest items on the P&L. They are also one of the hardest to track with precision. Time on the job is inaccurately recorded. Overtime hours are poorly managed. Separating direct from indirect labor can be difficult. When you automate, these ongoing problems disappear.

6 Purchase too much or too far in advance.

It wasn’t long ago that most manufacturers kept a surplus in inventory – just in case. With today’s just-in-time manufacturing, the cost of carrying excess inventory not only outweighs the benefits; it also puts you at a competitive disadvantage.

7 Skimp on training.

 The manufacturing industry never stops moving forward with new tools, new technologies, and new work processes. The only way to keep up is with ongoing training for employees.

8 Make decisions based on old data.

Manufacturing success often comes down to how well you manage the data. And not just any data, but real-time, accurate data. With reliable real-time data, you control what happens on your shop floor and in your business.

9 Keep shop floor personnel guessing.

One of the biggest sources of waste for manufacturers is employees standing around because they don’t know what to work on next. You can continue posting shop floor schedules on the bulletin board and continue getting the same results.

10 Stop getting better.

If customer needs didn’t change, manufacturers could afford to rest on their laurels. But today’s highly competitive markets demand continuous improvement just to keep up, much less stay one step ahead of the competition. The quickest way to fall behind in the manufacturing industry is to stop trying to improve. Great manufacturers strive to get better every day.

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