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Improving Your Manufacturing Productivity

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There are many different aspects to manufacturing that you need to understand in order to run a successful company. It is vital that you understand how your manufacturing process works in order to improve your productivity. Manufacturing productivity needs to be at a certain level in order to maintain the right type of sales for the company. There are several different programs and things that you can use in order to improve your productivity for the company. Most of the programs will deal with computer innovation to help you automate your manufacturing process.

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Improve manufacturing productivity with MRP

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Is your manufacturing productivity struggling? Do you find that you have a lot of overhead costs and it seems like your employees are not getting their work done? You need to consider using MRP as it can help to improve manufacturing productivity. MRP is short for Manufacturing Resource Planning. What this will do is help to organize the company as it makes everything on a schedule. It is a great way to have your billing taken care of and it also helps to track and control inventory as well, making the entire manufacturing process much easier to work with.

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Improve manufacturing productivity with MRP

architect36832024.jpg
Is your manufacturing productivity struggling? Do you find that you have a lot of overhead costs and it seems like your employees are not getting their work done? You need to consider using MRP as it can help to improve manufacturing productivity. MRP is short for Manufacturing Resource Planning. What this will do is help to organize the company as it makes everything on a schedule. It is a great way to have your billing taken care of and it also helps to track and control inventory as well, making the entire manufacturing process much easier to work with.

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Calculating manufacturing company productivity

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How is the productivity of your manufacturing facility looking? Are you able to be productive and are your processes working in a manner where it is cost effective to your organization? You might think that your productivity level is great and everything is fine but if you don't have the actual documented information in front of you, it's hard to really know. You may have staff members that are wasting a lot of time because they are waiting on machines and other things. You could have a lot of wasted products as the machines tear them up thanks to faulty equipment or cheap raw materials. There are so many factors that lead into productivity that it is necessary for you to identify everything and understand how they all lead into the costs of the company.

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The History of TPM

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TPM or Total Productive Maintenance is a Japanese idea that can be traced back to 1951. This is the year when preventive maintenance was first introduced into Japan, from the United States. Nippondenso, (part of Toyota), was the first company in Japan to introduce plant wide preventive maintenance in 1960.

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All about TPM

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TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) is a maintenance philosophy that is strictly designed to integrate equipment maintenance, into the manufacturing process. The main goal of any TPM program is to eliminate losses that are tied to equipment maintenance or, keep equipment producing only good product, as fast as possible, with no unplanned downtime.

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Various roles of business process management

buisnessmeeting26238539.jpgManaging a manufacturing plant comes down to strong organization skills and several other things. Being able to focus on maintaining a high level of quality can often be a challenge. One method many manufacturing plants turn to is BPM or business process management.

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Learning about Just In Time manufacturing

clock63312045.jpgHolding too much inventory can be a huge burden to your company. If you are carrying a large inventory and your customers aren't buying the inventory in a timely manner, it will tie up your cash reserves and this leads to problems with the day to day manufacturing process. You won't have free money to pay for other needs of the business because you are waiting around for customers to come in and buy the products you have already produced.

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How to create a better workflow

cleaningmachines24240393.jpgMany manufacturing business owners get caught up in the everyday running of their business, and overlook the need to create a better workflow. They becomes so focused on producing their product, they often do not take into account the need to run their production line, efficiently and smoothly. This can seriously affect the bottom line of any manufacturer. When the workflow is not running smoothly and efficiently this means that there are hidden costs that can ultimately affect the overall profitability.

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What does lean manufacturing mean?

interview26236689.jpgMany companies turn to lean manufacturing to reduce or eliminate waste from their manufacturing processes. The goal of any plant is to reduce waste and produce better products for their customers. Lean manufacturing originally got its start it Japan and it has expanded all over the world to hundreds of companies.

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The principles of Kaizen

folder30394905.jpgReducing waste and improving manufacturing processes is a big part of proper lean manufacturing. Kaizen is a great way to improve the overall efficiency of your company and to increase your productivity and your profits. How do you implement Kaizen and how does it work? This article will explain Kaizen and help you understand more about this process and how it will improve your company.

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Why you need lean manufacturing

woodstack26498474.jpgWaste reduction and the removal of unnecessary process can save companies millions of dollars a year. Lean manufacturing benefits not only the company but the consumers of the products. The customers get to enjoy increase value to their products while the employees appreciate their jobs do to the incentives and motivational tools used to make the working environment flow better. The purpose of lean manufacturing is to reduce cycle times and get the products to the customers faster than anticipated.

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What you need to know about TQM

chair30393486.JPGTotal Quality Management (TQM) provides organizations with the ability to improve its effectiveness, competitiveness, efficiency, and flexibility in order to best suit the needs of its customers. Many companies quickly catch onto the philosophy of TQM but they struggle with the implementation of it.

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Using visual control for process improvement

cautiontape41824589.jpgCompanies that are seeking to increase production efficiency may want to consider using visual control as part of their Six Sigma or lean manufacturing process. Visual control helps employees perform their jobs easier because they can look at a visual sign to see what they need to do. Visual control does exactly what it states, it makes things visual. When things are visible, they tend to remain in our minds for longer periods of time. Having these visual reminders around the plant will provide employees with constant reminders, allowing them to make quick decisions when necessary.

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Using TQM to improve customer satisfaction

lemonaidstand32273991.jpgManufacturing firms are always looking for different ways to improve customer satisfaction. One method that tends to work well is to implement Total Quality Management (TQM). TQM focus on reducing product defects by improving your manufacturing process. TQM is a company-wide approach to saving money and improving customer satisfaction. Before you implement TQM, address the following questions:
1. Do we have enough managers to implement and monitor TQM?
2. Can the entire company commit to a quality change?
3. Do we have time to check for product defects and reduce wastes?

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Using the ISO 9001

paperfactory37771468.jpgWhen it comes to meeting the quality expectations of our customers, it can be quite challenging. The ISO 9001 is a set of quality standards that has been laid-out by the International Organization for Standardization. The ISO 9001 has specific rules manufacturing companies must meet in order to motivate change within their organization. Some of the standards include the following:

  • Establishing procedures that cover all the key manufacturing processes

  • Monitoring the processes to check for product variations

  • Maintaining accurate records

  • Checking for defects and taking corrective action when defects are identified

  • Regular review of the quality system to ensure that the products produced are effective

  • Constant improvement within the company

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Using the 5 "S" method in your process improvement strategy

gears15607918.jpgReducing waste and improving manufacturing processes is at the top of the list for many companies that are trying to save money. Most people will use Six Sigma or TQM to improve the way their business currently runs. One of the most effective tools of a process improvement strategy is the 5 "S" method.

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Using DMAIC to improve your business processes

oldermanstanding26239732.jpgDMAIC is a part of the Six Sigma method that is used to help improved companies by pulling out defects that are slowing the company down and costing too much money and waste. DMAIC stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. Use the following steps to improve your business and decrease waste.

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Using DMADV to create new products

emptychairs30393444.jpgThere are several methods out there when it comes to creating new products or new product lines. There are differing philosophies all that seem to concentrate on one or two key items in new products. One of these methods is called DMADV. DMADV is an acronym for the following processes: Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify. This process can be used to create new products and also to replace an existing system that is failing. DMADV is typically used in conjunction with Six Sigma processes. DMADV is described as follows:

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The Toyota Production System

coastalplant36588209.jpgAnyone that has worked with lean manufacturing and Six Sigma knows that the two processes share several different variables. It often poses the question, "should I implement one or two process improvement strategies?" While you can implement different tools from each system, it is best to pick one and then add on the additional tools as your company gets used to it.

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The Principles of BPI

chair30393486.JPGCreating a lean manufacturing environment is based on using several different philosophies. Business process improvement or BPI is one of many principles that is use to reduce waste and increase efficiency. BPI focuses on stepping back, diagnosing, analyzing, and making things more effective. It attempts to find ways measure, assess, adapt, sustain, and improve the business processes.

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Single minute exchange of die (SMED)

manufacturing_systems.jpgSingle minute exchange of die (SMED) provides a rapid and efficient way to covert a manufacturing process from running a current product to running the next product in line. The rapid changeover to a new product is part of the lean manufacturing principle, Mura. Mura is aimed at improving the overall flow of production.

Companies that have already implemented a lean manufacturing system should look into SMED as one of their tools. It helps to eliminate unnecessary waste within the company and it aims to improve customer satisfaction. The different with SMED and other lean tools is that it is focused on one small step in the entire manufacturing process, which differs from other concepts that look at is as a whole.

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Measuring performance

recession19085238.jpgIf you are building a total quality environment, you need to establish some tools to measure your company's performance. TQM is focused on improving quality within every aspect of the organization. Some companies prefer to measure performance through the use of financial gains. This is a good way to get a number, but it fails to provide you with the quality of your businesses performance.

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Important principles of lean manufacturing

machinery19192168.jpgLean manufacturing is one of the most-popular business improvement strategies. It is used by companies like Boeing, Toyota, General Motors, and a handful of other companies. When it comes to learning and implementing lean manufacturing, your company is best advised to pay a consultant to come in and train everyone.

When you are hiring a consultant, look for one that has a lot of experience in lean manufacturing. Far too often consultants only have experience with one or two aspects of lean manufacturing and they are unable to teach you multiple principles. You may find that you only get information about the 5 "S" method or kaizen. Unfortunately many of the consultants do not have a lot of experience with the implementation of the strategies and they fail to influence your company to become a lean environment.

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Implementing process improvement roles

accountant37004113.jpgProcess improvement focuses on getting things right the first time you do them. Instead of waiting for variations and product mistakes, you will take steps to change the inputs so the outputs are correct. Typically process improvement will define the goals of the company to figure out what purposes your product serves. From here you will determine who your customers are and why you serve them. The last thing process improvement will uncover is how to align your business process to make production faster and speed up all the other systems within the company.

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How to be successful with BPI/BPM

womanwriting19115187.jpgProcess improvement methods target the needs of the customers and the efficiency of the company. In order to become successful with business process improvement or business process management, you need to carefully follow these steps:

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How does TQM help my business?

manatcontrols24240145.jpgWith all the different process improvement strategies out there, it is easy to get confused about which ones you should use to reduce wastes. One of the process improvement strategies out there is Total Quality Management or TQM. TQM helps to eliminate waste and improve the production process through various standards. Here are some examples as to how TQM can help to improve your business:

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How can lean manufacturing improve production?

clock19132124.jpgLean manufacturing was developed to help companies quickly recognize problems and inefficiencies in their production process. Most manufacturing plants measure production as the output that is created by input used, meaning employee labor = output per hour. The slightest inefficiency in the production process can reduce your output per hour, which hurts your profit margin. Lean manufacturing is a way of life for most companies as it incorporates ways to change your production process to reduce waste and improve production. To gain insight to lean manufacturing, you must understand 7 different types of waste that may be hindering your company's ability to increase productivity.

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Creating key performance indicators

chart30392829.JPGKey performance indicators (KPI) are used to measure the performance of different processes within a company. Typically KPIs come in the form of scorecards and graphs. KPIs look at performance over time, which is why it is typically displayed as a graph. Time series charts are the best way to display KPIs. Companies that implement lean manufacturing or process improvement often use KPIs to measure their data. Here are some tips on how to create key performance indicators:

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Building a lean environment

windmills30521278.jpgIn order to build a lean manufacturing environment you must have total dedication from your employees and you need to have good manager. To create a lean environment, you must select which type of lean manufacturing works for your company. Most companies select the Toyota Production System (TPS) which is also known as just-in-time manufacturing. This method focuses on eliminating waste within the company and putting the customer first. Each department must take steps to ensure that the customers are satisfied.

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Why manufacturing standards are good for consumers

ladywithheadsetsmiling30342942.jpgAs consumers we have expectations for the products and services that we pay for. We assume that the products that we buy to eat will not be harmful to us and that the services rendered to us will not result in injury. Although these assumptions are fundamental to our decision to buy, we assume that the manufacturers of the products we buy will automatically comply with high standards and therefore fail to really stop to think about whether or not the products we buy really have been made to our expectations. As consumers it is obvious what is wanted. In short, what we want is to have our expectations met or exceeded. We want quality, reliability, protection (both of safety and health), compatibility between products designed to work together, consistency, choice, clear product information, lower prices and fair competition, and environmental sensitivity. As consumers, we work hard for our money and want to make sure that we are exchanging that hard earned money for a product that is comparable to the price in every way.

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Rapid manufacturing

cleaningmachines24240393.jpgRapid manufacturing is a type of manufacturing that can help speed up the manufacturing process. Manufacturers who use rapid manufacturing can create custom products quickly. This can help the manufacturer keep up with its competitors. This article discusses more about rapid manufacturing.

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Ownership

businessmeeting26668385.jpgThe manufacturing business is a multi-level structure. From the owner of a manufacturing business, to the owner of a manufacturing process, machine, or product, there are owners on every level of the manufacturing business. Here are a few different types of owners in the multi-level manufacturing structure and how they are interrelated.

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Measuring your manufacturing performance

cleaningmachines24240393.jpgSomething that you are going to need to do to determine if your manufacturing plant is succeeding in the economy is to measure the performance of your manufacturing plant. When you are measuring the performance of your manufacturing plant, you will be able to tell if there is problems in your business, plus what the main causes of these problems are. If you are doing things right you should be able to spot these problems ahead of time, which will allow you to stay on top of your game even when things are going on outside of the manufacturing plant that are affecting the economy.

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More on Lean manufacturing

books30364900.jpgLean manufacturing is a term that is being heard more and more often in the industry and is really getting a lot of attention. The idea has been around for quite some time now, but people are starting to realize how this can really affect businesses and the economy as a whole given the current state of the economy. Many people wonder if we would still be in the same situation where we are now if lean manufacturing had been more of a focus in earlier years.

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Becoming a six sigma black belt

blackbelt9821513.JPGSix sigma is common within manufacturing. In a nutshell, six sigma uses a set of quality and statistical methods to define and then improve a company's overall processes. In turn, the company will typically waste less time and money, continually improve the quality of their products and services, and improve their customer satisfaction and business.

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Agile manufacturing

confidence30842627.jpgMany manufacturers have developed methods to help them best meet the needs of their customers as well as meeting their own needs. One of the philosophies that manufacturers have developed is agile manufacturing. This article discusses agile manufacturing.

What is agile manufacturing?

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Save money by using Six Sigma

manwithmoney23268183.jpgThe Six Sigma method is very similar to the lean manufacturing way of thinking in that they are both promote incorporating a method of operation which will lower costs by reducing waste. Through the use of Six Sigma, everyone is a winner. The manufacturer saves money and can produce a higher quality product. The customer is happy because he receives a higher quality product on a consistent basis and often times the savings in costs are passed down from the manufacturer to the consumer. The Six Sigma method is focused mainly on reducing variation, thereby decreasing the resulting loss of resources that comes with inconsistencies. The concept of saving money by using six Sigma to eliminate waste is simple. Identifying waste in its many forms presents a challenge. In the paragraphs that follow, you will be able to read about some more specific Six Sigma ways that you can save money by using what resources you have more wisely.

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Tips for custom manufacturing

assemblyline19192148.jpgCustom manufacturing has made thousands of businesses more efficient and more effective at meeting the needs of their clients while providing a good profit base for the company at the same time. Custom manufacturing is a process that involves the blending of many different ideas and combines the expertise and observations of experts to come up with strategies and methods that improve a business in many ways.

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Understanding Kaizen

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Kaizen is a Japanese tradition which has been used to help manufacturing plants to improve their processes as close to perfection as possible. Kaizen is often translated to mean "to become good through change". Like the Toyota Production System and other manufacturing strategies, Kaizen is designed to organize a business and help the business achieve its highest level of efficiency.

Kaizen is founded on 5 basic principles:

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Job Production Manufacturing

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Job Production Manufacturing involves the producing of a one-off product for a specific customer. One-off production is used when an item is meant to meet a customer's very specific needs and product requirements. This is considered to be the oldest form of production. With this type of manufacturing, the production is concerned with individual products. It is also important to note that many of these finished products will probably not have a large number of pre-manufactured components (many different parts) in them. Most items are largely put together by hand or with the use of highly specialized equipment.

Most of the time no two products will be the same and since the units are manufactured to customers' requirements, each unit can be expensive. This has lead to job production primarily being used for high end items where the costs can be recouped fairly easily.

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TPM

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Total Productive Maintenance or TPM is a program that aims to combine the increase of production and the improvement of employee morale. TPM is predominately a program for those who are incorporating newly developed concepts into the plant. The key to TPM is the maintenance portion. Although maintenance has long been regarded as a non-profit activity within the business, more and more business professionals are realizing just how vital maintenance process are to the survival of a profitable business. Scheduled maintenance can be planned and accounted for in the transactions of the day. Emergency maintenance on the other hand is neither predictable in when it occurs nor how long the plant is hindered because of it. A little maintenance planning goes a long way to reduce the amount of unscheduled maintenance and costly downtime.

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Optimizing materials and time

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Whether you are running a manufacturing company, a grocery store or a peanut stand, you have one goal in mind and that is to make money. The better you can use your time and the more you can get out of the materials you have the more you will have left in your wallet at the end of the day. Optimizing materials and time is the goal of a manufacturing process called, lean manufacturing.

Lean manufacturing is a type of manufacturing system that aims to eliminate waste in all of its forms. Waste is defined as activities that add no value to the overall production of a good or service. The less you waste, the more you can save and ultimately the more profitable your company is going to be. But, you are not only one who wins in this arrangement. The customer benefits from the lean manufacturing system by benefiting from the cost savings that the manufacturer can pass on to the consumer and also by receiving a product that is free from defect or fault, as is the objective of a waste free system.

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TPS, how to help your managers begin to use it

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TPS refers to the Toyota Production System, which is a sytem designed by Toyota in order to streamline its manufacturing process. It works to organize elements of manufacturing and logistics as well as the relationship between customers and those who supply the vehicles. It is thus a total industry method that tries ot pull together all the different aspects of a manufacturing business to help it run more efficiently. A more recent version of the TPS method that has been very popular is known as the lean manufacturing method. One of the most popular elements of the method is the way it works to eliminate waste in the total manufacturing process. TPS identifies areas of waste that do not contribute to the total value of the finished product that the customer pays for. For example, if machines are left on all night, or if extra packaging is added to a product it costs the customer something they don't need to pay for. It also can increase the total cost to the company of producing a good. In TPS these sorts of areas of waste would be eliminated. TPS also works to make the production process smoother, with fewer interuptions. A company that might have several stages in their production process could collapse them into far fewer stations. This might save a great deal in terms of energy and total cost. It could also speed up the process and ensure fewer manufacturing errors.

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Streamline to improve profits

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If you are a business owner you are probably looking for ways to improve the efficiency of your business. In many cases businesses are running on old production methods that might have worked well twenty or thirty years ago. If the business has been profitable as it is, most managers just keep doing things in the same way. They would love to increase profits but lack the knowledge, energy, or time necessary for making real changes. Making a business more efficient often seems like a daunting task when you are faced with the normal problems of running a business. Efficiency might also seem like it would be too expensive; don't efficient changes cost thousands or millions of dollars? In many cases people think that making a business more efficient involves investing in brand new machines or hiring a new workforce. Although these things might increase efficiency, there are some other things you can do to make your business much more efficient. Streamlining is a technique used to eliminate waste in a business and to decrease costs.

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Tracking process flow to improve production speed

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If you work in any part of a manufacturing plant then you have probably thought about production speed at least once or twice, if you are higher up in management then production speed has probably crossed your mind quite frequently. The reason that people in manufacturing businesses think about production speed is that production speed is tied directly to the company's profit. What this means is that if you can improve your company's production speed or increase the production speed then you are going to have a higher rate of production which will mean you will end up with a higher profit. And everybody knows that the higher the profits the better benefits for everyone, including the company. But what you might be wondering is how you can improve your production speed. One of the best ways to improve your production speed is through tracking your process flow.

But before you can begin to understand how tracking your process flow can improve your production speed you are first going to need to understand what process flow is, so let's take a moment to discuss process flow. In manufacturing process flow is the steps of a procedure that are used in making, delivering, or accomplishing a product or service. And process flow is also how the steps impact the layout of your company and your decisions about technology, not to mention how your company works together. When it comes to building a strong company that is going to have a competitive edge you need to realize that process flow is going to be a very strong aspect. Something else that you need to know about process flow is that when applying the concept of process flow a given procedure can be classified as either a job shop or a flow shop. Basically a flow shop is not a flexible procedure and uses specialized resources, while a job shop is very flexible and uses general resources.

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Tracking process flow to improve production speed

forklift37881071.jpg
If you work in any part of a manufacturing plant then you have probably thought about production speed at least once or twice, if you are higher up in management then production speed has probably crossed your mind quite frequently. The reason that people in manufacturing businesses think about production speed is that production speed is tied directly to the company's profit. What this means is that if you can improve your company's production speed or increase the production speed then you are going to have a higher rate of production which will mean you will end up with a higher profit. And everybody knows that the higher the profits the better benefits for everyone, including the company. But what you might be wondering is how you can improve your production speed. One of the best ways to improve your production speed is through tracking your process flow.

But before you can begin to understand how tracking your process flow can improve your production speed you are first going to need to understand what process flow is, so let's take a moment to discuss process flow. In manufacturing process flow is the steps of a procedure that are used in making, delivering, or accomplishing a product or service. And process flow is also how the steps impact the layout of your company and your decisions about technology, not to mention how your company works together. When it comes to building a strong company that is going to have a competitive edge you need to realize that process flow is going to be a very strong aspect. Something else that you need to know about process flow is that when applying the concept of process flow a given procedure can be classified as either a job shop or a flow shop. Basically a flow shop is not a flexible procedure and uses specialized resources, while a job shop is very flexible and uses general resources.

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What is production leveling?

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Production leveling, which is also referred to as production smoothing or heijunka (Japanese term), is the technique that was discovered by the Toyota Production System that is used to reduce the amount of waste in the production system so that your company can improve their production efficiency. More often than not, you see production leveling being used in lean manufacturing. The basic idea of production leveling is to produce goods at a constant rate so that you can allow further processing to be carried out at a constant and predictable rate.

Ideally, production can easily be leveled where demand is constant, but what happens in the real world is that the actual customer demand fluctuates. To deal with the customer fluctuations two approaches have been adopted in lean manufacturing, which are demand leveling and production leveling. These approaches have been adopted to help prevent the fluctuations in production, which is done by trying to keep fluctuation in the final assembly line to zero. How production leveling works in manufacturing is that you are never doing the same product repeatedly, as you would do with mass production. Instead, you use small batches of products. For example, Toyota never assembles the same model of car in a batch. How Toyota works is production is leveled by making first one model, then another, etc until the batch is completed. With production leveling, it can refer to leveling by volume or leveling by product mix or type.

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Visual control a key component of production improvement

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ompanies that implement lean manufacturing often use visual control in the form of heijunka boxes or the kanban method. Visual control is simply a visual way to help employees understand where things go, where to find things, and what to do with wastes. Visual control will make the processes easier because employees can focus on a specific color to identify a problem. Visual control quickly conveys a message to employees without having to hold a meeting.

Lean implementation focus on reducing wastes and improving production. Using visual controls as part of your lean manufacturing process will help your company maintain a certain level of consistency. Using visual controls, your employees can compare the products that have come off the assembly line to another one that is correct. This will help you make sure that all the products being shipped to your customers are the same.

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Tracking process flow to improve production speed

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If you own or manage a manufacturing company, you have probably thought about your company's production speed at one point or another. Usually the higher up in management you are the more often you will think about production speed. The main reason that people who work in manufacturing think about production speed is that the company's production speed is directly tied to a company's profits. If you can improve your company's production speed you will end up with a higher rate of production, which means you will end up with a higher profit. Everybody in the business world knows that the higher the profits the better it is for everybody involved, especially the company. Even if you do think about production speeds that do not mean that, you know what you can do to improve your production speeds. One of the best things that you can improve your production speed is through tracking your process flow.

In order to begin tracking your process flow the first thing that you will need to do is fully understand what a process flow is. In manufacturing, the process flow is the stapes of a procedure that are used in making, delivering, or accomplishing a product or service. The process flow also includes the steps that influence the layout of your company and your decisions about technology, not to mention how your company works together. In order to build a strong company that has a competitive edge you need to realize that your process flow is a very strong aspect of how your company performs. You also need to realize that when applying the concept of process flow to a given procedure it can be classified as a job shop or flow shop. A job shop is very flexible and uses general resources, where a flow shop is not a very flexible procedure and only uses specialized resources.

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Rapid TQM

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Total Quality Management, or TQM, is the method where employees can become involved in the continuous improvement of the production of goods and/or services. The TQM process involves eight key elements that need to be maintained in order for the process to work for the company. The biggest drawback to TQM is that in order for it to be effective it is going to take time to maintain it and for it to achieve its full potential. This is where rapid TQM comes into play. Rapid TQM takes TQM and tweaks it so that it is 20 to 30 times faster than the original TQM.

With rapid TQM, your organization will be able to implement changes in weeks, and you will be able to realize the full potential of TQM in months. However, in order to achieve rapid TQM your company is going to have to become more efficient in problem solving. The reason for this is that rapid TQM asks that you solve the right problem and not use the data that you have collected to solve what might be the wrong problem. The best way to find out what problems need to be solved is through conversations with your employees or through rapid data collection.

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Keeping accidents at a minimum and production at a maximum

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Safety should always come first. There are simple steps employers can take in order to ensure that the workplace is safe for employees. The first thing that you can do to help minimize accidents at work is to do routine checks or the workplace environment and access any dangers that may exist. You should lookout for possible dangers. Some of the items you should consciously be on the lookout for are frayed cables or cords, slip and fall hazards, equipment not working properly, and areas where employees might not be able to be seen or call for help.

In addition to your routine walk through, you should also perform job hazard analysis for each of your employees. This analysis would look at hazards the individual may face, the employees attitude towards safety, whether proper protective gear is being provided and worn by the employee, and finally if the employee has the proper skills and abilities to work in a safe manner at their current station. Try implementing behavior-based safety in your plant to determine if your employees are in danger of accidents because of the way they are working. The information gathered in your analysis and implementation can help to preempt any dangers, indicate areas of improvement and provide insight into possible changes in personnel.

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How to improve output

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Outputs and profits have a direct relationship. The more a company is capable of outputting within a short period of time, the more successful that company is. More output equals more profits. Here are some basic tips and tricks in helping to assure that your manufacturing company can increase its output and increase its profitability.

Tip #1: Make sure you have a system in place to help you identify inefficiencies and problems. The better your system is at identifying problems, the quicker you are able to correct them. Continuously solving these inefficiencies and problems helps to improve the process and increase outputs. Your system could involve technology or be human driven.

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Increasing multi-tasking = increased lean production

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Very simply put, lean production is production that takes place with as little waste as possible. Waste can be in the form of materials, resources, time, effort, etc. As you know, multi-tasking is a management technique where several things can be done at once for the sake of increased efficiency. When multi-tasking is used, naturally there are improvements and increases in the leanness of the production process.

Some individuals are naturally gifted with the ability to multi-task, while others struggle to do two things at the same time. Luckily, you do not have to have your employees struggling with the same kind of juggling act. Multi-tasking involves more strategies than doing two things at once. Below are a few examples of how you can increase your multi-tasking and increase lean production in an orderly, sensible, and efficient manner.

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How to handle globalization as a manufacturer

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Introduction

Globalization has been defined as the integration of economic, political, and cultural systems across the globe. As the manner in which businesses are conducted has changed dramatically in recent years, it has become increasingly more important to adapt strategies to remain competitive. Globalization is to be approached with an offensive tactic. This means that globalization should not be looked on as a challenge or a threat to your operations but rather as an opportunity to advance on a global scale.

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Using acoustic insulation to improve your plant

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You can use acoustic insulation to improve your plant. Noise is a huge problem in nearly every manufacturing plant. It can cause a variety of issues ranging from lower production to employee injuries. If you can reduce the noise as much as possible you will be able to improve your plant in a variety of ways.

In addition to the noise being created from the plant you have noise coming from the outside. Roads, railways, airplanes, and other machines outside the plant create a lot of noise. Acoustic insulation inside the plant can deter these noises from interrupting operations.

One reason to install acoustic insulation is to separate the offices from the production floor. Often the offices have a much different work environment than the production areas. This separation from the noise is necessary to hold meetings and conduct day to day business. The acoustic insulation will give you a chance to `hear yourself think'.

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How anti fatigue floor matting improves productivity

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Anti fatigue floor matting improves productivity in the work place and improves morale. Slips and falls are the second most common cause of injuries at work. Employees who stand on hard work surfaces such as concrete, tile, or linoleum for an entire shift often suffer from fatigue and discomfort. The fatigue will translate into lost productivity as the shift progresses.

Cushioned industrial floor matting is a low-cost preventive for foot and lower leg aches, pains, and muscular cramps. Additionally, the matting but has the added advantage of improving workplace safety by greatly reducing the potential for slips and falls. The anti fatigue floor provides an abrasion resistant cushioned surface that permits items like oil and other fluid to drain through.

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How to improve productivity and efficiency in your manufacturing

factory26813920.jpg This article will describe the basics of lean manufacturing and the possible implications for your company or business.

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How to implement reforms that increase your manufacturing quality and speed

warehouse19191726.jpg This article will discuss how you can delight your customers through the quality and speed of your manufacturing and other processes.

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How to keep accidents low and product high

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In any manufacturing plant you will want to keep your accidents low and keep your product high. This will help your manufacturing plant make money and keep your employees safe. In order to do this you will need to train your employees on accident prevention. Training your many employees on the correct way to work on the floor and avoid any accidents will also help you in keeping your product inventory high.

You will want to invest in a good training program for all of your employees. Accidents can happen anywhere in a company so all employees should be required to attend this meeting. Keep the accident training program in place for any and all of your new hires. Train other employees on how to teach the accident prevention class or classes.

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Managing waste at your manufacturing plant

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"Lean" manufacturing has long been a manufacturing technique that manufacturers strive to embody. No one wants waste in their business. Wasting resources means throwing money out of the window and subjecting your company poor press especially if your waste has any negative association with environmental protection. Managing waste at your manufacturing plant has only advantages when it can be done efficiently and as cost effectively as possible. Do not be fooled into thinking that all of your waste problems can be solved in a matter of weeks, months or even years. Many manufacturing plants spend their entire time operating striving to have less and less waste. Although it may seem like your company will never full be rid of all kinds of waste, there are small things that can be done on a daily basis to make small improvements consistently over time.

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How to have fewer defective finished products

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Introduction

No one likes defective products, especially the manufacturers of those defective products. Making a product that no one is willing to buy means wasting precious resources of time, effort, and money with absolutely no prospect of return. Defective products can quite literally take a business with great ideas and turn it into a business that has no hope of making money (or recovering lost costs) and must ultimately close its doors. A defective finished product is a detrimental error that can fortunately be eliminated.

Instructions

It takes time and resources to perfect your production line. So although occasional defects are to be expected, all must be done to prevent the same defect from happening twice. Recognizing and learning from points in the production process that consistently yield unsatisfactory results is a good place to start when working towards having fewer defective finished products.

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How to cut down on your waste

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Introduction

In the manufacturing business cutting down on waste is really an easy of cutting down on wasted money. When you can cut down on wasted money, you see higher profits and higher profits mean taking your business to the next level. Wasted material resources also become economic issues as more and more pressure is being but on manufacturers especially to clean up their operations.

Instructions

There are a variety of different ways that you can cut down on the waste that you have at your manufacturing plant. The process of cutting down waste is often referred to as Lean Manufacturing. Below you will find some points in the lean manufacturing process as well as some additional ideas that will help you to better control, reduce and eventually eliminate waste.

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Understanding Production Flow: Extended Entry

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Production flow is often call mass production, repetitive flow production, or series production. Production flow uses production lines to continually move large amount of items through the production process. Each product will have the same amount of time dedicated to it on the production line in order to keep the process moving smoothly. This also means that once one product has been produced, the next product must begin production immediately following the completed one.

Quite often production flow is used for car manufacturing where the doors, wheels, bonnets, and engines are all added to a chassis as it moves along an assembly line. Production flow is used for companies who want to produce a high volume of the same item. Henry Ford used production flow when he produced the Ford Model T car in the early 1900's.

In fact, Ford was a late developer of production flow. Production flow was first developed in Venice hundreds of years earlier. The Venice Arsenal used production lines to assemble nearly one ship a day. This made the Venice Arsenal the world's first factory. Production flow became increasingly popular when Johannes Gutenberg published the Bible on a printing press in the mid 1400's. Guns were mass produced during the American Civil War by the Springfield Armory. Also during this time, watches were mass produced as well. As you can see, production flow has been around for hundreds of years.

Production flow became increasingly popular in the American system of manufacturing because it was new, sophisticated machinery that relied on electricity, versus steam power. Production flow is one of the leading reasons for the boom in the American economy in the early 1900's.

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Pull Production - Understanding Kanban: Extended Entry

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A pull production system is based on customer demand. Basically it is a concept that each manufacturing component must be in line with another department in order to build a final part to the customer's expectations. Your business will become leaner because your production process is designed to only produce products that are deliverable. This leads to leaner business because you will not be housing excessive stock of finished or part-finished products.

A pull production system is often referred to as "kanban". Kanban methods use visual aids to show that you have completed a process or the process requires more work. kanban or pull production systems are not available for all businesses because of product types, lead times and stock holding arrangements. Pull systems have been shown to reduce your lead times and the costs associated with production.

How a Kanban Production Control System works.
Again, a kanban system uses visual aids to control the movement of materials between different work stations. The name kanban referred to a Japanese sign shop that used a visual image on a sign to communicate the type of products that were sold. The Toyota Production System implemented kanban into their transport container. It is a card that is attached to the transport and storage containers. The purpose of the kanban card is to identify part number and the container capacity. There is other information on the card as well that provides easy, visual, signals to the employees.

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Production Leveling: Extended Entry

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Production leveling is a technique used by the Toyota Production System to reduce waste (mura) and to develop production efficiency. Production leveling believes in using incentives to establish a constant demand rate for the products you produce. This allows for the processing in the future to be constant and predictable. Quite often production leveling will be referred to as "Heijunka" or production smoothing.

What is Heijunka?
Heijunka is another Japanese term that "refers to a system of production smoothing designed to achieve a more even and consistent flow of work." As you can see Heijunka is designed to level the production volume and to level the production by product type. In order to understand production leveling, we will look at the 2 aspects of Heijunka in more detail.

Starting with production leveling, Toyota's view is that production systems vary in the muri and mura and the capacity of a machine is forced in some time periods. Muri or overburden is considered to be all the unreasonable work that management assigns upon workers and machines due to poor organization. Some examples of muri are carrying heavy weights, dangerous tasks (behavior-based safety issues), and working at a significantly faster than normal pace. Muri defines this work as pushing a person or machine to a pace beyond their normal limits. Muri is associated with the preparation or planning phase of the production process. Mura or inconsistency focuses on the implementation and elimination of fluctuation of scheduling. This usually falls to the operations level to schedule the quality and volume of the production process.

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Using TQM to reduce costs and improve quality

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Developed in the 1980's, Total Quality Management (TQM) has been established at various companies to help manage quality through various processes. TQM is another approach to improving effectiveness, competitiveness, efficiency, and flexibility in order to best suit the customer's needs. TQM is broken down as follows:
Total Quality Management (TQM)
Total
= Quality involves everyone and all activities in the company.
Quality = Conformance to Requirements (Meeting Customer Requirements).
Management = Quality can and must be managed.
TQM = A process for managing quality; it must be a continuous way of life; a philosophy of perpetual improvement in everything we do.

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Using six sigma to reduce costs and improve quality

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Developed by Motorola, Six Sigma is a management philosophy that "emphasizes setting extremely high objectives, collecting data, and analyzing results to a fine degree as a way to reduce defects in products and services."

The structure of Six Sigma is to get as close to perfection as possible. Therefore, companies measure how many defects are in a process and then narrow them down to achieve perfection. In order for a company to achieve Six Sigma, it cannot produce more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities, where an opportunity is defined as a chance for nonconformance.

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Making your manufacturing more profitable

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The manufacturing process is very complex. It is made up of multiple elements that make any number of problems possible. At the same time, manufacturing contains an immense potential for making a profit. Here are a few suggestions on how to make manufacturing more profitable.

Rescheduling

Manufacturers often rely on parts and pieces that are shipped to them from many different parts of the world. Because a manufacturer cannot produce without the initial parts, planning for disruption can be an effective way to increase profits. By implementing software that can connect with the other companies who are shipping the parts to the manufacturer and that can predict resource conflicts, knowing when to send a job to the job shop will become much more predictable. This will save the manufacturer money and subsequently bring in a higher profit.

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Using lean manufacturing to reduce costs and improve quality

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Lean manufacturing was developed in part from the War Manpower Commission that led to the Toyota Production System (TPS). Lean manufacturing is a concept that focuses on eliminating seven wastes. Toyota defined three types of waste: "muda" or nonvalue-added work, "muri" or overburden and "mura" or unevenness. By eliminating waste, overall quality can be improved and production time as well as cost can be reduced.

The Toyota seven wastes are as follows:

  1. Over-production (production ahead of the demand)

  2. Waiting Time (waiting for the next production step)

  3. Transportation (moving products that are not required to perform the processing)

  4. Over-Processing (Poor tool or product design creating activity)

  5. Inventory (Finished product not being finished)

  6. Motion (people or equipment moving or walking more than the production requires)

  7. Defects (Effort involved in identifying and fixing defects)

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How to keep costs low enough that freight charges still make your product affordable

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One thing that every manufacturing company knows about is that the high cost of freight charges can actually make the final price of your product unaffordable. Basically what this means is that after you have added in all of your fixed and variable costs you are still going to need to add in your freight charges to get the final price of your product. And the way gas prices are constantly going up that means that freight charges are going to continue to increase, especially if you do your own shipping. Freight charges are actually a variable cost because of the fact that they can change depending on how many items you are shipping at one time, if you are doing your own shipping, or other factors. So in order to make sure that your final cost of your product is low enough you are going to want to look at a variety of ways to keep your variable costs down so that when you add in the high freight charges people are still going to buy your product.

Difficulty rating: Moderate to difficult

Step one:
One of the first things that you should think about doing is to see if you can reduce the price that you pay for the parts. You can approach your suppliers to see if you can get any discounts or you can check out other suppliers to see if they offer the same parts that you need for different prices.

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How to handle shipping of finished products

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In the manufacturing business, figuring out how to handle shipping of finished products can be difficult. You have a great company that creates a great product, so how do you get it to your consumer without it ending up in a million pieces?

Wood Crates
If you are shipping large items that may have parts and such to them you can use large wood crate to ship your products in. There are companies that actually specialize in making crates for your special needs. One such company is called "Caseworks." They provide a variety of standard and custom sizes of wood shipping and storage crates. These crates could ultimately be a dream for large manufacturing companies, especially with the option of being able to custom order them. You can order them with hinges, handles, locking mechanisms, and they come with foam encasing inside the crate to protect from breaking and so forth. If you have a product that can fit into something like a wood crate, try thinking about using one as it can ensure the safety of shipping your finished products.

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Choices for programs to improve your manufacturing plant


There are many available programs to improve your manufacturing plant. One of the most popular ways of improving manufacturing is called Lean manufacturing. Lean manufacturing is a business model as well as a multitude of manufacturing methods that focus on getting rid of the waste while at the same time producing quality products. This is all done at the lowest cost to the manufacturer and also the consumer.

There are a variety methods or programs available through lean manufacturing that you can use to improve your manufacturing plant. Most if not all of the lean manufacturing methods can occur concurrently and are implemented in sequential steps.When it comes to choices for programs to improve your manufacturing plant there are many different techniques to implement. You first need to make sure that senior management is on board, and then get your employees excited about the ideas. This article will cover six of the most widely used methods.

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How to keep on schedule with production


How to keep on schedule with production? Making sure production stays on schedule really depends on using good management and functional methods. If you look at the different management options out there, you will find that there are many ways to work the production process. The key to keeping up with your schedule is making sure you use the right management program for your business.

There are a few different types of programs you can use. Check out anything from Six Sigma, to Lean manufacturing, or TQM. There are other programs out there that are combinations of these different management programs. However, what is important will be making sure that the practices will have the end result of being on schedule for production.

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Tips for making your process streamlined


Here are some tips that you can follow to streamline your manufacturing process.

Tip one:
One of the first things that you can do to streamline your manufacturing process is to hire some one to help you find out where you can do better. Basically what this means is that you are going to need to hire a company to come out and take a close look at your entire manufacturing process to see if you can make any improvements. There are a variety of companies out there that will come out and help you find any quirks in your manufacturing processes. But not only will they find the quirks in your process they will also show you how you can fix them. You will want to make sure that you do some research on these different companies and read different reviews before you go and hire one. The reason that you want to do some research on these companies is that these different companies can cost a lot of money. You want to make sure that their services are what you are looking for and that they will be beneficial to helping you streamline your manufacturing process rather than just a waste of money.

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How to reduce turn over at your manufacturing plant


Turnover is extremely costly in the manufacturing industry. Manufacturing is a process that requires the use of at least some equipment. Training on manufacturing processes and equipment is not easy or cheap. Once a person is trained, they become a valuable commodity and you don't want to let them go. Here are a few tips to help you retain the employees that you have and hire future employees that will stay with the company.

Develop a team for interviews-one of the best ways to ensure that you keep new employees is to hire new employees who will stick around. To do that, you might want to use a panel or team of current employees for the interview process. Select a team from your best workers and have them develop questions that they would like to ask an incoming employee. It is quite likely that the perspective of production workers and the perspective of human resources workers are a little different. By using a team to do the interviews, you will be able to take advantage of all the different perspectives and, hopefully, hire the right person for the job.

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Performance management dos and don'ts

Here are the dos and don'ts of performance management.

Tip one:
One of the first things that you are going to want to do when it comes to performance management is that you are going to want to follow a sequential approach. What this means is that when you look at the activities that are associated with performance management you are going to want to categorize the activities into three different phases. Basically what these phases are going to do is involve a series of activities in a certain order that are completed effectively. And once these activities are completed effectively they are going to help move your company to the next level of performance management. The three phases are:
 Report performance to bring transparency to the organization
 Manage and control to align the organization
 Improve performance to drive the organization

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Ways to increase your output and decrease costs

Every business has expenses that can't be avoided. It's just part of life. But the trick is to produce more than you spend, which can be tricky if you're just starting out of if your business is experiencing a bit of a down turn. But there are ways to avoid excess expenses. Just keep reading and learn some ways to increase your output and decrease costs.

One of the best ways to increase your output and decrease your costs is to first discover where your money is going. Make a list of all your expenditures. Make a list of all your income. Are you spending more than you're making? First go through your expenses. Where is all your money going? Is everything on the list a necessary expense? Can you eliminate some of them? Do you really need to take all your clients out to lunch at the nicest place in town or could you manage going to a mid-range restaurant? Think of costs that you can eliminate. Start buying office supplies in bulk. Every little bit helps, so any thing you can think of will be helpful.

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Using acoustic insulation to improve your plant

You can use acoustic insulation to improve your plant. Noise is a huge problem in nearly every manufacturing plant. It can cause a variety of issues ranging from lower production to employee injuries. If you can reduce the noise as much as possible you will be able to improve your plant in a variety of ways.

In addition to the noise being created from the plant you have noise coming from the outside. Roads, railways, airplanes, and other machines outside the plant create a lot of noise. Acoustic insulation inside the plant can deter these noises from interrupting operations.

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What is "Voice of the Customer" (VOC) and how does it apply to six sigma?

Whether you are a business manager, business owner, or just an employee in a business, the chances are great that you work with customers on a daily, if not hourly, basis. If this is the case, then you must be constantly working on your customer relations. It can be very difficult to keep your cool when a rude and upset customer approaches you. Or maybe you see that the market is demanding a new approach or new product that you feel is not worth your company’s time and money. But you don’t want to break your “six sigma.” So you’re willing to listen to the “voice of the customer.”

Is it just me, or do you have no idea what I’m talking about? This hypothetical situation may be easier to understand if you know what the terms I’m using mean.

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What is process observation and what is the best way to implement it?

Process observation is essentially just that. It is data collection method used in Lean and Six Sigma methodologies. It is a way of confirming exactly what is happening during any particular process. One of the biggest time consumers in studying any type of process is data collection. An invaluable way of collecting data is through impartial process observation.
Although every improvement project has its own unique data, it is useful to know of some metrics that can be utilized in your observations to quantify results. You will want to measure these things early in a project and then again once improvements have been made to determine the impact. If the process being measured requires a lot of time and work, try measuring a sample first. Some of those things you will want to take note of in your observations are:

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What is the link between quality, speed, and low cost?

Almost every business owner or worker is on a strict regiment, trying to link quality speed and low cost, along with maximum profitability. Maybe you’re the business owner and are always trying to get you employees to work a little bit faster, better, and more efficiently. Maybe you’re an employee who is sick and tired of hearing your boss hollering about being more efficient. Whatever the case may be, it is important to your business to be able to run quickly, but also put out a product that is of high quality and affordable sot that people will buy it. Let’s discuss what the link between these three principles is.

We’ll start by defining each word. Quality can mean many things. It can be a specific characteristic of an object. It can mean the essence of an object (the quality of salt is “saltiness”). Or it can refer to the achievement or excellence of an object. It is this last definition that is most relevant to our discussion here. If you have a high quality product, it is made or durable material. It lasts a long time. It doesn’t break at the drop of a hat. Its quality is something that sets it apart from other companies’ products. Whatever type of product or service your business sells you want it to be of a high quality.

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How anti fatigue floor matting improves productivity


Anti fatigue floor matting improves productivity in the work place and improves morale. Slips and falls are the second most common cause of injuries at work. Employees who stand on hard work surfaces such as concrete, tile, or linoleum for an entire shift often suffer from fatigue and discomfort. The fatigue will translate into lost productivity as the shift progresses.

Cushioned industrial floor matting is a low-cost preventive for foot and lower leg aches, pains, and muscular cramps. Additionally, the matting but has the added advantage of improving workplace safety by greatly reducing the potential for slips and falls. The anti fatigue floor provides an abrasion resistant cushioned surface that permits items like oil and other fluid to drain through.

Continue reading " How anti fatigue floor matting improves productivity"

Spanish in today's workforce, the importance of bilingual communication:

Today the Spanish speaking populations makes up fourteen percent of our society - fourteen percent! That's huge! Whether from a marketing, a political, or a general public perspective that is a large percent of people in our little Northern America who speak Spanish. It's true, there is no official language of the United States of America, but come on, a little common courtesy would say pick up the language of the country your living in. However, that's not how it is. And as it is, we have to cater to it.

As long as you're going to cater to it, go all the way. You have to know that Spanish speaking does not necessarily, Mexican. In America there are Spanish speakers that come from many different Spanish countries; we have Brazilians, Mexicans, Chileans, Argentines, Spanish, as well as many others. This is important to know because not all Spanish countries have the same culture; in fact many of the Spanish cultures are very different. Just as you wouldn't fly a British flag on Independence Day just because we speak a common language, be careful when catering to your Spanish speaking customers not to offend them in the same manner.

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Dealing with confrontations in the workplace:

Confrontation in the workplace is impossible to avoid, but there are some ways of handling it that are better than others. Whether you are the one faced with having to confront someone, or whether you are being confronted, here are a few tips on how to get through it.

If you are the manager of a business it is most likely you will deal with confrontation often, that is simply the nature of managing. Because confrontation can have a seemingly negative connotation, you may wish to avoid this. But rather than avoid confrontation you must simply learn to rethink your perception of confrontation.

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Worker Absenteeism - how to measure it and reduce it

INTRO

Are you tired of feeling like every time the phone rings, it is another employee calling in sick? Sure people get sick. But did you know that employees deciding to stay home because they feel entitled to a day off accounts for about 19% of annual worker absenteeism? Worker absenteeism causes managers to stress over how they will run their operation efficiently, and other workers stress over having to pick up the other guy's slack.


Worker absenteeism is also expensive. Not only does sick pay add up, but worker absenteeism adds to the overall stress and decreased moral.

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What is the Theory of Constraints?

The Theory of Constraints (TOC) is a management philosophy meant to help a company achieve their main organizational goals. For example, the Theory of Constraints is used to help a for-profit company make more money. Results should be seen immediately and in the future.

Every company has at least one constraint. These constraints can be internal resource constraints, market constraints or policy constraints. According to the Theory of Constraints, you must identify what constraints are preventing your business from achieving its goal.

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Basic principles of Cellular Manufacturing

Cellular Manufacturing or One-Piece Flow Systems are work units (cells) arranged in such a manner that parts and materials of a whole product can be done in the most stream-lined manner possible. Instead of making multiple parts of a project before sending it down the line to the next production point, products are made and then passed on immediately. This eliminates delay or waste as it is more commonly referred to as in lean manufacturing. Not only is there a focus on the flow of the product, but also on the flow of the employees. Stations are designed for people to also be able to work on various points in the line of production in the most space-saving way possible.

This type of specialized production Cellular Manufacturing use also often entails utilizing specific equipment and machinery for each piece in the line. Machinery and equipment must be designed to fit the specific specifications of the product so that the machine can alert the operator if a malfunction has occurred or if there is any error in the product. This technique is called autonomation and allows workers to turn their attention to other operations and simply be alerted if their efforts need to be re-directed.

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