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Improving manufacturers quality and speed

Every company knows that the quality of its products help to determine its image in the industry and possibly its overall success or failure. It is important that in an attempt to improve speed and efficiency that quality is not left out of the equation.

Here are a few tips in improving the quality and speed of your manufacturing processes.

Tip #1: First you need to identify where your problems are occurring. You can do this with a simple walk through or by using high tech equipment and doing simulations and analysis. Whatever option you choose, it is important to be thorough and identify all areas. When you begin making changes you want to make sure you looked at the whole picture and that what you "improve' won't ripple and affect other areas.

Tip #2: Next you need to identify the various solutions to the areas of concern. You will want to do your research here and choose a solution that best fits the needs of your company, employees, and equipment. The latest and greatest fad ideas aren't always going to fit your needs. Don't rule out those good old tried and true solutions. Sometimes you may need to try a few strategies before identifying the one that works best. Sometimes they can be as simple as shuffling employees around to different equipment.

Tip #3: Make sure you establish a quality communication method and that you're various departments, divisions, and workers cooperate well together. A lot of time can be wasted in poor communication. Not to mention the costs of mistakes due to deficient transfers of information. Good communication protocols and skills are a great start to improving process. Quality improves as well if information dispersed is adequate.

Tip #4:
Make sure all your equipment is up to date. Make sure computers have updated software and equipment has been maintained. Make sure your equipment can handle the constraints of the processes required.See what you can automate. Technology can provide speed and efficiency for certain tasks. Technology can also help ensure a certain level of quality without a whole lot of deviation. There may be areas that can be automated between departments or even between manufacturer, supplier, and customer.

Tip #5:
Stay true to what you are good at. Sell what products you make. Quality and speed can improve if you make sure you aren't continually retooling machines and expecting employees to learn multiple types of crafts. If you stay true then your employees become experts in their skills and improve in craftsmanship - resulting in quality and in speed. Confidence is also built with employees when they feel they are able to master a specific skill. This confidence can also translate into better quality and quickness.

Tip #6: Make sure you have the right people in management. They need to be qualified and highly trained. Your managers should be trained extensively for the areas they are supervising. Their personalities need to exude confidence and motivation to those under them. You'll never see your quality and speed diminish as quickly as it does when employees are made to feel undervalued, underappreciated, and unnecessary. Your management needs to have tools at their disposal to help communicate well.

Tip #7:
Make sure you take the opportunity to provide as much training as possible to your employees working the floor. Help them to see beyond just put Object A into Slot B and turn until you reach Point C. Help them to see how their skill or process fits into the larger picture. Train them to know how to manage the equipment they use and how to properly maintain and troubleshoot it. A lot of time can be wasted if every time a glitch occurs an expert has to be called.Some things can be taken care of easily. Example: "My printer won't print. Is it turned on or plugged into the computer?" This may sound silly, but those kinds of issues are what kill productivity in places all over regularly.

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