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What are manufacturing standards?

If you are going to measure something then you use a standard measurement. In the manufacturing process there are certain standards that need to be adhered to. These can be both standards of operation and management. It is important to keep in mind that these standards will be applicable to all manufacturers no matter what type of manufacturing they do or the size of their company. Many business owners have made the mistake of thinking that these generic standards do not apply to them and they are wrong. Manufacturing standards apply to all public, private or even government companies.

It is part of the management duties of any manufacturing company to oversee the implementation of any standards that will apply to the manufacturing process, activities and/or products that the company produces. The management also has to make sure that all applicable manufacturing standards are met in terms of customer satisfaction. This can be standards that are set by quality control, state or federal entities, international regulations, and environmental controls. It is also crucial to know that the management must also adhere to the internal manufacturing standards that are the industry standard.

If a manufacturing company fails to abide by these manufacturing standards it does not always mean that there are legal ramifications. However, manufacturers who do not abide by these manufacturing standards often find that their customers are quick to take their business elsewhere. The bottom line is that manufacturing standards are good for business. Manufacturing companies that are lax on standards find that eventually their business suffers since their customers begin to seek out companies that will provide them with a product(s) that are made with the standards they have come to expect. Simply put manufacturers cannot afford not to have standards.

It is important to note that manufacturing standards are both created and enforced both internally and externally. The manufacturer itself may create certain standards while others are set up by organizations that have a direct influence on the manufacturer. Most internal standards are created in a 3 part process. These steps are-
1. Plan the objectives that the company needs to be achieving. This will form the basis of the standards. Once the company has been carefully analyzed, goals are developed and then put into place.
2. Implement the plan-It is not enough to simply have goals. They need to be part of a plan that can be implemented. This plan must be action oriented in order to meet the established standards.
3. Check on the plan-You cannot simply implement the plan and assume it will succeed on its own. You need to develop a system that will allow you to insure that your manufacturing is remaining to standard. You want to make sure that you are meeting your initial objective through a measurement of results. If you find that you are not meeting your initial objective then you may have to repeat the process in order to determine the method for meeting manufacturing standards for your company.
It is important to understand that manufacturing standards are always evolving since the best practices for manufacturing are always changing. The bottom line is that there will be no black and white manufacturing standard that will fit all companies. The size of the company will also be a determining factor in what manufacturing standards are used since the larger the company the more opinions that will be had about what constitutes best practices. It should be noted that manufacturing standards are really about a tried and true method rather then trying to dictate how any one company should be run. The bottom line is that manufacturers who adhere to standards find that it is a great benefit to their company in terms of saving them time, materials and most importantly money.

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