October 22, 2020
Your most valuable commodity
“Imagine there is a bank account that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to used during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course? Each of us has such a bank, it’s name is time. Every morning, it credits you 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off at a lost, whatever of this you failed to invest to a good purpose. x x x The clock is running. Make the most of today.” – Mark Levy
It goes without saying that time management is significant. It’s a skill that must be mastered in any manufacturing process. It is, after all, an industry where everyone is expected to multi-task effectively.
Unfortunately, time management is a learned skill. Most of us could use a bit of help with dividing our time during our work day. (And yes, procrastination and bad habits don’t end when you step out of university). Carving out the time to complete a task effectively is one of the greatest proficiencies. Misuse of time is just as ineffective as idle time, if you ask me. Not only does it mean that a plant isn’t working at optimum levels, it also means that a lot of time is wasted on matters that could easily be solved.
Here’s what I’ve observed from efficient manufacturing operations who swear by these conventional (but severely underrated) tips
- THEY STANDARDIZE – Standardizing the time it takes to complete a task ensures optimum efficiency. It’s a royal pain to watch how some operating procedures become dependent on the employee assigned for the day.
- THEY GET A PERIODIC ANALYSIS OF THEIR PRODUCTION LINE – If it ain’t broke, why fix it? True. Once a business finds a way of operation that works, nothing gets examined. But the truth is, periodic analysis of your production line ensures that standards are being met. Apart from the technical, evaluate your workers. Are they able to maintain professionalism once employed? Evaluating the process from an HR perspective throws company culture and employee incentives into the picture. Are they performing to the best of their abilities? Further, are systems as streamlined and efficient as it can get? It can become too easy for production methods to get increasingly complex without anyone noticing.
- DELEGATE AND OUTSOURCE – Thriving small- and medium-sized manufacturing firms have one thing in common … all of them are streamlined. They’re at pugilist fighting weight, so to speak. Owners and managers are often bogged down with administrative and financial concerns, that there is little room left for the more pressing concerns. Most tasks (from financial statements preparation, accounting, payroll, and tax compliance, among many others) can be outsourced to companies who can do these more efficiently. Outsourcing not only saves you time, but it also saves you money. You don’t need to hire office staff nor accountants to do the job. Learn about outsourced services here.
These are just three practical, common-sense tips from my side of the manufacturing spectrum. Got something you’d like to share? Feel free to comment below!