If you’re in any type of manufacturing, you know how important factory layout is.
A poor factory layout or crowded workspace can lead to a decrease in production and the loss of a lot of money if it gets too severe. Workers might waste time searching for tools and a lack of space can lead to a lack of room for equipment or equipment breaking down.
An effective factory layout can have many advantages including:
- Equipment running more efficiently
- A decrease in workplace accidents
- Decreased labor costs
- An increase in production, which means products are produced and delivered on time
- Fewer maintenance costs
The bottom line is that a more efficient factory layout is going to make your business more efficient. So what can you do to improve factory layout? Here are seven tips to make a production area more efficient:
- Look at what you’ve got: One of the most important things you can do is to firstly take a look at your current factory layout. Before you go about fixing anything, you have to admit there is a problem and identify where the issues are. Leave no stone unturned and look at every aspect of production.
- Do some collaborating: As they go about improving their factory’s efficiency, one helpful thing a company can do is to enlist the help of a manufacturing consulting firm. There are more than 700,000 consulting firms offer services for nearly all aspects of business and chances are good there’s one that can help in their line of work.
Another important step in the collaboration process is to listen to the concerns of employees. After all, the rank-and-file folks are the ones on the production floor who are dealing with the crowded conditions and decreased efficiency. They will be able to offer different insights than higher-ups, who might only watch the process from afar.
- Organization: When it comes to factory layout, organization is perhaps the biggest key. This helps keep operations more efficient and keeps everything running smoothly. If you decide to move equipment around, do so in a way that improves efficiency. Organize tools so that workers can find them without a second thought. Keep vital, oft-used supplies close at hand. Take time to label document boxes or anything else that needs it. Create a layout map that shows exactly where everything is.
- Use technology: if you’re still using aged equipment in your manufacturing process, it may be time for an upgrade. Assuming the money is available to spend, investing in advanced equipment can be worthwhile and can greatly improve the whole process.
- Increase accountability: Accountability can have a negative connotation, but really it’s about getting everyone on the same page and recognizing that success and efficiency comes when everyone works together. Holding employees more accountable helps improve the standard a company holds itself to, improving workflow and decreasing manufacturing losses. When employees are held accountable, it doesn’t mean they’re on the hot seat, it means a company has safety and efficiency in mind and is thinking in the best interests of everyone.
- More education: Along with a more efficient factory layout, another thing that can increase production is more education for employees. Investing in educational programs helps employees understand the different processes of the factory and how all of the equipment works. This type of cross training helps give employees more skills to add to their resume and make them more well-rounded.
There are many things any manufacturing company can do to improve its factory layout and overall efficiency. Investing in new technology and employee education can help in this process. Manufacturing consulting firms or factory layout consultants can help companies come up with a workable facility design plan that will be more organized and allow employees to do their jobs much more efficiently.