Manufacturing has always been one of the most competitive industries, and now the margins mean more than ever. It’s impossible to overstate just how fundamentally COVID-19 has changed nearly every aspect of society.
While many workplaces were shut down and people began working remotely, factories continued to churn out goods society needed, and the jobs they supplied were pillars of the economy at a time when job loss surged.
Still, it’s been a challenging year for factories, and manufacturers have never needed to run more efficiently than they do now. Let’s take a look at a few tips that may help them.
1. Invest in Automated Quality Control
Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM machines) from expert metrology dealers like CMMXYZ can play a major role in improving quality control at a lesser cost. CMM machines have been staples of Western manufacturing for decades, and while they are versatile, CMM machines are commonly used for quality control.
CMM machines measure the physical geometrical characteristics of an object or part, either manually with an operator or via computer. A probe attached to the third moving axis defines the measurements, sometimes using a laser in place of physical contact.
When manufacturers implement automation on their production lines, they need CMM machines. Look to buy your CMM machine from a dealer that sells a range of new and used models. The best dealerships have been in operation for decades, and they can give you expert guidance as well as other services you’ll need, from repairs, calibrations, installations, and more.
Find a measurement solutions provider approved by the International Organization for Standardization that can meet all your needs.
2. Training is Everything
In classrooms, students can’t be expected to absorb the lesson unless it was properly modelled for them by the teacher. Likewise, in factories, workers who don’t have the proper training can’t reasonably be expected to hit the targets that they otherwise would.
Even automated machines like CMMs often require a technician, so even the most advanced factories likely need people at the helm who know what they’re doing.
Training is an upfront cost that keeps paying off in dividends. Workers who feel confident about tasks do better jobs and feel more job satisfaction.
3. Invest in Safety
Safety comes first for many reasons. Nobody wants to see a workplace injury, especially not a death. Safety and health are their own reward, but those aren’t the only reasons to invest in safety.
Some factories struggle to find workers because, unlike workers of a previous generation, millennials are less willing to work in unsafe conditions. A factory without workers can’t be productive.
In the COVID-19 era, where infectious disease is a contagious risk, safety takes on another meaning altogether. The last thing a factory owner wants is a COVID-19 outbreak that jeopardizes the workers’ health, halts production, and causes devastating reputational damage.
4. Strong Communication Channels with Consumers
What’s the point of having a productive factory if nobody buys the goods? The world has spent well over a year in a pandemic, and shopping habits have changed. If your old communication channels are still effective, keep them in place, but do an audit and be mindful of how quickly things have shifted.
Consumers need clear instructions about how to purchase products, but also how delivery or pickup will work. If you’re running a factory, there’s an onus on you to make sure that your sales partners downstream are doing their part to remove any potential barriers related to COVID-19 that may come between consumers and a sale.
Granted, this concern is regional and dependent on new case numbers and lockdown conditions. But if this applies to you, be sure to address such issues.
It’s been a hard year for everybody. But whether it’s a new technology, better training, or ensuring you have smooth distribution channels, the good news is there’s a lot factory owners can do to improve productivity.