Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are the hallmark of an efficient production line. When employees misunderstand the standard operating procedures, or there is a lack of enforcement, it can hinder overall production line efficiency.
Efficiency ratings in any manufacturing plant are essential for understanding how much money a company can potentially make from its production ability. This rating is crucial for projecting sales throughout the months and years. If the production line at your company lags, it compromises sales and your ability to pay off debts.
What Is Production Line Efficiency?
Production line efficiency is when operations are at their peak along the assembly line. Hence, you cannot create more of a specific good unless overall production levels decrease for accommodation. Production line efficiency depends on the overall efficiency of the equipment itself. If there is 100% production line efficiency, then the item is produced at its quickest without the machine taking a break.
Having a lower efficiency percentage means that there is some downtime between producing the items on the assembly line. Not allowing for downtime could lead to the machine malfunctioning.
What Issues Impact a Production Line’s Efficiency?
Many issues on the assembly line can impact a production line’s overall efficiency rating. Outdated software can cause the production line to lag. Optimizing new software can increase efficiency as the machines move faster thanks to more seamless operations.
If the production line workers are not privy to the standard operating procedures or there are no clear ones set in stone, this could also impact production line efficiency. Production line workers must be on the same page for one to operate efficiently. It’s vital to understand how labor affects efficiency and to make sure to keep high standards of productivity.
If labor productivity is something that is hindering your production line efficiency, we have the best people to improve your productivity.
How Can Insufficient Production Line Productivity Affect the Business?
A slow and less fruitful production line means that the company will lose money. If a production line can create more products than what it already is, that product that could have been produced is considered lost profit to the company.
Depending on downtime in between production on the assembly line, such as when employees take breaks with no one else to mind the line, this can cause a 5% to 20% slow-down in what could have been a productive time. If a company’s products net them $100,000 in sales per month, this means that 20% downtime could eat into $20,000 of those sales, which is highly costly.
If downtime is severe, insufficient production line productivity can eat into a company’s ability to make sales. Hindered sales mean that the company cannot properly pay its employees, which can result in bankruptcy to pay labor and other debts accrued from the company not making enough money.
Outsourcing with our production services can get your business assembly line back on track for enhanced productivity and efficiency. No matter what you outsource, with MDI, improvement will be inevitable because you will get more help on the production line to get performance numbers where they need to be.
5 Ways to Improve Production Line Efficiency
Improving production line efficiency takes time. While you can improve the software technology, coach employees, and reform operations to enhance overall efficiency, each task needs proper care for successful enhancement. Forcing optimal efficiency without careful steps will only hinder production line efficiency more than it is already.
Let’s discuss the steps you can take to improve production line efficiency. The best step is to divide each task into smaller steps to achieve the reform.
1. Reduce Downtime
Here are ways that you can reduce downtime to enhance the overall production line percentage:
- Stagger employee breaks to reduce downtime
- Set specific production goals so everyone knows what to expect.
- Cross-train employees so that they know how to complete multiple tasks on the production line. They can help one another to maintain the overall production flow.
- Enforce the rules about employee productivity and give a fair amount of breaks to all workers. Not getting enough breaks can eat into productivity which makes downtime more of an issue.
- Update the software technology as needed.
- Communicate expectations of how employees should behave while on the clock to reassure production goals are met accordingly.
2. Get the Proper Equipment Maintenance
Employee production is not the main reason for the lack of production line efficiency. How the equipment is performing could be causing too much downtime.
Conduct equipment maintenance at least every one to three months or as needed for when the machine powering the production line begins to lag. For this to be an easier task, you can install sensors on the machinery that can detect when malfunctioning or slow production is imminent.
Have at least one of your workers evaluate production line efficiency at the start of each shift. If you worry about efficiency due to equipment malfunctioning, we have professionals at MDI that inspect and oversee what products need maintenance.
3. Conduct Product Inspection Services
If overall production line productivity has lagged and compromised the integrity of the product, our experts can conduct production inspection services to:
- Check product quality
- Understand the reason why product quality is poor
- Correct the issue of compromising product quality
- Repackage products accordingly once the issue is resolved
- Evaluate the returned merchandise and overstock to be sure it is re-packaged according to standards
4. Enlist the Help of Contract Packaging Services
Have your employees focus on the production line while you outsource contract packaging services. Representatives assisting you with this service will do everything that is needed to get your products ready for retail sale.
Whether it’s kitting, bundling, or stacking on a pallet to sell on an end cap, contract packaging representatives will reassure you that your products are packaged to the proper standards to be sent out to various retail stores for selling.
You and your employees can focus on the beginning and end of improving production line efficiency while outsourced packaging service professionals handle the final part of the packaging for retail sales. Outsourcing these services may improve your production line efficiency rating by about 10% to 15%.
5. Institute Preventative Maintenance
Just like the sensors that can detect if there is something wrong with the equipment, there are other ways to institute preventative maintenance to improve production line efficiency.
Have a Floor Manager observe the production floor to find any issues within the production line. They can note what is hindering production line efficiency improvement. In doing so, they can institute a team meeting to communicate any discrepancies in the workflow on the employees’ end.
This individual can also note smaller production issues related to equipment that halt production line efficiency improvement. Maybe the machine takes three minutes to load compared to the usual one minute that it used to take to fire up the unit. In this case, a software upgrade can be done.
Benefits of Improving Production Line Efficiency
Production line efficiency improvement is essential to obtain many benefits as the company prospers from the overall changes. Employees will be more productive. Hence, more products are produced to sell within a specified time.
With communicated expectations for production, employees will know the SOPs, execute them correctly, and work with their co-workers as a team to achieve these expectations. Customers will be more satisfied because the product has a higher availability in stores.
With the recent product shortages, customers are more uncertain of whether their favorite or needed products are even on the shelves when they visit their local grocer or department store. Dot out those worries by improving production line efficiency with the services MDI offers so your products remain widely available nationally and/or internationally.
Your employees are at the front of the production line. Human error can hinder production line efficiency improvement. Reducing downtime, enforcing production expectations, and training everyone to learn the standard operating procedures all help to reassure that employees are safe during the production process. If your workforce is not feeling their best, we have people capable of performing any job you need.
Improved production line efficiency also means that the maximum output can be reached to achieve the overall desired sales. If a company is operating at its best output, they are getting the most sales possible which will enhance profits and help to pay labor and other debts. Money makes company operations go round, so optimizing for maximum output is essential.
Get Production Line Efficiency Improvement With MDI
Do you think that your production line efficiency rating is declining? If you had higher sales in prior years with sales lagging this current year, maybe it is time to evaluate your production line efficiency to get to the root of the problem.
Retrain your employees so they know standard operating procedures. Evaluate your equipment and give it maintenance as needed. Run diagnostics on your software to reassure there is no lagging present.
Once you have gone through the steps of improving production line efficiency, you are sure to increase the rating, skyrocket sales, keep your employees paid, and enhance customer satisfaction with product availability.
Don’t waste a second more without the utmost efficiency, contact us today to get your production line’s efficiency back to where it’s supposed to be.