Manufacturing Bottlenecks Slow Productivity and Increase Costs
Supply chain management software can help you improve efficiencies throughout the manufacturing environment. Imagine a factory producing 1,000 widgets a month. As long as the supply chain moves along smoothly, those widgets can be produced on time. But what if something alters the order queue? What if your biggest customer suddenly doubles their order? What then?
With the right supply chain management software in place, you can adjust each point in the supply chain to accommodate these changes. Let’s face it: doubling orders is something you should greet with cheers, not groans. Supply chain management software enables you to monitor, adjust, and measure activities so that you can quickly ramp up or ramp down production when it’s needed the most.
Back in March, we offered a seminar on reducing bottlenecks in the manufacturing environment. If you didn’t get to attend, here are the highlights.
Bottlenecks in the Manufacturing Environment
Bottlenecks in the manufacturing environment can be caused by many things. Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons for bottlenecks.
- High demand: We’ve talked about how an increase in demand can cause bottlenecks. If you have trouble increasing production time to meet additional demands, you may need to review your processes and find ways in the workflow to reduce time or improve speed.
- Broken equipment: Bottlenecks in manufacturing can also occur when one part of the supply chain breaks down. If an important piece of equipment is offline to be serviced or it breaks unexpectedly, you may experience a bottleneck. Service can be scheduled during downtimes more efficiently when supply chain management software is used.
- Backlogs: Watch each point in the supply chain and measure points at the same time each week. Assesss if any one area is causing a backlog. Then investigate to find the cause of the backlog and how productivity can be restored. Look for the average productivity across similar supply chain points to find the optimal rate of activity.
- Queue time: How long does each step take, and how long do items wait in line before they move to the next point? It’s important to identify and eliminate elements that increase queue time. Factors that can impact queue time are drying time for paint or adhesives, cleaning time or prep time for components, and similar tasks.
Adjusting for Each Element
One way in which you can reduce bottlenecks is to examine all four metrics and pinpoint the ones you can change immediately. While you can’t change how long it takes for paint to dry on a part, you can consider ways in which you can staff up to adjust for high demand, alter shift times to accommodate time to dry the paint or eliminate backlogs because no one sent the parts through the spray booth on time. In each example, there’s something you can do to impact the effects and duration of the bottleneck.
Another offer we have for manufacturers is a free whitepaper to help you improve efficiencies in your warehouse. Discrete Manufacturing from SYSPRO ERP offers many ideas for enhancing the work environment and improving your manufacturing processes. Download it today.
PositiveVision: Services and Software to Improve Efficiency
PositiveVision provides consulting and services to manufacturing and distribution companies. We can help you sort through the many systems, software, and technological innovations available to match your company with solutions that make it more productive and profitable. Learn more on our website or contact us today.