Four key steps to improve production-line efficiency

Improving production-line efficiency and identifying potential delays or bottlenecks can help businesses to save staff costs in the long run

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Business booming? Great news! Soon you’ll be able to invest in some labour saving devices, such as a pallet-wrapping machine. The challenge when your business starts to ramp up is having more and more orders to dispatch, meaning you need a more efficient process. The easy option to just pop a couple more staff on to help with the increased workload, and to get the orders out more quickly. This may be a simple solution to an increased demand, but it’s also a costly solution.

Take some time to check out all of the processes in your dispatch area and work out if it’s possible to do things more efficiently – without putting more staff on. It might be worth spending a little more money on your production-line now to save increased staff costs in the long run.

Analyse your packing and dispatch sections and identify any potential delays or bottlenecks. Speak to those staff – they’re the people who spend all their time working on the problem that you’re trying to solve. Look at every aspect of distribution and you’re likely to find areas where improvement can be made.

Here are the four key areas to look at:

1. Storage

Your packing area needs to always be well-stocked with the fundamentals used on a regular basis, so that you can parcel up goods and get them dispatched quickly. Items like cardboard boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap and packing materials need to be accessible, but they can take up a lot of space, so they’re often stored out of the way. You need to reach a compromise between accessibility and convenience of storage.

2. Workspace organisation

Once you have sorted out the packaging materials you have, you still need to work out what is the best way to organise your production-line in order to achieve maximum efficiency. Figure out if everything is located in the best possible place so that everyone in your team can work quickly and intelligently. If your staff are wasting time moving around the warehouse or workspace, you might need to redesign the workflow so it’s more efficient.

3. Packaging

You might have made some improvements to your packing and workflow areas, but what about the packaging that you use? There are plenty of labour-saving packaging options that help you maximise output. Find out what the best options are for your products by asking around in the industry, or by doing some online research.

4. Automation

A busier workspace means that it’s time to start automating your workflow. If the workload justifies it, why not do it now? Take a look at some of the options available to you in your industry.

Click here for an efficient pallet-wrapping solution.

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