Setting -- and achieving -- manufacturing goals is the best way to ensure your company is effective. Setting your manufacturing goals will streamline your company's operations, reduce waste and allow your workers to produce items in the most efficient manner possible. Do not waste valuable manufacturing time with everyone working toward a different goal -- it is only when you align your manufacturing goals throughout the entire organization that you will achieve optimum production from your workers.
Determine the size of jobs your manufacturing company produces. For companies that work on mostly smaller production jobs that require one or two people to complete, it is likely you will only need to align your manufacturing goals with the foreman who will communicate those goals to the workers. You will then have to follow up to make sure the work has been completed. For larger jobs, the foreman must make sure that the entire crew understands the manufacturing goals and that they feel like an important part of the team. The crew must feel as if without their support, the company would not prosper.
Work toward creating a continuous flow of raw materials to finished goods to the customer. This manufacturing goal will allow you to streamline your business and get the most from your workers with the least amount of waste.
Produce only what is needed. To do this, you will need to calculate the amount of time it takes to manufacture your goods. In this calculation, you must include the time it takes to work with customers when placing the order, the set-up time, the actual manufacturing time and time it takes to get the order to the customer. Only when you have a true sense of how long it takes to manufacture your goods can you understand how to produce only what is needed.
Create an environment that values "building to order." This means that your workers do not try to work so far ahead that they overproduce and create waste. Build to order environments allow you to only use necessary raw materials to fill the order at hand. After the last step, you will have an accurate idea of what it takes to produce each item and be able to give your customer the correct manufacturing time.
Create a mistake-proof environment. This means fine-tuning your devices and procedures to reduce -- if not eliminate -- mistakes. Manufacturing without making mistakes or creating defective products will reduce your waste and costs.
Engage in preventative maintenance. Your workers should view preventative maintenance as part of their jobs. For example, if they see a piece of equipment is wearing down or will soon be in need of repair, they should be empowered to either fix the machine or ask for the proper assistance to have the machine fixed. This will allow machines to complete tasks without interruption.