Food manufacturing is a game of margins. Every penny and second counts. And if you want to improve your productivity and efficiency, it’s often the smallest tweaks that make the biggest difference.
4 Ways to Improve Your Productivity
There are reportedly more than 600,000 businesses in the food and beverage industry. That makes it one of the most saturated and competitive markets in the world. It also indicates just how difficult it is to be successful in this space. Because even though there are north of half a million businesses in this space, there are probably fewer than 10,000 successful ones.
What separates the successful food and beverage businesses apart from the rest of the pack? Obviously, factors like the quality of the product, marketing, and consumer demand come into play. But there’s also something to be said for smaller elements like productivity and efficiency.
If you study the businesses that thrive, you’ll notice that they are laser-focused on the small details. They do anything and everything it takes to ensure there’s optimum productivity and efficiency throughout the manufacturing process. And if they were to give you advice on how you can do the same, here’s what they would say:
Tighten Up Quality Control
Few things have the potential to destroy your manufacturing efficiency quite like recalls. Not only that, but they hurt your public perception and have a negative impact on the overall business for weeks, months, or even years to follow. Thankfully, most recalls can be avoided by implementing the proper quality control methods.
Good quality control includes strict policies and the right investments. For example, you may need x-ray systems and metal detectors to scan items for foreign objects. The proper vibration systems can be used to keep raw materials and liquids from lingering static and spoiling. Temperature control systems help prevent potential contaminants from negatively impacting food quality. It’s all important!
Invest in Preventive Maintenance
The vast majority of manufacturers in the food and beverage industry have a reactive maintenance strategy. (Whether they’d admit to it or not, that’s just the reality.) Unfortunately, a reactive approach makes things very difficult on the manufacturing floor. All it takes is one machine to go out for a couple of hours and you have a mess on your hands.
In order to cut back on the number of stoppages and delays you have in your manufacturing processes, we recommend switching to a preventive maintenance approach. This allows you to address potential issues before they actually become problems. This ensures maximum uptime and greater productivity/output.
Use the Right Tech
Technology obviously plays a big role in productivity and output. The question is, what kind of technology are you using? In today’s industry, automation is a must.
Having the right automation in place to ensure all of the thousands of manual tasks that take place every day are streamlined in a hands-off capacity. This includes controls systems and robotic integration.
Train Your Staff Well
Training is an extremely important component of developing an efficient staff (who go on to implement efficient processes). Not only that, but a well-trained staff responds better to changes, processes, and directions.
Investing in training shows your employees that they’re valued members of a larger team. It shows them that you care about their personal and professional development. In turn, they’re more likely to stick around. This leads to less employee turnover, greater business continuity, and more innovation.
For best results, training should be an ongoing investment (not just something you do once or twice per year). Provide a buffet of training options and let employees choose the ones that are most likely to help them grow.
Small Tweaks, Big Results
As business owners and project managers, we’re always looking for ways to cut costs and improve productivity. The problem is that we typically go for the knockout punch right away. We’re seeking that one big move we can make in the hopes of saving thousands of dollars. But, truth be told, it’s the dozens of smaller changes that usually make the biggest difference.
Something as simple as changing from a reactive to preventive maintenance strategy can be enough to get things moving in a positive direction.